Caught in the Act

My sister got a new puppy recently, and I was able to catch it getting into trouble.  This photo turned out pretty well, but there are a couple of things here that are worth pointing out.

My first problem started with lighting.  Although I was using Canon’s 50mm F/1.8 lens, I wanted a little more light for this photo (alas, the dog just wouldn’t hold a pose for me!).  Since I wasn’t sure how long the puppy was going to take to get bored an move on to something else, I decided to use the pop-up flash on my 30D; this worked well, but produced a bad case of red-eye.  Next problem: red-eye on a dog (or cat) turns out to actually be green, so most of your automatic red-eye removal tools won’t do much to help you.  Luckily, I was still able to use Photoshop Express to select the green parts of the eyes and adjust them to be brown.  I initially tried to do both eyes as one layer, but it turned out that each eye needed to be adjusted just a little bit differently.

Aside from the fixes to the eyes, the next most interesting part of this photo is the strong, five-sided bokeh effect created by the lights on the Christmas tree behind the dog.  Although the non-lit portions of the background are well-smoothed out, the lights really “pop” here, and the five-bladed design of the 1.8 lens is apparent.  If you have a chance to see the bokeh produced by either Canon’s F/1.4 or F/1.2 lenses, which use more blades in their aperture assemblies, you’ll see that they produce much more evenly-formed focus blurs.

What do you think?


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