Photography in the News: Groundhogs

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Today is Groundhogs Day.  Not exactly a holiday – it doesn’t get me out of work and unfortunately it’s not going to make the gray of winter move along faster.  In a few minutes some well dressed man with a top hat will reach his hand into the hole of a Groundhog pull him out and see if he has a shadow.  There will be video crews and photographers there to see if Phil will see his shadow or not and this morning I was thinking about all the tips that a Groundhog could share about photography.  This is meant to be light and fun, it’s Monday after-all, so the serious photographers out there play along and add a grin worthy comment to the mix. ,  

1.  If you pull a creature out of a sound sleep don’t expect a happy model.

2.  Shooting with a flash is a very fast way to add shadows to a shot – and you likely don’t want the shadows it creates.  Turn the flash off, use a flash diffuser, buy an external flash and have the flash bounce off of your white ceiling or the sky and turn on all the “natural” lights you can.

3. Shooting with a flash is also a quick way to make the creature want to run back in the hole.  

4. Check your white balance a groundhog in the wrong white balance can look plain dull.  

5.Get close – there’s a lot of commotion around a groundhog at his party and it’s a distraction so get close, zoom in, do what you need to do so that everything in your frame adds to the shot.  

6. Set the scene, if you’re shooting the event for a scrapbook I love the idea of taking a picture of the entire scene, all the commotion, all the extras and blowing it up monochrome for the page background.  

7. Even better: Set the scene for your scrapbook and then in a “Where’s Waldo” way manipulate your image in a photo editing tool so that only your contribution to the commotion is in color and the rest is black and white.  

8.Walk around.  When you see a groundhog keep your distance but do a complete circle around your subject – the best angle may be from an untraditional perspective.

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