Advance Portraiture Assignment 1 | Pet Portraits

The first assignment for our Advance Portraiture class at school was pet portraiture.  While at first I was very much interested in taking a picture of Copper, my amazingly awesome cat, I ended up having this cool opportunity to photograph a sugar glider.  My friend Maryn has the cutest little sugar glider named Stella Luna (after some popular children book about a bat), and Stella was the perfect little model.  We ended up shooting for about 45 minutes and Stella posed for some super adorable photos.  It was really a unique experience shooting something so small and so delicate.  Here are some photographs.  Read after the jump about what I was going for, how I lit these shots, and what equipment was used.

My goal in the photographs was to show the contrast in texture between the old piece of wood used as a prop, and the softness of Stella’s fur.  To achieve that I lit the scene from above using a Canon 580 EX II set to 1/4th paired with a DIY softbox.  The softbox was about 8 inches in size and was focuses on getting Stella illuminated.  On the cameras right was a Photogenic 1250DR paired with a 60″ white throw umbrella at about 1/8 power providing fill and depth to the scene.  It was located about 60 degrees to the right to throw the long shadow and help Stella’s fur get dimension.

I used a Canon 5D Mark II with the Canon 100 2.8L IS Macro for these photographs.  The macro provided the closeness to get intimate photographs of Stella (she’s only about 3 inches long), while throwing back the background.

Here are a few more photographs.


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