At the request of one of our clients to shoot the Harvest Mice at Liberty’s Centre looking as “natural looking as possible” under the studio lights on the natural grass set we went for a softer look with a shallow depth of field to give a much more blurred look around the mice than we might normally go for. One of the nice things about using studio lights is that you can pretty much set the lighting to exactly the way you want it, so it was easy to just bring the light levels down to where we wanted to be to a point where using a 100 F2.8 Macro Lens we could just about get the nose to the eye in focus with the focus point just in front of the eye.
We deliberately went for the shots where the mouse was sat close to the edge where the grass gives way to the moss, instead of waiting for them to come right out into the open, to get a slightly cluttered look with vegetation in front and around the mouse to give the feeling that the mouse was in a natural environment and feeding in the undergrowth.
Working close in with a Macro Lens wide open gives that lovely soft effect around the mouse, but working with such a small depth of field can cause problems getting the right parts of the mouse in focus. As always with animals the eyes are the key point of focus, and a side on look can mean nose to ears sharpness across the head.
Facing straight on means the ears are further away and are starting to fade out of focus, but so long as those eyes are sharp they hold the picture together! Focus point was in the middle of the face just below the eye level.
Add in a little differential lighting to give some depth and shape to the mouse and we have another satisfied customer with some great shots of these lovely little animals.
Remember, if you would like a go at photographing these cute wee beasties come and see us – we can tailor sessions to suit your exact needs and with over 25 years experience in pro photography we know what we are doing! See more details here: http://captivelight.uk/index.php/harvest-mouse-workshops/