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please critque - need 3rd opinion #26893
11/30/09 08:00 PM
11/30/09 08:00 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Massachusetts
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Loueen Offline OP
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Loueen  Offline OP
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Massachusetts
I am a volunteer photographer for a dog rescue and we do our fundraiser calendar every year with photos of dogs we have placed.
I had done the photo shoot for this dog when he was in foster care, and submitted this photo for the calendar.
I was told it looked "too busy".
Could you please critique?



Loueen
Re: please critque - need 3rd opinion [Re: Loueen] #26894
11/30/09 08:24 PM
11/30/09 08:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Kansas
psmith Offline
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Kansas
It is a nice shot of the dog, but there is too much going on in the background. The viewer's eye is not sucked into the dog but wanders through the background looking to see what else is there.

Two solutions for next time, put the dog against a plain background like the white siding on the right, or use a very shallow depth of field to blur the background.

Pretty dog, congratulations in placing him. The subject is definitely calendar material.

Last edited by psmith; 11/30/09 10:35 PM.
Re: please critque - need 3rd opinion [Re: psmith] #26895
11/30/09 08:37 PM
11/30/09 08:37 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Massachusetts
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Loueen Offline OP
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Loueen  Offline OP
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Massachusetts
Thank you for the advice. He is a handsome boy


Loueen
Re: please critque - need 3rd opinion [Re: Loueen] #26896
11/30/09 10:11 PM
11/30/09 10:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Florida
Loueen
the setting is actually very pretty and the dog is quite handsome. As Preston points out, because you have stopped the lens down quite a bit, everything from in front of the dog to infinity is in sharp focus and the eye doesn't know where to look. If you had used a very wide aperture and thrown the background out of focus, this would be a spectacular image.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: please critque - need 3rd opinion [Re: Loueen] #26897
12/01/09 12:55 AM
12/01/09 12:55 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Illinois
Peggy Sue Offline
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Illinois
What an absolutely lovely GS. I think cropping the building and a bit from the left, would help. I also feel that the setting is very nice and the suggestions on focus could help. You could PS if you are good with that but for calendars, they seem to want more outside setting shots than studio.

If you would like anyone to take a stab at copy and work on your shot, I would be glad to give it a try. I always look for expression and you nailed it. So playing around with the background is fair game as far as I am concerned.


Peggy Sue
Re: please critque - need 3rd opinion [Re: Peggy Sue] #26898
12/01/09 01:46 AM
12/01/09 01:46 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Florida
PeggySue,
actually, Alien Skin makes a Photoshop plug-in called Bokeh and it lets you take an image like Loueen's and diffuse the background according to particular lenses such as the Canon 85mm F1.2L. This would be a perfect application for that treatment.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: please critque - need 3rd opinion [Re: Jim Garvie] #26899
12/01/09 01:47 AM
12/01/09 01:47 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Massachusetts
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Loueen Offline OP
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Loueen  Offline OP
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Massachusetts
Thank you, but cropping is an issue due to this being the ratio for the calendar. There will be a different photo used anyway. I just wanted an opinion from people who know photography, and I appreciate your input! I do have a tendency to focus on the dog/subject too much and don't see the distractions. I really need to work on that
It was a cloudy dark day and I was trying to get some speed to hopefully get something that wasn't blurred. This is a beautiful yard, but small, so not too much room to play. I had to get close, and foster dogs don't usually sit still for more than 2 seconds LOL.
My camera is noisy with high iso/low light, that's why the 200. This lens is actually at it's best with F4 and I'm surprised the DOF wasn't more shallow.
Do you see anything in the EXIF info that I could have done differently?



Loueen
Re: please critque - need 3rd opinion [Re: Loueen] #26900
12/01/09 01:51 AM
12/01/09 01:51 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Donner Summit, CA
glamson Offline
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Donner Summit, CA
Quote:

I am a volunteer photographer for a dog rescue and we do our fundraiser calendar every year with photos of dogs we have placed.
I had done the photo shoot for this dog when he was in foster care, and submitted this photo for the calendar.
I was told it looked "too busy".
Could you please critique?




Loueen,

The image is fine but I agree it does not work well as a portrait due to the lack of separation from the "busy" background. Shallow DOF would definitely help. One of the good thinks about digital is not all the effects have to be done at capture. Here is a version in which shallow DOF was simulated in software. This version could be done better with more time and the original but hopefully this gives you the idea.




Re: please critque - need 3rd opinion [Re: Loueen] #26901
12/01/09 10:31 AM
12/01/09 10:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Illinois
Peggy Sue Offline
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Peggy Sue  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Illinois
Could not sleep so I thought I would play with this image. Hope it is okay. I understand about the calendar format. I have always found it a challenge to fit a vertical subject in a horizontal format. I found what I thought was most distracting to me at first (the building) was not a difficult for me as the foreground. So that worked in my favor by doing a complete crop.
I know if you had everyone work on an image they would come up with all different images. I guess that is what makes this a true art form!



Peggy Sue
Re: please critque - need 3rd opinion [Re: Peggy Sue] #26902
12/01/09 11:54 AM
12/01/09 11:54 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Massachusetts
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Loueen Offline OP
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Loueen  Offline OP
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Massachusetts
Very nice Did you use PS layers to soften the background?


Loueen
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