Pet portraits - bunnies - the result

hias

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Some time ago I was asking some questions in the lighting forum (Pet portraits - help with lighting equipment ) about lighting equipment, obviously.
Now I wanted to share the results. Oh, and I hope I'm in the correct forum for this. I'm not posting that often.

As stated in the other thread, this is my first time in a "studio" environment, well, my bedroom, with some makeshift setup.

I used my Oly E-M5II, 45mm 1.8, Godox X1To, TT350o, 80cm square foldable softbox, bowens mount, mounted to an old tripod.
As background I used 2 carpets I had lying around.
All shots hand held, manual, with not too much care about camera settings or perfectionism... I was busy enough with flash stuff. And I had to do this in reasonable time because I don't want to stress my bunnies too much.
But they were surprisingly relaxed regarding the flash.

Some notes for the future:
- Get a proper background, we searched a lot around the house for what to use.
- Get something to put the background onto a wall, or the ceiling.
- Have more space for your equipment. I basically had one spot between bed and wall to put my lighting up.
- The softbox on a tripod thingy worked pretty well, but yes, it takes up a lot of space.
- Do more testshots with a plushie and get camera settings right.

Pictures are edited with LR Classic and cleaned up a bit with Affinity Photo.

Enough said... Pictures! (And some story of course)


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Rosalie, we got her from a shelter because she was terrorizing another bunny in her group.


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The boss of our group, Franz Josef (F.J.) - the name comes from the emperor F. J. I of Austria, because of his beard. We got him from a shelter, too. They found him in a box in the woods, somebody obviously dumped him there. There was a second bunny with him, but they weren't able to find it, sadly.


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Renate, cleaning is important.


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Loisl...


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...going nuts. The oldest one here. They mentioned he was about 4 years old maximum when we got him. Our vet said 6-8 years may be closer. Well, he behaves like a grumpy old man, so, yes, the vet may be right. His eyesight isn't very well (cloudy eye visible on the first pic), he runs against obstacles from time to time.


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More cleaning. The shelter got those two because of "not interesting anymore for the kids", so we picked them up. Those nuts btw helped a lot with keeping them entertained.


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The whole gang. This picture was tough. They're constantly moving... We used this on our horrible christmas card anyway (yes, horrible!).


For a first time doing staged pictures and using flash, I'm pretty pleased with the result, but I should experiment with artificial lighting way more. Any tips, hints, constructive criticism are welcome.

(On a note: Yes, the stories on how I got the gang sound pretty sad but they are quite common. If you would love to adopt some fluffy-pawed weirdos like those, contact your local shelter instead of buying them from a breeder. There's always somebunny in need.)

No bunnies were harmed in the production of these pictures! About seven hazelnuts unfortunately died.
 

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Bushboy

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Haha! Love it man.
Somebunny in need... :)
ps. I know a Rosalie just like that.
 
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I think the lighting looks good. No hot spots / blown-out highlights. My next suggestion would be to find a better background (I tend to use large sheets of poster board from a local art store, because you can get them in any size and they don't have a districting texture/design), and shoot stopped down a bit more to get a bit deeper DoF.

But for your first time, these are really good!
 

hias

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Haha! Love it man.
Somebunny in need... :)
ps. I know a Rosalie just like that.
Thank you!

I think the lighting looks good. No hot spots / blown-out highlights. My next suggestion would be to find a better background (I tend to use large sheets of poster board from a local art store, because you can get them in any size and they don't have a districting texture/design), and shoot stopped down a bit more to get a bit deeper DoF.

But for your first time, these are really good!
Thank you! Poster boards are a good idea, not that expensive too.
 
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Fantastic pictures! And what adorable subjects.
This always irks me, "The shelter got those two because of "not interesting anymore for the kids". FFS people, stop buying animals as gifts and then dump them later.
 

hias

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Fantastic pictures! And what adorable subjects.
Thank you! I'll tell them :)

This always irks me, "The shelter got those two because of "not interesting anymore for the kids". FFS people, stop buying animals as gifts and then dump them later.
Right eh? Most shelters took action because of this. You can't get bunnies around easter. People pick them up, and bring them back after easter like some toy: "kid did not like it". And as I said in my other thread, they ask about them occasionally. Pet stores and breeders on the other hand... it's another story :/
 

inkista

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... You can't get bunnies around easter. People pick them up, and bring them back after easter like some toy: "kid did not like it".
At Easter, I retweet the House Rabbit Society "get a chocolate bunny, not a live one" messages like a crazy person. And I'm not even a rabbit owner. But at least the folks who bring the rabbit to a shelter have half a clue vs. the idiots who think setting the bunny "free" is better. [facepalm].

