I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, partly due to the fact I have been too busy with classes and other photo assignments to really have a chance to be “artsy” in my photography. But, I ran into a peculiar subject recently which was almost begging me to give it a thorough post-processing treatment of how my mind’s eye visualized the scene. If you are unfamiliar with this series, see here for a history of these posts.
As a matter of personal principle, I tend to stay away from photographing and sharing “pet pictures”. You know the kind. Those little snaps of people’s cats and dogs which can fill up over half of all their online profiles. Those pictures which tend to have no artistic creativity. Those shots that, quite frankly, are boring to look at unless it’s your own pet (due to the almost familial connection you feel to it). But, like most rules, there tend to be exceptions. There’s a local stray cat that has called my university’s campus home for about half a year now. Some of the students have even named this little guy who still appears to be a growing adolescent feline. It’s extremely friendly, walking up to total strangers and sprawling out on concrete sidewalks, begging to be petted and admired.
That quality in particular makes it extremely easy to get a good close-up. In this unedited, straight-out-of-camera shot, I used the Sony NEX-7 with my 105mm f/1.8 AI-s at f/2.8, ISO 100, and 1/320 right at the close-focus distance of 1 meter.
In all fairness, this original photo turned out pretty good, focus was nailed on the eyes, and the 3-D effect from shooting up close at the wide f/2.8 aperture works well. The low shutter speed due to shooting under shade didn’t result in any noticeable motion blur, and the framing is okay.
But, I wanted more. I’ve taken a liking to “HDR Portraits” recently, a style of photography which emphasizes every single detail of a subjects face through extreme contrast, extended dynamic range, and sharpness. In LR4, I do not have the capability to stack multiple exposures (which is a shame), but the “clarity” slider can sometimes be used to imitate the effect. Along with that slider, I wanted to bring out the vibrancy and saturation of the colors on the cat’s face. And to top it all off, I was compelled to strengthen the composition further with a square crop putting the top right eye smack-dab on two intersections of the rule-of-thirds grid (I also added a touch of vignette to emphasize this even more). The end result is a “pet picture” I’m pretty proud to share.
That’s all for this post guys and gals, thanks for dropping by, and as always, have a great day!