As deer farmers we work with fantastically good looking animals, often in very scenic surroundings. Most of us, if not all, have a digital camera and thus the possibility to document our work and our friends the deer. However, not many of us use the potential of our camera. It is a giant step between the beginner (as photografer) and the professional   

BUT

With a minimum of time you can improve your skills using your camera up to the level of enthusiast/semiprofessional.

If you then want to take your skills further up to a professional - well that will take years!

 

On this side we will try to give some simple tips on how to take good photos of deer and other animals. As webmaster for a number of websites about deer farming I get a lot of photos from members who want them published. Many takes really good photos, but some does not take so good ones. Modern cameras - even cheap ones - can all take good quality photos provided you can handle it. Therefore I have written down some pieces of advise below.

 

 LEARN how to handle your cameras setting possibilities = READ THE MANUAL!

 

I am looking forward to getting your new photos for publication on this website!

 

2011-05-11 // Rolf Eriksson

Focusing:

Always try to focus on the animals eye! The closer you are to the animal the more important this is.

 

Exposure program:


Choose Time Value (TV) exposure program if this i availiable on your camera.
This means that you select the shutter speed and your camera will automatically find the proper aperture.
A short shutterspeed prevents unsharp pictures due to the objects movements and usually gives a large aperture wich result in a shallow dept of field (DOF) - please se more below!

 

Shutter speed:


1/500 sec. or less will almost everytime give you a sharp photo without motion unsharpness.

 

 

Aperture/Iris and Dept of field (DOF):


The distance FROM and TO in between wich the objects look sharp. With higher focal lenght on your lens (= telelens) - the more shallow DOF you get.
A shallow DOF gives a nice blur to the background and the animal looks much nicer. The animal "stand out" from the background.

The larger aperture (low numbers - e.g. 2.8) the more shallow DOF you get.

The smaller aperture (high values e.g. 16) the larger DOF you get.

 

 

ISO-settings:


ISO value tells you how "fast" your camera is (how much light is needed). Compare with the old DIN or ASA.settings from the times we used film.

If you have a compact camera - use as low ISO as possible due to light conditions. 

If you have a modern system camera with exchageable lenses you don't have to worry about ISO at least up to values 1000 - 1250
Modern system cameras produce very little electronical noise.

 

 

RAW or JPG:


If you have a camera with the possibility to choose between fileformats (RAW or/and JPG) use RAW settings.

RAW means that the camera doesn't makle any alterations to the "negative".
JPG is a format where already the camera compress the picture file. This is done in a destructive way meening that parts of the information from the sensor is gone. There is no way of turning back from jpg to RAW.

 

RAW pros:

You can almost always get a god picture from even a very badly exposed photo (at least if it is underexposed).
A bad white balance (odd colours) is now problem to reset to normal colours.

RAW cons:

Size of the picture file is larger and take up more space on your disk

You need a special software to make your photo visible. Such programs follows all cameras that can use RAW file format.

 

2011-05-11 // Rolf Eriksson

Photo above:


Focus on the eye

Background with nice blur. Could even been a big more "blurry"!

 

CLICK on the photo to enlarge it!

 

© Rolf Eriksson 2008