Friday, January 8, 2010

Photo of the Week

I love taking digital pictures. I must have taken tens of thousands by now, with about 20% of them being pictures of my dogs. Contrast that with several hundred of my son (mostly playing Lacrosse) and a whopping eleven of my husband (but don’t read too much into that – he’s not into posing for pictures, although he takes lovely shots of the great outdoors.)

The problem is, I never knew what to do with all those pictures… at least not until I started this blog. All of a sudden, there I was, faced with a long expanse of boring white, splattered heavily with black text. Perfect! At long last a chance to use those colored pixels.

And I have.

Many of the photo’s you’ve seen so far were drawn from my archives. Many, but not all. A precious few have been purpose made – like the witch’s hat shot and the one where Zachary was behind the tray, both shot specifically for the Quizzes post.

And it was fun. ( Well, fun for me. I don’t think Beau cares much for hats. )

And I want to make more (sorry, Beau.)

In fact, I now want to create a staged photo every week or so. I know, I know… I know what you are thinking – yet another excuse to not be training Fronts and Finishes. And you would be right, of course.

But at least let me plead my case.

How many times do you have your dog sit for no particular reason, other than that you feel the need to practice sit, or down, or stay? And, if you have multiple dogs, how many times do you try to get one to go from sitting to down while the other goes from lying down to sitting (my boys make congress look organized.)

And then add a funny hat?
… or a pen that shouldn’t be eaten?
… or a plate of cookies that can’t be touched?

See… it’s educational!

(How am I doing?)

Creating a staged picture with my boys is a bit art, a bit science, some last minute training, and a whole lot of luck. For example: the witch’s hat shot. The hat was a Halloween leftover, with a moderately stiff brim, but a crown (peak) that was totally limp. If you have it on a nice round Homo sapiens head then it stood up proud. On an oval dog head? It went limp faster than a wet wicked witch. So the first problem to solve was a technical one… and it was done using a rolled up newspaper crammed into the crown.

The second problem was which dog it would look best on. That was solved really fast as Zachary didn’t want anything to do with a strange contraption on his head! In fact, it was all I could do to get Zachary to stay next to Beau while Beau was wearing it.

Which turned out to be the third problem (the one requiring last minute training) where I tried to convince Zachary no chanting monkeys were about to fly down and haul him away. Meanwhile, Beau was sitting there with this thing on his head, which all the while had been slipping lower...

... and lower

... and lower. 

When I finally looked back at him, his head was totally swallowed up except for a bit of black nose poking out the front. Maybe that was what was spooking Zachary – the dog eating hat!

Poor Beau was totally unable to see anything at that point and yet he didn’t move a paw. What a good dog! Then again, perhaps he felt less embarrassed that way, thinking no one would recognize him.

In the end I got my shot. I don’t think there was much art in that one, but it was a great learning experience. I learned that Zachary doesn’t like things on his head. I learned Beau is much more patient than I have any right to expect him to be. And I learned that things that look good on humans might not look so good on dogs.

If you want to know what the dogs learned, you’ll have to ask them yourself. They still aren’t speaking to me.

No comments: