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Let the Eyes Do the Talking
Let the Eyes Do the Talking

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Communication II (Extended Editing)
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
Lens: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art for Canon
Location: A bar in Manchester
Date: Feb 14, 2017
Aperture: 1.4
ISO: 8000
Shutter: 1/50
Galleries: Animals, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Feb 16, 2017

A conceptual sequel to Stray, with a similar initial concept and editing methodology:
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Shot in a bar with the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, the low light still required a fairly high ISO - but in this case, I'm quite pleased with the noise, as it adds a film-like grain to the image. I'm not sure if the depth of field may be just a little too shallow in this image at f/1.4 - perhaps it would look better if the dog's long nose was more in focus.

Like Stray, editing was quite involved with a number of steps. First was a channel mixer desaturation using a virtual orange filter consisting of 105% red, 150% green and -30% blue (yes, a negative value actually darkening blue-lit portions of the image), to bring up the optimal tones on the fur. However, rather than converting directly to greyscale I carried out the channel mix independently, and then converted it to pseudogrey to retain more image colour depth (see //patdavid.net/2012/06/true-pseudogrey-in-gimp.html). Curves to get the most out of the fur tones. Then some cloning, to get rid of a few distracting specks here and there and a couple of distracting whiskers. Another round of selective curves to get more contrast from the eyes.

Then two selective duotone layers, as in Stray, using a mix of pantone warm grey 7U in the shadows and neutral grey in the highlights, and a separate duotone layer using pantone cool grey 10C for the eyes. The effect is intended to be quite subtle, and to echo slightly the natural colouration of the dog's fur and eyes while maintaining an overall classic duotone feel. Then wavelet decompose, bilateral blur on the base layer, and suppression of large scale details on the fine fur of the dog's face and ears. Finally resize, and three-level selective sharpen.

Place: 20 out of 36
Avg (all users): 5.5000
Avg (commenters): 8.0000
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Views since voting: 466
Views during voting: 93
Votes: 52
Comments: 4
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02/24/2017 02:25:48 PM
Hello from the critique club

An appealing image that contributes well to the challenge

Another very appealing animal eyes study Eugene. If I hadnít already seen Ďstrayí I would probably be more impressed with this but of the two I prefer the other. As you say, the DOF is probably a tad too shallow but I am not too bothered about the nose itís the eyes themselves that Iím referring to. The lower half of the eyes is not as bright and sharp as the tops, this is a little detrimental to the end result. I do love all the soft focus areas, in particular his lovely soft ears but I also like the abstract quality of his rear end.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/22/2017 04:41:58 PM
WHAT a cutie!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2017 11:05:47 PM
Love these eyes contact in communication. Top down view added to a punch in your image. Great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/18/2017 10:13:21 PM
Oh wow that dog could hypnotise you
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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