Fergus + Lola

This post is long overdue. Fergus and Lola are two very special apricot standard poodles whose parents had me over several months ago to capture their sweet kids in photos. There was a bit of urgency to us scheduling the shoot as Fergus had been diagnosed with cancer and had been losing energy. He has a tumor on the side of his face, and they were worried they wouldn’t have much time left. Anytime I hear ‘cancer’ I pretty much drop everything and get there with camera in hand. I really will put everything else on hold if I am able to, and go photograph furry loved ones with a terminal diagnosis.

The good news is that the last word was that Fergus is doing well! He eats homecooked food and couldn’t possibly be more loved by his parents. And I am sure having a nutty, entertaining, sweet sister like Lola helps his cause. 🙂


Lola tormenting her poor older brother. 

Lola wasn’t sure about the balloons at first but when she figured out they were fun she was totally into it.

Fergus looks beautiful with the blue sky and colorful balloons. He is such a sweet, gentle dog. 🙂

I love this shot of Fergus. It makes me feel like I am there at our shoot in September, not in frigid December weather. Baby, it’s coooold outside. 

Fergus on the left; Lola on the right. These shots pretty much sum up their personalities. 

This next shot has to be my favorite from our session. 

And, for your viewing pleasure, a few before and afters. All processed in LR2, then saved for web in PSCS3. 

By the way, after some extensive experimenting with saving for web settings, including saving different ICC profiles, sharpening and not sharpening and saving as different quality jpeg settings, I have come to the conclusion that ‘saving for web’ seriously degrades the files, and if I ‘save as’ 8 quality jpeg the files look just like I intend them to, and are only slightly larger. The difference in quality is really striking. See below.

The top image is saved as 8 quality jpeg, and looks like I want it to; the bottom image is saved for web as maximum quality, bicubic sampling, NOT saving the ICC profile (saving the ICC profiles looks so much worse).

See the difference in the door, and the color balance and exposure? All from saving for web. I feel a little silly that I am just now realizing this but I was just doing what was recommended for this blog design. I know you don’t want huge file sizes on already very large images, as it will slow the whole blog down, but I’ll take the few extra kbs to gain the better quality anyday.

I knew for awhile that I was having issues with images not looking good in terms of color and exposure shifts and pixelation, but I didn’t realize just how bad until my little experiment. Of course, I did this little experiment AFTER processing and saving the images above, lol. Ah well, look for better looking files from me from this point on. Thank god I don’t have this problem with my prints! 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Fergus + Lola

  1. i’m so glad you stumbled across my blog, because now i can add you to my reader, too!
    i love standard poodles – i grew up with them. and how fun are those balloons??

  2. These are lovely. I tried LR but wasn’t a huge fan, but I didn’t get enough practice with it and my trial ran out. It’s not in the budget right now, so now I’m just having a more time consuming work flow. You know what I did want to ask you? How do you like smug mug?

  3. …Just one more thing ma’am. You DO know that if you FILE>SAVE in PS, rather than “SAVE AS”, the Photoshopped file will replace the earlier version in LR automatically (the .TIF or .PSD copy that went to Photoshop, not the RAW file, obviously).
    Then you have all your work in your LR Library without having to re-import the files later. Sorry if this is stating the obvious!

  4. I haven’t tried this myself yet, but this could be worth looking in to:
    “The plug-in provides an easy to use interface onto several of Mogrify’s features, such as advanced resizing options, sharpening after resize, colourspace conversion, overlaying graphical watermarks or textual annotations and putting borders around your images.”

  5. Oh now I want to get baloons for my kitty! I would love to capture those times when he just leaps high in the air, for no apparent reason lol. Well, I’m glad I’ve not been using save for web. Hard to imagine your photos looking even better, though! They’re always stunning!

  6. thanks for the tips Simon. I use PS for the drop shadow + watermark. If I could do that in LR I would probably never even open photoshop, LOL! love, love love Lightroom. and tracy, I think you should give your kitty some balloons and see what she does. take pictures and put them on your blog of course!

  7. I love these!
    And the balloons are great! I wonder what my cat would do if I tried to take photos of her on her birthday with balloons… it’s later this month… but she has claws! LOL!
    Maybe I’ll stick to ribbon with her!

  8. Lovely pics as ever, what’s the advantage of using PS to export for web over Lightroom? you can export at any size/res/format/quality direct from LR*, so there must be a reason why you do it like this…I think they looked fine before, but no harm in improving things further.

    * I usually use JPG, 800 pixels (Long Edge), sRGB, Quality 70-80%, Zero sharpening (output sharpening, that is). I find the preset Export For Email too small and over-sharpened.
    Have you got the Custom Camera Profiles installed? Makes a difference in reds/oranges…I think LR2.2 includes them now, Adobe Labs if not.

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