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Jack Bulkley's picture

Diem the Wirehaired Vizsla

What I like about this photo is that it was not a lucky accident. I had a plan and it worked well. We went to a local pond in the early morning light. It was overcast giving a nice diffused light. I set up far enough away to not distract Diem. She can get all goofy when she notices me. She was concentrating on fetching a ball from the water thrown by my lovely bride. This was shot at 195 mm (80-400mm zoom lens), in Aperture Priority at f5.6 with ISO 320 and the shutter speed 1/100.

My lovely bride and Diem often go out in some combination of bright pink and orange. In this photo, the orange color shows up nicely but does not overwhelm the image.

I am always learning, so if you have something constructive to say please comment.

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6 Comments

Jen Photographs's picture

Lovely dog.

It appears you're focused on his ear, not his eyes. Eyes are a little soft.
You might consider cropping on the right to lessen the bullseye effect. Rule of thirds would work very well here.
If you're open to editing to remove distractions, the brighter blotch up lower-left and upper right could be darkened and/or cloned out. They are just a titch distracting.

The DOF is extremely shallow; I think this picture would've been more effective if Diem's nose was in focus. Try f8 the next time.

Matthias Kirk's picture

Solid advice!
I too would crop half the negative space behind the dog and maybe use some content aware scale to create a bit more space in the direction the dog is facing. As said, the eye on the top right third would look good.

You might be able to enhance the sharpness of the eyes in post a bit to give it a little more pop.

The green background complements the dog and the collar nicely.

Jen Photographs's picture

I keep forgetting content aware fill is a thing now even though it's been around ~5years. Good idea!

Matthias Kirk's picture

CAF would probably look good as well but content aware scale is more some kind of intelligent stretch. It is one of the more obscure functions in PS.

Jack Bulkley's picture

Thanks for the advice. Nailing the focus is the hardest thing for me. I was trying to keep the ISO low and the shutter speed fairly fast. Still I could have gone to f/8. I checked a DOF calculator. The settings I had should have given me about a foot of DOF. So if the focus point was a little closer to her nose, her whole face should have been good.

I am not using PS, but I found infield painting in Affinity Photo which seems similar to CAF.

I may post an updated photo with some of the changes.

Jen Photographs's picture

It's tough when your subject isn't eager to stay still, for sure!

This is entirely up to your preferences. When I photograph dogs, I'm not overly concerned about the ISO -- there are plenty of great tools to reduce the noise. For me my main criteria are aperture and shutter speed (latter, especially if the dog is in motion). So, to prioritize these settings, I'll jack the ISO as needed. With my aging camera, I don't like to go above 800, but if you've a newer body, you can easily get into 1600 territory without it being super obvious.