BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Judith A. Clark

How to Shoot a Black Dog

I have noticed during my portrait sessions that if there is a black dog in the shot, I can't seem to get any detail. I have a black dog and have gotten great shots of him alone, but when I try to shoot him with the children I lose him in the shot. Yesterday I had a session with a teenage girl, she brought three puppies, the two carmel color puppies came out great, but all you see of the black one is his shape (no real detail). We put him between the other two on her lap. Any advice on lighting or focus? I use a Nikon D100 and a photogenic 3 light set.

To love this question, log in above
12/6/2002 7:09:05 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy   You may need to light the dog separately. Aim one light with an extra stop of power at the black dog to bring out detail.

To love this comment, log in above
12/7/2002 12:55:19 PM

Judith A. Clark   Thanks Jeff. I think your right, when I light my dog alone, he comes out beautiful. I had decided to try lighting him seperate, but I can't get any of the kids to cooperate. I wouldn't have thought to set the light higher though. Thanks for the advice.

To love this comment, log in above
12/7/2002 1:14:10 PM

Judith A. Clark   Ok, I tackled the 6 year old, got the dog to sit (this is an accomplishment in itself) and shot one with an umbrella facing the dogs eyes. It turned out beautiful. The problem was, his eyes are brown and unless you get a catch light they disappear. He has very little to no white in his eyes depending on how he's looking at the camera. Thanks so much for your help on this and the wide angle lens thing. At least now I know where to use it.

To love this comment, log in above
12/7/2002 1:49:12 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy   I've got a big black (Newfoundland) dog too so I feel for you. I'm glad it worked out.

To love this comment, log in above
12/8/2002 2:04:51 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.