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Look I'm a Pointer

By CH_Tymbl    
This is my 8 1/2yr old Jack Russell bitch Bonnie just as the sun was setting.

I am totally new at photography and was just out with my dog trying out different shots changing the ISO settings for the best image and also learning how altering the ISO lightens or darkens the image without using flash.

Camera: Canon EOS 600D
F-Stop: F/5.6
Exposure: 1/200sec
ISO: 100
Focal length: 55mm

Tags: Pets and captive animals

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DeSilver Plus
15 14 12 England
14 Jul 2013 1:27PM
Nice! Smile Smile Smile

banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4321 Canada
14 Jul 2013 3:33PM
Welcome to EPZ Chris.

Its good that youre experimenting with the camera, - thats the way to learn.

This is a good shot. The exposure is quite good, and its reasonably sharp.

You should let us know what image editing software you have btw so we can tailor feecback. We usually assume Photoshop of some variety, so lets know.

Her head is a little dark as you may be able to see. Which also reminds me that you should calibrate your monitor to make sure were all seeing close to the same thing.

I lightened the shadows on her head in a mod, - scroll up this page and click modifications, then view large. I use Photoshop CS for this.

Depending on how accurate your monitor is, and with some practice, looking closely at her side, where its white, you will notice a slight blue colour cast, - which is due to white balance not doing a great job. I assunme it was on auto, - it doesnt say. Its good most of the time, ut as part of your experimenting, try setting it yourself. Try the actual light conditions first, then other settings to see what it does.

The mod had colour balance adjusted which has made the overall shot warmer. Final tweak I did was a little sharpening.

Your composition id very good, the pose of the dog with the space in front is well done.

If you feel inclined, we have a lot of useful information from the Critique Team in a Blog on my page, just click my name and read the blog.

Hope this is helpful,


14 Jul 2013 3:55PM
Hi Willie,

Thank you very much for your welcome and constructive comments. I'm glad that the shot wasn't too far off the mark. By the way you are correct, the white balance was on Auto and I will certainly try my own adjustments in future

As for photo editing software, I have yet to purchase one, so far all the editing is done on Serif PhotoPlus 7, although I did download Gimp 2.8 but I have not been able to get to grips with just yet. I do realise that to maximise my digital photography experience I need to master the editing as well as the actual shooting of the image so I have a lot to take in.

Kindest regards,

i love this shot great pose on this dog and nice and clear .like it. christineGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4321 Canada
14 Jul 2013 6:21PM
There are loads of excellent video tutorials for Gimp on Youtube Chris, - check them out. There are also lessons on the Gimp site I believe, all free.

Thanks for the note on the blog!

14 Jul 2013 6:50PM
Thanks to all for comments on the above shot, I hope that one day I will be able to take photos as good as the standard I find on this website. Your comments are really appreciated and taking on board your comments is the only way I will improve.

And Willie thanks again for the tip of the Gimp tutorials available on YouTube.


netta1234 10 382 2 Wales
14 Jul 2013 10:17PM
Hi and welcome to EPZ ,it's a great place with some helpful friends .
This is a lovely imageSmile
Jestertheclown 13 8.7k 255 England
14 Jul 2013 10:22PM

Quote:so far all the editing is done on Serif PhotoPlus 7

I cut my editing teeth on a version of 'PhotoPlus,' it could well have been 7 and I remember it as being a pretty impressive weapon. Sufficiently so, in fact, that it was considered by some to be a match for the then comparable version of 'Elements.'
Your version may be a bit long in the tooth these days but as a starting point, I reckon it's a first class choice.

pamelajean Plus
16 1.8k 2268 United Kingdom
15 Jul 2013 6:09PM
Hello, Chris, and welcome to EPZ.
You captured Bonnie in a nice pose. Your pet images will take on a deeper meaning when you can capture the dog's character, little things that she does which are individual to her. Ask yourself what is unique about your pet and try to capture that uniqueness on camera. Practice using burst mode when shooting your pet in order to increase your chances of capturing the shot you're after.
Your composition is good, with space in front of her. We call this negative space, and if you do place your subject to one side of your frame, making sure they're looking towards the area of negative space, it seems to work best.
You say this was taken as the sun was setting, and this is probably why I can't detect directional light. When possible, try to have Bonnie's head in good light because her head markings are quite dark and you do want her features to be out of the shadow, and her eyes nice and bright. As long as she didn't mind, you could have used a bit of fill flash here. I like your idea of trying out different ISO settings to see how this affects your images. You can also try opening the aperture to let more light in. This also keeps the background blurred and works for artistic shots.
She has the total contrast of black and white in her coat, which can be difficult to expose for without burning out the whites, especially in bright sunshine, but you have done well here.
Your point-of-view is also good, and I assume you at least crouched down in order to be at her level. Getting down to your pet's eye level or even lower always looks better than a shot taken from a standing pov.
A friend of mine uses Serif and produces some excellent work with it. I personally prefer PaintshopPro.
15 Jul 2013 7:08PM
Hi Pamela,

Thank you very much for your constructive comments. I am extremely grateful to you and all the other EPZ members who take the trouble and time to help us novices out.

I have started a notebook collating all tips that I have received so far as well as tips that I have noted left for other contributors.

You're absolutely correct again regarding my view point, being a Jack Russell she can be quite stubborn sometimes and won't stand where I would like, so I did lie down to get a better shot. I like your idea on taking burst shots as I was quite fortunate to catch with that pose.

Thank you.
paulbroad Plus
15 131 1294 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2013 9:21AM
Nice doggy shot with a pose. Not really much wrong. The head is a bit dark due to shadow and the dodge tool in most software would, with care, allow you to bring the detail back in that area. Use a small brush size for control and don't over do it or you loose contrast.

Be careful with white balance. Ideally you should set the correct value. All it does is set a certain Degree Kelvin to balance out the perceived light colour and convert it to a standard, whatever that is. The danger is you will forget you have changed it and shoot the next shots at the wrong setting. If I change white balance I always reset it to auto after the shot or shots.

White balance on auto is usually quite accurate. Far better to carry the camera set to auto for grab shots. All my cameras are left set to auto white balance, program or aperture priority exposure and auto focus. Thus, if I grab one quick to shoot, the chances are I will get a good, useable shot. If time then allows, you can try the 'correct' settings.

Do reset them after shooting though. You WILL forget.


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