For my final series, I will be producing outcomes based on the positivity of social media, and my personal use of it recreationally, as well as tying in a shoot that refers to my personal interest to pursue pet portrait photography as a future career. This incorporates my earlier experimental shoot featuring pet portraiture, based on dogs. I will be developing my abilities and skills in this field of photography, using an alternative model and props.
The shoot will take place in a studio environment, allowing me to control my lighting as well as contain my model in a confined space. This will also allow for non-distracting backgrounds which give my outcomes a stronger impact, drawing tones from my model that may otherwise go unnoticed with a detailed environment to detract from the dog.
I will require my D7100 for this shoot, as well as my macro and 18-55mm lenses. My tripod will also be present, in case it is required. Studio equipment required includes a black background and two soft-boxes, and further props include a chair, costumes and toys. Dog treats may also be required to manipulate the behaviour of my subject.
Abby Malone is my biggest inspiration for this shoot, with her variety of pet portraits incorporating dogs in a range of locations. I endeavour to replicate her ability to portray personality within her photographs.
This shoot portrayed my model in a variety of costumes with assorted props, all shot in the same studio-based environment. Matched with the unpredictability of the dog, this scenario created a wide variety of results with varied successes.
My aspirations to pursue a pet portrait photography career is very clearly attended to in this shoot, linking to my personal goals within the photography field. However, with reference to my previous themes and research represented within my Self project, the concept of a dog sustains my ongoing link to social media and personal recreation.
Using Photoshop, I was able to reduce imperfections in my backdrop as well as further enhance my models’ colouring and details, including sharpness within the eyes and fur texture. These effects were achieved using tools such as burn, dodge, clone and sharpen.
More intermediate effects, such as manipulating the reflection within the dogs’ eyes to appear natural, were also applied using the marquee tool (to mask a circular shape) and then cloning the existing reflection in order to create rounded shapes. The edges were feathered (Select, Modify, Feather) to reduce the starkness of the false reflections’ edge.
Many of my images are rich in tonal differences, both in colour and greyscale variations, due to the costumes and rich coat contrasts. The brown tones in Max’s coat are more obvious in the colour outcomes, however, whereas the black and white images tend to be more tonal around defining areas, such as the muzzle and eyes.
Costumes with vibrant colours, such as the red and green antlers, are more effective as overall photographs when presented in colour, whereas more subtle tonal differences can become empowered through the use of the greyscale effect.
I feel this shoot was clearly inspired by Abby Malone, and techniques of hers were subtly incorporated into my own work, the clearest of which being her monotone black backdrop. However, my pieces including powerful interludes of colour which was a personal choice selected apart from Malone’s work.
Overall I find this shoot to have been successful, as my outcomes are well executed with clear deference to my previous experiments and concepts, with a relation to myself both aspiration based and with themes geared towards what I enjoy doing recreationally.