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Old Nov 15, 2010, 11:17 AM   #1
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Default First post, need some input

Hello everyone. I've been reading these forums for a couple months now and figured it was time I should probably post something. I recently (re)discovered photography as a hobby and have really been enjoying myself.

I took this picture on the beach yesterday afternoon and I really love the composition. I edited it in Lightroom but I still feel like the colors are a bit off and I'm not sure what else can be done to improve it (cropping, colors, etc..) If it helps, the corrections I made in LR included lowering the exposure to make the sky stand out a bit and I increased some color saturation to pick up the afternoon sun on the dog.

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Old Nov 15, 2010, 11:40 AM   #2
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I usually hate people who talk about bokeh, but I'm going to talk about bokeh. The out-of-focus part of the image looks awful here -- it looks like a wildly misfocused image that was oversharpened to try to retrieve it. I know there's not a lot you can do to enhance the bokeh, but you may want to limit the use of shallow depth of field with that lens.
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 1:38 PM   #3
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Would there be a better way to try and capture this look (ie... dog in focus, beach and woman slightly out of focus)? I do really like the composition, but you're definitely right about the background looking badly out of focus. It doesn't help that I underexposed the image in LR... since I think it caused a bit of a "halo" effect.

The lens I'm using is a 50mm 1.8, I believe I had the aperture set to 2.8 with this pictures.
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 2:28 PM   #4
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Yeah, I like the composition, too. It's the bokeh that brought me up short. And I just don't know enough to tell you how to handle that other than get a different lens. But there are lots of people here who are a lot more knowledgable than I am, so I will be interested in seeing what the heavy hitters have to suggest on this.
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 2:53 PM   #5
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Hello JB...I am not going to chime in on how to this and how to that as far as dof, lens, pp, ect...I am not an expert at any of that to suggest, but I want to say, I love the idea of the photo...Comp is good, doggie smile is good, where you shot this is good...Only one suggestion, next shot, include the puppy's feet...
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 4:35 PM   #6
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It is a good portrait of the dog - unfortunately, the other elements in the photo distract from that and detract from the overall shot. Having the woman somewhat more in the b/g might help, if her figure had more horizontal separation from the dog. A different pose would contribute to make a better shot. (squatting isn't the best way to portray people in general) The blown out sky in the upper left of the photo adds nothing, and the brightness is distracting. A graduated ND filter will help immensely with that. For this kind of shot, where there is subject movement, bracketing for HDR isn't the answer, but some underexposure, and using PP to bring up shadows might be a better solution.
You have a good eye for composition, so all you need to work out are the technical details.

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