Pet Photography - Composites

February 08, 2019  •  4 Comments

This week's theme is "composites" - enter the wonderful world of digital photography and the software that makes composites possible!  A composite is simply compilation of several (two or more) photographs being pulled together to create a single photograph.  This can be accomplished using a number of different software packages, but for me, it is usually Adobe Photoshop or in some cases On1 Layers.  I have used composites quite often to replace a background surrounding the dog.  Often when doing rescue dog photography the environment the photographs are taken in is not the best - chain link fence is the most common element that isn't particularly flattering.  However, sometimes I just like to create things that didn't really happen - you know those types of photographs, the ones that 'are not real'.  There are a lot of things to consider when creating a composite and that includes making sure the colors from the various photographs match (or make it a black and white - that always works too!).  Often, when you plan to create a composite it is easier to make it more believable because the various pieces of a given photograph are planned.  If not planned, then sometimes it's harder.  Planning can help to ensure the lighting is the same, the camera angle is the same, and all those little technical details that make the photograph more believable!

Here are a few composites I have created - the first one includes a photograph of Abby on red (I missed last week's theme of "Red").  Valentine's day is coming up in the next week, so what better photograph than this?

Here's another favorite that I did in the past, but this is not real - keep that in mind - it is a combination of three photographs - the airplane, the bridge and Abby.  One thing that is not quite correct is the lighting in all three photographs if you look closely - but sometime in the future I hope to have just the right mixture to make this photo really work!

I mentioned that I often replace backgrounds on rescue dog photographs - this photo of Nick has a background replacement.  The most challenging part of this background replacement is preserving the whiskers - and I'm sure there are many ways to do this, I did this using the On1 Layers product and some trial and error to make sure his whiskers remained in the photograph (this photograph helped get him a foster home, he is still looking for his forever home).

Cute small black dog faceCute small black dog faceNick, a long legged, small body, black and white dog looking for his forever home.

My most recent (and difficult) composite has been shared before, but for those that may not have seen it I will include it here as it is definitely a favorite of mine.  Please know that Abby is fine, she was just a willing model for the photograph.

For more pet photographers sharing their take on this theme, head over to visit Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex and then head around the rest of the blog circle.

If you would like to book a custom pet portrait session, send an email to [email protected] or give us a call/text at 813-610-2671 in the Tampa Bay area (Florida).



Tracy Allard(non-registered)
Great concept on the airplane image, I can't wait to see it when your PS skills are fully honed - it's a journey - and I'm still on it myself!
Lynda Mowat(non-registered)
I love Abby with the red background. Even her tag is red! Changing a background around whiskers is very hard. Great job!
The one of Abby and the airplane is a "Wow" I love it. I too struggle with backgrounds with the shelter dogs. Your photo of Nick is perfect. Such an adorable face... hope he finds his forever home soon.
Terri Jankelow(non-registered)
Love the one with the airplane!
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