Tip of the Day – Watch for colour casts

Tip of the Day – Watch for colour casts

This week on Tip of the Day, we’re focusing on the challenges of photographing black dogs.⠀⠀
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Watch for colour casts! Black fur is very good at picking up colours casts from it’s surroundings.⠀⠀
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The most common issue I see with black dogs is when they’ve been photographed in the shade and end up looking very blue.⠀⠀
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Warming the whole image up helps, but in some cases too much warmth makes the entire image look wrong. Don’t be afraid to apply tonal and white balance adjustments to the dog separately.⠀⠀
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If you use Lightroom, you can do this using the Adjustment Brush. Using the Auto Mask feature is really helpful here, providing the dog is very distinct from the background. Once you’ve brushed over the dog, play around with the white balance, contrast and saturation until the dog looks black with fewer colour casts.⠀⠀
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Don’t remove ALL the colour from the dog as this looks strange as well! It’s natural for a black dog to pick up some colours from their surroundings, but it shouldn’t be overly noticeable. The dog should still look black, but retain lots of textural detail in their fur.⠀⠀
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Here’s a good mantra for you to remember – “black dogs should look black!”⠀⠀
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You can check out the before and after here and also in the blog post to see the difference the Adjustment Brush has made to remove the blue cast from Odin’s fur.⠀⠀
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This is Odin the Great Dane shot for my Tails of Brisbane project.⠀⠀
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Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 80mm, ISO 800, 1/800 sec, f/2.8⠀⠀
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This handy pet photography tip of the day was posted on the Learn Pet Photography Instagram account. You can view this post on Instagram and follow the account for your daily dose of tips, tricks and inspirational pet photography!

Just launched is RealShoots: shooting tutorials for pet photographers. Also check out Fetching Photos and Dog Shots – two e-books specifically about photographing dogs outdoors in natural light. I also offer private one-on-one mentoring in pet photography shooting and editing and international pet photography workshops.

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