How to photograph dogs with pitch black faces?

11 months 2 weeks ago #648239 by Howard Swanson
Happy Monday to all!  

A buddy of mine who has started breading pure bread bull dogs, has ask me if I could take some photos of these dogs so he can post on his website to sell.  

So this is being done as a favor, but I'm happy to do so.  What I'm not to sure about it how to pull definition from these dogs faces?  The shoot will be outdoors.  These dogs have all sorts of wrinkles and folds all over the place.   I'm thinking a flash might be the answer to this.  Honestly, I'm not sure, this is outside of my normal shooting.  

Can you help me out with some advice please?  

Thank you!

Howard


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11 months 2 weeks ago #648254 by Nikon Shooter
I would consider having the dog's face in the light source
either in daylight or against daylight but with flash. In both
cases, stay away from BG.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Meskill

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11 months 2 weeks ago - 11 months 2 weeks ago #648267 by Meskill

Nikon Shooter wrote: I would consider having the dog's face in the light source
either in daylight or against daylight but with flash. In both
cases, stay away from BG.


.  You mind me asking what does "BG" mean? 


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11 months 2 weeks ago #648269 by Howard Swanson
I was going to ask the same thing.  Good tips, I appreciate them, but not sure what does "BG" mean? 


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11 months 2 weeks ago #648271 by Nikon Shooter
Sorry… jargon for back ground. :P

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11 months 2 weeks ago #648272 by Howard Swanson
Ah!  Gotcha.  So just to clarify, you are talking about distance from background, right? 


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11 months 2 weeks ago #648273 by Meskill

Nikon Shooter wrote: Sorry… jargon for back ground. :P



What's funny is that I thought about what terms it could be and thought about Big guy, big group, back ground, and so many others and didn't think that was the one.  LOL 


OP - can you try to use reflectors as well.  


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11 months 2 weeks ago #648276 by Nikon Shooter

Meskill wrote: OP - can you try to use reflectors as well.  


I would not even try… the dog won't be comfortable
with a blinding panel in the eyes; a flash is better. A
possible solution would be a diffusor.

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11 months 2 weeks ago #648400 by Howard Swanson
Yes, and as I understand these dogs are a bit hyper, which is the next challenge I'm going to be faced with.  


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11 months 2 weeks ago #648457 by garyrhook
You're "thinking you need flash"? You will either photograph them outside, in open shade, or inside using artificial light. Or outside with the help of artificial light, depending upon the situation.

You've signed up to learn about two things: using off camera flash (note I said off camera) and photographing dogs. Both of which are going to require work.

If you don't have artificial lighting, get or rent some and practice. Checkout strobist.com for lessons.

There are plenty of folks that offer advice on photographing dogs, but it primarily comes down to understanding dogs. You'll need toys to get their attention (which last all of a few seconds at a time). You might need a tripod. And an assistant.

You should be researching dog shots on instagram and the web. @dogs_ny, maybe Diana Lundin .

Animals with black fur still reflect light. Wrinkles/recesses in skin might be challenging, but your primary goal is to light the eyes.

All that said: if all you need are snapshots, then ignore this.


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11 months 2 weeks ago #648483 by Patrick G
Great post Gary.  

OP you can rent from BorrowedLenses and strobist is very good site for lighting tips.  


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11 months 2 weeks ago #648699 by Joslyn
Fill flash and a bunch of patience :)  Really as Gary mentioned above, you'll want to get your flash off  your camera.  Will  the dogs be in  a fixed position where you can set up a flash?  If not, you might want to get an assistant to hold the flash and keep it where you want it.  


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