There is a cool-looking pile of rocks near my studio in Carrollton that have a moonscape / moon rock vibe to them that I knew would be perfect for this week's theme, "dogs on rocks", in the 52 Week Pet Photography Project. I noticed on the calendar that we would also have a full moon and thought what a great opportunity to make a different portrait of Ginger than others that I have taken of her in the past. You can never have too many pictures of your dog!
On the day I waited for the sun to go down and the moon to rise in the sky and then headed out with my best little dog model. As is my custom for outdoor portrait sessions, I brought an off-camera flash to fill in the shadows and make Ginger pop against the dark rocks. The flash produces true color even when the ambient light and surroundings change it to our eye.
My goal was to make a very natural portrait that didn't look like a flash was used. The moonlight gave everything a soft, blueish glow. A few treats and funny sounds later to get her ears up and a quick check on the back of the camera confirmed that I had a some great images to work with for my "dog on a rock" pet photography blog circle post. I loved how it turned out and the darker, moody image is a bit of a departure for me - one that I think I'll revisit again soon.
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Did you enjoy that story? I have a confession to make. I'm pulling your leg. The image of Ginger was taken at eight o'clock in the morning! It was only when I brought the image into my retouching software that I was inspired to make it into a moonlit portrait. I carefully adjusted colors here and there to make the transformation complete; reducing warm yellows and introducing cooler blues that would be present in the moonlight.
The image below was my first picture taken for exposure before I posed Ginger. It was only when I invested heavily in learning advanced retouching techniques that my work really took off and I was able to create the the kind of images that I had admired by other photographers and completely transform a photograph such as this. When recently asked by another photographer how many software programs I use, I replied "over a dozen". I'm always looking to learn more and improve my photographic and retouching skills for both my own creative growth and to best serve my clientele.
Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography is a Certified Professional Photographer with the organization Professional Photographers of America; a designation held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry and professionalism. Her dog Ginger will be twelve years old this year and has been featured in many previous blog posts as she's always ready for an adventure (as long as you bring treats).
Penny Whistle specializes in both on-location and studio photography providing pet, equine, family, couples & engagement and high school senior portraits as well as corporate headshots and commercial photography services in her studio located in historic downtown Carrollton as well as on location in Coppell, Grapevine, Southlake, Flower Mound and surrounding communities in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.