Before and After: Black Dog

I did an earlier post about how never to delete an image until you’ve had a chance to play with it. This is another example of that. I was at the beach and sat watching this little black dog who was intently looking out into the ocean. Sometimes he paced the shoreline but mostly he sat and stared. I couldn’t get his attention. He was on a mission.


Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought my camera with me.  I just had my iPhone and snapped the picture because he was just too precious to let get away. I wasn’t happy with the iPhone photo but was hoping I might be able to do something with it.

Later, I uploaded the image to my computer and started playing with it in Photoshop. I first cropped it down, because I wanted more open space to the right of the dog, since he was staring so intently in that direction. Then I started playing in Radlab, and added several recipes which really did the magic. If you haven’t tried Radlab, you are missing a fantastic tool! I wanted to lighten up the whole shot, but still make the dog profile a striking black, and I was able to do this with Radlab, mixing 8 different stylets into one recipe (because I used so many stylets, I saved the recipe so I can use it again).

I was pretty happy with this, but didn’t really like the sky. It was okay, but since the dog was looking in that direction, I wanted there to be something in the sky over on the right. So I jumped to a handy-dandy texture on Flickr by Lenabem. The one I chose had a sun in the upper right corner. I chose Multiply blend mode at 45% opacity and was happy with how it looked.

Here’s the final result.

WEB_day12_black-dogSo I guess the lesson once again is don’t be too quick to delete an image until you’ve played with it first. I really love how this picture turned out and am awfully glad I kept the original!


8 thoughts on “Before and After: Black Dog

  1. i know what you mean Diane I really struggle deleting anything with all the wonderful tools around it’s amazing what you can achieve and that picture really could be the beginning of a story….

  2. This is too cool! Yesterday, I actually wrote about 5 edits I do to a photo and it appears that great minds think alike! Original images can be ugly, but you’re absolutely right: once you edit them, they can become treasures! Awesome post! Shared.

    • And sometimes what looks like a poorly composed picture, if taken in high megapixels, can have a small part of it cropped out and that in itself can create a beautiful image! I swear I could spend 24/7 playing with pictures if allowed, couldn’t you?

  3. Beautiful photography and photo editing ~ ( A Creative Harbor)

    ps. I had a black lab for 14 years and painted a pastel of him ~ your photo brought back fond memories ^_^

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