Spaniel Journal

horizontal one-third divisions. The use of these techniques will create a sense of balance and results in a photograph that is very pleasing to the eye.

Do get in close to your subject. If you aren't able to move in, select a telephoto length lens to bring the subject to you. Fill the frame with your subject. Cropping a finished print can be used to improve a shot's composition. Avoid standing too close to your subject and aiming a camera down at him, as doing so will distort his proportions, making him appear short, and usually, out of focus.

When photographing puppies - or even full-grown spaniels for that matter - choose a low camera angle. Get eye-level to your subject. Try taking the pup for a walk in a field. Squat or sit right down on the ground. Yes, the pup will probably view you as "fair game" and come running to investigate. However, with patience on your part, the puppy will become accustomed to seeing this odd object stuck in front of your face and divert its attention to other more intriguing things. This will allow you the opportunity to capture natural-looking candids of the pup as he makes new discoveries. You may be able to enlist the help of an assistant who can stand a distance away and on your cue, blow a whistle or make some other attention getting sound. This will usually cause the pup to lift it's head and freeze long enough for you to snap the photo, if you're quick! Another thing to try if the pup wants to stick too close is to toss a treat, ball, pinecone, or other small object a few feet away. The pup will follow and should naturally pick the object up. Be ready to snap the shutter when he lifts his head. These techniques can produce some terrific photos of your pup.

"The placement of the subject within the frame can make or break a photo."

Details count. Pay attention to the background. Avoid clutter - as it will distract the viewer's eye away from your subject. Watch out for things like telephone poles, tree limbs, fence posts, or other objects that may appear to "grow out of" your subject's head or body. You can draw the viewer's eye to your subject if your camera allows you to reduce the photographs depth of field. Doing so will soften and throw the background out of focus which can be accomplished by shooting with an open lens apature - such as a 5.6 setting. If you can, select a less busy background for your photo. Plain backgrounds usually work out best as they will keep the emphasis on your subject. Remember: less is more.

Color plays a very important role in determining the outcome of a photograph. Consider how a white and black pup against a snowy scene may blend together, especially on heavily overcast days. This often gives the image a rather lack-luster appearance. The same pup in a green, grassy setting adds color, contrast, pizzazz, and will provide a more pleasing photograph. Bear in mind that just as in the English language there can be exceptions to the rule - so experiment. When you are shooting in the snow, try to take advantage of the early morning or late afternoon light. The low angle of the sun will paint the shadows across the surface of the snow in shades of blue and purple, adding

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