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Perfect spring
Photo taken 9 April 2011

Even simple point-and-shoot cameras can take pretty good pictures sometimes.

The above and below were taken with a Canon Digital IXUS 80 IS, as were most of my pictures and videos featured on this blog. I got the camera in the Summer of 2008 to replace a Casio EXILIM whose telescoping lens and automatic lens cap had started to fail after about three years of use. The Digital IXUS was a step down, I’d say, though I’ve been quite happy with many of the 12,000 pictures and videos I’ve taken with it.


And having simple tools has forced me to keep my own aesthetic principles simple. I’m no professional photographer and have no aspirations to invest the amount of time, money, and labor to become one, though I’m definitely in awe of the pros (hi Lily!). When taking pictures of dogs, I’ve long followed these simple guidelines:

  • Because I don’t know enough about lighting, natural light is best. I almost never use flash, even indoors at night, which is sometimes a problem…
  • Front, back, side, top down, bottom up, near, far, eye to eye, nose to nose… Photograph your pet like the three-dimensional, moving creature that he is, not like a mural painted on a wall.
  • Pets are naturally photogenic when they’re at ease and doing their own thing. I’d rather not keep a record of posed shots, but lived moments with my dogs.

That’s about it for me.

New possibilities, old packaging
Bowdu appears miffed that this box does not contain food, unlike the previous box.

Today, I inherited my first Digital SLR. I have never played with one before, and it’s been over a decade since I’ve toyed seriously with a “real” camera. This is a hand-me-down gift from my dad, whose ability to purchase tech toys that are typically out of my price range means that I eventually benefit, even if it’s years after the fact.

I’m absolutely not snubbing a used camera! I have much to learn, so this is more than enough to get me started.

The Digital IXUS will still be around, as it’s got portability, unobtrusiveness, and video-making capabilities in its favor. And it’s going to take me some time to get through the instruction manual.

But for now, we welcome this new toy with an exuberant YODEL OF JOY!

What about you? Do you have any special equipment or personal aesthetic principles to help you take pictures of your pets?