Photographing Black Dogs: Vancouver, BC

category: Dogs • 1 min read

one eyed black dog running

Photographing a Black Dog

Photographing black dogs is not simple nor easy.

  1. The camera wants everything to be gray. 18% gray to be more precise. So, according to the camera, the black dog would be gray. BTW, it’s the same with snow, the camera wants the snow to be gray and not white and bright.
  2. Black dogs are black (duh!). Black itself is not a colour, it is the lack of reflection of the light. But we need light with both shadows and highlights to define the body. Without the shadows AND the highlights, the black dog would be just a ‘black blob’.
  3. The colour of a black dog must be close enough to black because it’s a black dog.
  4. Please note that we do not notice colours unless it’s in contrast to another colour.

There are a few solutions:

  1. Photograph the black dog against a much brighter background. This will provide contrast and make the black more prominent.
  2. Switch to a Black & White photo like this one.
  3. Increase the contrast in post-processing but then the shadows become really black and ’photoshop here we come…’
  4. Change the point of focus of the photo by making the tongue the most important.

BTW, This dog lost his left eye when he was young, before being adopted by his current family.


Camera: Canon 7DMk2 ISO 1250 and 1/320s
Lens: Canon 70-200 f/4L IS @200mm and f/7.1 Focus: 12m
Processed with ART 1.9.3: