'Handsome' by Nikon user DannoM
While it's miserable and rainy outside, why not take to opportunity to take some candid images of your pets indoors?
Select Nikon cameras feature a Pet Mode, which automatically releases the shutter button at the moment your cat or dog looks at the camera.
Up to five pet faces can be detected immediately, and when they are in focus, the double frame detecting the face lights up green. If a pet's face isn't detected, the camera focuses on the subject at the centre of the frame. Pet mode also disables the AF-assist illuminator and button and shutter sounds, to avoid spooking the pet.
Lenses ideal for this project will be those around the 50-100mm mark if you're looking for a natural portrait, as the human eye sees. The 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens will be a versatile choice.
So how can you take better pet photos? Here are a few top tips:
Use a toy/food to get the animal to look at you - Using their favourite toy can help you to keep your pet's attention on you. If you can, get a friend to stand or sit behind you with the toy, so you can concentrate on setting up the picture while the pet stays in relatively the same place. Commands can be used with dogs, and cats are usually quite happy to sit and watch for a while as they plan their attack on the toy. The toy or food can also be used to lure the animal to a more photogenic position.
Get down to the level of the animal - Shooting downwards from a standing position isn't always the most flattering way to photograph an animal. Try kneeling down, or even laying down, to get a view that's the same as the animal's eye level.
Get your pet used to the camera - Cats and dogs can sometimes be wary of large cameras, causing them to hide away. Try sitting in the room with the camera for a while, and allow the animal to sniff and explore it, so that it learns it isn't a threat. Then, you'll be able to get closer to them for some more candid shots.
Shoot further away - Sometimes, hiding away while someone else distracts the animal by playing with it can help you to get some more natural portraits. Using your zoom to get in close is also a good idea if the animal is scared of the camera.