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Thread: Ollie

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Ollie

    As I've written before, we look after dogs for short periods whilst their owners are on holiday/vacation etc. This is done through an organisation called 'Barking Mad'.

    This weekend, for 4 days only, we have Ollie.

    Barking Mad has used one of my previous images for the front of their 2011 calendar and the same image on their leaflet to recruit more host families.

    Barking Mad fixes their tag onto the collar of each dog that they place. I've always wanted to get one with the tag fully in focus. I could supply another version in colour, but it's far better in B & W.



    Ollie
    40D, 70-200 f4 L IS @ 160mm. ISO 100. 1/350@f4. Manual.
    Last edited by Donald; 3rd April 2011 at 12:50 PM.

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Ollie

    What can I say... STELLAR on all aspect! 5 thumbs, Donald.

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    Re: Ollie

    So, I'm thinking dog photo - not really thank you very much. But then I think, well it's Donald so you never know, might be alright.
    Not at all disappointed Donald, lovely shot - really superb, almost makes we want to go and get a dog ... really it does
    Well done !

  4. #4
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    Re: Ollie

    Beautiful portrait, Donald --

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    Re: Ollie

    Really fine canine portrait and ideal for B&W.

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    Re: Ollie

    Brilliant! I love the way you've held the white highlights in check, allowing a easy transition to the blacks which have scrumptious detail. Also, you've really held a nice white against a light gray area and that's much harder than the black to white transitioning. I am envious of your success, but I will learn from it, I will, I will.

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Ollie

    Thank you for your comments, folks.

    Re Chris' comments - When trying to photograph a B & W dog like this, I've always tried to apply the 'rules' I read about shooting weddings in relation to exposure (i.e. bride = white dress ; groom = black (dark) suit); i.e. Get the middle right.

    In this one the dog was sitting quietly and I had time to evaluate the scene. I saw that the grass on which he was sitting was, in fact, the mid-tone. So I spot metered on the grass just below the dog's chin. Because I shoot in manual, I just dialled in the settings (shutter and aperture) and concentrated then on the composition.

    On the RAW, the grass background was still pretty pale. I did the conversion with Silver Efex Pro (I am one of the thousands around the world who still can't get the new Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in working properly - I think NIK has acknowledged, without really admitting it, that they scored a bit of an own goal and the problem is not because these thousands of people have 'wrong' systems on which to run it. They say they're working on fixes.).

    Anyway, the original version is still a great tool. So, via the use of Control Points, I reduced the brightness on the out-of-focus background.

  8. #8

    Re: Ollie

    Donald, probably one of the most intelligent dog breeds on the planet and you really have captured that wonderfully. This really is an outstanding portrait. I am not fooling around now Donald, you really should consider getting your work to a wider audience.

  9. #9

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    Re: Ollie

    "When trying to photograph a B & W dog like this, I've always tried to apply the 'rules' I read about shooting weddings in relation to exposure (i.e. bride = white dress ; groom = black (dark) suit); i.e. Get the middle right."

    Getting the middle right is a good rule for most any photograph and this emphasis is exactly what I was referring to in the a response to Wolf concerning the rule of thirds. Placing a tonally lacking object on a 1/3's quadrant will not make for a good photograph unless it also challenges the other conventions of good composition. Everyone on this forum should learn a mountain of information from this one photograph. This isn't just a picture of a sweet puppy...this is the art of Black & White in its finest hour.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ollie

    Very nice Donald, I love the intensity in his gaze.

  11. #11
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Ollie

    Thanks Steve, Chris (again) and Paul.

    Your comments are a confidence-booster. I keep thinking that the stuff I do is very 'safe' - very 'middle-of-the-road' and that I'm not getting out there and trying new things in the way that so many others on here do. But, I suppose that if I am doing what I do, well, then the 'if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it' principle should apply.

  12. #12

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    Re: Ollie

    Nothing wrong with middle of the road Donald as long as it's well accomplished. I'd say the majority of Ansel Adams' work would be considered middle of the road nowadays ... nuff said ? If you have a 'style' then change for the sake of it is probably not a good thing, evolution and refinement on the other hand should be the natural state of art and if you're worried about that then - welcome to the party.

  13. #13
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    Re: Ollie

    I did a "middle of the road" photograph once. Borrowed yellow worker's vest, liberated traffic cones and all. The local police officer was not amused.

    Pops

  14. #14

    Re: Ollie

    Donald, I saw this yesterday and thought that it's gorgeous. You've captured your subject with so much personality that we can read his deeply intelligent thought. That makes it more like a people portrait, no? (Not to mention the detail in the fur and the atmospheric light, making the pup look like an absolute hero!)
    Last edited by Katy Noelle; 4th April 2011 at 11:45 AM.

  15. #15
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    Re: Ollie

    Donald,I keep popping back to look at your image of Ollie,to me it is one of the best if not the best portrait of our canine friends I have ever had the privilege to view.
    Best Wishes,Pat

  16. #16
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Ollie

    Pat - At the end of the day, if we make people go back to take a second look, then we've succeeded. Thanks for your comment.

    Paul - Good point re AA's work.

    Pops - Not sure you should be taking on the law in pursuit of your art!

    Katy - Thankyou. Capturing that 'look' was my aim. He's a highly intelligent dog, trained to very high standard. He apparently takes part in agility and close control work at dog shows.

    As a bit of fun his owner taught him a trick. He (the dog) has a very feminine face. When people see him they often say something like, 'What a gorgeous girl". At which point the owner says, "Ollie show them your .........!" The dog then rolls onto his back and spreads its legs in the air!

    You gotta admit - It's different!

  17. #17
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    Re: Ollie

    Keep going Donald....you're almost there....that dog looks really fast...no doubt an action shot is in order to do him justice
    I'm just funning with you (says the girl who hasn't posted anything in forever). You have definitely done him justice with this lovely B&W

  18. #18
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Ollie

    Quote Originally Posted by djg05478 View Post
    Keep going Donald....you're almost there....that dog looks really fast...no doubt an action shot is in order to do him justice
    Too late. He's just been collected by the Barking Mad folk to be taken home. We'd love to take him when his owners next go on vacation, if we're available.

  19. #19

    Re: Ollie

    'What a gorgeous girl". At which point the owner says, "Ollie show them your .........!" The dog then rolls onto his back and spreads its legs in the air!
    The owners were not holidaying inThailand by any chance?

    I keep thinking that the stuff I do is very 'safe' - very 'middle-of-the-road' and that I'm not getting out there and trying new things in the way that so many others on here do.
    Has it not twigged yet. We are trying to discover what you already have......some one hold him while I slap him around the mush with a wet kipper

  20. #20

    Re: Ollie

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Pat - At the end of the day, if we make people go back to take a second look, then we've succeeded. Thanks for your comment.
    And, I'm tellin' ya - I did, too, because he does look as is he's about to speak - English, I mean - like in "Babe" or something....

    I keep thinking that the stuff I do is very 'safe' - very 'middle-of-the-road' and that I'm not getting out there and trying new things in the way that so many others on here do.
    Oh, man, oh, man! Me, too!

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