Photographing Black Havs - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
Fun Photo Assignments A different theme every month to try and capture our Havs character

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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
Mom to Ricky and Sammy
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Photographing Black Havs

Okay, this may not be a "fun" photo assignment initially, but I think there are many of us out there with black Havs that are challenged when we take their pics. We want them to have as much facial expression as their lighter counterparts, but it's hard seeing their dark eyes amongst that dark hair.

If you have great tips, experience you'd like to share, links with more helpful advice, then please share them here so others can benefit.

I'll start with what I do when I photograph Ricky. First of all, most pics are better when taken outdoors, but I still snap away in the house, but have to take more photos and fiddle around with them more when I upload them to my computer. I use Irfan View and will click on 'Enhance Colors' then adjust the lighting and make the image a bit lighter. It lightens up everything around Ricky, but I try not to do it too much, just enough so we can see his eyes and different tones.

The first photo here was taken Jan. 2007 when Ricky was 6 mths. old and it shows all the lighter highlights in his hair (I'm sad that the caramel was lost after his first cut). The only one here that was taken outdoors doesn't quite show his eyes, but you can still see the subtle differences of black in his coat and on his face. You can still 'sense' Ricky is there and not a black blob that so often happens. lol

I dont' have a fancy camera by a long shot, but I'm sure that helps tremendously too. Still, you can play around with your photo/uploading program and see what works best to bring out the character of your Hav in spite of being so dark. Show us and explain to us what has worked for you! Or....... what hasn't worked at all !

Hello. My name is marj and I have MHS.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

“Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew.” -Guillaume Apollinaire"

Last edited by marjrc; 08-17-2010 at 09:54 PM.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 04:14 PM
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My best tip is to get my DH to take the picture. But I love the chance to show off my favorite pictures of my black beauty.

Missy, Jasper & Cash

Last edited by Missy; 08-11-2010 at 09:27 AM.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 04:21 PM
Kubrick & Hitchcock's Mom
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Marj, I'm glad you started this thread! Kubrick isn't too dark in the face, so he can be easy to photograph, but his black mask sometimes will give me a hard time. This is a picture I took recently of Kimberly's Hillary:

I think the most advice I can give when shooting darker dogs is to get up close using the zoom feature. The further away you are the more fuzzy everything is, even if you're in focus. Also, do your best to take all the hair away from the eyes, be it in a topknot or using your hand to smooth it back before taking that shot. If you can't see the eyes, things tend to get lost in the mix, if that makes sense.

As for action shots, really you just need to take as many pictures as you possibly can hoping that at least one will be good. Again, eyes make it much easier to see what is going on in an action shot. Also, a good profile shot with a LIGHT background (don't shoot against a dark backdrop) can sometimes make it easy to see where the head/nose is so the dog doesn't look like a blob of black. Like this one of Benji (though I would say that if I were taking this picture of JUST Benji, I would have zoomed in closer and I would have preferred for the background to be lighter, rather than the dark wood - Linconl's white helped bring out Benji's face, can you tell?):

Of course, having a good camera makes things 100x easier. And, as you all know, I'm not an expert by any means so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 04:57 PM
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I'll be anxious to hear everyone's advice!

I try for the best natural light possible. My hardwood floors are horrible for getting good pictures of Rudy unless there is a lot of light coming in. I agree Lina, the camera makes a big difference.

Here's Rudy before/after his first puppy cut.
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File Type: jpg 1st puppy cut (Small).jpg (64.1 KB, 7 views)

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 05:01 PM
Lincoln and Scout's Mom
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Great thread idea, Marj! I know that I have ZILLIONS more photos of Lincoln than Scout. It is darn hard to get good ones of a black dog!

I also lighten my photos of Scout, and then sharpen them to compensate a little. It seems to help. Outdoor sun is better than indoor. Still, it is a challenge!

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 05:26 PM
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Oh I love all these Dark Beauties having their day in the spot light. I agree that natural light is the best and I know my DH often lightens the photos in Photo shop when he sizes them. My personal favorite advise is...if the action is clear enough if doesn't matter if you can actually see them.

Missy, Jasper & Cash

Last edited by Missy; 08-11-2010 at 09:27 AM.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 05:37 PM
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OOO I LOVE THIS THREAD! I must go take pictures!
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 05:57 PM
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if you have an adjustable camera and even most point & shoots will let you play with the flash settings, you can lower the output so as not to blow the highlights of the photo.

if you can, get a copy of the photoshop software, elements, i think is the basic one and that allows for lots of room to play.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 06:01 PM
Benji and Lizzie's Mom
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Marj, great thread. Carolina, thanks for the tips. I NEED to get that camera. It is so hard to get Benji's pictures. The picure is just awesome. One can feel the motion and emotion of the subjects. Great!

Best, Poornima
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 06:19 PM
Mom to Dusty and Indie
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Well, I'm very new to this, so I will appreciate all your advice! My camera only loves the outdoors, but I haven't captured a great shot of Indie yet. Here's the latest attempts. No eyes in any of them!


Last edited by DAJsMom; 08-12-2010 at 01:05 AM.
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