Lesson 42: New and Improved

Way back in Lesson 2, I mentioned there were several things that could be improved about the photo example that I would get to later.  I bet you thought I forgot?

Well, OK, I did, but then I remembered again.  So, here’s the photo from Lesson 2:

IMG_2613

What things can you see about this photo that could be better?

Here are the things I don’t like about it:

  1. The bright areas in the background are distracting.
  2. I think my dog would look better if I’d shot lower to the ground.
  3. My dog’s black spots are under exposed.
  4. The lighting is too gray.

So, today, we’re going to do two things.  First, we’re going to try to edit the original photo with Snapseed to see if we can make it look better.  Snapseed will help with items 1, 3, and 4, but it cannot help with the angle of the photo.

Second, I’m going to take a similar photo of my dog and see if I can’t improve upon the original photo by using a different setting that has better light, and using a lower angle.  I am beginning to realize why taking my dog to obedience classes might be useful.

So let’s edit the photo in Snapseed.  Here are the steps I went through to improve the original photo:

And here is the edited version side-by-side with the original:

The other approach is to try to capture the same photograph in a different setting that eliminates the bright areas in the background and allows me to take the photo at a lower angle to the ground.  I was planning to have some examples of a similar pose out on the grass in some lovely evening light.  Unfortunately, my dog was unwilling to cooperate.  Here is a selection of photos I got of my dog while trying to get him to lie in the same position as in the original photo:

But even that has a lesson in it:  if someone or something you love is doing something you want to remember, take the photo.  Sometimes you can’t get rid of distracting background.  Sometimes you can’t get the perfect angle before the subject jumps up and runs away.  But having imperfection is better than having nothing.  And, as we will discover over and over again on our photographic journeys, no two moments are ever exactly the same.

You’re Assignment:  Choose a photo from one of our early assignments you think you might be able to improve upon using Snapseed.  Get a little crazy with it.  See if you can create something that you really like.  Now, try to recreate the same situation with whatever bugged you about the photo fixed.  Is that even in the realm of possibility?

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