Back Modifications (3)
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At home.

By Footski
Whilst visiting friends and relaxing over a glass of red, I turned round and saw this little cat sat by the garden house. I quickly picked up the camera and grabbed the shot. Maybe not the best photo, but a little fun.

Tags: Pets and captive animals Humour and fun

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2408 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 5:28PM
It is funny, particularly as at first sight that could be a paw on the left side of the roof - a proprietorial pose. Opportunity well spotted, I hope you didn't miss out on any wine in the process. We have to keep our priorities balanced...

The focus is on the cat's face which is good and sharp (and they are not the most cooperative of models, I know...). A smaller aperture would have given you less softness on the little house as well, as I'm sure you know. It's too soft I think for sharpening to look convincing there, but maybe a bit of burning in would give it more solidity. And even if there wasn't the depth of field to get the house sharpish as well, your aperture has served the purpose of isolating the cat against the background.

I'd be inclined to work a bit on the light, reduce brightness, boost midtones. Maybe pass the sponge tool lightly over the background to mop up a bit of the bright colour there. And also to crop off the bottom up to the base of the roof, with maybe a sliver cut off the top to prevent the eyes being more central in the frame. That I think would pull the viewer's eye immediately to the cat rather than going via the house. I'm not thinking of anything that would take more than a couple of minutes to do. Mod to follow.
Footski 8 9 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 6:25PM
Oh boy Moira, you are good. Amazing improvement to my original. Many thanks.
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2216 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 10:48PM
For a grab shot, Barry, it's very good.

If you had had time to adjust your camera settings, you might have found it worthwhile using a wider aperture (lower f-number) for a shallower depth of field, so that the background were more blurred. This gives a softer appearance, which is ideal for a "soft furry" cat. That's why a lot of portrait photography is done using a large aperture, to have the subject perfectly in focus but to have a nice blurry background in order to ensure that the subject is the main focal point and that other elements in the shot are not distracting.
There are some background bits that are quite close to the cat, and they might not blur as well as the bit of background that is further away.

You obviously focused on the cat's face, and that's nice and sharp. However, the left side of the face is in shadow and the right side is in the light.

In my modification I cropped the image, particularly the bottom, to place the eyes on a thirds line, then used the highlights/shadows tool to adjust the exposure. I cloned some of the top background into the top right, to remove the distraction there. Then I selected the left eye and adjusted it to be as light and bright as the right one, finishing by selectively sharpening them both.

paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2013 7:08AM
Yes, a pleasant image, well seen. Just the need to balance the lighting a bit. A bit of dodging on the shadow side of the face will do it.

Footski 8 9 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2013 7:50AM
I can now really see the benefits of using the dodge and burn tools. That second mod has removed the shadow beautifully. Incredible results..
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2216 United Kingdom
26 Nov 2013 8:57PM
It's better, Barry. You're nearly there.
I used the highlights/shadows option to lift the shadow, i.e. to make it lighter, to get it looking the same as the right side. In PaintshopPro, I select the shadows option and move the slider to the PLUS side until the shadow disappears.
As to the eye, I have explained what I did there.
It's not easy, it takes practice.

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