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Taking great photos of your pet in bright sunlight is easier than you think! 

Check out these top tips from Cheshire Pet Photography.

 

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Shoot in the Shade

My number one tip if it’s bright sunshine is to find an area of shade.

Here the light is more even and softer. Our eyes can cope with strong contrast caused by glorious sunny days but our cameras can’t. Overhead sun causes blown highlights and heavily shadowed areas and as a result, a loss of detail.

Try moving your subject under some trees, a bridge, or into the shadow of a wall.

 

Jackie Robinson Tip 1a bright

 

If you’re under trees watch out for hot spots created by dappled light.

These bright areas draw the eye and become the main focal point in the image.

In these two pictures of Tilly, one shows her with a bright spot on her chest and in the second I have moved her a few feet to avoid them.

 

Tip 1b tilly

 

The key is to have your subject at the edge of a shaded area where it’s not too dark (for example if you went deep into woods) but the light is still soft and even.

And make sure your pet has its back towards the deeper shade and its face towards the light.

You can use your own, or a friend’s, body to create some shade by standing between the subject and the sun to cast a shadow over your pet.

In the example shown where I am creating the shade I have left some of Ted's body in the sun so you can see the difference it makes.

 

 

Tip 1c facing the light tip 


Use a Reflector

This is the act of bouncing light back on the subject and filling in the shadows. It needn’t be a fancy photographer’s gadget - a simple piece of white card or paper will do the trick.

Play around with the angle of the board and watch how the light moves around your pet. Or position yourself so that you have a white wall or similar behind you (the photographer) which will bounce the light back on to your subject.

You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this can make.

 

Tip 2 using a reflector tilly

 

Backlight

If you have no option but to shoot in the sunshine try and position your pet with his or her back to the sun; this blocks most of the direct light from falling on the face (but only works as long as the sun isn’t directly overhead). 

Tip 3a back lit cat

 

If you can wait until the sun is low in the sky (early morning or evening) the light is softer, creates beautiful rim light and makes your images much more atmospheric.

Just watch out for sun flare as it can cause haziness and loss of detail. 

 

Tip 3b low light rim light blk and white 

 

Diffuse the sun

If there are clouds, wait until one hides the sun. They work like a wonderful, huge soft box, diffusing the light.

In this image, I had Badger standing in a stable door which meant he was facing into the light, and waited for the sun to go behind a cloud. With his black/brown and white markings he was extremely hard to photograph in direct sunshine as the camera just couldn’t cope with the contrast. 

Nothing fancy is required - anything translucent will do the trick, like an umbrella, but try to avoid strong colours as this can create a colourcast on your subject. If you’re in your garden try using an old sheet pegged on a washing line to create softer light.

 

Tip 4 cloud over sun

 

Silhouettes

Very dramatic! By exposing for the brightest part of the scene, you render everything else very dark.

Make sure that there is no clutter overlapping your pet i.e. bushes, trees, people etc.

You are after a nice clean silhouette against the sky. Experiment with negative space for an arty look.

Tip 5 silhouettes

 

An extra thought for these exceptionally hot days 

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Dogs can‘t perspire like we do to cool down, they pant. But if the air they are breathing is hot then their panting has little cooling effect. Plus the air is hotter closer to the ground and therefore less effective when they are panting. Panting can also leave them very dehydrated so make sure there’s plenty of water available. And try to avoid walking your dog on hot stones or pavements as this can burn the pads on his or her paws.

As a result of having a hot dog you will end up with a huge, lolling tongue in your photographs which may not be the look you are after. 

 

Tip 6 lolling tongue

  

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  Cheshire Pet Photography

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Pet photography services covering Poynton, Cheshire, the Peak District & Derbyshire areas

❝ With over a decade immersed in the world of photography, composition, lighting and editing, I have honed the skills required for creating those top quality images that will decorate your walls.   If I am not out photographing a cherished furry family member, exploring new locations or having some sneaky time in the garden soaking up a little sunshine, I can be found 'office chair dancing' to some upbeat music, wading through raw files from the latest session, a cup of tea and something very chocolatey to eat on my desk ❞  

 Jackie Robinson 

 

the lady behind the camera 

"It has been an absolute pleasure to not only have Jackie take the most beautiful pictures of Ted, but to also see how she works and the obvious passion she has for both photography and animals. Right from the start she had thought of everything and nothing was too much trouble for her. A truly talented lady who has managed to capture the essence of Ted in her work which now has pride of place at home. I would highly recommend her and will be having more pictures done with her in the future"  - Jacqueline, High Lane

Read more of my clients' Reviews  

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5 Top Dog Friendly Places to Stay in The UK

1.

