Pet Photography with Lightroom

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When working with pet photography, there are some key elements to keep in mind to achieve a high quality result:

  • Have patience: taking the ideal picture when your model is a pet will require loads of patience, because typically you will spend a lot of time trying to calm down your subject, helping it sit still while you are taking your shot. This can also require giving pets treats such as bones, or using squeaky toys like those rubber chickens, in order to catch their attention for the camera.
  • The flash can be the pet’s worst enemy: just like human’s, they tend to get annoyed with the light from the flash, only multiply that effect by 4 and you will get an idea how much animals like dogs suffer, when you use flash for your pictures.
  • Exposure and fur: be especially careful when measuring the exposure value, since fur that is too bright or too dark can mess with your exposure value, affecting the entire background.
  • For shooting small pets like hamsters, mice, or hedgehogs, you will find yourself with the problem of having to shoot between bars. Unless this doesn’t bother you, there are two possible approaches for solving this issue – either photograph the pet being held in somebody else’s hands or shoot with the door open, letting only your lens inside the cage, but be especially careful, since you don’t know what kind of damage a frightened animal may do to your lens.
  • In order to shoot fish inside a tank, move close to the tank in order to avoid light reflecting in the glass and try to use natural lighting whenever possible.
  • Photographing birds can be tricky, since they do not react to stimulation the same way dogs and cats do. Since their pecks can be harmful for the camera lens, placing your camera lens inside the cage is not recommended.
  • In order to take a quality shot of a horse, you will need a long lens (200 or 300 mm should be perfect, since in most cases you are shooting from a long distance), and you will need to use fast shutter speeds like 1/500, in case you want to take a picture of a horse in motion.
  • Try to work as a team with the pet owner: this is almost a given, since they know the behavior of the particular animal. You will want to ask them for advice about the types of conditions that seem to frighten the animal in order to avoid stressing it during your photo session. Remember that a frightened horse can be a potential danger, not only to you or your equipment, but also to people in the vicinity.

Aside from these things, how does Lightroom measure up, when it comes to Pet Photography?

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As you may know, every type of scene in either professional or amateur photography requires a post-development process known as post-production. For jobs like this, you usually have to use suitable image editors designed for digital post-producing your files in order to enhance their quality.

Although we can find plenty of software around the net, very little of it can actually provide users with the tools needed to get the job done. Among program that are up to the task, we can mention software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, Corel PaintShop Pro and a few others that are similar. However, only Adobe Lightroom provides a friendly interface along with full compatibility with other software for further editing, such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom.

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Adobe Lightroom and Pet Photography – Meet the magic of digital postproduction

Lightroom, as most people call this software, is a very powerful app. Not only can you post-produce your pictures, but you can also do videos, catalogue your files, manage printing options in a dedicated space, design books, and much more! With Lightroom, the workflow is designed to be a neat, linear experience with the purpose of exporting your pictures, either for printing, publishing, or for further editing in software like Adobe Photoshop (in case you want to add some extra effects to it).

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With only a few tools (if we compare it to Photoshop), you can achieve a wide range of effects inside Lightroom. Your creativity will be boosted through this software, since from the very first moment you open it, you will find yourself applying adjustments to your images almost by instinct. That’s the kind of magic Lightroom holds: not only are you editing your images, you are also learning through the process how to become a better photographer.

How to post-produce a Pet Photograph in Lightroom

For this task, you will need the following elements:

  • An image (either in RAW or JPEG – if you happen to have a RAW-capable camera, please shoot in RAW, since this will give you better editing capacity than an already processed JPEG file)
  • Lightroom tools: features like the Red-Eye Removal tool (a must-use whenever you use Flashlight), Adjustment Brush and Graduated/Radial Filters. Crop and Spot Healing is another alternative, you can try out, but basically, you can handle everything with the first-mentioned tools.
  • Lightroom presets: Today, having a good preset library is a must if you plan to become a great photographer. Fine products, such as the Sleeklens handmade professional presets, can save the day by quickly turning your pictures into beautiful works of art.

Identify key elements in your picture: what is the feeling you want to convey, which kind of motif is portrayed in the scene, is it a close-up or a landscape picture? These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself about images like the one below.

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After identifying all of those considerations, work your way through the Lightroom tools. For example, if you happen to think your image would look even better in Black & White mode, making it resemble a vintage portrait or something similar, use a B&W filter with your image. You will be amazed how much you can accomplish with those presets.

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Creative effects like Vintage pictures, which always looks appealing to the eye of the typical user, can be a quick aid in developing a high quality portfolio full of pet photographs.

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You should always try to enhance detail in these types of pictures, so using Clarity or Sharpen is a must, as is working with the Contrast in order to get the best color possible out of your image.

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Don’t wait another minute, get started and let yourself be amazed at everything Lightroom can offer, even for users that start out with very little knowledge. Lightroom is slowly but surely growing into a must-have tool in professional photography. Just try to keep up with the latest improvements, and don’t be disappointed if at first you can’t create the effect you want. Practice makes perfect with Lightroom, and it will largely determine your level of skill as a professional designer.

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