Photographing Black Dogs

category: Dogs • 2 min read

black dog running

Black Dog

It’s never been easy being a black dog. Most people do not like black dogs. Light colored dogs get adopted at the rate of the 3 to 1 compared to the black dogs.

One of the reason that black dogs are badly viewed is because of Hollywood. But it didn’t start with Hollywood, we had Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskerville…

Whenever they need a big, mean dog, they always select a black dog. Occasionally it’s a very, very dark colored dog. Now they select the dog and then change the color of the dog to black in post-production (ie computers) to make it more menacing. The colour Black is supposed to be the colour of evil and/or misfortune.

Black dogs also take longer to get adopted than lighter colored dogs.

BTW, brindle colored dogs take even longer than black dogs to get adopted according to the US SPCA.

Photographing a black dog is difficult because black is not a colour. Black is the absence of colour and I need to show some details in the blacks or the dog would become just black blob.

To photograph a black dog, usually I use contrast by having the black dog against an other colour that can contrast with the black, then I can open some the shadows and give it some details. People will still perceive the dog as black. The main problem is finding the balance to have enough to show some light in the eyes or the dog will look lifeless.


Camera: Canon 7DMkII ISO 1250 and 1/250
Lens: Canon 70-200L/f4 @200mm and f/5.6
Processed with ART 1.9.3: