man I love german shepherds

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my buddy's 6 month old german shepherd (so humungous) and my goldie mutt wrestled aroudn the other day

I only have small-medium dogs so it was completely amazing ot me that a 6 month old puppy could be so large (67 pounds)

anyways, here are the pics

anything that has the 55-200 is on my D40 and the 50/1.8 is on my D80

nikkor 55-200 f/something high - this is my dog, she's sweet
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nikkor 50/1.8
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look at that slobber in the air
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I definitely noticed the difference in DOF and bokeh on these two, first is the 55-200, second is the 50/1.8
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these are 50/1.8
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I am interested in critique on these...honestly you won't hurt my feelings...please give me honest critique so I can improve my dog photography
 
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Those are pretty good shots Leighton. As you ask for critique I'll say that on the first and last one I would have preferred that you were more in level with the dog instead of shooting down on the dog. Also on the last picture I think there is too much grass and too little of that beautiful dog. The German Shepherd shots are very good. The only thing I would have done is to level the background a little in #6.

The colors, sharpness and composition are spot on IMO.
 
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I LOVE EM! I'm saying everything about them - lighting, composition, GORGEOUS POOCHES, the way you captured the light in their eyes! Wish I could play frysbee with them too! Seeing these pups made me miss the dogs I used to have! Awsome shootin! Next time try getting a little lower - like more on their level, or better yet, just have a seat in the grass and shoot em that way!
 
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Ditto the above...the shots are great! Only other suggestion would be to get all of the ears and tongue in # 4 and # 5...I really love A#6.
 
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#1 Lovely colors but too close a crop, not much interest in the dog' face.
#2 Is excellent, nice positioning in frame
#3 Not interesting, awkward crop
#4 Great but you cutoff his tongue!
#5 Same but you cut off his ears
#6 Great as well, boy he has a long tongue!
#7 Not a particularly interesting shot
#8 Finally the golden! Dead grass is distraction, needs a closer crop.

All in all very nice shots of a regal looking dog. We've owned two shepherds in our lives. Exposure and color balance seems about right on. Nice work.
 
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They are very loyal dogs....

My dad adopted a german shepard when I was about 14, who had been abused by it's previous owner. The dog was smart enough to know that he was now in the hands of a loving family and he was determined that nothing was going to hurt his new family. My dad named him 'King'.

I remember that I had to be really careful when I walked in the backyard after dark and I had to say something to King before I rounded the corner, so he would know it was me, or else he would get very defensive.

One time I completely forgot to do this and I thought he was going to eat me alive. One word from me and he stopped in his tracks, but it scared the heck outta me. I never forgot again!
 
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I think most of what needed to be said has been..
I really like the colors of the first shot but it would have been just spot on
if you had got your Golden to look up just as you took the shot to see her eyes...
 
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wow - I am very thankful for all of this excellent C/C

I have a few comments to make and a few questions to ask as I have only been taking pictures for a few months and am still new to everything


Those are pretty good shots Leighton. As you ask for critique I'll say that on the first and last one I would have preferred that you were more in level with the dog instead of shooting down on the dog. Also on the last picture I think there is too much grass and too little of that beautiful dog. The German Shepherd shots are very good. The only thing I would have done is to level the background a little in #6.

The colors, sharpness and composition are spot on IMO.
thanks a lot tojor, I have some questions and comments to add to your response

1. I always forget to get down to the dog's level, it has been a curse of my dog shots pretty much every time....once again I forgot to do that

2. the very last picture with all of the grass was intentional, I thought she looked neat resting in a sea of grass

3. the background in number 6 was a hill, so if I would have leveled it the dog would have appeared to be slanted, is that still what I should have done?


#1 Lovely colors but too close a crop, not much interest in the dog' face.
#2 Is excellent, nice positioning in frame
#3 Not interesting, awkward crop
#4 Great but you cutoff his tongue!
#5 Same but you cut off his ears
#6 Great as well, boy he has a long tongue!
#7 Not a particularly interesting shot
#8 Finally the golden! Dead grass is distraction, needs a closer crop.

