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Old May 26, 2007, 12:46 AM   #1
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My wife breeds dachshunds so I take a lot of pictures of dogs from newborn to adult. I'm looking to find a better way of setting up the lighting.

For adults I was thinking of a large (48") pop-up tent. I think the tent would comfort the dog and give it a more natural look being that it's enclosed. I'm trying to decide between flash or static lighting. My reservation on static lighting is that the tent might start to get hot after a while, and strobes wouldn't have this problem. So far in my experience, using a flash has never phased a dog so I don't think it would be much of a distraction to them. Is there a cheap setup I could use for this? Also it would be nice if I could use the lighting outdoors to fill in shadows, since a natural setting always gives nice pictures.

For puppies, I was thinking the same thing but a smaller tent, say around 24".

EDIT: Also wanted to add that I like to shootin continuous drive because it's so hard to get a good photo before the dog moves again. I just take a bunch until I find one I like and delete the rest. For this reason, static lighting would work well. Are there "cool" lights out there for not too much?

Thanks for any advice!

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Old May 26, 2007, 10:06 AM   #2
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Hi flatland2d,

I shoot a lot of pets and I have found shooting outdoors just using my SB-800flash on the cameraworks best for Me. I see you already learned about doing a bunch of pictures and sorting the bad ones out. I use the hi-jpg so I can crop the photo to what I need. Digital sure is much better then the film I wasted in the old days doing pet pictures.

If I'm stuck doing pictures inside of a pet I will set up a couple of off camera wireless TTL flashes (SB800 & SB600) in each corner of the room as to light the whole room. ( I used to use studio lights )

If doing a portrait of the owner and the pet I just set up as doing a portrait which means I use a stroboframe bracket to get my SB800 above the lens and My SB600 off to one side set 1 stop down using TTL.

This picture is cropped off of a very bad yard picture and I vignetted out the ugly background.

Ronnie
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Old May 28, 2007, 12:29 AM   #3
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Here is another Dog picture cropped off of a picture that just didn't work. One thing very nice about the D200 Nikon is you can crop and still have room to enlarge. The final print for this one is 11 X 14. I find when you can come up with a very good portrait of a persons pet you always have a good sale. It just takes a lot of time and patients.

Ronnie
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Old May 29, 2007, 12:45 PM   #4
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This one is Bernie. A Boston Terrier that never stopped moving. I finely got a shot as He was on My couch because He heard a noise outside of the window. It was the only time He was still for two hours. The owner was very happy with this portrait and I printedthree 8 X 10's and a bunch of wallets for Her.

Ronnie
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Old May 30, 2007, 3:56 AM   #5
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The CFL lights are cool and last for years. The big problem is mixing different color light from the flash and the sun and the lights.

This place and many other have a bunch of reflector types that are 51K color temp so will match fairly closely with sunlight.


http://www.1000bulbs.com/product.php?product=28582

One thing about all CFL lighting is it is only around 82CRI to 90 CRI so the color is not perfect.

They are cheep and any fixture can hold them.

A reflector for the sunlight would be a good idea too.



The color temp from 5000 kelven to 6500 kelven is a close match to sunlight with 6500 more blue. Many people use 550k CFL's There all over ebay.



It is a nice way to use the sunlight for key( Sunlight is 100 CRI) and the CFL for wash and fill.



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Old Jun 20, 2007, 10:59 AM   #6
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Here is another one I just did. His name is Radio and he is about a year old and very active. It wasn't easy but the owner liked this picture enough to pay me for it. It was done inside using a flash.

Ronnie


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Old Sep 12, 2007, 12:55 PM   #7
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I am trying to figure out if the above referenced photos are the what not to do shots, or the "Hey, if you want to shoot it right do this" shots.

I prefer shooting in open shade, and if I don't get eye sparkle, I will reflect, or give just a tickle of flash.

I don't like flat, blown out color of dogs. I like contour, to show the dog's beauty, and sparkle in the eye to show the beauty of their eyes.

I can edit a redeye, but I won't do the solid color, and create an artificial look of painted eyes. If I can't fix them and make them look normal, I will not accept the picture as what I took.

I also try to get down on the dog's level, so he's not looking up at me, unless I am specifically looking for a distorted, or panicked looking dog.

I want a picture to show the living creature and the spirit behind the shot, and not be distracted by the exposure not being right.

I can't STAND the two pictures I am going to post here. They were my very first attempt at doing a portrait sitting, for a friend,and all of her dogs. Yet, according to what I'm seeing, they would be acceptable to many photographers?
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Old Sep 12, 2007, 12:57 PM   #8
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Here is the second shot. I can't Stand it. The owner of the dogs LOVED all the shots, but to me they were unprofessional and amateurish in quality.

I bounced my SB800s off reflector umbrellas, to give fill light without washing out and making a flat looking shot.

Like I said, these I think are unacceptable quality.
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Old Jan 24, 2008, 7:34 PM   #9
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here is a pet shot i took
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Old Jan 25, 2008, 1:15 AM   #10
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What type camera are you using? One that you can mount a dedicated flash? If so, make yourself or buy a flash/bounce difussor. These were shot with a digicam, TTL flash mounted with Lumisphere II dome fitted and pointing straight up. It creates wonderful light, making any area of your house a studio....














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