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Thread: Focussing on subject

  1. #1

    Focussing on subject

    I have tried to sharpen eyes and mouth while blurring and darkening the background to focus attention on the dog.
    The dog was guarding an open air restaurant from marauding monkeys ( no joke, this is in Kasauli, India!).
    My intention, to highlight the dog's single-minded concentration.
    I have not used any bokeh. What else should I do to achieve my objective of focusing on the subject?

    Comments and suggestions are very welcome.

    Gear:- D7000 + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8.
    ISO 250, f/10, 1/60 sec, 50mm

    Many thanks!

    Focussing on subject

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
    Real Name
    Frank Miller

    Re: Focussing on subject

    You have two aspects of this image that are interfering with your goals. Anything large or red will grab your attention away from the subject. Text will almost always be the first thing you look at in an image. If you could mute or change the large red sign and blur the text, I think you will see the image differently.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    South Devon, UK

    Re: Focussing on subject

    I would also crop to a different size ratio and remove most of what is to the left of the upright. That would place the distracting elements close to the dog and prevent 'wandering eyes' looking in the wrong direction.

  4. #4

    Re: Focussing on subject

    Thank you FrankMi and Geoff F. Appreciate your inputs.

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Southern California, USA
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    Re: Focussing on subject

    In retrospect, shooting at around f/4 and focusing on the eyes might have allowed you to control the DOF sufficiently to place emphasis on the dog, rather than the BG.

    Obviously, you could not zoom in any more since your lens was maxed out at 50mm. Approaching closer to a German Shepherd type of dog who is in guard mode could be problematic. I would not have done that either.

    However, making a clicking sound with your tongue might had drawn the dog's attention to you. I think that seeing both eyes in total would have increased the intensity of the look. I have found over my years of photographing and working with dogs, that even aggressive dogs don't seem to consider that clicking sound to be confrontive behavior.

    Fill flash, even a tiny one like the Canon 270EX often will provide catch lights in the eyes of animals giving them a more animated (no pun intended) look.

    How to improve this image...

    You could play around with your PP program to sharpen the dog's face and to blur the background. Cropping the dog tighter and darkening the BG might also help.

  6. #6
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Owensboro, KY
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    Re: Focussing on subject

    Raghunath, it appears to me that the original pic of the dog is not quite sharp in the face - the focal point is appears to be the dog's shoulder. On top of this, the blurring and sharpening have almost 'lifted' the dog from the rest of the photo, leaving for me an over processed appearance.
    I like the overall content of the photo and the dog's attention is captivating. Any chance of a reshoot?
    Thank you for posting.

  7. #7

    Re: Focussing on subject

    I am impressed with such useful hints for improvement.
    Thank you one and all!

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