(P1) Holding the camera at eye level to take a picture is such a natural posture that you start to take it for granted. But if you take a shot of your pet from a normal standing position, the result is a boring, unimaginative picture where your pet just looks small and insigniﬁcant. Instead, you need to get right down to your pet’s level, even if that means lying down with your camera on the ground.
(P2) This simple step makes a huge difference. Now you’re shooting your pet from its own eye level and seeing the world from the animal’s perspective, rather than a human’s. If you have to shoot through long grass or ﬂowers then all the better, because if you choose your position carefully and use a wide lens aperture to defocus the foreground and background, then it can create a rather nice framing effect.
(P3) You should experiment with focal length as well. A wide-angle lens used close up can produce a striking ‘dog’s-eye’ view of the world, while a telephoto lens produces a more pleasing perspective and helps you eliminate unwanted backgrounds and isolate your subject more effectively.
(P4) Most of all, look for a good setting. It’s all too easy to concentrate so much on your subject that you overlook the surroundings, but these are a vital part of the picture. Don’t just follow your pet around trying to get your shots. Choose where you want to take the picture and then entice your pet to pose in the location you have chosen. It can be useful to have a willing helper for this part!
(P5) Finally, all the techniques that work well for human portraits like lighting, focal length, focusing on the eyes, and the direction of the gaze can be applied to pet photography. As far as the principles of photography are concerned, animals are people too!
VOCABULARY: posture, insignificant, aperture, telephoto lens, isolate, vital, entice, focal, gaze
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Why do people like to take photos of their pets?
- Which pet is your favorite? Why?
- Why do people treat their pets as part of the family?
READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
- The article doesn’t suggest to lie on the ground with your camera. (T or F)
- From whose field of vision do you want to see the world from?
- Which type of camera lens gives you a zoomed in view of the subject?
- Which 4 methods of photography are useful for pictures of people and animals?
EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:
What do the following expressions or phrases mean?
- Eye level (P1)
- Take a shot of your pet (P1)
- Right down (P1)
- framing effect (P2)
- ‘Dogs-eye’ view of the world (P3)
- Animals are people too! (P5)