Or how to take your dog on a trip while staying at home.
Sometimes it's fun to think about "what if". In this case what if I could take a "frenchie" traveling to different spots and have him participate in the adventures when I arrive. I have a library of french bulldog photos as my son has a little guy with lots of character. However the reality of traveling with an animal, let alone having the dog participate in activities in unrealistic.
So what's the next best alternative? Well why not travel virtually, by taking Opie to different destinations. So I decided to combine a photo of Opie, with different backgrounds and props such as a pair eye glasses or a hat to integrate him into the scene.
As well I needed to colour balance the photo of Opie (and props) and modify cast shadows to better integrate him with the background. Then there was the problem with the reflection on the lenses. These would have to be modified to reflect what's going on in the scene. In the "Opie in Jamaica" scene the reflections were added to the lenses.
The following images shows the composited final image, with the component images that make up the final "Opie in Switzerland" scene.
I hope you enjoy the traveling Opie images and it may inspire you to take your furry friend on a virtual trip. I decided to finish 12 images so that I could print a calendar. If you're interested in your own Opie calendar please contact me!
Thought for the Day
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift
Over the years my work has grown to include digital works including paintings, mixed media, multi-media and photography. A recent digital painting of Opie (a small French Bulldog) is based on a photo of the dog and a photo of my friend Victoria's back yard. I placed Opie in the yard, added a pipe and placed a straw hat on his head to evoke Vincent van Gogh.
My favorite tools are Photoshop, Painter, ArtRage and Procreate. Procreate is only available for iPad while ArtRage is available for iPad, Android and Windows. Corel Painter is available for Windows and Mac. Adobe Photoshop is also available for both Windows, Mac with a lighter versions available for iPad and Android.
There's some great online resources available to help you improve your skills using digital tools. A YouTube site that I often visit is to learn new techniques is PHLEARN. This site is better for photographers than painters but still provides very valuable tips and insights.
Corel Painter is one of the leading digital "natural media" painting tools with a vast array of brushes, effects, backgrounds etc. A good YouTube channel is Painter Tutorials. This site provides a range of tutorials offered by both Corel and digital artists.
An alternative to Corel Painter is ArtRage Studio. It also provides natural media painting tools and is much less expensive than painter, although not as capable. It's a great way to get starting painting digitally.
Finally ProCreate is an innovate program that doesn't have digital equivalents to natural media but provides alternative tools to get similar effects, primary by selecting textures and brush effects. For me I find Procreate a better program for graphic arts. Again there's lots of YouTube resources available to learn more.
So take your tablet, laptop or smart phone and get out there and paint!
Thought for the Day
“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.” Pablo Picasso
If you have a pet, you have an instant model. They're funny, frustrating, and loving. They're natural born actors. Each pet has it's own unique personality and relationship with you.
Opie, captured above, is an energetic french bulldog with a big personality. He's also a very small dog. To capture Opie's personality this photo was taken with a wide angle lens from below. An off camera flash was used to provide modeling light for Opie's dark fur and provide a nice catch light for the eyes. Opie's hero's pose now makes him seem as big as he thinks he is.
In this blog we'll discuss some ideas on how to improve your pet portraits using one or more of the following techniques:
Cropping for Impact
By cropping your photo you can focus the viewers eye on what's important in the image. In the photo of Champ and Tyson, the tight crop forces the viewers eye to focus on tug of war over the ball.
Telephoto vs Wide Angle
Wide angle lenses help to provide context and elongate proportions. In the first image below the wide angle lens, combined with a low shooting angle elongates Champ's front legs, makes his toy seem larger, and provides context of where he's sitting. In the second image a long lens compresses space and shortens perspective, isolating Champ in the grass.
Shooting from Different Perspectives
Why shoot boring photos when you can change your shooting angle and provide a unique perspective. Shoot from below, from above, or up close. Experiment!
Off Camera Flash
Off camera flash can significantly enhance your photo. In both instances below the flash mimics the feeling of sunshine coming through a window. The flash also provides a nice catch light for the eyes and adds drama to the shot.
Fast or slow shutter speed, that is the question. Well each has a purpose. With a slower shutter speed and panning the camera you get a better sense of the animal's movement. Using a fast shutter speed you capture precise moment of the event. Take your pick.
Special moments can happen at any moment. The question is, will you be ready. If you don't have your camera, you can't take the shot!
Thought for the Day
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” John Grogan, author of "Marley and Me"
Eric David is a visual artist / fine art photographer that lives and works in Toronto.