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Foto Fair Post your photos for friendly, non-critical feedback. This is the place to show pictures if you aren't yet ready for full-blooded critique, or simply want to share an interesting picture with other e-group visitors.

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Old 9th July 2013
greyhound greyhound is offline
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Should I chop my dog's ear off?

Not as dramatic as it sounds. I notice that those who are good at portraiture often chop off the top of a subject's head. This is not something that comes naturally to me. I would have to make myself do it but it does seem to be effective. Do you think it works for dogs as well? I originally made the frame square but decided to chop off a bit of Sandy's ear to see if I liked it any better. I think I do. What do you think? These pictures were not taken on Olympus kit but I hope this is OK as it illustrates a point.


My Greyhound Sandy by Elmer Duck, on Flickr


Sandy by Elmer Duck, on Flickr
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Old 9th July 2013
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

I am not sure if there is a "photographic rule" about this, but when I do flowers from this distance I hate a petal being cut off, so I would apply the same thought to the ears. They are very much a part of the whole.
I prefer No 1, but would have cropped the top just a little closer to the ear.
Nice pooch.
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Old 9th July 2013
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

I prefer no 1 as well. If I had to crop the image, I personally would take the crop down to the top of Sandy's left ear. But I still prefer seeing all of her.

She/he has gorgeous eyes!
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Old 9th July 2013
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

In No.1 the ear sets the dogs face off for me cropping looks like a missed shot?
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Old 9th July 2013
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

If it's a tight face shot then yes it's alright, other than that they should all be in, otherwise it just looks like bad framing.
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

Thanks for the replies. Seems unanimous then - leave the ears in.

Anne, Sandy is actually a male greyhound although he has a very feminine look. Our other greyhound is female and she looks masculine. Everybody always gets them wrong at first glance. The fact that Mandy is taller and 4kg heavier than Sandy just adds to the effect.

Sandy is frightened of the laminate flooring because he has never forgotten a fall he had. He is actually standing at the door looking forlornly for someone to carry him to his bed!
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Old 9th July 2013
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

I think I prefer both ears intact. Gives a sense of her character IMHO.
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

Have you tried a portrait crop taking an equal amount of both ears?
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

I hadn't thought of that but at your suggestion, I've had a look. I think it concentrates the picture on the dog's face as there is less wasted space round about and it seems better balanced than my second effort. There is still the nagging doubt about it looking carelessly framed however.
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

For me the focal point is on the eyes so you should be OK
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Old 10th July 2013
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

I, too, would crop both ears to concentrate on those wonderful eyes. The image then looks deliberate rather than cropped.
The whole point is your thinking behind the picture. As a record of a cracking dog then No1 all the way, but as a portrait? The 2nd option.

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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

To be honest, the original picture was just a grab shot. My main camera is my E3 but I tend to leave my Nikon V1 lying around on the off chance that something crops up and this was just that - a quick couple of frames of Sandy standing at the hall door looking appealing.

Below is the crop suggested by Tim. I think I prefer this to the more drastic crop.

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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

Much better
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

I must say I prefer your original with ears in tact, as Paul says unless its a really tight crop I'd leave ears complete.
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Re: Should I chop my dog's ear off?

I think both ears should be seen, so in view of the crop you want to end up with there is only one option, move the ear......... hope you don't mind. A quick edit on my part.




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