Photo Challenge – Bad Pets

Normally I would not encourage you to take any more photographs of your precious putty cats or Socks the family dog, but something about pets doing bad things makes me smile.  Photographing your pets doing bad things can be difficult since they seem to know when you aren’t home and punish you for leaving them unattended…  You may have to set up an animal blind in your living room to catch them in the act.  Don’t worry, everyone in your family thinks you’re crazy as it is.

This challenge isn’t just about catching your little pals reeking havoc, this is about capturing them in the act using your camera skills.  Pictures need to be sharp, no blurry blob of a cat dashing across the frame, and have decent composition.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you’d rather not shoot fully manual you can use shutter priority or aperture priority.  Use shutter priority if you are indoors and need to make sure your shutter speed is fast enough to capture the movement without blurring.  Use aperture priority if you have a camera you can turn the ISO up on and keep your shutter speed high.
  • Your shutter speed needs to be over 1/100th to catch a particularly wily animal and at least as fast as your lenses focal length for sharp images (if your lens is 50mm long then you need to keep your shutter speed over 1/50th).
  • Keep an eye on your white balance, you may need to set it manually if you have multiple types of light in the room.
  • Focus on your pets eye and everything else will fall in line.
  • If you can’t get them to look at you then try to startle them right when you’re about to take the shot.
  • Once they get comfortable with seeing their master with a giant black thing attached to their face try to move in nice and close to them.  Choose a fairly large aperture (small f/number) to blur distracting background elements into a smooth bokeh.
  • If your animal is always on the move try using continuous auto focus as well as high-speed continuous shooting.

Once you’ve got the shot you are looking for you can submit it to PhotolisticLife by hitting the button below.

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