Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Old and Rusty

Dog Blog Post #318: Sometimes you just have to admit defeat (for the moment) and move on, and today is one of those days. The Trick of the Week was supposed to be...


Good grief, how hard could it be. Beau learned learned the basics in a single session!

And Henry is almost there... but he's been almost for several weeks. The missing part is the separation from my hand to his head. As soon as I try to pull my hand away, the rear collapses. He also won't hold it more than a second or two.

What I really wanted was to get him and Zachary bowing at the same time, as Zachary already has a nice bow, but that clearly isn't in the cards anytime soon. So for now, we're moving on (but I'll keep plugging away on it in the background. Who knows, perhaps someday the light will come on.)

In fact, tonight I started the next trick for both dogs (different tricks) and they were learning at blazing speeds. I think they must be happy to move on from "Bow", too!

On to the Daily Shoot assignment:

Make a photograph of something old or aged today.

Yes, I did (briefly) consider getting something genuinely old out, but really, they're dogs, and how many genuinely old things do you want your dog around?

So, I improvised...

Well Loved

Well Loved

This is actually a very old woobie, in woobie years, probably even older than three-year-old Zachary, and it's just as disgusting in person as it looks in the picture. But I can't seem to find one that long (6') and so it remains, long stripped of it's squeakers, but still a canine favorite.

Editor's Notes: Yes, Greyhounds CAN Sit, the Sharks did win! KB mentioned Photoshop, which is very nice, be we somehow lost ours (I know, how do you loose an application on your computer, but somehow we did) so I'm left with my 2004 version of iPhoto that I use for all contrast/brightness/sharpness fiddling, plus a Photoshop-lite app called ImageReady that I use to for minor retouching and to stamp my URL on it

And finally, houndstooth was asking about the black backgrounds. I prefer to get them naturally, just by keeping an eye out for the right conditions, or setting them up using the black velvet background. But in the case of the yellow rose, as I couldn't move the bush (although I did pick a rose that was in the sun with shade right behind it), nor the sun, nor the house, I had to resort to a bit of post-production magic. FWIW: Here's the original (a bit reduced in resolution) but otherwise straight out of the camera...

... and (again) here's what it turned into...

Golden Celebration

I'm pretty sure that all I did was drag the brightness waaaaay down, with maybe just a touch of contrast added in, and smidgen of sharpness. Too much sharpness would show grainy, and too much contrast would start to look harsh. I'm pretty sure I "stamped" out what remained of the blue sky on the far left.

And finally, the (non-dog) Scavenger Challenge item #5 - "Rusty bits - we all love them. Find one and photograph it artfully."


It actually looks best in lightbox, if you want to click on it, then click on it again once flickr comes up, to see it against a black background.

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved


Katie, Maizey and Magnus said...

Kathleen your shots are really looking awesome! You have always had such great photo's but I can see you must be learning so much with the daily shoot. It's really cool to see what you come up with each day!

Amber-Mae said...

Some dogs just take a longer time to learn. Perhaps you could try holding up his tuck up (right behind the ribs) as you tell Henry to 'bow'. Once he's at a bow position, immediately tell him to 'stay' & then slowly pull your hand away. But keep holding his rear up. Make him stay in that position for atleast 3 seconds long then praise + reward. Repeat this several times. Soon you won't need to hold up his rear up anymore. Keep doing this & he will get the hang of it soon!

Sheltie Times said...

He'll get there when he's ready and then you will wonder why you ever doubted. The pictures are really amazing.

Elaine Pritchard said...

Beautiful pictures. We envy your talent and patience.

I am sure the same qualities with get you there with the bow trick too.

Love and licks, Winnie.

KB said...

Wow, I'm so glad to hear that you can do so much of this stuff in iPhoto. I just got a new version and discovered many new features. Photoshop is so non-intuitive for me.

I've had the same experience with the bow. One of my dogs got it pretty much instantly. I trained her extensively with a clicker from when she was 8 wks old so I clicked when her butt was still in the air. It worked. In fact, today's post will have her bowing in it (it's uploading right now).

My second dog does the dropping into a down like Henry does. I slacked with him on the clicker training when he was young, and I think that's why. I have the same vision as you - both of my dogs bowing together so I plan to keep at it too.

I love your idea of a trick per week and I may adopt it. What a great way to keep training going!

houndstooth said...

The Greyhounds bow naturally, the trick here is to catch it in action and reward them for it with a cue. lol That and not getting mad at them because they're using it as a stalling technique!

The old assignment could only have one subject for me! I thought yours turned out really cute. I really have to get cracking on the scavenger hunt this time!

greygirl25 said...

Somehow, I suspect that bow is just right around the corner.

I love the woobie. The older the better.