Back Modifications (8)
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Ozzie in the Snow

By Ness  
My dog Ozzie in the snow - he'd been racing about and rolling in it so he looks a little worse for wear by the time I managed to get him to calm down for some portraits!

I think Ozzie looks good in this shot, I LOVE the colour of his eyes, and I love that I caught the breath against his black coat (it was -7, so the dogs were breathing huge puffs of steam like dragons and I really wanted to capture that).

I'm unhappy with the background - all the snow texture has just disappeared and it's like he was shot in a white studio Sad I would have loved to have properly caught the texture of the snow behind him.

I'd REALLY like some advice on how to make the snow detail come back somehow in Photoshop, but I have no idea how to do post-processing so use little words please Smile

Technical bit:
f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO-400, focal length 64mm
(is there any other EXIF data you need?)

This is my first ever photo for critique and I am an absolute newbie so please be gentle, but honest/truthful - how can one learn & improve otherwise! Smile

Tags: Pets and captive animals

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


1 Jan 2010 11:40AM
great capture and write well presented. have a fab 2010

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gaelldew 10 360 United Kingdom
1 Jan 2010 12:10PM
I just opened your picture in Cs4 Ness and the snow detail was there, have a try in levels just altering the contrast as its not one of the best type of picture. Black dog / white snow otherwise good shot for me.
picturistic 8 7 7 Wales
1 Jan 2010 12:13PM
he's a beauty,leave as is!!

well done

pennyspike 14 2.1k 29 United Kingdom
1 Jan 2010 12:22PM
Don't beat yourself up too much getting the perfect exposure for dog & snow was never going to be easy.

The first mod was done in seconds using a plugin filter, just to see if it could find anything in the background. No use to you unless you've got the plugin so I did another using the basics.

It's difficult to find much texture in the snow without the original file to work but I've tried to do what I can by making a copy of the original on another layer. I selected the background just using the magic wand tool for speed then worked on that to drag out every tiny bit of texture in the snow. I used the shadow & highlights tool but I don't know if that is available to you, if not see what you can get using levels. That done I put the original layer back on top & blended the two until it looked reasonably natural.
I put a black key line around using select all, edit/stroke then extended the canvas with white to emphasise the difference.
Hope this helps.
Ness 12 36 United Kingdom
1 Jan 2010 4:33PM
Thanks so much for the tips/advice and how-to's, I'm going to try and find an hour tomorrow to sit down and play about and see what I can get it to do in PS7.

Thanks also to everyone who played about and uploaded an example, it's good to see that what I wanted to do to that pic *is* possible, I just needed to know how Smile

Many thanks all!
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
1 Jan 2010 9:51PM
Hi again Ness, I've had a twiddle and uploaded a mod.
I got that result simply by using the shadows/highlights tool and a little contrast/brightness adjustments on your original file. No use of layers/masks or anything complicated but I did end up using CS2.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3849 Canada
1 Jan 2010 10:08PM
You did very well indeed to capture the black dog so well against the snow, - a challenge for any photographer.

I believe youve forgotten to sharpen after you re sized, so I did this in my mod, - and also increased canvas size for a better composition, and added some catchlights to the eyes.

Hope this is helpful, - its all post processing applied on a very good base.


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
1 Jan 2010 10:19PM
GIMP Portable.

Free and pretty good (if you can understand the interface).
It's found some of the elusive detail but I wasn't able to darken the shadows the way I did with CS2. I don't use GIMP very much but I'm pretty sure it's possible to get a better result than I have here.


(edit: Looking at all these mods. with the 'dirty' snow all covered in footprints is making me think that Adrian might just have a point!)
Ness 12 36 United Kingdom
2 Jan 2010 9:30AM
Actually, I can totally understand what you mean when you say it may have been better left without touch-ups... I can't decide if it's an interesting background/texture or not! Can you tell I'm female, I can't make my mind up LOL

Willie (banehawi) I had no idea what you meant when you said "forgotten to sharpen after resize" - I didn't know I was meant to! hehehe Okay, so that is something I will add to my list of things to do when I resize from now on!

I also had no idea what you meant when you said you had added "catchlights to the eyes" - but when I look at your mod, I can see little white bits on his eyeballs which weren't there before, and although I thought I liked his eyes before, I think the thing you did kinda gives them more "life". I've always tried NOT to get any light in the dogs eyes when shooting them as they have terrible red-eye and it's so hard to correct, but I like what you did there. I might have to do a search on the internet for a tutorial on how to do that, coz it's a great effect.

Many many thanks everyone for fiddling with it for me, when I have time to sit down and play properly I'll see what I can come up with (with my very limited knowledge but now doubled thanks to you lot).

Cheers folks, thanks again!
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
2 Jan 2010 12:56PM
Hi Ness,
If you're looking for instruction on the net, look no further than here, at least to begin with. Every day there's a link at the top of the general photo gallery page to a tutorial about something. If you open them and save them as a Pdf. you'll quickly build up a sizable collection (I did!) which you can access online from your documents or of course, you can print them.
Also, click on the 'Techniques' button in the toolbar at the top of each page and you'll get access to loads of 'how to. . .' instructions.
There's even a search box to help you find the subject/question/problem of your choice.
And remember of course, the easiest way of all is to simply ask someone. If need be, don't be afraid to send a PM.
We're all here to help each other and everyone on here started off at least as dumb as (you think) you are!
Hope this helps.
Eviscera 11 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
3 Jan 2010 3:50PM
Hi Ness , there is also this place you could join and share you images with fellow dog lovers!

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