Please critique my photo!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by blondie621, May 22, 2009.

  1. blondie621

    blondie621 TPF Noob!

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    I have taken many pics of my dogs. What is wrong with this one? I am an amateur, slowly learning and only have used Auto focus. How can I fix the light on the legs? I would like to do some Pet Photography in the future! Thanx!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
  2. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    What I don't like:

    The dogs feet cut off
    the lack of light to the eyes
    The setting itself...I would have preferred a uniform background/foreground....or even an outdoor shot.

    The shot in your avatar looks cute!
     
  3. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm going to weigh in on pet photos for a second here, which I probably have no business doing since I totally do not understand the culture or tendencies in the area.

    That being said, I'm a big time pet guy and I love taking pictures of the little monsters, so this may not be totally off...

    Note that I am not commenting specifically on your photo here... I am just trying to corrupt you with my evil thought process before you get into the trade in the hopes of maybe thinning the population of what I believe to be some rather tacky pet photographers. :)

    I think pet pictures should be about the character of the pet... not some odd personification of the animal, or embodiment of what the owner thinks is the personfication of the animal. The pet should be doing what the pet loves to do- bounding through the woods, cuddled up to the fire, basking in the sun, whatever... not wearing a feather boa and gigantic pink sunglasses.

    Don't get me wrong... creativity in this stuff is great... just not cheese. To date KPugh's "The Dogfather" is still one of my absolute favorite "slightly out there" pet photo sets. It's creative, it's cute, it's endearing, it's devoid of cheese. It's admittedly a little over the top, but the dog is being the dog... he's not wearing the feather boa and clogs.

    I think pet photography should follow the same rules as any other photography. Good composition, lighting, careful consideration of scene, etc. should be a big part of the process. Messy furniture, dirty stained rugs, crap strewn about the living room, etc. do not help make a nice image. Just don't go the opposite extreme and plop them up on a big cheetah print pillow with flaming orange tassels and a mirror ball hanging from the ceiling.

    I dunno.

    In the end, you're probably screwed no matter what you think because I think a lot of people who would hire a photographer to shoot their animals is going to have some of these tendencies, but damnit... I think you should try anyway. :) I have to believe there is a higher-end market for this service. Might be all in where and how you market.

    Either way, good luck with it.
     
  4. LuckySo-n-So

    LuckySo-n-So TPF Noob!

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    I think it's a nice photo of Princess. She looks like a lovable lump. I'm no expert on lighting, but I think the couch she's on is doing a good job of blocking the light coming in through the window. Maybe if she was laying in front of the sliding glass door, etc....

    Good points Chris. I am a huge pet guy as well (although I fear I won't be for much longer: 12-year-old dog, 18-year-old cat) and I believe clothes on pets are a sure sign of the coming of the anti-Christ (unless it's cold outside and you need to put a utilitarian sweater on your dog to keep it warm).

    Your point is essentially saying to capture the "Essence of Dog"(or cat). This is kind of why I think "LOLcats" and "LOLdogs" are so popular (plus, they are so darned cute and funny!)--they are just snapshots of cats being cats, and dogs being dogs--with a witty caption, hilarity ensues!
     
  5. blondie621

    blondie621 TPF Noob!

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    Thanx everyone for your critiques on my photo. That was not one of my best shots of Princess. I am more on the creative end of photography with pets. I have been making my own Holiday Greeting Cards for some time now and every year I feature a different one of my dogs on my cards. I have two that love the camera and my little Chi is so posable and likes getting his photo taken. So, yes I do have outfits for my little guy and yes we do occasionally play dress up for the camera only. I also turn my photos into art. I have gotten many compliments and have had many enlarged and framed. I will post some more pics from time to time and let me know what you think. I love to be creative with my photos. I do not intend to become a super pro but have fun and maybe eventually put someones pet on a card or in a frame! Thanx again everyone for your imput! :blushing:

    Here is my Little Bambi!
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    OK, this is exactly what Chris is talking about. And I couldn't agree more.

    I feel sorry for that dog.
     
  7. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since my eyes are drawn right to the dogs face, I'm not that bothered by her toes being cut off. I do feel her face is a bit out of focus. Next time focus on the eyes. I also feel a bit of fill flash might have helped. As for the sun glare on her legs and the pink blanket, watch your lighting when you compose and take the shot; as for repairing this one - try the burn tool in your editing software and it might help darken the blown out spots a little.

    Overall however, I can look at Princess' face and see her personality, so thats a good beginning. As someone else said, I tend to look at cat and dog photos for the animal's personality and if I see that with reasonably good lighting and composition, than I like the shot.

    Bambi Is adorable! I LOVE that shot its perrfect!
     
  8. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Everyone will have a different opinion on what is and isn't acceptable. In this shot it doesn't appear that Bambi seems to mind the booties, and I think any dog owner would get a smile from a photo like that of their own dog -so long as the dog was not distressed by the outfit. Dressng a dog or cat up can be overdone, but I think the booties add just the right amount of cute. Nicely done blondie621.
     
  9. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You should avoid/control high contrast lighting.

    Block the direct sunlight ... or diffuse it (large sheet of white paper).

    Add some filler light in front ... you could also use a large white sheet in front to deflect light to the front of the subject (dog).

    The only problem with all of this ... is disturbing the dog and you lose the pose.

    You could also have just shot just the dog's head/expression instead ...
     
  10. taracary

    taracary TPF Noob!

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    For my taste there isn't enough contrast in tone between princess and the couch, hence she kind of slides into it. On the other hand, I think the pink is too much of a different tone and kind of detracts from her beautiful expression. You have the hard part down in that you conveyed a sense of her personality, but I would have eliminated the pink and maybe put her on a darker piece of furniture. But--- bear in mind that I am just an amateur and everyone's taste is different.
     
  11. blondie621

    blondie621 TPF Noob!

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    Trust me, I have done many years of animal rescue and have seen the end result ravages of animal abuse. If my dog/dogs fought me the least bit in any way to photograph them, my camera would get turned off! My little Chihuahua has the perfect calm personality to photograph him in many creative ways. Bambi had those boots on for a whole 4 minutes.
    For the camera we play dress up sometimes, but otherwise no doggy clothes for any of my pets, except a little sweater when cold! My two dogs are a pet photographers dream and they love the camera! I love my dogs and no harm is done to them in any way!

    Thanx everyone else for your critiques! I am an amateur and have alot to learn! I am going to post some photo/art pics and please let me know what you think of those.
     
  12. blondie621

    blondie621 TPF Noob!

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    This was one of my first digital pics taken of her.
    [​IMG]





    I was on the internet and turned around and found her behind me in this pose!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2009

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