We had a rather excitable subject visiting the studio today: Jake, a black Labrador puppy belonging to local photographer Diane Seddon (http://www.oaktreephotography.co.uk/).  Diane wanted to get some images of Jake while he was still a puppy and kindly allowed me to get a few shots of him too.

This is good opportunity for me to talk about studio lighting for pets (and small children too).  I’m not a big fan of “brolly lighting” where you have two lights reflecting off umbrellas flooding the area with light.  But when you are working with subjects such as animals or small children which may or may not stay where you want them brolly lighting is a reasonable compromise.

The benefits are that the light covers an area fairly evenly so it doesn’t really matter exactly where the subject is or which direction they are facing.  Very useful with an excitable puppy I can tell you!  The downside, however, is that the lighting is flat and you don’t get very much shadow or definition.  Not essential for hi-key images but given the option I would prefer to have shadows and definition in my images.

So here’s the lighting set-up we used…

The subject was metered for an exposure of f/8 and the background for f/13 – 1.5 stops over the subject to ensure that the camera records it a pure white.

You can see a few more of my image of Jake here: http://photos.imb.biz/studio/jake