Home Photography Ideas: How To Take Great Pictures Of Hamsters


Other wildlife photography projects

Watch the video: Home Photography Ideas – Close-Up Pet Portraits

While you’re staying safe indoors, now is a great time to improve your camera skills, so try our home project on how to take awesome animal photos with flash.

Never work with children or animals, they say – and they’re often right! However, that didn’t stop us from doing our best to capture some great pet portraits for this project.

We decided to photograph our little pet hamster, Cloudy, and that immediately posed challenges, the main one being being able to snap a decent photo before she ran away. Small rodents like hamsters move very quickly and are not used to standing still and posing in your direction.

(Image credit: Avenir)

But with a few key techniques, and being ready and in position, with our lights tested and set up, we were finally able to get a winning shot (see above) after using her play tube to hold her still a few seconds before she went. escape.

We set up a small home studio using a blue background paper glued to the wall and on top of Cloudy’s cage, plus two off-camera flashes set to low power so as not to scare the little rodent. Read on to find out more.

01. Home studio configuration

(Image credit: Avenir)

We put together a simple mini-studio by taping a piece of blue background roll onto a wall and allowing it to gently curl over our hamster’s cage to create a smooth, seamless backdrop. We then let the hamster crawl across the paper.

• The best backdrops for photography

02. Flash settings

(Image credit: Avenir)

Using off-camera flashes not only illuminates the animals evenly, but also creates a flash in otherwise black eyes to add a little extra sparkle. To light up our hamster, we used two Canon Speedlites, with the two low power 1/128 flashes, one positioned on the front at 28mm zoom, the other on the side at 50mm zoom, triggered via wireless triggers (if your camera has a pop-up flash, trigger your flashes optically instead).

• The best Canon flashes

03. Choose a standard zoom

(Image credit: Avenir)

We used a standard Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L USM zoom lens on our full frame camera, at 70mm so we could focus close enough for a frame-filling composition as the hamster is so small. . For a Canon with crop sensor, an 18-55mm kit lens will work.

• The best standard zooms

04. Depth of field

(Image credit: Avenir)

It can be tempting to use your larger aperture on your lens for creative blur, but when you’re focusing up close on small subjects the depth of field is extremely shallow at f / 2.8, so we shot it at f / 5.6 for the majority of our little hamster. on point. Our shutter speed was 1/200 sec to reach flash sync speed, and we set ISO640 to increase the brightness.

05. Feed the animals

(Image credit: Avenir)

The best way to attract animals of all shapes and sizes is to bribe them with their favorite food; Cloudy loves nuts. A helper is very helpful here, as it can prompt the animal to (a) stand still and (b) balance on its hind legs for better pose. Patience goes a long way here …

06. Inject color

(Image credit: Avenir)

To inject color we tried using a green plastic pot which also prevented the hamster from escaping! We also tried various items for our hamster to climb on and pose, and found a red cardboard tube from its cage to be perfect for keeping it facing the camera for the few seconds it took to take. our photo!

Read more:

Stuck At Home: 11 Indoor Photo Projects To Try During The COVID-19 Crisis
DIY Photography Hack: Add Camera Stabilization to ANY Camera Case!
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