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Patch eyes!

By woodlandlad
One of my first pics using my new f/1.8 35mm nikkor lens. Tricky to get the depth of field right!

Please feel free to offer any suggestions! It's the only way I'll learn.

Tags: Eyes Cat Close up Pets and captive animals

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jacquig 8 3 United Kingdom
19 Dec 2013 11:02PM
Nice close crop. A lovely picture. Smile
pablophotographer 10 1.9k 413
20 Dec 2013 1:39AM
Hi, I like it but I have one reservation. I suspect some people would have expected to see the ears as well with the frame being as high. The proportions of the image look as 4x3, I'd horizontally crop 1/5th of the height at the top, so it ends looking as a 4x2 frame. Then our eyes wouldn't be bothered but with the eyes and whiskers. Hopefully. Smile If you don't accept my image next one will be its claws, lol.

paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2013 8:45AM
Nice image, well composed. You are just a tiny bit under exposed, possibly due to the white on the face and the centre weighed metering. This will easily brighten in software.

Depth of field, of course, depends on aperture. You have the minimum for your 50mm by selecting 1.8, so it is focal point that matters and you are pretty close to correct. You don't have to use 1.8, although I appreciate the light is low. So many people buy wide aperture lenses and only use them at wide aperture, but they still perform best at f5.6/f8.

banehawi Plus
17 2.6k 4274 Canada
20 Dec 2013 3:44PM
Its a good shot, detailed and sharp where it should be. Looks like a nice lens. The exposure is a little under as mentioned, - I have uploaded a modification with this increased so you can see the difference.

Using M mode, you need to use the cameras meter and get the indicator closer to the centre to ensure metering is good, - this one would have indicated a minus exposure with the indicator to the left of centre. To use f/1.8, you would need to reduce the shutter speed to 1/125th or so.

Heres a link that you can use to measure understand and use DOF using your camera and any lens:

Heres a review of your lens on an APS-C camera:

Hope this is helpful,


pamelajean Plus
15 1.6k 2238 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2013 6:28PM
Compared to the pictures of Patch already in your portfolio, Mick, this is much better. The other ones were taken outdoors and the whites on the fur were overexposed. I suspect you took this one indoors and that the cat was fairly relaxed. It's a lovely portrait shot.
I really like your image "Katie Portrait" in your pf.

There will be some who like the depth of field you have here, with the focus on the closest eye. Then there will be those who would like the nose, mouth and whiskers to be sharp as well. This has to be your decision, but since you have mentioned that you found it "tricky to get the depth of field right", it is obviously of importance to you.

I find the composition here a bit more important. I'd like to see the ends of those whiskers, a bit more space beneath the chin, and consequently less space at the top, bringing the frame edge down to above the eyes, exphasizing their importance. The lack of ears doesn't bother me. So you could keep this closeness and this orientation, but shoot a bit further down. Then you are featuring the features of the cat (sorry about that) in your frame.

Your dark background is excellent, except for the light bits in the bottom right. It wouldn't be easy to blacken these because of the whiskers that go across them. If you have time, consider your background before shooting. Your shallow depth of field has helped to keep that background subordinate to your subject.

Although you have handled the exposure well here, remember that your cat's coat has some white areas, which will always be in danger of becoming burnt out and lacking any fur detail. White fur in particular will look washed out if you use flash. It's always best to use natural light.

21 Dec 2013 9:29PM
Thank you all for your great comments.

I used the wide aperture on this piccy because the cat wouldn't keep still. Also the lighting in my kitchen isn't the best and I didn't want to increase the ISO and risk the grains! My thoughts were "freeze the action and sort it out in Lightroom later". So consequently it turned out under exposed and I didn't pull it back enough.

Love the Mod Willy. Really makes the picture pop, and also that red tinge has disappeared.

I think I need to work on composition a bit more and get some practice in. What wound me up about this one is that when I tried to get the eye on a third it always looked as though there was too much white fur at the bottom which detratced from the eyes. Also the white patch in the background was a pain so I tried to apply a subtle vignette to tone it down a bit rather than photoshopping it out.

Once again thanks for the advice. Love this site, everyone is so friendly and I have learnt so much by looking at critique on other photos.

Kind regards
Mollycat Plus
8 21 2 United Kingdom
1 Jan 2014 11:43PM
I don't understand any of the technical bits. All I know is thay you've taken a lovely picture of a beautiful pussy cat.
2 Jan 2014 6:28PM
Thanks Molly! Happy new year!

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