This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Cattle. The photographing of cattle and especially of blooded stock, necessitates a certain amount of knowledge of the important points which should be brought into prominence. Especially is this true when photographing milch cows. The point of view selected should be one which will show the milk veins, udder and the hind quarters of the animal in greater proportion than the head, or front quarters. Care must be exercised that the cow stands in proper position to show the whole of the udder. In order to accomplish this the hind leg nearest the camera should be farther to the rear than the one on the opposite side of the cow. For instance, if yon are making a picture from the right side, the cow should have taken a step forward with the left hind foot. The camera should be held about 18 inches from the ground and pointed slightly upward, thus calling particular attention to those features which are of most vital importance to the dairyman.
598. Stock that is intended for market should be photographed to show the breadth between the shoulders and the massiveness of the animal, therefore it is necessary to choose a view-point more to the front of the subject.
599. Patience is required in this feature of photographic work, and although the majority of domestic cattle are tame, their curiosity presents another difficulty and it is at times hard to get far enough away from the subject. Especially is this true when you are striving to photograph one animal by itself.
600. It is not advisable to try to separate one cow from the herd and keep her so separated until you have her photographed. It is better to have her placed in a small pasture, or large pen by herself, and allow her to remain there until she is somewhat accustomed to her surroundings and has forgotten, to a certain extent at least, the fact that she has been with other cattle.
601. The background is a feature which should receive attention also. Have the background as plain as possible - trees in the distance (out of focus) form a good background, yet care must be exercised that there is not too much sameness between the background and your subject, for the cow is the all important feature of the picture and must stand out in contrast and relief from all other surroundings. The place selected in which to photograph your subject should be one well covered with grass, for plain ground or dirt does not make an acceptable base upon which to pose cattle.
Large Heads. The head of a calf or cow, face front, makes one of the finest domestic animal pictures that it is possible to secure, for such a portrait is always full of natural expression. Your supply of plates as well as your patience will be fully tested before you have secured a perfectly satisfactory result; but any pains you may take will not only well repay you from the standpoint of having satisfactorily mastered this subject, but its commercial value will be no small item. Pictures of this class find ready sale.