1st Qtr Challenge photos

I took advantage of the freakishly warm January weather to create my answers to the 1st quarter Technical Challenge. The theme is the song “Anything you can do I can do better” and the idea is to find a photo from another member of the group and, with their permission, try to duplicate it as closely as possible.

Dazzle’s is based on a photo by LunaG. Titled “What would you do when you saw an animal, twice as large as you? Run away or greet it?”

This is her photo:
10/12 What would you do when you saw an animal, twice as large as you? Running away or greeting it?

Here is my answer to the challenge:
1/12 First qtr TECH challenge- with Dazzle

This was definitely a challenge! But I knew I had to give it a try yesterday thanks to the unseasonably warm weather (60’s) and sun. Not sure when we’ll see that combo again before spring!

So we headed out to the park where I knew there was a background as similar to the original as possible (given the time of year differences). And thankfully the sun cooperated by being in the correct location!

I had to hope that no one was watching after I set up my camera on a tri-pod, set the timer and ran out to pose for the two positions. I would compare the shot on the screen to a print out of the photo and then try again. It took multiple tries and even Dazzle was looking at me like I was a bit nuts by the time I got the ones I felt would work 🙂

Then I moved the camera in closer, dropped the tripod down as low as it would go (lower would have been better) and got Dazzle into position. I took a test shot to check positioning and make some minor adjustments. Then, thanks to the awesome pro Dazzle is (and LOTS of luck!) I got his shot on the very first attempt!! I had set the timer and was standing in front of him, holding his ball down low (to get the focus of his head) and then asked for him to “gimmie 5” just before the shutter snapped. I used a flash on his shot so his face wouldn’t be completely lost in the shadow.

I figured getting his paw in the desired position would take multiple tries, but when I saw the first shot on screen, I knew it was the one! And I LOVE IT when that happens! He got several throws of the ball and was VERY muddy by the end. But I didn’t care! I couldn’t wait to get home and do the editing. I was just hoping what I got would turn out as I hoped it would. And it has!

I layered the three photos, made the top ones translucent so I could position them and erased the backgrounds. I had to do some cloning to get the “over sized” pieces of grass off his foot, added the shadows and did a few other minor edits.

I think it’s more impressive that the original was formed from 37 different photos! Thank-you LunaG. This was a fun project!

For Bear’s project, I didn’t do nearly as well. The original was taken by Pawsome33 and is titled “Buster (Dr Martins)”. I have to say I like her version better. 🙂

12/12/B/Buster (Dr. Martens)

This is my answer to the challenge:
1/12 1st qtr TECH challenge with Bear

This was a much harder challenge than I anticipated! So let the whining and excuses commence! …LOL I don’t have a studio or lights, so I had to try to do this outside. I was hoping for very bright sunlight filtered nicely through the clouds, but what I got was flat, overcast light. It also took awhile for Bear to get comfortable enough in the boots to not have his tail tucked. Several treats helped with that.

Then we had “stay” issues because he just wanted the treats. 🙂 Then trying to get his head turned the correct way, get his ears up and NOT have him close his mouth was also quite a challenge! Every time he thought he was going to get a treat, his serious face came out, but without treat anticipation, ears went back and his eyes got squinty. This is the result after MANY more shots than I thought this would take! And I finally stopped because the storm was rolling in and it was only getting darker.

I did use white fleece as the back drop, but the lighting of the sun through the variable cloud thickness resulted in many different shades of grey rather than white. So I ended up having to paint in the background anyway during editing. If I tried to brighten the background to white, it washed out Bear.

I know the weather won’t be warm enough to attempt this outside again for likely two months or more. I was actually outside in a T-shirt today! In January, in Indiana! But tomorrow, winter returns and by the end of the week high temps will be back in the 30’s. Thanks for the tease Mother Nature! It was great while it lasted.

My hats off to Trish, I have an even greater respect for her excellent photo of Buster! Thanks for letting me try to imitate it.

Side note on the weather… I just brushed half a dog off of Dazzle with very little effort. I think the weather has his body fooled that it is Spring! All the dogs are shedding like crazy! But I give it another few days and that should stop 🙂


Posted January 12, 2013 by dazzlesmom in Uncategorized

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