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lakesaperture

K9 Face Lick



A quick snapshot of a dog licking her face.

A quick snapshot of a dog licking her face.
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Behind The Lens

Location
Some of my earliest memories included walking around with a fuji-film camera as a young child, and taking shots of somewhat irritated family members who were sick of being photographed. Many years later on a Sunday morning, a friend of mine (who is also a photographer) and I drove out to Port Stephens to enjoy the scenery. Accompanying us on our trip was my dog, and unlike the family I grew up with, she was very much willing to have several hundred shots of her taken in a short space of time. She is quite a quirky animal, and here she is licking her face (as per usual) after having just ran up and down Mt Tomaree, and the length of Final Bay.
Time
As Fingal Bay is roughly 1hr and 45 minutes away from home base, my photographer friend and I got up before the sun was up, and drove to catch the sunrise. After galavanting around to enjoy the early morning sights and sounds, we headed for the beach where I captured many natural images of my dog. This shot was taken at approximately 10am on a late January morning, 2016.
Lighting
It was a cloudy day, and the sun was at a 10 o'clock angle in the sky. I turned my back towards the sun, and pointed my lens right at the dogs nose. It was perfect. The clouds acted as a giant, natural soft-box, diffusing the harsh shadows of the summer sun, allowing us to see the detail of her eyes and fur.
Equipment
This image was shot with a Nikon D7000, a 18 - 55mm kit lens, and the beach as a backdrop.
Inspiration
My dog (like many other dogs) has a habit of licking her face. You can see her quirky nature come out whenever she licks her face. I just wanted to capture that quirky little moment so I could always remember her this way.
Editing
I put the RAW NEF file into Adobe Photoshop, tweaked the contrast, increased the sharpness, adjusted a few of the exposure settings, accentuated the lens vignette, and removed all the colour except for the red hues. I then added a grey layer, and used an eraser to remove any of the extra red in the image that was outside of her tongue.
In my camera bag
On days where I am headed to the beach, walking up mountains, and galavanting around the country side, I usually take my trusty old Nikon D7000, a 55 - 300mm VRII lens, an 18 - 55mm lens, a Nikon SB-5000 speed light, and a small extendable tripod. Occasionally, I will take a 50mm prime lens with me to capture specific portrait shots, but it depends on my intention. I usually reserve my D750 with the Sigma 10-20mm and Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 lens for occasions where sand isn't heavily involved.
Feedback
When capturing high-contrast, sharp portraits of animals during the day with the intention of bringing out the eyes, the fur, and other such features - make sure that you capture it when you have cloud-cover. Shooting an image like this with harsh direct sunlight is not something I would recommend, unless you really enjoy shadows all over your subject. For a shot like this, make sure you have a wide angle lens, and get really close to the subject. Don't forget, ALWAYS shoot RAW. :-)

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