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Archive 2012 · domestic animals
  
 
warp10
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p.1 #1 · domestic animals


The monthly assignment is domestic animals. I can't decide which one to post. Can I have your thoughts? Comments and critiques are welcome as well.

Thanks Steve




  Canon EOS 30D    44mm    f/2.8    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 30D    70mm    f/2.8    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 15, 2012 at 05:23 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #2 · domestic animals


I'd chose the second. I can feel the warm, moist lick.
Maybe a bit of recovery of some of the shadows and a bit off the top?

Scott



Jan 15, 2012 at 11:15 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #3 · domestic animals


+1 @ #2




Jan 16, 2012 at 02:24 AM
warp10
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p.1 #4 · domestic animals


Thanks guys. I appreciate the feedback. Scott, I tried to recover a some of the shadows, not much luck on the left side. Cleo's a very black dog. Looks like it's number two.

Thanks Steve



Jan 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM
 

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AuntiPode
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p.1 #5 · domestic animals


Some folks have been known to brush corn starch into dark fur, but using soft lighting is probably an easier answer.


Jan 17, 2012 at 04:36 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #6 · domestic animals


In the first it's wasn't immediately obvious to me the dog is apparently licking a window because there's no context like the frame to clue there's glass there. The lack of detail is also a show stopper.

The second shot action is cute, but there isn't enough of the dog showing to be able to connect and relate to it. The hand is more the star of the show.

As for lighting, it is counter-intutive but to make soft fur look more natural in a photo "hard" collimated light works better than diffuse. It's due to the way the illusion of 3D shape is created in 2D photos with contrast gradients. You need to create sharp specular highlights to see any detail in black or white fur. On white fur shadows between hair also help create a contrast gradient but on black the highlights create the illusion as seen on the side of the head in your shot.

The trick to lighting black dogs is enough flat even fill to open the shadows and specular reflections off the individual hairs bouncing mirror-like back to the camera to reveal the 3D texture of the fur. A shiny silver umbrella with flash or flash bounced into a box lined with aluminum foil will create that effect.

Also instead of putting two lights in front as when lighting a human the shape of animals is better revealed with rim light from behind to define the shape with a specular creating source in front. If you shoot the entire animal feather the light so the face is a bit lighter in tone than the end you follow with the little plastic bag, which clue the viewer where the should look and stay focused one.

Not real, or black but some examples I had on line of ways to light dogs with rim light from behind. These were with direct speedlights.

















Jan 18, 2012 at 02:33 AM
smallrewards
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p.1 #7 · domestic animals


I love the second photo, but I think gardner might be on the right track...I think I partly loved it because I had already seen the dog in photo 1.


Jan 18, 2012 at 06:31 AM
warp10
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p.1 #8 · domestic animals


Chuck - thanks for the detailed reply, I'll give some of your ideas a try and see how that works. The black coat certainly makes it a challenge. It also looks like your model was more cooperative than mine.

smallrewards - welcome to the forum and thanks for the look and comment. I wanted something a little different for the monthly assignment. The idea was to try to get everyone to wonder about the photo.

Thanks Steve



Jan 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM





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