Animals may be divided broadly into two classes, domestic and wild. In the latter I include such species as Rats and Mice; the Weasel, Stoat, Squirrel, Mole, Hedgehog, and Bats; also the Hare and Rabbit, which have not been domesticated. The majority of these are nocturnal in their habits, and on this account, in addition to their shyness, it is almost impossible to photograph them in their natural wild state. They may, however, be brought home when captured, to be dealt with by what has been called by Mr. Douglas English, one of our most successful workers, the " control" method. Full particulars for this kind of work are given by him in Photography for Naturalists, and all who wish to specialise in this branch will find the necessary information therein. The results he has obtained amply prove the value of his methods, results which I have no hesitation in saying could not be obtained in any other way.
A visit to a farmyard or its immediate vicinity will give plenty of opportunity for obtaining photographs of the domestic animals, etc., and this class will be far more easily accessible to the beginner, who will have plenty of scope in trying his hand at Horses, Cattle, and Sheep, not to mention the Fowls, Ducks, Geese, and Poultry generally. Many of these subjects will also allow of being treated in a more or less pictorial manner, which will serve to bring the artistic powers of the photographer into play. The experience gained, also, will be of useful service to him when engaged on work connected with the wilder animals.
As the majority of the subjects are of a large size the photographer will be able to work at a greater distance from his subject, and will find, as a rule, instantaneous exposures may be given; by this I mean those between, say, the one-fifth and the one-twentieth of a second. In some parts of Sussex, Oxen are still used for ploughing and carting corn, etc., and make interesting studies. I am afraid the numbers used in this way are rapidly decreasing, and no opportunity which presents itself of securing records of these or other similar subjects, which are fast disappearing from amongst us, should be neglected.
Dogs and Cats and pets generally make good subjects, but will often sorely try one's patience in the endeavour to secure a striking likeness and characteristic attitude. But they will, at least, provide interesting material within easy reach for those who have not the time to go further afield. An endeavour should be made to obtain the distinctive features of the animal in the photograph, as the value of the latter will depend to a considerable extent on the degree of success which has attended these efforts.
If the photographer can obtain access to a Zoological Garden he will find plenty of subjects there, provided the light is good. Most of this work will be best done with a hand camera, and unless the animals are too tame or curious and come right up to the bars of the cage the lens can be placed between two bars when making the exposure, thereby avoiding any chance of showing these in front of the animal.