Assignment 11 | Pet Portrait

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Add Your Own Light

The purpose of this assignment was to help me  begin getting comfortable with a bona fide flash unit. Neither of my Nikons have an on board flash. Both the D 500 and D 850 have flash shoes, that until now, have provided a place for a level attachment. When I purchased these cameras, it was with the plan to “grow into” them. Truth is, I’ve procrastinated on this skill… too  many numbers to think about, perhaps?

No sooner had I started, that I almost gave up. The assignment was to take a portrait of the family pet. Lucky me- we recently made the decision to add a new puppy to our family (after losing Kirby, our beloved Lab, we swore… no more dogs, too devastating when they die).

So there he was, little Rascal, wagging his tail; ready to play along. The first few shots were without the flash, with ample opportunity to sniff the camera… Then, on went the flash. What followed was an unintended lesson that broke my heart. Little Rascal fled to the bathroom to hide. The flash terrified him. My repeating apologies couldn’t convey how sorry I felt.

With that said, not all family pets will go along with the premise of the assignment- Use the family pet, “this will allow you to start using your flash without having to worry about a person getting irritated with you!”

My grand daughter’s stuffed gorilla posed out of the window of her dollhouse, without even a whimper… I am torn between the photos shot between 1/16 to 1/128 power in the decision for “best.” It’s easy to eliminate all the others as over exposed. I’m especially pleased with the glimmer of light in the eyes, fur highlights, and dimension that using a flash adds to the portraits.

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