The Making of "A Girl's Best Friend"

How the winning photo of the "Portraits" contest was made

By ckeene in Photo Contests on Nov 5, 2019

"A Girl's Best Friend"

Let me start by saying thank you very much to everyone who appreciated my image enough to vote for it. It is a real honor to win this month’s contest amongst a grouping that I believe had many, many creative entries. So, again, thank you.

“A Girl’s Best Friend” was an image I took of my daughter, Madelyn, and our then, new 7 year old pup, Bridgette. We had just adopted Bridgette only a few months before this image was taken, but Madelyn and her, soon became fast friends.

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The day the image was taken, it was very hot and humid outside, and the three of us had just returned home from an excursion to a nearby church, which sat adjacent to a large field. Bridgette, true to her mixed retriever/shepherd breed, will fetch tennis balls with unstoppable motivation. Seriously, we have to shut her down or otherwise she comes up gimpy and unable to walk the following day.

Anyway, after pouring myself a glass of ice water I soon found Madelyn and Bridgette lying on the hardwood floor, cooling themselves, underneath our high speed ceiling fan. I peered in on them and remained silent as I watched Madelyn gently stroke Bridgette’s ears and head. I listened in and I could hear her whisper the kind of things a 6 year old girl says to her new canine friend, it was so sweet.

The floor creaked a bit and Madelyn looked my way. She said, Hi daddy! I said hey back to her and asked if it would be ok if I took a few pictures of the two of them. Sure! she said. So, I fetched my K3/18-135mm, got down on the floor with them and asked Madelyn how she felt about her new “Bridgey”. I took several pictures while we talked, but it was this image which turned out to be the favorite. My wife and I loved it so much, we had an enlarged canvas made, and it now hangs in our living room above a cabinet that is full of many other family photos.

Original Image

As far the editing goes? Well, it’s been a while since this image was taken, so I would be guessing if I were to include any exact incremental, adjustments. But, as you can see compared to the original image I wanted to create a more moodier, intimate type of atmosphere. I made a few clicks in Adobe Camera Raw, but all the heavy lifting took place in the Nik software plugin. I was fairly new to the Nik software at that time, so there was a lot of trial and error happening in order to attain this final look. I also cropped out much of the image, right side, to close in on their faces.

Once again, thanks to everyone who took the time to stop by to view, comment, and vote on my image. This picture has a lot of meaning to our family and it is a great thrill knowing there are many others out there who also enjoyed viewing it. I’d also like to thank everyone involved and who has dedicated their time to make Pentax Forums such a great online venue for all of us Pentax users to visit. Bravo! and Much appreciated!


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