Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trick of the Week - sort of

ds498 - Black and White

Dog Blog Post #279: The good news is that Real Life has settled down to its normal Lacrosse Season mania, as opposed to the unexpected mania that consumed the past week or so. The bad news is that I didn't get a "real" trick prepared for this week.


If you are willing to give me just a little slack, I'm thinking that all this hat wearing Henry has been doing of late more than qualifies as a trick.

Doesn't it?

Therefore, the trick of the week is...

Wear a Hat

The cue is (wait for it...) the presentation of the hat. The subject is expected to hold still with hat upon the head until the hat is removed.

All kidding aside, it just took a bit of patience, a lot of cookies, and many megabytes of bad pictures until the skill was acquired.

I even uploaded a few "reject" pictures just to prove he can do this consistently. :)



Admittedly, neither picture is that great (there's a reason they were the rejects!) but in both cases the problem was with the photographer not catching the "spark" in the subject, not the fact the subject didn't know how to wear the hat!

Moving on - we have The Daily Shoot assignment...

Make a black and white photograph and go monochrome today.

Hmm.... I haven't done much with B&W, having uploaded exactly two such images to the daily shoot in the past, and both were in response to a "shadow" assignment.

That said, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that there is only a hint of gold between my boys in color and my boys in B&W.

So when I walked into the kitchen and noticed a lovely beam of sunlight streaming through the slider, I said "Ah ha!"

(No, really, I did!)

And I grabbed my cheap cardboard tri-fold backdrop and my lovely stretchy black velvet fabric and set up shop in the three feet of space between said slider and kitchen table. With the backdrop as, well, a backdrop, the slider wide open, and a 18" wide sun beam to work with, I contorted my boys into various pretzel shapes to see what I could get.

I shot in color, then went into iPhoto, desaturated the pictures, and fiddled a bit with the color channels until I had the right balance (for the curious, it was more red than green, more cold than warm, that produced the best balance) but if you were to see the color version, and ignored the color, it would basically appear as a boost in contrast, as the originals (without color) appeared overexposed.

My favorite was the one at the top - I just love the way he arches his neck, like some medieval knight's charger - although I like the one down below as well for the little fluffy tufts.

For whatever reason, the shots of Henry just didn't come out. Oh well, tomorrow is another day!

ds498 - Black and White

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Maxmom said...

Whew! Such beautiful pictures! I wish we were closer and I could attend one of you photography courses (if you give them). You really are talented.

Sage said...

They are GREAT! And you have such gorgeous models.

houndstooth said...

I am really liking both of those shots! I really like Zachary's serene expression, too. Those hat shots totally gave me the giggles! I think wearing a hat is a great trick. :) Just think of all the people who can't get their dogs to do it!