I am mostly concerned with the various textures that make up a dog or cat. While texture places emphasis on detail and light in a composition, beauty is still in the eye of the beholder. That means that the role of texture in the photograph will be a matter of taste.
Texture can be present in the coat of a dog, the environment around the dog, or can be a texture overlay on a digital photo.
I had a great time photographing dogs and their people at the annual DeCoverly Kennels English Setter picnic last weekend, so I thought I would use a few photos from the day to illustrate. I am still working on the photo album to share with attendees.
The backdrop looks almost like a texture overlay, but it isn't. It was a very hot, sunny day, so the light leak you see is due to the trees we all tried to gravitate to in order to stay cool. I love the expression on this dog's face, and the little spindle of drool, so common in Setters.
In the next photo you can really see that the textures in the face of this tri-colored Setter are well defined. Once again, I have blurred the background by using a more open aperture to concentrate more on the facial expression and texture of the dog's coat.
Sometimes it's a difficult call, between the surrounding environment and the texture of a dog subject, to decide how much detail (and resulting texture) you will show. This is where I think personal taste comes into play. Some scenes lend themselves to full texture detail, but I have to admit, I rarely use that practice. Normally, I tend to blur the background (whether a lot of blur, or only a little) to allow the viewer to focus in on the textures of a subject's coat and expression.
We are heading into Fall. I am looking forward to a cooler weekend and soon-to-be colorful leaves. Have a great one!