Thoughts On Pet Photography

It can be difficult to take original and inventive pet photos. It seems that everything has already been done, and trying to find an original idea is like trying to re-invent the wheel. However in order to really gain a following you must find your own personal style. It can be very hard to sit down and try to think “what” that is going to be. It’s almost impossible.

Really the only way to do it is to go out there and keep taking photos…but I want to encourage you to change things up every time. Experiment. Even if it doesn’t turn out 100% perfect. Try new angles. Get on the floor, get up on the roof. Break the traditional photographic rules (provided that you’re at least grounded in the basics before you break them). Shoot into the sunlight. Do low light stuff.

The best pictures are ones that capture a moment and tell a story. They capture a great candid moment in time and show motion and emotion. I would even suggest going to a high school photo exhibit to see what NOT to do. Now that sounds mean, but photography students tend to really regurgitate “typical” photography. Stuff that’s been done to death. However, there might be a few standout photographers that could give you a few new ideas.

I also suggest that you follow some of your favorite photographers on Flickr or Instagram in order to get new ideas and perspectives.

Many photographers will preach about learning the basic fundamentals. And that’s all well and good. I read a whole article from someone about this. And then I looked at his photos. They were lifeless and boring. Average at best. How many photos do I need of a “tide pool” or a setting sun? Give me something original.

I want to feel emotion when I see a picture. I want to see humanity in the eyes and body language of the subjects. This can often mean being in the right place at the right time. But I also suggest to people using digital cameras to just keep shooting to get practice. Hey, you’re not wasting film. As you get better, I suggest not snapping as much, and just observing for the right moment.

Be on the lookout for photographic moments all around you in every day life. They are everywhere!

Also, become familiar with computer photo retouching software. I suggest getting Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, depending on what you want to do. I also suggest that if you have a large database of photos on your compute that you back them up all the time. You can use services like MyPCBackup and Backblaze to back up your files to the cloud quickly and easily. They are automated, so you never have to worry about it. I especially like the way that Backblaze runs quietly in the background.  If you find that your current computer is bogged down you can sweep it with a few software tools such as a spyware removal software program as well as a few optimizers.

And another tip: often it’s not the arrow, it’s the indian. You can take great pictures with any camera. Yes, having expensive lenses can help you get crisp images and great depth of field. But you can also take amazing shots with your phone. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on equipment.

Frustration And Boredom In Pets

Your pets are just like you – if they are bored or frustrated they will become highly stressed and will start showing physical effects more readily.

Thomas Fisher, the president of Animal and Human Stress and Research Associates of Horseheads, New York, conducted research on dog stress in 1981, revealing that dogs can decide their reactions to the stress in their lives. Fisher used the Dektor Counterintelligence and Security Psychological Stress Evaluator (PSE) to measure stress levels. This instrument measures stress-induced microconstrictions of the voice box (while barking, whining, etc., for dogs) and the resultant fluctuations in the inaudible (to humans) FM radio band. The PSE instrument plots the FM sounds on printouts, which reveal the degree of stress experienced by animal or person. Fisher’s research using the PSE reveals that dogs can induce dissociation reactions to escape from stressful situations. These reactions are similar to your mentally projecting yourself out of the dentist’s chair to a Florida beach.

Fisher also cites evidence that dogs can select aggression or nonaggression as a reaction to stress.

To reinforce good behavior, you must provide the initial clue that grooming or veterinary procedures are No Big Deal. I suggest that owners initiate a walk or a game of fetch as an alternative for pets preoccupied with the stress of a bandage or a skin irritation, such as dogs suffering from flea-allergy dermatitis. Any activity that will break the itch-scratch cycle is medically beneficial.

Reaction to sound can also reveal the stress level in your pet’s life. One study of the effects of social environment on canine behavior found that fear of noise was most common in dogs from households with three or more adults or children. (Such households tend to be noisier than households with few people.) Published studies reveal that dogs and cats relax when soothing music is played softly but appear agitated when exposed to hard-rock music. Your teenager’s stereo may be raising tension and blood pressure in your new budgie as well as in your neighbors.

Solitary confinement for such highly social birds as lovebirds can result in such stress that the birds just pine away; the treatment is a heavy dose of human companionship. Stress, especially boredom, can cause feather picking in birds. The therapy includes a cage large enough for activity, toys, and attention. A change of environment and new animals or people in the household can cause a cat to lick and chew at its hair until parts of its body are bald; this disorder is seen most commonly in high-strung and emotional cat breeds. In some cases, resolving the cause solves the problem, but often the cat must be placed on “anti-anxiety” drugs, such as tranquilizers. Disrupting the cat’s comfortable routine can cause other inappropriate behavior, such as urinating outside the litter box. Chronic tail biting, flank sucking, and foot licking in dogs are psychogenic.

Robert Leeds, the owner of a pet motel, says, “Stress was responsible for more illnesses and deaths among boarded pets than any other single factor. With young animals, it led to enteritis [intestinal upsets] and dehydration. With older animals, it contributed to kidney failure.” Leeds suggests that pet owners run a reconnaissance before leaving pets. He also says that little special treats help relieve stress in both owners and pets. Leaving a familiar toy or blanket or a piece of an absent owner’s cltohing with the pet is appropriate.

We must actively work to control the effects of harmful stress on the lives of those around us, including our pets. PEts need play, exercise, proper care, attention, and love. Love begets love and feat begets fear.