Cammy Kirby Scarlet Macaw Tootsie And Lolly

What Can be Done with Imperfect Photos

Of course, it is ideal to create a pet portrait from only excellent photographs, but this is not always possible, often times because the pet has passed away and the only photos available are less than perfect. The photographs used to create the completed portrait of five dogs shown here showcase the array of challenges that can be overcome when perfect photographs of a pet are not available. The dogs in this portrait are, starting in the upper left and moving clockwise: Lady, Boomer, Sluggo, Digger, and Sultan. Click on any of the images below to get a larger view. The Completed Portrait, With All Five Dogs

These were the the photographs I primarily worked from to create the portrait above. The order of the photos below is the same order as in the finished portrait above.
Overall, this photo of Lady is quite good, although it is somewhat dark, making it difficult to see some of the details such as the eye color. The background in this photo also makes it harder to clearly see Lady's form than if the background were simpler or more blurred.       This photo has been taken looking down on Boomer, which is not the best position for a portrait. Fortunately, he was looking up at the camera enough that it was not too difficult to have him him looking straight ahead in the portrait.       This photo of Sluggo is also quite good, although it is a bit far away, which makes it harder to see the details in the head. There is also a bit of red eye, but that is easily corrected in the portrait. Like Lady's photo, the background makes it somewhat difficult to easily see the form, particularly the ears.
This is a very good picture of Sultan, and even though it is in black and white, this was not a problem because I was able to see from other pictures (not shown here) that his coat was black and his eyes were deep brown. For the portrait, the collar was removed, and the red eye was corrected.       This series of photos of Digger show how different photos that are individually not quite right can be combined to give the best portrait. The first photo shows the overall form that was used in the final portrait, although there was a toy bone blocking his mouth and chin, one of his ears was back, and the other ear was clipped off the top of the photo. The second photo has a simple background, making it easy to see the shape of his ears and chin. The third photo has a dark background which made it difficult to see the shape of the ears and head, but had very good color and was used to get the proper color for the ears, particularly for the ear that is turned back in the first photo.
These photographs were used to help judge the relative sizes of the dogs to eachother, so their size differences could accurately be conveyed in the final portrait. I took into account the dogs' distances from eachother, and tried to guage the relative sizes fo their heads to get a feel for their relative sizes overall.