Hey, Hi, Hello! I’m Loz Dalton and I’m a studio animal photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. I work as a commercial retoucher as well as shooting and have been fortunate enough to be able to combine my passion for animals with my work!
I love capturing the characters and the stories of the animals that I get to photograph and I got to publish a book of my personal work in 2018 called ‘Muttshots – A Compilation of Canine Characters’ which was a collection of portraits and quirky stories of dogs presented in a mugshot style – complete with rap sheets!
I love shooting in studio and using light to enhance the features and personalities of my subjects, I’m inspired by film and television and I love the use of colour in my work.
My go to gear is:
This is my workhorse body – I love this camera and the resolution. I also have rather large hands and this just feels so darn good and solid to hold. I can get so much detail out of this (I’m talking individual hairs!) and I’m able to make large gorgeous prints.
This is my travel camera when I’m not in studio and I snap shots of dogs while I’m out and about. I also dabble in video and have been experimenting using this guy with the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 on a gimble.
Nikon 85mm f/1.4
This lens is on my camera for 98% of my portrait work in the studio. I LOVE this lens.
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
I use this lens on the rare occasion I’m not using my 85mm.
I’m potentially going to be a little controversial but I use Broncolor AND Profoto. I even use Profoto modifiers ON Broncolor! *gasp* I know! But in all seriousness, there’s a reason that these two companies are top of the light making class – they make really great quality, reliable lighting. If you are planing to be shooting in studio for the long term, I would totally invest in either of these two (or both?) brands. For my studio work I have Broncolor and I use Profoto for location work.
Broncolor Move 1200L kit
This was the first big lighting kit I invested in when I couldn’t decide if I’d be shooting more in studio or on location. With this I can do either, heaps of power and consistent output. I love it.
Broncolor Para 88 Reflector
I love this modifier. It’s just gorgeous light – soft and yet also punchy. I often use it with a diffusion panel on the front.
Profoto Deep White Umbrella – M & XL
I love the portability of these and again I often use the diffuser with them. They’re easy to put up and down quickly and you can use them as a softbox alternative with the diffuser or can control and feather your light creating a lot of dimension without the diffusion. I have been known to use these on my Broncolor pack…
Profoto B2 Kit
This kit I use on location to add fill or some more shape to my location shoots – they’re super portable and really fast to move around which is extremely handy. You can use the deep umbrellas and they’re nice and compact if you’re in a location that doesn’t have a lot of room.
Apple Macbook Pro
I shoot tethered in most situations so I can keep an eye on my levels and make sure everything I shoot is sharp.
Capture One Pro
I use Capture One Pro for all my processing. I love the way it handles the colours in my files and I love all the options I have to really make my images pop.
TetherTools USB Cable
My go-to cables. They can handle knocks and have a heap of options to keep your cables connected to your camera and not cause any damage to your equipment.
I use a small portable one when I’m shooting to easily be able to do any comps or fixes on the fly to show clients. I can make much more accurate selections with a Wacom rather than using a mouse or the trackpad.
X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
Being a colour geek I love having accurate colours which my clients also appreciate. I use this for every shoot to control exposure, white balance, custom camera profiling and I even use it to get creative with colour grading.
In my line of work I’m often crawling around on the ground or slamming my knees down on hard surfaces. These will postpone me getting knee reconstructions.
Treats & Squeakers
You’ve got to find what motivates your animal subjects, which is usually food or noise. My staffy has a talent for surgically removing the squeakers from toys (much to the disappointment of my other dog who actually likes to play with the squeakers still inside the toy) but this is useful for me as now I have a collection of various noise makers to grab different reactions and looks from my subjects.
Overall the ‘best gear’ is the gear that works for you, your style, and your budget. You can create any image you have in your head if you just keep shooting and experimenting. So just get out there and shoot!