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Dogs outdoors picture

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Old 08-01-2008, 10:59 AM
timmy1729's Avatar
timmy1729 timmy1729 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 71
Newbie Dogs outdoors picture
My wife loves this picture! We love how the white one looks like he's smiling or laughing

Anyway, I did a contrast mask so all three dogs could be seen, but I'm stuck as to what I should do now.

I think it might be a little on the bright side, but I don't really know how to make it look softer without really messing things up. I would like to make all three dogs the focus but I don't know of a good way to do it for this one. Would a background blur work? I don't know.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:05 PM
Swampy's Avatar
Swampy Swampy is offline
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Location: The Swamps of Florida
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Re: Dogs outdoors picture

Hi Timmy, Welcome to RTP

I don't know. You've got three dogs spread all across the yard. Only one dog makes a good subject. I would start by cropping out the other two dogs.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:45 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Location: Metro Phoenix area, Arizona
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Re: Dogs outdoors picture

Hi, Timmy! You're working on all your wife's favorite pictures this week, hmm!

Swampy's right about the dogs being spread out all over the image, but I think they add to the idea of the photo because "it's all about the white dog" - at least that what it looks like he's thinking. Having the other dogs in the picture show his attitude about being top dog.

You did a contrast mask (that helped, I agree) and I think this is the time to just play with different techniques and see how they work -- that is the fun of Photoshop -- as long as you save a good tif or psd copy of your original, you can try out all kinds of effects to see which ones you and your wife like.

I selected the dog waaaay over on the left, did a control-J to create a new layer for just his selection and moved him closer to the center (click V for the move tool and used the right arrow key to make it a straight level move) then I added a layer mask to his layer and painted black on the mask to smooth out the background where it didn't match. *Note: now that it's posted - I see that I missed a lot on the mask. That's the nice thing about masks - you can go back in and rework it. I'm not going to because I'm lazy and it's not my picture! When I was happy with that, I made a merged layer and cropped the image on the left side (you can also crop some of the grass in the foreground and sky). I did a levels adjustment to make the black on the dog on the left stand out more, and I did a hue/sat adjustment layer and a selective color adjustment layer to reduce the yellows, blues and cyans in the background -- it was a beautiful sunny day that day and the colors are beautiful, but they distract the eye away from the subject(s). Then I oversharpened the image (unsharp mask set at 170 or so - really overdo it) and followed that with the Stylize->Diffuse->Anisotropic filter -- which softens (and "curls") things - I personally like the effect on fur and foliage BUT you can hate it and do other things instead. THAT is what Photoshop lets us do -- try different techniques and see what we like best. Have fun and just jump in and start messing around AFTER you make sure you save at least one copy of your image as a photoshop (psd) image or Tiff, NOT just a jpeg. Working on a jpg file and saving it over and over after each change degrades the image each time it is saved - some of the pixels are lost each time. When you create an image you are happy with, save it in .psd or .tif format - they can be reworked and saved without losing data. **(That's if you choose the lossless save for your tifs.)

As Swampy mentioned, the dogs were all over the yard - when you decide to actually take a photo of your dogs/wife/etc., don't plan on using Photoshop to FIX the photo. Try to set up the photo to look as good as you can before you snap the shutter. Afterwards, if there is something that still needs to be fixed, it will likely be a small matter that is easier for Photoshop to fix. Have fun!
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File Type: jpg Tim-wife-dogs.jpg (45.6 KB, 48 views)

Last edited by CJ Swartz; 08-01-2008 at 01:47 PM. Reason: noticed sloppy masking in my image
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Old 08-02-2008, 02:30 AM
0lBaldy's Avatar
0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Posts: 3,528
Re: Dogs outdoors picture

As CJ did, I moved the lefty because you wanted all three then cropped.
Just did a couple levels adjustment layers and used the mask provided to enhance certain areas then sharpened some. Oh yea, cleaned teeth and covered up some brown stuff by "Smileys" back leg

also just did "Smiley" because the others are sooo out of frame and provide more of a distraction than a focal point
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File Type: jpg 3Woofs.jpg (99.7 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg WoofHaHa.jpg (99.5 KB, 20 views)
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:22 PM
timmy1729's Avatar
timmy1729 timmy1729 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 71
Re: Dogs outdoors picture

Thanks for the suggestions and examples everyone! I am glad to have found this great resource. My mother has a box literally overflowing with pictures. most are from '68 - '95. Many of the old ones are yellow-ish so this will give me a great opportunity to practice my color correction :-)

Oh, from the left:
Cocoa(mother), Paolo(the smiling father) and Carlos(their baby). I have never seen such a dysfunctional family :-P
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