Second Looks

One of the most tenuous aspects of pet photography is the finished look of a photo. While I’m working on a shot I’ll ask myself questions like: Is it contrasty enough, or is it too contrasty? Is it bright enough, or is it overexposed? Are the colors dull, or over saturated? I would say that 9 times out of 10, after I finish working on a photo I don’t go back for further editing. Every now and then, however, a processed photo will nag at me. Something will feel the slightest bit off, and I can’t rest until I go back and tweak whatever it is about the photo that’s bothering me. It’s for this reason that I usually like to give edited shots a several day “cooling off” period after I’m done working on them, at the end of which I can look at them with a fresh perspective.

Take this shot of Chewey the Welsh Corgi, for example. Super cute! I love his expression, the way his ears are cocked forward and how his paw is resting on the stone in front of him. There’s a variety of colors between the wet rocks, the leaves, and Chewey’s fur. All in all, I love this photo! But after I worked on it and set it aside, some things started to nag at me. It just seemed to lack that bit of “pop”. This usually happens when I back off from processing for fear of “cooking” (or pumping up the color and saturation so much that it no longer resembles what my eye actually saw) a photo.

In this case, however, I thought the photo lacked a bit of color and presence. So I made a few tweaks that brought it more in line with the vision I have for my photos:

And in the end, I was left with the photo below! Same great expression and pose, but this time Chewey pops off the screen a little better than before.

Monica - September 18, 2012 - 2:03 pm

Good post…I like to darken the background of the subject to add a little punch too.

Joni Solis - September 28, 2012 - 5:38 pm

Wonderful editing and one reason that pro photographers’ works stands out much more than many photos taken by people just getting into photography.

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