Learning to take great livestock photos is a challenge, but it's one you can conquer! Here are 5 little changes you can make today that will make a big difference in the quality of your images.
1) Get the animals off the fence/wall/backdrop/etc. Create space between the livestock and the backdrop to help make the animals the clear focal point of your images. They'll look bigger, stouter and deeper if they're not standing next to a fence or other background element.
2) Get the camera away from the animals. Take advantage of that fancy zoom lens and get off the livestock before you snap the shot. This is one of the key factors to help you create create beautiful blurry backgrounds even if you don't have the top-of-the-line lens.
3) Crop in-camera. Now that you moved away from your subject, zoom in to, more or less, create your desired final crop in camera. You'll want to leave just enough space to rotate the image and level toplines as needed, but not so much that you really find yourself making a big crop in post production. You'll find your images have more detail and sharpness when you're using your sensor to capture less background and more livestock.
4) Find a clear background. This probably should have been #1 on the list. Great picture pens make great pictures. The more things that are in the background of your shot, the further away you need to take the animals from the background. (i.e. animals can be closer to a solid backdrop like a curtain or solid fence in the case of backdrop shots at a show or picturing show pigs inside, but if you're picturing outside, get away from the distracting elements like treelines and buildings to make them a small part of your picture.)
5) Always respect the light. Learn to shoot with the light. Outside, this means having the sun at your back and shooting during optimal daylight hours. High harsh sun and bad angles make bad shadows and don't show off your livestock.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced photographer, play with these adjustments and see your pictures start to improve in no time!
If you want more guidance to help elevate your photography game, our premiere course, The Complete Guide to Cattle & Livestock Photography is open for enrollment. Learn more here.
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