Beagles aren't exactly known for their restful nature. These hunting dogs have a soulful expression, but are constantly roaming about, exploring their environment. I know, because after a day at my home, my sister-in-law's two canine kids explored every inch of my home. It was a feat to harness their energy to a single area. They begrudgingly obeyed her commands to stay on the cushion she drug out for them.
"I should create an image of them for your while you are here," I suggested.
"Good luck," she sighed, resigned. "The second you are on the floor they will crawl all over you."
Photographing dogs does present a challenge in this case. But rather then fight their nature (and knowing the method I use to create images) I grabbed my cell phone and positioned it low to the ground, eye level to the dogs, while maintaining a conversation with Susan. The dogs were oblivious me taking a very quick discreet picture. I then squealled abruptly and loudly (startling my my sister-in-law) prompting the dogs to look up at the same time.
Snap And that's all I needed. Well...truthfully, I needed two, as a headship was in order. The following shots were used to create the final piece:
My job isn't necessarily to create a perfectly rendered digital image. It's to implement pixels onto a canvas which I will hand render into a painted image in Photoshop. Not by use of plug-ins. Rather, I use the wacom tablet as my palette and my pen as a paint brush. Each brush stroke is deliberate. Each choice of background and color is created using the tools in my toolbox.
My background was one I created in Procreate using a iPen and building my effect until I was satisfied with the result. (I covered this in a previous blog).
Rendering images from cell phones, while not perfect, does allow a certain amount of clandestine spontaneity to occur, both with kids and pets. A couple of tips to achieving this is to be prepared; shoot eye level to your subject; photograph any other elements you wish to incorporate (in my case, the blanket) and learn the post production techniques needed to finish the job. Or give your friendly photographic digital artist a call!
Instead of looking at things like obstacles to a creation, look at them as possibilities. It's all a matter of perspective!