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Taken at an agility demo. Should I crop in closer to the dog? SHould I include the handlers arm directing the dog at the side?

Camera:Canon 5Dii
Lens:70-200
Title:Agility demo
Username:Sus Sus
Uploaded:7 Aug 2010 - 12:04 AM
Tags:Pets / captive animals, Sports / action
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
RonnieAG
RonnieAG e2 Member 4133 forum postsRonnieAG vcard Scotland110 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2010 - 12:43 AM

Have taken the liberty of trying a mod for you, Sus. Cropped as shown, then cloned out the feet and railings in b/g, and reduced the highlights in the grassy area behind the dog.
You have timed the capture of the shot of the dog well though, and I'm not sure if you'll feel my mod. helps or not.
Ronnie.

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Sus
Sus  93183 forum posts England9 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2010 - 8:52 AM

Thanks Ronnie, that's just the feedback I was after. Your crop looks better. I have decided that blown highlights in the background of an agility shot don't matter - after spending ages on photos fixing the background I realised that its really only the dog that matters.

Anyway, off to shout some support for my own pooch whose strutting his stuff at agility today!

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RonnieAG
RonnieAG e2 Member 4133 forum postsRonnieAG vcard Scotland110 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2010 - 9:11 AM

Thanks for feedback...glad you feel mod was satisfactory.
Ronnie.

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Philo
Philo e2 Member 351 forum postsPhilo vcard England83 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2010 - 1:41 PM

Hi Sus, I have to agree with Frank that the blown highlights in the bg do matter as they tend to distract the eye from the main subject. The side of the dog is also blown out which is more of an issue.
I think the real problem here is that it has been shot in bright sunlight. I know you can't control this so you need to expose for the highlights i.e underexpose the shot. You will be able to recover shadow details in processing, especially if you shoot in RAW.
That said I think the composition of the shot is fine and you have captured the action of the dog rather well. I would just crop the top to lose those distractions but leave both posts in.
I hope this helps and, time permitting, I will have a go at a mod later.
Phil

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom825 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2010 - 5:03 PM

You really must not accept blown highlights anywhere - they are dead right above. The crop is a must, the top is very distracting, but you needed much less exposure, then lighten the shadows later - or try some flash fill - modern guns are very powerfull and carry a long way.

Paul

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8685 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1530 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2010 - 7:31 PM

One thing that you asked has not been addressed, and that is about including the arm of the handler. I would say, leave it out unless, of course, it overlaps the jump structure, in which case it might be interesting and even necessary to include. The picture is about the dog, and I think it works as in the modification above.
Pamela.

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Sus
Sus  93183 forum posts England9 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2010 - 8:59 PM

Thanks for the comments. I take on board the point about the blown highlights. My thinking was - yes, for an art print, but what about a print you want to produce on the day and give to the owner, without any post processing? I sneaked a peek at an agility photographers shots today and you're right, they were careful not to blow highlights in the background (or on the dog). I don't know how they manage to do that, and not leave the eyes too dark however. I didn't see them using flash, but I think I may try that next time.

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Jestertheclown
7 Aug 2010 - 10:51 PM

I've cropped and cloned this to remove the stuff at the top and reduced the exposure (-0.3) overall, omitting the dog's face.
Given more time, I reckon it would be possible to improve upon this further using the shadows/highlights tool.
Hope this helps.

Jester.

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Jestertheclown
7 Aug 2010 - 11:02 PM

I'm back!

I've modded my first mod (!) using shadows/highlights in CS5, lassoed and "auto toned" the wall, then straightened it using Picasa.
Then, thinking I was finished, I spotted whatever that is behind the dog's hind legs and deciding I didn't think it needed to be there, I got rid of it!

My final offer!

Jester.

Last Modified By Jestertheclown at 7 Aug 2010 - 11:03 PM

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Sus
Sus  93183 forum posts England9 Constructive Critique Points
10 Aug 2010 - 4:07 PM

well spotted Jester, thanks for the mod. I quite like a bleached background on these, but can see the benefits of using shadow/highlight tool.

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