Back Modifications (2)
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Happy Staff

By FP4  
I've been looking for sometime at some of the other members incredible work on EPZ, with the amazing use of Textures within layers.

Whilst still retaining elements of the original photograph, it totally changes it, creating a dreamy painted quality which I so like.

It's a whole new technique for myself and I had a little play last night. I'm now really looking for some feedback.

A big thank you to Polly470 (Pauline) for all the advice it is very much appreciated.



Tags: Dog Texture 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.


gingerdelight 10 298 11 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2011 1:37PM
I really like how you have worked this, Mark. It is an excellent use of textures and layers, not an easy subject to master! The lighting effects are particularly good. Well done on making a great start!

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Sooty_1 6 1.5k 220 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2011 1:51PM
If you intended it to look like it is painted on a canvas, then you have achieved your aim, but only really when looked at large. Not having seen the original, it's not easy to comment on the actual photo, but for me it lacks impact. The colours are very muted, and with all the soft-focus, it looks like it was shot with a Lensbaby.
I'm not a big fan of dark vignettes either, and to me it looks OTT (like the edge of the lens hood impinging). I don't find myself engaging with the dog, and it all looks a bit static.

I'm sorry, but to me, it looks like a competent record shot of a dog that has been messed around with in PS. Nick
banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3532 Canada
1 Nov 2011 3:37PM
Its technically not bad. I do think it is a little dark on the right. Polly is the expert on this type of shot, so you are getting great advice.

The single major flaw I can see is the far hind leg is not blended well, - it ends too abruptly. Other than that, the tail does suggest its simply laid on top rather than incorporated into the blend, so it tends to stand out like an added on afterthought.

The good news is thats this is all normal when you are developing the technique, It takes a lot of practice, and this is a really good basis to start with, so keep it up and we will see the improvements.

I do love the dogs expression, - and I wonder if this would be a shot best presented without a texture blend, I think it would look good simply as a dog shot?

I did have a go at a mod, - but cant do much as I dont have the layers.


polly470 7 25 8 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2011 8:52PM
Hi Mark!
I think you are going to enjoy learning with the light have made the first inroads into adding subtle dimension to your images...Willie is right about the blending I think...the dog looks a little 'cut out' at the moment, and the dog itself has lost a little definition in the relevant parts, as though it has had a layer of mist over it, and because I know these dogs are gloriously muscled I would have tried for a bit more of that but it is early days! What I do like is the directional light, and the way you have made sure it is in the right place in the picture with the dog...also the strength of the light is lovely...have a good play with that..I have just put some cows on you might like to look at with a soft light, but with loads of detail in the right places still..see what you think.
I think Vignette is personal taste, and I personally like it, it can draw your eye in the right direction as an aid to movement ...but that is the beauty of personal opinions and I love the fact we all love different things!
Bravo Mark..can't wait to see your next works...have a good play and try many variations of the same picture, then put them side by side and choose...I seldom pick my first version!
polly470 7 25 8 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2011 9:13PM
I have just read back my writing...gosh, that sounded so "Look at my picture'!! I hope you know I was just using it as an example!!!!
banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3532 Canada
1 Nov 2011 11:05PM
OK, Ill look at your picture Polly.....!

8 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2011 11:08PM
well its damn tricky to get the feel of this layer blending with textures, ive been playing with it too lately.

its not a bad shot, i wonder if it would read better with the dog reversed to face the other way as pictures often read better left to right and i feel a bit inclined to drift out the top corner which is much brighter than the other three.

vignetting is subjective i agree, but i would say its all or nothing and if it was unintentional and more to do with the blended texture then i would add to that and bring the balance back.

the overall feel is a bit misty and i wonder if you have tried either erasing through layers on a low opacity or using layer masks again with opacity adjustments to reveal more/less of the dog or any principle subject for that matter.

i do like the idea and i think several versions would be in order to get the best from it because a lot has to do with luck in blending and i never seem to get the same result twice even from the same base image.

just for fun i did a quick canvas flip and added a vignette before pressing one of the magic tone enhancing buttons in nik effex

good luck and its good to see a new subject fire ones enthusiasm
FP4 6 1
4 Nov 2011 12:35PM
Wow I'm overwhelmed by the response, thanks for all the positive feed back, advice and for the modificationsSmile

Phil you are right, this is also one of the hardest techniques that I've ever tried.

However I intend to persevere, watch this space.



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