Project 52: Cityscape

I audibly groaned when I read this week’s topic. The topic is cityscape. When you live in a small town,  a cityscape is not an easy image to pull off. Sure, Hattiesburg is relatively large by Mississippi standards, but it’s still a small town in the grand scheme of things.

What is a cityscape?

It’s been my experience that when I am out of ideas, sometimes going to the dictionary will help me. Lots of times, I think I know what something is, but there may be another meaning that I’m not aware of.
Going back to Merriam Webster, just like last week, I found one definition of cityscape to be, “an urban environment.” Well, that didn’t sound so bad. Plus, I’ve been wanting to take some pet photos in an urban setting.

Meet Copper and Oakley

The subjects of this week’s photos are Copper and Oakley, two Australian Shepherds.

I met Copper, Oakley, and their owners in downtown Hattiesburg to get as much of an urban setting as you can around here. I thought this one particular corner made a good setting.

“Urban” makes me think “gritty,” and gritty makes me think of black and white, so most of these photos will have black and white versions as well. I would have just put the black and white versions in the post, but Oakley and Copper’s coloring is so pretty that I wanted you to be able to see the colors as well.

Fill ‘er up!

Nearby was a gas station. It looked so old that it’s probably abandoned, but I’m not sure about that. I thought that would be a good setting as well.


A Peek Behind the Curtain

Now I’m going to let you in on a secret of pet photography.

Looking at these photos, you may think these dogs are so well-behaved; they don’t need to be on a leash. That’s really impressive considering the environment we were in.

Well, that’s not true at all. I guess you could consider it “trick photography,” but it’s known as compositing. It’s when you blend two or more photos together or take elements from one photo and insert the elements into another.

First, you take what’s known as a “clean plate.” That’s a photo of the scene without the subjects in the photo. So basically, the background. I’m not sure why it’s called a clean plate, though. Here’s my clean plate:

an empty scene of an old gas station


After that, you then add the subjects and anything else you need in the photo. In this case, you’ll see one of Copper’s owners “hiding” behind one of the gas pumps. Oakley is obedient enough that he was trusted (by his owner, not me) to stay there without a leash.


Copper's owner hiding behind one of the gas pumps


Then, through the power of Photoshop, you can make it look like Copper was sitting there without a leash and without someone hiding in the frame (as seen above).

A Closeup

One of the things I didn’t like about the photos so far was the dogs were not the obvious subject of the photos. You’ll remember that one of the rules (or guidelines) of composition is to fill the frame with your subject. So with the last series of photos of these two beautiful dogs, I wanted to be sure to get closer and fill the frame. Actually, this was done in post-production; I cropped the photo.

So let me know if you prefer the black & white or the color version of the photos, or any other thought you may have.

Next in the blog circle, you leave little ole Mississippi, and head up to Nancy Kieffer Photography serving Central New York, the Adirondacks and Beyond. While we tend to see New York and think of NYC, she may have had the same problem I did as far as finding some city to scape. Let’s find out!

Want to schedule your pet’s portrait? If so, the first step is to contact me.

You can call me at (601) 255-3243, email or press the button below to send me a message.

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2 thoughts on “Project 52: Cityscape”

  1. I think the black and white ones look great! But I’m also glad you included the colour so we could see the dogs in their glory! Good job!

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