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Pet portraits using mobile phone during Quarantine

by Antony Pratap
Indoor mobile photography tips and ideas

This pandemic has given us a chance to utilize time for hobbies. It could be anything; since my forte or what I love is taking photos, I will be sharing an idea in this post. Using my iPhone I tried taking portraits of my pet, a dachshund by name Milo.

It took some time for me to get Milo to stay or sit still in one place. I took a lot of photos of him in action and portraits. Since he would be moving you may not get sharp pictures, you need to have patience and keep shooting until you are happy with what you got. I have also tried taking black or dark background portraits using the Stage mono light feature which is in Portrait mode.

What is required and how to handle light?

Well, you a pet or a subject who can pose and your mobile phone. There are different types of methods you can use.

  1. Ambient natural light
  2. External continuous light
  3. Mobile torch light

Ambient light: This is during the day using the sunlight. You need a place where you can turn off the indoor lights, or close other room doors and windows to ensure there is only one way from where the light enters. Place the subject in that light and start taking pictures. Use angles and things that you have to cut the light in the background if you may have any light spill.

External light: You can use this when there is no daylight. Light up the device making sure there is no other light in the background, point the light on the subject, and take the picture. This could be challenging for pets unless you are Auditya Venkatesh and have an obedient pet like his. He has the best tips for using one light and taking beautiful pictures. You can check his IGTV, and his Insta handle to see how he takes the shot.

Mobile torch light: This technique also is challenging with pets, and you may get hard shadows. You need an extra mobile phone that has the torch light feature in it. You have to start the torch light and point it on the subject and start taking photos. There are different kinds of edits you can do and make a creative portrait using this method.

Why did I use the Portrait mode?

Since the surrounding or background is a bit distractive, I wanted to keep it blurred and only have the pet in focus.

Where did I make the pet sit?

I turned off the lights inside the rooms and brought him to the entrance of the door keeping the door slightly open behind me. It would be like the light peeking into the room. You will see your pet well lit. You can also do the same using window light. Make the pet sit on a bed or chair and keep them near a window that is open, keeping the room lights off. At times they get bored and distracted, it is better to treat them and have their best toy handy.

How do I get my pet to look into the camera lens of the mobile phone?

I was holding his favorite ball which he keeps in his mouth even when sleeping. Because his eyes would be on the ball as a target, I held it near the phone camera, and on top of the phone while taking the pictures. You can try the same using a treat.

Finally, how did I take the photos?

I got my camera ready with Portrait mode enabled, had the ball in one hand, and took a position. As and when he was looking at the ball, I started clicking. There were blurred pictures, over bright pictures, and some neat portraits of him too. You can have a look at a few in this post.

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