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Heather_L._Smith
09-15-2008, 08:15 PM
Okay, so I have a question. I know there are a lot of judges out there that are sticklers for tack-sharp dog images. They want everything sharp, sharp, sharp from the tip of the nose to the back of the ears. My question is, will an image of a dog fail in print comp if it is intentionally captured with very shallow DOF? I know it's about impact and storytelling, and of course, technical mastery (along with the other elements), but if it's intentionally done as part of the story, will judges look past the nose-to-ear-sharpness-preference?

D._Craig_Flory
09-15-2008, 08:51 PM
Okay, so I have a question. I know there are a lot of judges out there that are sticklers for tack-sharp dog images. They want everything sharp, sharp, sharp from the tip of the nose to the back of the ears. My question is, will an image of a dog fail in print comp if it is intentionally captured with very shallow DOF? I know it's about impact and storytelling, and of course, technical mastery (along with the other elements), but if it's intentionally done as part of the story, will judges look past the nose-to-ear-sharpness-preference?

Hi Heather;

I think a title that puts a particular part of the dog as the main subject area may explain selective focus ... i.e. "Canine Peepers" to do with the dog's eyes as an example. If you don't present a reason for some of the dog not in focus it will probably hurt your chances. So, review what your main focal area is and what you are trying to say. Use that is coming up with a title.

Heather_L._Smith
09-15-2008, 10:20 PM
So my next question would be.... why is it different for dogs than it is for humans?

Keith_A_Howe
09-16-2008, 12:07 AM
Heather, Dogs have greater depth to thier faces than a human - well except maybe pugs. So it would be a VERY shallow depth of field that on a human face the tip of the nose was out of focus but the eyes were in focus. It's just as important to have from the tip of the nose to the ears in focus on a person as on a dog, but because that is such a shorter distance, the depth of field issue rarely if ever arises on a human. I can't answer your question for sure without seeing an actual image and understanding why it is important to the image and the storytelling. So in a vey general way I will say yes if it adds to the impact and storytelling to do it that way, then it's fine.

Keith

Heather_L._Smith
09-16-2008, 12:19 AM
I can't answer your question for sure without seeing an actual image and understanding why it is important to the image and the storytelling. So in a vey general way I will say yes if it adds to the impact and storytelling to do it that way, then it's fine.

Thanks, Keith. I know the critical factor here will be telling the story in a way that makes the way it was captured make sense. I don't yet have a comp-worthy image to show with this particular "problem," but have been shooting new dog images this way and they're going over very well. I love the style (in this case, nose and eyes sharp, but past the eyebrows we go soft...shooting like f/1.8). These are very saleable images, but I think I already knew they'd be a stretch for comp. If I come up with a doozie, I'll post it for critique.

Peter_Bauer
09-17-2008, 05:33 AM
If I come up with a doozie, I'll post it for critique.

Looking forward to seeing some samples, Heather! I use depth of field quite a bit in my own work. During judging and at the Judging Clinic this summer, I've observed that a shallow depth of field doesn't seem to go over very well with many studio/baby/senior/wedding photographers. Some get it, some don't. But I certainly look forward to seeing how you're using it.

Best,
Pete