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Old 11-14-2012, 03:00 PM
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Cool Dear photographers: tips please

I'd really like to get a good photograph or two of all three of my dogs. I'm going to work with them on sitting together--practice with treats, etc. But it's hard to get all three in one place, still, at one time. My other issue is I have two large, light-colored dogs and one small dark one. The lighting is a challenge.

Any helpful suggestions for me (other than to use Photoshop)?
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:09 PM
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1st. Trying to get 3 dogs to sit together is like trying to heard cats. Just when you get one to listen the other two get distracted. I managed to get all 4 (my two and parents two) to stay still but I was holding 4 dishes full of food for them. Using treats or some sort of reward is going to be your best bet though. Also make sure they have had plenty of exercise and are a little wore out. If they are all full of energy the treats could get them excited and jumping.


2nd.. I know all to well the light and dark dog issue with photos. I have a golden and a chocolate lab. My golden is a breeze to get detail with, my lab just vanishes in my photos. A good speed flash or some natural light through windows will help but you have to watch out for harsh shadows when you start adding other light sources.


What kind of camera are you using? Adjusting the ISO will help some but it's going to be a little tough to get both the light and dark color dog with a good balance. A little PS tweaking might be needed to get the desired look. Unless you have a full studio setup with lights and background and what not. A light background will help with the darker dog standing out.

I would try setting your WB a little high to capture the darker dog and then tone down the picture once you get it into PS
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:10 PM
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Like this picture. My Golden shows up excellent with just natural light but my lab's face is a little dark and hard to get any detail out of. I haven't played with it in PS yet but I should be able to get her face to show up a little better
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:33 PM
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I only have a golden and I am a newbie at photography, but I would guess the only way is through post processing. Getting detail on the black dog would mean blowing out the rest of the photo and getting the Goldens properly exposed might mean underexposing the black dog. Perhaps this is where center weighted metering comes in if your camera has the option, but like I said, I am a newbie, so I'm not sure. My only experience with high contrast photos is in landscape photography, in which I use GND filters and post processing is a must.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:30 AM
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Thanks all. I had one shot where I almost had it right. But I had Tess (small black dog) on the wrong side, away from the window. I think I'm going to try for a time of day when the sun is coming in through one window, and see if I can't position her in the sunlight with the Goldens just out of the sunlight. We'll see! I may end up just pulling together three good head shots of them. I was hoping for a decent group shot for the holiday card.

I've been practicing giving them treats as a group so they get used to waiting their turns, and I think that will help a lot on photo day. Again, we'll see!

Anyone else have any ideas for me?
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:26 AM
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Taking them outside on a cloudy/overcast day helps a lot. This is Quinn, Tucker and Mandy. AKA the 3 amigos

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Old 11-15-2012, 11:18 AM
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I'm not as good as some of the other people here, but one thing I do with Jacks and Arth when posing them for Christmas pics is -

1. When you take the pic in the house, use your finger or a treat to keep them from looking directly at the camera while also getting the face forward shot. Especially if you are posing in front of the tree and you've turned the lights down low to capture the Christmas lights.

That should be all you need if you have a very nice camera.

<- This pic was taken with my cheap point-shoot camera, and unfortunately even with my pointing a finger to the side and getting the dogs to look that way, I still got the little orphan annie eyes...

<- This was taken in heavy shade with the same camera, but the lighting was better as far as preventing eyeflash.

2. If one or two of your dogs know stay - USE IT. And train a good 10 second wait for the other dog.

3. Do not try to take the perfect picture. I take about 50+ pics and delete over half of them when I'm done.

4. If you want a natural pic (the dogs not sitting or laying there) get used to sitting outside and waiting with the camera cued up and ready.

5. And I agree about thinking ahead about the setting and what brings out your dog's colors, what would wash out or block your dogs, and what you do not want to have to clean up later on with photoshop. <- That above pic with the three boys had to have an open bathroom cropped out on the one side and a garbage bag cropped on the other.

6. Look at your pics between shots to see what came out right for one dog and see what you can adjust?



^ With this picture I loved how Arthie came out because the lighting and pose worked for him, but wasn't crazy about how I set Jacks up.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:16 PM
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Natural lighting! Take them outside and see how that works, like stated before, on an overcast type of day. I have a light colored dog and a dark dog as well.

Outside shots:




Inside pictures (without flash):


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Old 11-15-2012, 04:09 PM
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutWest View Post
My other issue is I have two large, light-colored dogs and one small dark one. The lighting is a challenge.
Any helpful suggestions for me (other than to use Photoshop)?
Three suggetions:

-Use a grey card
-If you don't want to use a grey card use spotmetering
-Always shoot in RAW if the light is difficult

This is not really complicated. Read the articles and you will understand.
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