 Tinywood Homes - Luxury Glamping in Warwickshire

• Beautiful homes for those seeking a luxury glamping break.

• Sleeps variable

• Prices start from £150 per night 

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Dog Friendly 

A collection of 6 stunning, quirky, ‘architecture in miniature’, cosy holiday homes nestled in breathtaking Warwickshire countryside.

Enjoy views, barbecues, hot tubs, star gazing and tranquility...and even better, your dog can stay for free.

 

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 Visit Their Website

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2.

Barford Beach House Nr Bude, Cornwall

• Sleeps 16 | 6 ensuite bedrooms

• Prices from £2,100 for 4 nights

Dog Friendly 

• Dog Friendly

£50 per dog which covers additional cleaning. Max. 2 dogs

2 Barford Kitchen diner 2 barford house hot tub 

 

A magnificent, glass-fronted, designer beach house overlooking Wanson Mouth beach.

This gorgeous holiday home oozes warmth and style for up to 16 guests as well as featuring a hot tub, sauna, spa room, cinema room and much, much more.

 

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 Visit Their Website 

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3.

3. Boutique Barges in London

• Sleeps 4-5

• 57 foot canal boat

• Prices from £280 for 2 nights

Dog Friendly

Dog Friendly 

One dog allowed on prior arrangement.

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Unwind in these two lovingly refurbished, stylish river retreats - a hidden gem in the heart of London.

Full of personality to suit the guest with an individualistic side, they offer boutique hotel-style accommodation with high-end fixtures, a mix of antique décor and comfortable furnishings and the latest technology. 

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4.

Walton Castle - Clevedon, Somerset

• 8 Double Bedrooms | Sleeps 16

• Heated Indoor Swimming Pool

• Hot Tub with wood burning stove

• Prices from £12,000 per week

Dog Friendly

Dog Friendly 

4 walton castle lazing

 

A ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ retreat for those with a bigger budget, this 17th century castle is perfect for a special occasion.

Luxurious accommodation, including 8 turret rooms, for up to 16 guests with exclusive use of the grounds, heated pool and hot tub.

 

 Visit Their Website

 Walton Castle and pooch  

 

5.
 

Twee Gebroeders - Dutch Sailing Barge- Woodbridge, Suffolk

Situated on the River Deben at The Tidemill, Woodbridge, Suffolk – Sleeps 2-4. 

Available for 2 or 3 night weekends, midweek breaks or longer holidays.

Prices from £329 for 2 nights

Dog Friendly

Dog Friendly 

Up to three well behaved dogs are welcome on board (a small charge of £15 per dog)

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Twee Gebroeders (Two Brothers in English)

 Luxurious, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages aboard a beautiful Dutch Sailing Barge which dates back to the late 1800’s 

 

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Unwind in this award-winning 64ft, beautifully restored, Dutch sailing barge moored at the iconic waterfront of Tidemill.

Bespoke, hand-crafted details combined with all mod cons make this a luxurious romantic escape or fantastic family getaway.

 

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 Visit Their Website 

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Article by Jackie Robinson of Cheshire Pet Photography  
 

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Celebrate your most loyal, four-legged friend! The cat or dog, horse or pony, or maybe even something more exotic, who makes a huge impact on your life and completes your family. There is never a better time than right now to capture and preserve all that wonderful craziness and unconditional love.

With a pet photography experience you'll never forget, you will come away with vibrant, emotive and heart-warming fine art images to keep your memories fresh and artwork that you can touch, admire and display for a lifetime.

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  Cheshire Pet Photography

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Pet photography services covering Poynton, Cheshire, the Peak District & Derbyshire areas

 

 
 
Published in Blog - All articles