September 25, 2018 at 7:04 pm #33757Theodore LonnemanParticipant
Over the past several years, I’ve had many times when I had only seconds to capture a pet in an almost perfect pose before it moved and ‘opened fire’ after barely making sure my exposure was okay. These shots are the usual result…cute subjects, but the background is often distracting. How do I edit photos like these and remove some of the clutter and such from the background? Do I remove the subject from the image as a foreground layer and place it on top of a better background?
1st shot: 1/80 sec. f/5.6 ISO 500
2nd shot: 1/125 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1600
Canon 70D, 18-135mm lensSeptember 25, 2018 at 11:02 pm #33761Eliana FranzenburgParticipant
@theodore I totally agree with the whole “I’m being cute for 1.5 seconds so just try to take my picture!” And in the mean time you’re fighting to get the right exposure etc.
When you have really cluttered backgrounds I always try to over expose it, so maybe try using a flash but that always makes the chance of getting a second try a lot smaller (cats hate flashes).
And a side note…When you are dealing with furry subjects try not to go over about ISO 800 as I have found that anything higher can make their fur look weird especially when brightening on the computer.
Hope that helps! (and makes sense) 🙂September 25, 2018 at 11:24 pm #33762Theodore LonnemanParticipant
That makes a lot of sense! I’ve noticed on previous shots that whiskers and eyebrows seem to disappear when the image is underexposed…I never thought to overexpose the image so there’s plenty of light to work with, though.
My default ISO setting is 100, and I usually never take it above 400. I think what happened is I tried using aperture value (which I almost never use) and I sent the ISO through the roof to make sure the image wouldn’t be blurry due to cat or camera movement. I don’t think I’ve been able to use a flash very effectively unless it was behind a diffuser..correcting the glare on an animal’s eyes is not my forte either. On one occasion, I was using a 5D and didn’t have the option of a pop-up flash so I bounced the beam from an EDC flashlight off the wall of the dark staircase and achieved the necessary light that way.September 25, 2018 at 11:55 pm #33763Eliana FranzenburgParticipant
I don’t think I’ve been able to use a flash very effectively unless it was behind a diffuser..correcting the glare on an animal’s eyes is not my forte either
Huh…I’ve never had a problem with glare at least on cats and dogs, for some reason I’ve found that goat and cow eyes glare more than other animals.
The photo I attached was taken around 7:00pm with just the on camera flash and that is the effect that I like but I also do that for flowers too, it kinda just makes the background black and not as noticeable.September 26, 2018 at 9:04 am #33766Ezra MorleyModerator
I highly recommend that you don’t try cutting out the subject and pasting it on a better background. (Unless you just want to do it for Photoshop practice…) For starters, it’s nearly impossible to get another background that will “match” well enough to look natural without some serious fiddling with colors, tints, and levels. It’s a whole lot of work for not much gain, unless there’s a specific reason you need to do that for a certain photo.
Here’s what I would suggest: Take your camera, grab a kitty, and go find a background that is nice. Take some time to make kitty comfortable, don’t just plop her down and watch her run away. 🙂 Check out this post we put together a while back with some tips for pet photography: https://www.lenspiration.com/forums/topic/tips-for-puppy-photography/
Patience is the key. There are lots of times where I get only 1 or 2 photos out of 100-200 that really strike me as “good”. When you see that one special photo out of the whole bunch, and compare it to your photoshopped-in-background photo, you’ll appreciate the extra work it took to get the “real” one a little better. 🙂
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