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Water dog

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This was taken on a dull day, just before the rain came, The dog was having so much fun chasing her ball into the lake, I love this shot and would welcome any tips on how to improve colour, sharpness etc. I am a novice to both photography and using photoshop.

f/5.6
1/350 sec
ISO-200
270mm
No Flash,

Camera:Nikon D200 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:Nikon 70-300 VR.
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Title:Water dog
Username:Wild Wild
Uploaded:29 Oct 2010 - 3:12 PM
Tags:Pets / captive animals
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
CathR
CathR  7139 forum posts United Kingdom563 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 4:10 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

The conditions were making life difficult for you Margaret with so little light to work with and pointing the camera down towards the water would not help either.

Plus you have a dog with a large black patch. Photographing an animal with a black and white coat will always test a camera because of the large range of tones. You camera has got the white parts reasonably OK but has struggled with the black patch which is very underexposed.

I am not sure whether you look at your histogram after taking a shot - it's always a very good idea. The histogram would have let you know that the shot was underexposed - the pixel display is quite a way from the end on the right hand side. What you could have tried when you took the shot is dialling in some exposure compensation.

Also I am not sure where the camera setting come from - whether you set them yourself or the camera gave them automatically. I would question the shutter speed. Yes the dog is moving, but I would have thought you could get away with a slower shutter speed and still have the dog sharp. A slower shutter speed would allow more light into the camera.

You can do a lot to rectify the situation at the processing stage and I have uploaded a mod for you. First of all I used a levels adjustment to lighten the whole pic. I moved the right hand slider to the left to meet the main pixel display. I then used the shadows/highlights tool in lighten shadows mode to get some detail back into the dark patch. Finally I cropped the image so the dog becomes a more prominent part of the pic and applied a bit of sharpening (USM at 75%, radius 0.8, threshold 3).

Hope this is helpful

Catherine

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Wild
Wild  4 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 - 5:18 PM

Thank you for the comment, on this occasion the camera gave the settings, I had just recived my new lenses that day and was really only trying them out to see what they could do,
I will certainly look more at shutter speeds as looking at your mod I can see how much better a little more light brings. I dont look at the histogram. I really am not sure what this is or how it works, I have only had this camera 3 weeks and have a lot to learn about it. my D70 was stolen in may and I have only just had the insurance settled.
Once again thank you for your help with this it will definatly help my future efforts.

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Eviscera
Eviscera e2 Member 81105 forum postsEviscera vcard United Kingdom149 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 5:42 PM

Caths mod is great and the points about shutter speed valid.

Try taking your camera off "auto" and experiment with the "P" mode , youll have access to the metering and focusing points then.

Set it up in "centre weighted" metering and "single point auto focus"

Its not hard , and you might get the exposures you saw on the day rather than the cameras interpretation.

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Jestertheclown
29 Oct 2010 - 8:01 PM

Eviscera's advice is spot on.

That' precisely the advice I was given a long time ago and I found, as you will, that despite a few disasters along the way, your work will improve dramatically.

Good luck.

Bren.

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paulbroad
paulbroad  782 forum posts United Kingdom860 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 8:21 PM

Good advice so far. The problem here is the lack of detail in the dogs face, just where it is needed. A burst of flash might have just helped but that would drop the shutter speed to 1/200 and you would probably get a flash exposure over laid onto a blurred ambient light.

Brightening in software is the only chance.

Paul

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