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Thread: Horse Portrait (Close Up)

  1. #1

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    Shane

    Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    On a recent trip I spotted a couple of horses in a field and stopped the car to snap some shots. This guy was very friendly and every time I moved to get more of him in the image he followed right along. I ultimately gave in to his inquisitiveness and took this shot.

    Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    I quite like the image but wonder if it works? The shot was taken midday so I had to deal with a glare on parts of his coat. I wonder if the bit by his eye is distracting from the image? Would less contrast and a softer image have worked better (in PP)? Overall C&C would be appreciated.

    Because this guy (big assumption on my part as I didn't check) was so friendly we had a nice chat in between shots and he got a bit of a petting during the conversation. I think when we parted we were both a little happier for the encounter even if the image isn't up to snuff
    Last edited by ShaneS; 9th May 2013 at 07:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    Lovely. Conveys the gentleness of the horse wonderfully.

    I wondered about:

    • Brighting up the eye a bit (dodging)
    • Toning down that bit below his eye (burning) or cloning it out
    • And, instead of reducing contrast, introducing some Local Contrast Enhancement on the coat to make the hairs 'pop' a bit more (got to be careful not to overdo it).


    Just some ideas to think about.

  3. #3

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    Re: Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    Hi Shane,

    I think it works. The position of the eye in the image makes it work. Good suggestions form Donald, it will make the image even more pleasing. A good shot, IMHO.

  4. #4

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    Re: Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    Hi Shane,

    lovely shot! Horse eyes do have a great magic, think thats because of their size and the long eylashes - that adds softness and elegance. For the composition I would have "cut off" his head right in the center along the nose.
    I like Donalds idea for more contrast, had the same feeling.

  5. #5

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    Re: Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    Thank you Donald, Andre and Marcus - your feedback is appreciated. I will take another look at the items suggested and see what I come up with. I had already dodged the eye a bit but will go back and be a bit more aggressive there and with the contrast.

  6. #6

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    Re: Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    Nice photo. Works great for me.

    I like all of Donald's suggestions except adding more pop to the hairs. For me the photo is all about the eye; adding more pop to anything else might distract my eyes from the horse's eye.

  7. #7

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    Re: Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    That was exactly my concern Mike, his coat was actually very soft and I felt that the image already portrayed it as quite coarse. Having said that, I think that going back to look at it in different iterations is never a bad thing, especially in my case when I am working to understand the various PP tools that are available.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

  8. #8

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    Re: Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    That was exactly my concern Mike, his coat was actually very soft and I felt that the image already portrayed it as quite coarse.
    I have now revisited your excellent photo and handled it using my software. Based on doing so, I encourage you to back off on the clarity/sharpening already made to the horse's hair. (For an approximate simulation, I actually added a slight amount of noise reduction to soften the hair and liked it.) I then added a slight vignette that darkened everything except the eye and really liked the results.

    In fact, I have a similar photo that I made of an Icelandic horse and this exercise compels me to revisit how I post-processed it.

  9. #9

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    Re: Horse Portrait (Close Up)

    Shane, nice picture. One suggestion: on the right side of the photograph the horse's hair pattern is different. I might try to contrast it with the hair pattern to its left.

    Karm

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