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Steve-n-Ning

The Kindest Eyes - Sofia - 2012-2021 - RIP



Sofia was so powerful, her jaws could explode a tennis ball. Yet she and her 100 pounds always had the most gentle, loving nature. Her eyes truly were the windo...
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Sofia was so powerful, her jaws could explode a tennis ball. Yet she and her 100 pounds always had the most gentle, loving nature. Her eyes truly were the window to her soul. Ning captured her brilliantly on 3-12-2019. Sofia passed away on Feb 20, 2021, and she will be in our hearts forever.
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Awards

People's Choice in Dog portraits Photo Challenge
Peer Award
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Magnificent Capture
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Superb Composition
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Virtuoso
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Superior Skill
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Genius
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10 Comments | Report
Deejay10 PRO
 
Deejay10 March 15, 2019
Beautiful ๐Ÿ˜Š
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning April 30, 2019
Thank you. Be well.
Kjenora PRO+
 
Kjenora March 31, 2019
She has angel eyes!
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning March 31, 2019
Thank you. Her eyes reflect her soul. Thank goodness - it is scary to think of a dog this big and powerful being anything but gentle.
alyssaehuston PRO+
 
alyssaehuston April 03, 2019
Beautiful baby!!
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning May 01, 2019
Thank you.
jimhelmick
 
jimhelmick April 23, 2019
Superb portrait.
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning April 23, 2019
Thank you, Jim. I appreciate you keeping in touch with my site. Ning did a great job capturing this portrait.
Arzhtatiana PRO
 
Arzhtatiana January 11, 2020
Gorgeous!
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning January 11, 2020
Thank you. She is one of my babies.
toddjudd PRO+
 
toddjudd January 16, 2020
Thanks for entering my challenge, this was a close runner-up! Love the eyes!
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning January 16, 2020
Thank you. I am happy to enter this photo whenever I can. My wife took it while laying on the floor in front of the dog and setting her camera directly on the floor for support. Sofia is the kindest dog I have ever had, despite her 100 pounds of bulk. Her eyes definitely reflect her soul.
yorkielad PRO+
 
yorkielad February 06, 2020
beautiful dog steve i see what you meen by your 100 pounder
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning February 06, 2020
She is my baby. I have had her since she was 5 weeks old and fit in the palm of my hand.
yorkielad PRO+
 
yorkielad March 06, 2020
beautiful capture love it
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning March 06, 2020
Thank you. My wife did a fabulous job laying down in front of the dog with her camera resting on the floor for stability.
geophotos PRO
 
geophotos June 18, 2020
Excellent presentation! You've used the technique of getting down to Sofia's level to get the best perspective and detail. We see a gentle soul who loves you, as you love her. A worthy winner too! :))
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning June 19, 2020
Thank you for your kind words. Ning literally laid down on the living room rug in front of Sofia, and she set her camera flat on the floor for stability.
muddyvalley PRO
 
muddyvalley December 11, 2020
Sofia is a sweetheart! What a cutie.
Steve-n-Ning PRO+
Steve-n-Ning December 11, 2020
Thank you. She is 8 years old and is a 100 pound cutie! About 15 minutes ago, I posted two old photos of her taken when she first came home at 5 weeks old.

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in our living room.
Time
This was taken in early afternoon.
Lighting
We used natural light coming through the living room window. The living room faces North, so the light hitting the window was reflected off of other surfaces in front of the house.
Equipment
This photo was taken by my wife, Ning, using her Canon EOS 80D and Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens. The camera was set flat on the floor for support, so a tripod was not necessary. The shutter was wide open at f/2.0 for maximum bokeh. The ISO was 2000 with a 1/50th second exposure.
Inspiration
Sofia is a beautiful 100-pound American Bullweiler, which is a hybrid of American Bulldog and Rottweiler. Her personality is very sweet, but she is difficult to photograph head-on because she always seems to be pointing in the wrong direction. Ning caught the dog napping in the middle of the floor and took advantage of this rare opportunity. Ning laid down on the floor several feet in front of the dog and waited for Sofia to look into the camera.
Editing
Post processing was minimal, consisting of cropping and highlight/shadow enhancement in Adobe Lightroom.
In my camera bag
Ning's camera bag consists of her Canon EOS 80D, her EFS 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM and her EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lenses. Plus, she has access to all our other photographic equipment. My Canon EOS 5D Mark IV always has my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens mounted on it. That is my go-to lens for the majority of my photos. I also carry several lenses: Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM and a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. I try to shoot with natural light all the time, but on those occasions where I need an external light source, I use either a Neewer CN-216 LED panel or a Canon Speedlite 580EX. I have tripods by Slik, 3Pod and Manfrotto. I have a Canon EOS 10D, a Canon EOS 30D and a Canon EOS 7D, all of which I still have and use as appropriate.
Feedback
Taking candid photographs of animals can be hit or miss. Many photographers specialize in studio shots of pets, and many of their wonderful photos appear in ViewBug. However, candid photos of animals of all varieties are all over the place in terms of pose, lighting, focus, bokeh, esthetic qualities, etc. Best advice I can give is to be patient, take many photos, then pick the one or two that show the animal at its best.

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