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Archive for August, 2013

During an IPO trial or training, spectators watch the dogs and handlers carefully to see how well the teams execute each exercise. Is the dog straight? Does the dog look happy and alert? Does the team move well together? Does the dog show power and confidence? Observations can get quite detailed, especially in a championship where there is just a point or two separating the winning team from the runner-ups.

Many photographs of IPO exercises can be quite dramatic, especially when the photographer gets low and close to action. As noted in a post from about a year ago, titled “Change Your Angle: How Low Can You Go?”, by shooting from a low angle, photographers can enhance the impression of power and motion. Viewers feel they are part of the action.

An extension of getting low and close is capturing expressions. Photographing expressions captures an important part of the IPO story – relationships between the dog and handler; between the dog and helper; between the handler and the judge; between dog and handler teams; and between the dog, handler and spectators to name a few examples. IPO is all about relationships!

The slide show below shows some examples. So, the next time your photographing IPO dogs and handlers in training or competing, focus in on their expressions. It’s a great part of the story that most IPO images miss. Until next time – Happy Shooting!

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Aspect ratio, as discussed in the last post, is critical for determining the size of a printed image. To review, aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between an image’s width and height. Different aspect ratios can significantly impact the image’s composition. So, when cropping an image for printing, it’s important to crop to the correct aspect ratio for the print size. Crop tools in most imaging editing software allow you to select the desired aspect ratio.

In selecting a print size and preparing the image for printing, also consider the viewing distance and the image’s resolution (ppi). According to Photography Stack Exchange, “The viewing distance of an image is based on two factors: first is the diagonal image size and second are the pixels per inch (ppi) required at the distance to give a sharp image.”

The rule of thumb is the optimal viewing distance is 1.5 to 2 times the diagonal of the image. An easy formula to figure the diagonal of the print size is take the square root of width2 + height2 (Pythagorean Theorem).

For an image to appear sharp at the optimal viewing distance also needs sufficient number of pixels per inch to “fool the eye in to seeing a smooth image”, according to Photography Stack Exchange. The minimum ppi for a given image is calculated by dividing the value 3438 by the viewing distance. Why 3438? This value is the constant for human vision and correlates to how much resolution a human eye can see.

The following table lists the optimal viewing distance and minimum resolution for some of the most common print sizes. For the sake of argument, the viewing distance is calculated at 1.5 times the diagonal. All values expressed in inches. Note that the larger the image, the greater the distance for optimal viewing and the lower the minimum ppi needed to achieve a smooth, sharp image.

Aspect Ratio

Print Size

Diagonal

Viewing Distance

PPI Needed

1:1

6 x 6

8.49

12.73

270

2:3

4 x 6

7.21

11

313

5:7

5 x 7

8.6

12.9

267

4:5

8 x 10

12.81

19

181

11:14

11 x 14

17.8

26.7

129

3:4

12 x 16

20

30

115

4:5

16 x 20

25.61

38

89

2:3

20 x 30

36.1

54.2

63

4:5

24 x 30

38.5

57.75

60

One more thing: To ensure good quality prints, there needs to be enough pixels in the image itself. Cameras with greater megapixel capabilities can produce image files that support larger sized quality prints, while cameras with fewer megapixels may be somewhat limited in available print sizes. B & H Photo has an excellent reference chart. Also, see the list of articles below for more information on PPI, DPI, print sizes and resolution:

Printing: Which Resolution, Long Answer 

PPI vs DPI: What’s the Difference

Understanding Resolution and the Meaning of DPI, PPI, SPI & LPI 

I hope these more technical minded posts have been helpful. Coming up – back to posts on the Art of Schutzhund Photography. Yes, I know, one day I must change the title of my blog to The Art of IPO Photography. Soon, but not yet. Until next time, Happy Shooting!

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