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  • Writer's pictureLisa Olson

Tips for photographing dogs with black fur

What works photographing people, doesn’t always translate with dogs or pets

What works great with skin often doesn’t translate well to capturing fur. While softer light might be “better” for human portraits because it will help hide wrinkles, blemishes and other imperfections in skin. Those same qualities will also hide finer fur details. Which isn’t a big deal when photographing pets with lighter colored coats. But when photographing dogs with dark fur, often you’re left with only those more subtle details to work with — namely changes in reflection and texture created by individual hairs laying in different directions.

Tips for photographing pet with black fur by pet photographer Lisa Olson, owner of Pets R Family that is located in North Ogden, Utah.
Love Pet Photography

Use hard light when working with fur

Soft light is generally regarded in photography as better. When capturing human portraits, soft light can help hide wrinkles, frown and smiles lines, and blemishes.  But we rarely have any of these concerns when working with dogs. More over, this type of light tends to wash out details. It is better to use harder light when working with surfaces that depend on texture for contrast.

When it comes to lighting, size matters with fur (but bigger isn’t always better)

It’s also important to note that the size and location of your light source also matters. The wider the visual subtended angle of a light source in relationship to a subject, the softer the light and visa versa. Translated into simpler practical terms, larger and closer light sources tend to produce softer light than smaller light sources located further from subjects.

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