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Girl's best friend

By stu7131
Just a random photo which I took whilst out with my dogs and daughter. I absolutely love it as it's so simple and innocent.

I've had a little edit with it, but happy to hear your thoughts.

Tags: Spaniel Daughter Pets and captive animals



dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
9 May 2022 6:32PM
Two things come across in this - a charming family picture (good) and blown highlights (not good). It's very possible that if you shot in RAW you can recover highlight detail, and make this technically better.

A lot of dark background and bright sun should set alarm bells ringing, and have you dialling in some negative exposure compensation.

And I hope you took a series of shots, because slight variations can make the difference between OK and wonderful. The dog's attention is all on the girl, but we can't see her face... This may make it a more universal image, but it has less appeal in the family, I suspect.

Do you need widescreen? I shall try a crop, and pulling down the highlights.

Meanwhile, it would be good to see the pre-edit version... It's possible that your 'little edit' lost those highlights by adding contrast and saturation...
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2607 United Kingdom
9 May 2022 6:56PM
Hello, it's good to see you again.

John has said it all, but I'll echo his request to see the original, please add it as a modification. It might be possible to pull more detail out.
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
9 May 2022 8:19PM
It's a lovely moment that you've captured and as such a great family record.

It would be very helpful to see the otiginal as the processing appears very harsh here. Not only are the highlights lost but the shadows lack detail too. I'm not so concerned about the trees in the background (as they are only of supporting interest and don't need to that visible that they fight with the main subject) but for those on the dog. I'd selectively lift those shadows but it's more likely to be successful on the original.

The light is low angled and very appealing,so I'd expect less contrast but I accept that even low angled light can still be harsh in the right atmospheric conditions.
I'd also expect warmer tones in that situation too, and Auto Wjite Balance has done you no favours here. Selecting Daylight would give a warmer rndition out of camera but it's simple enough to wam it up afterwards. Warmer images often have more appeal and this is a good example of when that's true.
stu7131 13 Wales
9 May 2022 9:10PM
Thanks for comments so far, I've added the original image in the modifications.
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
9 May 2022 9:41PM
Its a lovely moment, which is what its really all about.

Im fortunate enough to show up after you uploaded your original shot, and Ive used that for modifications.

Bot highlights and shadows can be recovered, - more so in the RAW version, which Ive done in the mods. In addition, rather than use Auto White Balance, using a daylight white balance gives a much warmer tone which is also possible in RAW editing.

Apart from taming some highlights, Ive lifted some shadow detail, and applied a small amount of sharpening in addition to the daylight white balance.

I've tried two crops, both 8X10 one portrait format, in mods 4 and 5.

Well done


mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2607 United Kingdom
9 May 2022 9:45PM
Thanks for adding the original, I can see that Willie and I have been at work at the same time...

It is indeed a delightful image, I love the seeds floating in the air. It would be nice to see a bit more of the face but the main criticism I would make composition-wise is that I'd like a bit less space at the top, more at the bottom - space for where your daughter's feet are although we cannot see them, to avoid the cut-off look.

I have added mods 6 & 7. In Photoshop Camera Raw filter I warmed colour slightly, lifted shadows, darkened highlights and reduced contrast. It does reveal more detail in the overexposed areas.

Then I tried a square crop for a more contained feel.

Definitely one for the family album.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
10 May 2022 9:39AM
Thanks for the original - others have done good things with it.

Do you shoot RAW? If so, please go back and see if you can get extra highlight detail from it!
pamelajean Plus
17 1.8k 2290 United Kingdom
10 May 2022 7:55PM
It's good to see you in the Critique Gallery again, Stu, and with such a charming image. You did well to capture that precious moment between girl and dog, the flying dandelion seeds floating through the dark area of the picture, also those in front of the dog's face, and the continuity of the dandelions that are surrounding the dog.

Previous comments have covered the over-exposed areas, but they don't detract too much from a strong and delightful scene.

I have done a modification where I cropped to place the dog's nose in the very centre of the frame, which offsets your daughter over to the left, allowing more space ahead of her than behind, and giving those floating seeds somewhere to head off to.

I reduced highlights and lifted shadows, then did a Levels adjustment. I then selectively sharpened those flying seeds, and added canvas to the bottom so that it looks as if the girl's feet are inside the frame.

You will also notice that I mirrored the picture, so that your daughter is looking to the right, ahead of herself, which is more positive and suggests looking to the future rather than the past. Just a suggestion.


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