This is one of the absolutely quintessential Messraster Photos.
The focus is exactly on the pupil of the dog's right eye (on the left in the photo). It is the eye that is ever so slightly forward of the other eye.
Both eyes show ultimate photographic "plasticity", which is the effect of three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional surface that occurs only at and very close to the focal plane. The eyes stand out and draw the viewer inexorably to them. It is difficult to look anywhere else in the photo, as one's gaze is always drawn to the focal-plane (focused) area. The eyeball looks totally rounded, the various surfaces of the eye area are perfectly delineated as to their distance in relation to each other. The eye area is absolutely NOT
flat-looking, as in most photos, especially those of that time period. The tonal relationships of the gray tones that make up the photo are perfect only around the eyes, where the absolute focus lies. Yet that area permeates and gives the rest of the photo a similar impression, because the focal plane is on a recognizable part of the photo that actually is the most important image point.
And most wonderfully for me, the expression of the dog's inquisitive gaze is exactly the way I remember him. That is the great benefit of perfectly focused photos, especially of living creatures: the expression is accurate! The people and animals I photographed back then with the Messraster all come alive out of the photos with the exact expressions of the moment. I don't have to imagine them or try to remember from them a mess of garbled, unsharp, flat-looking inexact images. I have them there exactly the way they were.
And my marvelous, sweet, long-since-gone long-haired "Dachel" (Dachshund) Napoleon is always with me in my miraculously accurate images that capture everything about him.
© 2007 Mark B. Anstendig. All rights reserved.
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