All in all very nice shots of a regal looking dog. We've owned two shepherds in our lives. Exposure and color balance seems about right on. Nice work.
Rich - thanks for the honest critique, I appreciate it a lot

the reason I shared number 3 was because I was surprised to see all of the slobber in the air, I get more and more impressed by what these cameras capture that I dont see in person each time I shoot

since I was trying to get the golden in a "sea of grass" for #8, would it have been better for me to try to find a place with no dead grass, or should I have tried to remove the mower clippings?

as far as the less interesting shots, is it just because basically all I shot was a dog sitting there? maybe some action shots or some owner/pet interaction would be better?

composition is so tough to learn, taking a split second snapshot and attempting to tell a story is a big challenge!

I am really happy to hear the kind words about the exposure on these pictures, I feel that I have come a long way in properly exposing pics lately

I have switched to spot metering and I have been watching the meter in the eyepiece pretty closely and have had much better results, its so much easier and faster to PP when you dont have to try to save blown out highlights all the time
 
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I like #6. It shows the dog's nobility. And you are on the same plane as the dog. The problem I see is a bit of softness in the photos. I like to see every individual hair on the dog. Tongue is fine. That is the way they are. German Shepherds should always be shot with their mouth open and tongue out. I don't see how you could level the background without a lot of photoshopping.

You are doing good.
 
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3. the background in number 6 was a hill, so if I would have leveled it the dog would have appeared to be slanted, is that still what I should have done?
The picture is good as it is but I tried to level it a bit and it looks a little more harmonic to me without the dog looking slanted. I'd be happy to show you but it's really not a big deal.
 
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I like #6. It shows the dog's nobility. And you are on the same plane as the dog. The problem I see is a bit of softness in the photos. I like to see every individual hair on the dog. Tongue is fine. That is the way they are. German Shepherds should always be shot with their mouth open and tongue out. I don't see how you could level the background without a lot of photoshopping.

You are doing good.
thanks for the words, I will keep that in mind

Im working up a tribute to my corgi mix to post in the next few days

The picture is good as it is but I tried to level it a bit and it looks a little more harmonic to me without the dog looking slanted. I'd be happy to show you but it's really not a big deal.
I would definitely like to see what you've got worked up

thanks a lot
 
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Ok. I'll take it down in a couple of days. :smile:

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did you only straighten the background or did you change the dog?

I am amazed at the capabilities of PP

is this photoshop?

don't feel like you need to take it down, it can benefit others that see it...without your comments it would have never dawned on me to attempt to straighten the background of a shot

admittedly, I never think to consider the background because I am so novice
 
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as far as the less interesting shots, is it just because basically all I shot was a dog sitting there? maybe some action shots or some owner/pet interaction would be better?
also - I'd appreciate any feedback about this from anyone
 
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did you only straighten the background or did you change the dog?

I am amazed at the capabilities of PP

is this photoshop?

don't feel like you need to take it down, it can benefit others that see it...without your comments it would have never dawned on me to attempt to straighten the background of a shot

admittedly, I never think to consider the background because I am so novice
Just cropped and rotated the crop a little in photoshop.

Regarding your other question. I like dog portraits if they capture the spirit and the soul of the dog. It doesn't have to be action or interaction shots. Except for cropping a couple of them a little too tight you made some very nice portraits.
 
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Ok. I'll take it down in a couple of days. :smile:

Torben, comparing the two photos, I expected to see a slight change in the angle of the head of the dog, but there is no perceivable change that I can see. I do see that you played with curves a little bit.

You say you rotated the crop a bit. But that should have rotated the whole picture. Going to have to download this myself to try it. I have leveled many a background, but then the dog is also leveled with it.

Nicely done.
 
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Birgit, I was also surprised by how unnoticeable the rotation of the dog's head was

I even held the angle of his neck with my finger and scrolled down to compare them, haha
 
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Just rotated the crop. I may have played with levels too. I do that often automatically.
 

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