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It's cold outside. So it's a great month to focus on indoor shooting.

For this assignment I'm not going to request that you use a flash or any fancy lighting. Natural light should be fine. We can take the principles for shooting outdoors inside. We will need to probably up the iso on our cameras (most modern cameras handle it pretty well). 

Tips and ideas:

Look for the light: place your dog near a window or a lamp. Window light is awesome and can be quite dramatic. Have your dog looking towards the light works really well.

Pay attention to your backgrounds: Clutter can be your enemy (I know it's mine.) Often I will find my self running around and clearing items that are distracting in the picture. Another way to remove it is to shoot with very shallow DOF. 

Find things in your house that you can use as backdrops, or props (Laurie is the queen of props!)

Capture those everyday moments or those cute little things about your dog that you will cherish forever. The most important part of all of this.

Have fun. Can't wait to see what you all come back with.

Oh, very important, if you are shooting indoors with tungsten light or any other artificial light source pay careful attention to your white balance. 

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He does.  He would rather be outside than in.

So, why oh why do I find this assignment almost impossible?  I must've taken 500 pictures of Elli...she is such a patient subject!  Anyway, I was trying to get the outside snow covered tree without darkening Elli...I changed the ISO, I changed the white balance, I changed the DOF...I learned a lot...but, still didn't get very good results.  

I see what you are trying to do and it's a great idea, and potentially a great shot.

What you are doing is almost impossible and beyond just a setting in your camera. It's because of the limited dynamic range of your (and all) cameras. Your camera can't pick up both extremes of dark inside and light outside. You have to choose one and then supplement the other so the range from dark to light is less extreme.

If you want to get this shot you can do a couple things:
1. a flash could be used as "fill flash" so you are adding light to her face to balance out the exposure.

2. Another non-flash solution would be a something big and white. I have often used a white sheet. You can hang it right behind you and cover as much space as you can. Get creative. I use those big orange hand clamps from the hardware store and find things that are tall like a ladder, or a lamp or door to clamp it to. It should be very close to the window, the closer, the more light. What you are doing is the strong outside light will bounce off of the white sheet and then light the front side of your dog. Give it a try. I've even used this technique with the flash mounted to my camera and faced the flash backwards so it flashed into the large sheet and back into my subject. Gives a wonderful soft large light source.

Can't wait to see what you do.

These are all good ideas. I am going to try turning my flash backwards.

I think these are very good considering the challenges.

Nancy,  do you have a video to recommend on white balance correction in photoshop?  I am really struggling with this assignment--the white balance on my interior shots is horrible and my efforts to correct equally so.

I don't have a video. I do have a gray card that I sometimes use. I put that in front of the subject and use the white balance eye dropper. 

I don't know your exact issue. One thing that can be a problem is if you have different light sources. Sometimes a mix of tungsten and Florescent or daylight can mess up the overall reading. And flash is more daylight balanced, so using flash with indoor lights can be problematic. If you want to post something I can take a look at it and give some suggestions. 

I think the mixture of light sources is my issue.  Chance is either too orange, too red, too grey, or too yellow.  I need to get a gray card!

I worked the color on this one a lot and it is better but not quite right.  Mixture of light sources--gas fireplace, natural light from window, tungsten overhead.

This is adorable! The lighting is very nice and Chance looks so sweet. You did a great job fixing in post. 

if you have mixed lighting the gray card won't help much. I would turn off the overhead tungsten light. If the overhead light is providing a necessary amount of light to the scene you could replace it with a flash bounced off the ceiling (as long as the ceiling is white or neutral). 

One quick tip to get a more uniform color on Chance in Photoshop is to select a color for Chance's coat and create a layer with that solid color. Create a mask for that layer and fill it with black. Paint the color over Chance. Assign the blend mode to color and reduce the opacity to taste. 

Thanks for the tip, Nancy.  Will try!

Chance was waking up from a nap and looked sleepy, a bit goofy, and sweet.

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