The main problem is most people assume a rabbit is easier to take care of than a cat or a dog, when in reality, they require a lot MORE effort and specialized vet care, being exotics with delicate digestions. And absolutely aren't great pets for little kids, since, like most prey animals, they prefer quiet and gentle handling (if being handled at all).

A friend of mine is currently fostering a Flemish Giant rescue who had to have his rear left leg amputated because his "owners" didn't notice there was anything wrong (broken leg). The Humane Society vet was not a rabbit specialist and did the amputation. This bunny has since racked up a four-figure vet bill having another operation to clean up the mess (abscess) that was made in the initial amputation. Just saying. Not the normal level of devotion required from a pet owner. Especially since this bunny, apparently, was never properly litter box trained and my friend has to deal with that as well. [eyeroll].

If you really think you want a rabbit, go google "cecal pellets" and if that doesn't squick you out, then maybe you're ok to get one. :D
 

hias

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A friend of mine is currently fostering a Flemish Giant rescue who had to have his rear left leg amputated because his "owners" didn't notice there was anything wrong (broken leg). The Humane Society vet was not a rabbit specialist and did the amputation. This bunny has since racked up a four-figure vet bill having another operation to clean up the mess (abscess) that was made in the initial amputation. Just saying. Not the normal level of devotion required from a pet owner. Especially since this bunny, apparently, was never properly litter box trained and my friend has to deal with that as well. [eyeroll].
Uh, poor thing. But yes, vet bills can get crazy high. The bill for our Rex, 2x Abszess removal + 2 teeth, was about 1500EUR, and our vet is amazing, she did the last surgery for free. The shelter we had FJ from also had a group of 4 with major injuries at this time. Also bad keeping, one lost an ear, one a leg, and so on. Luckily they found a home the same day, some dude stopped by and picked them all up.

cecal pellets
Heh, nomnom.

Btw, I just noticed, our shelters won't give out any animals since November, until after christmas :)
 

PakkyT

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I agree that a better background would help. Something lighter to offset the darkness of the bunnies. Also to my eyes, I think you could bump the exposure a bit more without risking blowing out any highlights.

We don't have any right now, but used to have "house rabbits". Great pets, a lot like cats, easier to box train than it is to house train dogs for peeing, but they do have their cons (like to chew things & still poop everywhere).

We had one who had crooked teeth. With bunnies, their teeth continue to grow their whole life and get worn down with use. But when they don't line up it can be a death sentence to wild rabbits as their teeth will grow and curl to the point where they can not eat anymore. I had to periodically trim that rabbit's teeth. So any of you who complain about trimming your dog or cat's nails, try trimming rabbit teeth!
 

dirtdevil

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Ah! Just looking at them it reminds me of the scent of the dwarf harlequin rabbit I used to have. I suspect the 1st one on top (Rosalie) has some Japanese/harlequin lineage. "Boink" looked almost like her but with a well defined contrast between brown and black colors (his face was precisely split in half, brown/black).
 
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You might think about making your own light stand with some PVC pipe. I often use one that's a single pole which positions from floor to ceiling and stays in place with a screw-in tensioner at the floor. Then I hang flashes, softbox, other light modifiers from the pole with clamps. You can move it anywhere; doesn't take up much space; and it breaks down easily to store in a closet corner. I use 2, 3 and 4 foot sections to construct it and others. Nice thing about the different length sections is they're all interchangeable and can be converted to shorter stands with a DIY PVC base section. Sorry I don't have a photo to show, but Google "DIY PVC Light Stand" and you'll likely find dozens of ideas.
 
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Fantastic pictures! And what adorable subjects.
This always irks me, "The shelter got those two because of "not interesting anymore for the kids". FFS people, stop buying animals as gifts and then dump them later.
Agreed, animals are not toys or property, they are a commitment to love and care for. I don't know how long rabbits live but dogs are a 10+ year commitment.
 

hias

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Agreed, animals are not toys or property, they are a commitment to love and care for. I don't know how long rabbits live but dogs are a 10+ year commitment.
They can become 10+ years easily if they are healthy. Some even more than 12 years. Depends on the breed.
We just got a new one because we had to sepparate Loisl from the group (the others didn't like him, he is really anxious and won't fight back). She is 7 to 8 years old and doing quite good.

Like the pics Hias.
Thank you.
 
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