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Working with Animals

Working with Animals
Photo Information
Copyright: David Jessop (WhiteKnight) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1199 W: 130 N: 2138] (12018)
Genre: People
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-11-30
Categories: Pets
Camera: Nikon D200 Digital SLR, Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-11-30 5:05
Viewed: 1455
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Well - it's that time of year to start shooting pics for Christmas cards and so on... Today's project - working with our dog Lucy!! It's not easy either LOL... A chunk of bread was the incentive for her as you can see here she was making a grab for it from my wife's hand..

White fabric behind with a speedlight flash to brighten the BG. A single flash in a softbox to the right.. Used layers to totally 'white out' the BG and some dodging here and there..

RAW, 1/60 @ f9 and ISO100.

walk33a, shelbeesmom, horias has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To walk33a: LayersWhiteKnight 1 12-02 08:52
To rewshearer: FeatheringWhiteKnight 1 11-30 20:14
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Critiques [Translate]

It's always a challenge trying to get the most out of your chosen animal ... it once took a whole packet of ham to get just one image of our dog.

Nice lighting and colours, and a story that is told well by the picture.

Hi David!

I like this photo a lot, but even more, I like what you've done with it. Help me understand how you used the layers to whiten the BG, please? Did you add a BG layer without cutting out the subject? What does dodging do and when is a good time to use it? I'm new and really want to learn. I'd appreciate any help you could give me.


YIKES!! Wive coulda lost her hand! haha! Animals are hard because they get bored quickly, or scared of the lens and off they go! This is nice, you captured an action, which is much more interesting than shooting them just sitting there!

Ha! Good one David. Really good detail on the dogs face, the bread and your wife's hand. Might have been good to have a slightly higher perspective .. but hey, that being said, this is far far better than anything I could have done, and I can only imagine how hard it must be to shoot a dog!
Have a great week

Wonderful capture!
Your lovely dog ready for Christmas!

Haha nice job ... makes me think I should be shooting my own Christmas theme. Shooting with animals is pretty much as tough as they say ... it requires patience, persistence, and, obviously, food.

Good work on the background and the post work. Not sure if you used feathering after selecting the background but a feathering option of 2 pixels seems to work well - creating a natural-looking edge without any harsh edges.


Hello David!
Great Christmas card and beautiful dog, your Lucy!
Incredible detail and clarity!
Wonderful colours!
Best regards!

Hi David

I believe it is a great studio shot, nice portrait with superb image quality (using 85mm f/1.4). The idea of fooding while capturing works great here, brilliant shot, bravo

TFS, Alireza

hi david
great shot,nice use of the white fabric,saves hours of pp work,good colours and detail.

  • Great 
  • trekks Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1995 W: 141 N: 3390] (13665)
  • [2009-12-01 21:51]

hi Captain

Thank you for your kind words. Appreciate it.

I like this one. The dog is my favorite and you know how to tease one :) for sure. Santa Dog? That is a lovely theme!

It is funny and at same time sharp and colorful scene of the domestic front :)

Good work.
All the best.
tfs, bill

I love Lucy! and am looking forward to meeting her. That's a great pic of her; trying to catch animals is jolly difficult.

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