It never fails. Your favorite puppy (little person, cat, etc.) is finally sitting still, but his or her bubbly personality isn’t coming through. In this case, Gunner (my grand puppy) wasn’t giving me the head-tilt with a raised ear that always makes me smile. Usually, the head-tilt is followed by a CHARGE, and I land flat on my backside if crouching down for a great photo. In this case, his mommy, our daughter Ashley, was keeping him restrained with his harness. He was sitting still, so I could make sure his eyes were in sharp focus, but even removing the harness and modifying the background didn’t seem to capture his curious and playful nature.
Hence, the magic of Photoshop. I don’t usually begin with this software program, but it DOES allow me to modify in ways that other programs don’t. It took some time, but I used the patch tool, hit copy/paste/transform, then changed his head from a snoozer, to one that was a bit more animated. Since this pose usually includes a raised ear, I repeated the process for his ear, too. The extra details make the difference. It is important to also use the clone tool, the brush tool (painting black or white over a background copy), and other available tools to either hide or reveal elements from the earlier slide, but the effort is worth it.
Additional software tools in this image included Lightroom and Topaz Impression. Lightroom was used for the initial edits and Impression gave the “painterly” quality to the background. Again, using the brush tool, you can reveal the sharpness to all or part of your subject once textures are applied to the full image. It takes more than one or two steps and it isn’t immediate, but if you have the time give it a try. Your inner artist will find it fun!