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Need suggestions on candid dog photography #4207
07/07/06 01:11 PM
07/07/06 01:11 PM
Joined: May 2006
Chatsworth, CA
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Moshe Offline OP
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Moshe  Offline OP
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I'm trying to improve the results of my candid dog photography.

Some current efforts are posted at http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=600414

It's clear that these are "grab-shots" taken on various public outings when it's seemed to me not possible to pose the animal, arrange backgrounds, compensate for poor lighting (except to use fill-flash), etc.

For the most part, I've hopefully relied on having the right camera settings and getting a reasonable composition.

Any suggestions on how I could improve these kinds of pics would be much appreciated.


Moshe
Re: Need suggestions on candid dog photography [Re: Moshe] #4208
07/07/06 02:07 PM
07/07/06 02:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne, A...
PossumCorner Offline
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Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne, A...
Moshe it depends on their purpose, and you've said it is not possible on the day to arrange backgrounds. That would be worth the effort - even waiting to capture the dog against all-pavement or all-grass would be better than the bisecting lines. It is a fine line between a candid and a portrait. Are any of the dogs your own? If not - yes it can be difficult sometimes to take charge when you are shooting another person's dog.

It is probably better to put a couple of shots into the thread rather than just give a link to them, makes it easier for people to take the time to really look at them.

Re: Need suggestions on candid dog photography [Re: PossumCorner] #4209
07/07/06 04:18 PM
07/07/06 04:18 PM
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Chatsworth, CA
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Moshe Offline OP
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Moshe  Offline OP
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Thanks for the reply.

I should have made it clear in my post that the dogs are NOT mine, just those I happen to meet (with their owners) when out walking in the neighborhood, a local park, at the neach, etc.

More often than not, the people I meet are doing something, going somewhere, or otherwise occupied, so they're often not receptive to stopping their activity to follow any directions I might want to give them. Occasionally, however, there are exceptions. But in most cases I haven't found a way to exercise some real photographic control in the situation.

You're absolutely right about including shots into the thread instead of giving a link to them. Sad to say, I haven't been able to figure out how to get the correct link from my pics that are on Photo.net. In the past when I copied the image location, such as http://gallery.photo.net/photo/4608028-lg.jpg, it didn't seem to work--but maybe it will now.


Moshe
Re: Need suggestions on candid dog photography [Re: Moshe] #4210
07/07/06 08:33 PM
07/07/06 08:33 PM
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Julie Offline
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TN
Moshe, my suggestion would be to use a very large aperture to get a shallow depth of field. I have taken quite a few grab shots at dog parks, even one that was well received at a photography contest

Make sure you get all of the ears in and watch your composition.

Here are a few I grabbed at the dog park. None were posed. All were using a longer lens(50-200 which equals a 100-400 in 35mm terms) with a 2.8-3.5 aperture





The feet bug me in this one. I could always clone them out though



The first one I blurred the background further in PS and also warped it a bit so it made the cars unrecognizable. Minor issues with backgrounds can be fixed with PS. In focus ones are more difficult

Re: Need suggestions on candid dog photography [Re: Julie] #4211
07/07/06 08:45 PM
07/07/06 08:45 PM
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TN
Julie Offline
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Julie  Offline
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TN
And one more way to get the backgrounds you want is cropping later

The one with the dog between the legs is really cute. Lots of wasted space though.

I did a pretty extreme crop on it, but it really shows the dog off




Re: Need suggestions on candid dog photography [Re: Julie] #4212
07/07/06 09:37 PM
07/07/06 09:37 PM
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Moshe Offline OP
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Moshe  Offline OP
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Julie,

Thanks for the reply and suggestions.

You're absolutely right, of course, that cropping would help most of these pics a good deal. I didn't do any withese these because I wanted to get some feedback without introducing any PP.


Moshe
Re: Need suggestions on candid dog photography [Re: Moshe] #4213
07/08/06 01:10 PM
07/08/06 01:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
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James Morrissey  Offline
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Manhattan, New York, New York
Hi Moshe,

Welcome aboard. I am going to address two different things in this post.

