Back Modifications (6)
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The Cat

By Lakkou  
How can improve it, did I crop it well? the original is in mod

Tags: Cat Pets and captive animals

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pablophotographer 10 2.0k 416
1 Feb 2018 10:10PM

I decided to work with your original image as I do not feel like a cat surgeon today.
Someone who knows me quite well calls me a cat whisperer but here I faced a challenge.
My approach was to handle with care and introduce mild changes without clipping the whiskers!

The original file looks more balanced to me except from the minor clipping of the ear. I do not know why you decided to zoom in all the way, I can only assume you wanted to keep something out of the frame. But once left out, you have to reintroduce and create which is a bit more complex to just shooting wider and cropping according to your taste later.

I will ask you that because it does puzzle me. Who decided the focus and where do you think that was? On the original picture the cat looks a bit un-sharp. I know you have shot this during the afternoon most likely under shadow with the light coming from the right.

Alas despite the wise use of a rather high ISO and the fast speed the closed down aperture to f/7.1 produced a picture quite soft, much softer from what I would have expected.

I topped the colours a bit not as much as the cropped picture. An optical illusion by Professor Edward Adelson proves we can perceive colours wrongly when they are next to similar or not colour environment. (See Adelson's cylinder and checked square experiment). Colours are measured partly on the basis of the frequency of light that hits them but above all in relation to the colours nearby. When in shadow colours will look dull compared to the chance they are seen under brighter conditions. Choosing shadow rather than Auto white balance brings some more warmth to the colours you want to reproduce, so try to adjust the white balance to the conditions rather than letting the camera to do as it pleases.

It will be interesting to see what the Team will come up to. Watch the space!

banehawi Plus
17 2.6k 4281 Canada
2 Feb 2018 12:41AM
Your original can benefit with some processing.

I too, like pablo wonder why you wanted to crop so closely for your main image, as you risk amplifying noise and losing detail.

In you original, the cats face only is in focus, so I would guess you were quite close?

At the shutter speed used, 1/160th, even with an IS lens, you risk some image blur/softness with the slightest movement of the cat. A faster shutter would be better, and you could use f/5.6 to increase it. Its also possible the +1/3 was not needed, and your speed would be a bit faster.

The light seems to be bright, and contrast seems low.

I did upload a mod of your original, with the main tweaks being setting the black level to be black,a slight decrease in exposure; warmer white balance; and sharpening the face alone.

Hope this is helpful.


Robert51 13 7 127 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2018 8:38AM
Simple rule in photography, do not chop of limbs. That go for animals as well as people, mind you sometimes I can't tell the difference. I can only echo above shoot wider and crop later. Two things with a cat to make those eyes stand out are ears and whiskers.

Looks like the cat will have to model again...
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.1k 2475 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2018 9:13AM
Loads of good advice, I'll just echo that this is about the cat's senses - sight, hearing, touch... We need those ears and whiskers complete.

When I joined the site the first lesson that I learnt was to be prepared to crop ruthlessly.

The second lesson I learnt was to allow space...

Reconciling those is the problem.
dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1892 England
2 Feb 2018 11:50AM
I can see the reasons for a very tight face, although chopping off essential elements is a risk.

The other thing is that your very tight crop brings out a distinct lack of sharpness: if you want to go that close, get a macro lens (a proper fixed focal length one, with a wider aperture) and focus precisely on the eyes.
Lakkou 4 Tunisia
3 Feb 2018 8:47AM
Thank you all for your comments, advice and mods.

This is not the end I decided to go to a Zoo tomorrow and take some photo, it will be a training journey Smile
the reason to crop the photo was to focus on the face of the pet, but I should reconsider the sharpness, the space...

dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1892 England
3 Feb 2018 10:41AM
Tehre's a balance between tweaking a picture to improve it after the event, and setting out with a good idea of the look you want, and workign hard to get that shot straight off, so that it needs minimal editing.

And it's well worth doing plenty of exercises to try new things with subjects that don't matter - so that when you go to soem trouble to go and take pictures, you are confident of your mastery of hte camera and lens.

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