My 365: Pepper

If Seven (from yesterday) is the bubbly, life-of-the-party dog, then Pepper is the poised, calm dog.

Isn’t she gorgeous?

Some tips on photographing black dogs:

1.  Don’t blast them with direct flash.  If your flash swivels, then you’ll get better results by bouncing the light off of the wall beside you.  If your flash doesn’t swivel, then just turn it off (go outside if you need more light).  Come to think of it, this would be good advice for ANY kind of photography!

2.  Be sure that the dog is actually turning out black in your picture.  If left to their own devices, cameras tend to turn things into 50% gray … which means that snow tends to look dirty, and black dogs look washed-out.  I highly recommend shooting in manual mode when shooting things that are supposed to be very dark or very light, so you can control what the camera captures.  If you don’t have/use manual mode, you can try to balance it out in your camera’s mind by putting the black dog on a light background.  When the camera averages them together, it should come out a bit better.

3.  Pay attention to highlights and shadows.  In most subjects, shadows are what give the picture depth.  For black dogs, though, it tends to be the highlights that give depth.  Ideally, you want what’s known as a “catchlight” (aka reflection of light) in their eyes.

4.  I’m going to say it again:  if your flash doesn’t swivel, then turn it off!!  Direct flash is what gives dogs those “demon eyes” that we see on snapshots.  Scary!  🙂

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