The first is about embedding images. I tried - several times - to figure out a way to embed your images into a post. For whatever reason, photo.net does not seem to allow it to happen. Typically images are posted in this fashion:

(Make sure you add the front bracket...I did this only so that the wording would show).

image]http://www.YourWebDomain.com/path/FileName.jpg[/image]

Do you have hosting through photo.net? Or are these just images embedded in an already existing post?

Part II:

About backgrounds - you are right...this is extremely difficult to do. 90% of my work that I do in pet photography is done 'on location.' I prefer the control of lights and backgrounds because of this.

I do very little in parks or other open places. I agree that Julie's use of crop is a very valuable tool. The difficulty is when you want to blow up images to large sizes.

I think that the other alternative is to use lenses with long reach. The idea being that if you cannot always crop later to do it in advance. Specifically, I am talking about reducing the elements in a scene that you are photographing.

If you are doing work with people, and they are aware that you are doing photographic work, then getting them to pose with you a bit is also helpful. In this case, using buildings or other such materials as backdrops may be valuable.
Cheers
James

Re: Need suggestions on candid dog photography [Re: James Morrissey] #4214
07/08/06 09:53 PM
07/08/06 09:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
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JeffDinPA Offline
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Moshe, along with James's suggestion of a long lens is a wide open one. I was going to suggest a long lens and f4 or less to get you blurred backgrounds. They may be cluttered, but if they are completely out of focus they’re better.


Thanks, Jeff
Re: Need suggestions on candid dog photography [Re: James Morrissey] #4215
07/09/06 09:03 AM
07/09/06 09:03 AM
Joined: May 2006
Chatsworth, CA
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Moshe Offline OP
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Moshe  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2006
Chatsworth, CA
Quote:

Hi Moshe,

Welcome aboard. I am going to address two different things in this post.

The first is about embedding images. I tried - several times - to figure out a way to embed your images into a post. For whatever reason, photo.net does not seem to allow it to happen. Typically images are posted in this fashion:

(Make sure you add the front bracket...I did this only so that the wording would show).

image]http://www.YourWebDomain.com/path/FileName.jpg[/image]

Do you have hosting through photo.net? Or are these just images embedded in an already existing post?

James:

Thanks for your reply.

I'm somewhat relieved to know that someone who has a lot more experience than me wasn't able to embed the photo.net images--although I'm disappointed that apparently it can't be done. I do, in fact, have hosting on photo.net.

Part II:

About backgrounds - you are right...this is extremely difficult to do. 90% of my work that I do in pet photography is done 'on location.' I prefer the control of lights and backgrounds because of this.

I do very little in parks or other open places. I agree that Julie's use of crop is a very valuable tool. The difficulty is when you want to blow up images to large sizes.

I'm glad you point out this problem. Since a lot of my pics are "grab-shots," virtually never with a tripod, I'm often reluctant to crop for exactly the reason you mention.

I think that the other alternative is to use lenses with long reach. The idea being that if you cannot always crop later to do it in advance. Specifically, I am talking about reducing the elements in a scene that you are photographing.

On my photography wish list is a 75-200, but it's probably not in the cards for quite some time.

If you are doing work with people, and they are aware that you are doing photographic work, then getting them to pose with you a bit is also helpful. In this case, using buildings or other such materials as backdrops may be valuable.

Absolutely. I realized after posting this request for suggestions that, more often than not, what I need is not technical camera advice but the benefit of how more experienced photogs handle the "relationship" challenges of directing their subjects. That part of the process seems to be coming to me VERY slowly.

Cheers
James




Moshe
Re: Need suggestions on candid dog photography [Re: Moshe] #4216
07/09/06 09:07 AM
07/09/06 09:07 AM
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Chatsworth, CA
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Moshe Offline OP
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Moshe  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2006
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Well, obviously, among other things I'm still learning how to do, I haven't quite mastered the "quote" function in this forum. Sorry about that.


Moshe
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