Saturday 27 February 2016

The Boston Black

Black fur can be a pain to photograph - it is quite easy to end up with a featureless bunny-shaped blob in your photo. Yet if you set the exposure long enough to show the detail in the fur, you get overblown highlights around the rest of the photo, i.e. everything that's not the bunny just comes out white.

HDR photo mode, if you've got one on your camera, seems like a solution - multiple shots are taken in quick succession then merged together, in or out of camera. This works just so long as the bunny doesn't move between the it generally doesn't work. And I'm pretty lazy, so for me that only really leaves two simple ways of dealing with it without resorting to Photoshopping multiple versions of the same photo together.

The first is to take the photo as normal and then pull the shadows up in software after. Sometimes this works, but you can end up with a photo that has little contrast because you are also lifting all the other dark regions that are supposed to be dark. The final photo may look washed out.

The second (really lazy) method is to expose for the black bunny and then put a heavy vignette on after to bring the scenery back. It gives the photo a strange, cheap old camera look, but I actually kind of like it. The downside is that this generally involves messing around changing the metering mode and/or taking a few test shots and adjusting manually, all at the point where you take the photo, so it's not always easy to do in a hurry. If your subject isn't patient, you can miss your shot. Luckily, all the residents at RRR are...erm....hmmm...

"Whenever you're ready. Aaaaaanytime. Just you keep fiddling with your camera. No seriously, any time is fine, don't mind me, I'll just sit right here, hungry, while you sort it out..."

NB - This is not a great example actually, I usually have the bunny bigger in the photo so you don't get such a big ring of blown out highlights around the middle, but it does kind of show the vignette It was deliberate for demonstration purposes. [phew] Think I got away with that! [shuffles off quietly]


  1. And here I thought you just pointed you phone at the rabbit (who stays perfectly still) and get great photos every time. Thanks for the in site into rabbit photography.

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  3. I'm waiting for the pictures the bunnies take of B-HV.

    "First, you have to get the two foot to stop talking and stand still. This takes a while.."

    Great pic and tutorial, B-HV. :)

  4. "Oh, just get an easel and some charcoal pencils." This is from the bunnies in Austin. They made me do it.