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Some experimental shots with the family dog

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by dsiglin, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    230
    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    Hank is my 2 year old boxer / chocolate lab mix. He's not overly bright, bless his heart, but he love everything and everyone which is a counterbalance to the cat's mood swings. Anyways, Hank volunteered to model for me yesterday. I wanted to try my hand at using natural light and flare in portraits to create images with smooth dreamy tonal shifts and nice highlights. I edited the photos with some burning and dodging to up the contrast a bit. Here are three photos with the original then the edited version. I realize some people might love or hate the look I was trying to achieve but I'd like to hear your thoughts nonetheless. I'm interested in learning more about portrait work, trying to convince the wife to let me practice on her but for now the dog is my best bet.

    There were shot with manual Canon 50mm 1.4 FD and a Nex 5n. The originals are straight from the camera jpgs. I forgot I had disabled RAW mode. :/

    DSC04388.
    DSC04388_2.JPG

    DSC04384.
    DSC04384_2.

    DSC04383.
    DSC04383_2.
     
  2. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Viewed on my monitor I think you've gone a bit too far. There is little detail in the shadows, which hurts the third shot the least. But it's all fun, right? :)
     
  3. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    230
    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    I'll pull it back some and see how it looks, I don't want to loose all detail in the shadows except maybe at the edges. Thanks for the input. I was starting to think no one would reply. :)
     
  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I kinda prefer the un-edited (softer) version of these. I also think you took it a little too far with the blacks ;)
     
  5. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Nice model.

    I agree about it being a little strong.

    Actually in the first shot, I would use a mask and bring out the some detail on the left side of his mug using the shadow slider and also clone out his eye snot on the original.

    The second shot is just a bit heavy adjusted.

    The third is nice but again with the shadow mask on the adjusted photo and that hair hanging off his ear is distracting, maybe clone it out. The main problem with the third shot is that although it's a nice pose, focus is on the muzzle instead of the eye so when you up the clarity, it makes that more obvious.
     
  6. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    230
    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    Back to the drawing board, maybe I should have just left well enough alone and not edited them at all but I wanted to see if I can add more dynamic range but keep the feel of the originals. I'm starting to realize that the more time spent editing often means I'm overthinking it. :)

    EDIT: I didn't see your comments until after I posted this ChagshaNotes You know I am so used to weird things coming out of his mouth and eyes I didn't even notice his "eye snot". If I ever do take people portraits I'll probably totally miss the booger up their nose. And yeah sadly the focus is off on the third, I was sad but I loved the pose too much to cut it. Also I liked the way the out of focus eye is rendered. I'm a bit of a bokeh lover.

    Hank (1 of 6).

    Hank (2 of 6).

    Hank (3 of 6).

    Hank (4 of 6).

    Hank (6 of 6).
     
  7. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Those look great.

    I know all about eye snot, my Cane Corso is a big fan of showing his off.
     
  8. ecaggiani

    ecaggiani TalkEmount Regular

    155
    Jun 19, 2013
    San Jose, CA
    Ed Caggiani
    I'm a sucker for boxers, and a boxer/lab mix is obviously beautiful :) I agree, the last edits look much better. Great job!
     
  9. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Agreed, looks much better.
     
  10. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    same here :)
     
  11. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    230
    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    Well thanks to you guys for the input, really helped me. In appreciation I will share this youtube video with you. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it somewhere you won't be embarrassed when you wet yourself from laughing.

    btw - Hank was attacked by another dog when he was 3 months old and had to have reconstructive surgery on the top of his head. He has a large area with no fur up there but besides that he is a normal happy dog. Granted he also doesn't have feeling on the top of his head so he's always bumping it into things. :)

    [video=youtube;Xw1C5T-fH2Y]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw1C5T-fH2Y[/video]