Monday, July 25, 2011

Hello Beautiful

Hello Beautiful

Dog Blog Post #394: It was my kind of Daily Shoot assignment...

Find something beautiful and make a photo. Don't over think it.

What made it easy? The "Don't over think it" part.

Without that, I would have spent the day pacing around saying "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful" while staring at my possessions with a critical eye.

With it, I grabbed the camera, walked outside, turned around, and shot the picture above and below while Zachary stared so intensely (intently?) at the Lacrosse Ball he had just brought me that I'm surprised it didn't burst into flame.

Hello Beautiful

Zachary is so transparent. The object I use to get expression (cookie vs. Lacrosse Ball) is always reflected in his face, even if its not physically visible in the picture. The above picture, with the hard "pricked" ears, closed mouth, and locked-on gaze are all indicative of Lacrosse Ball. Flip back to yesterday's On The Rocks shot for a classic "cookie look" - soft eyes, relaxed mouth, droopy ears.

If I pretend to throw the cookie (meaning the camera is on the tripod and on timer) then I can usually get him to close his mouth (a bit counter-intuitive, but that's what he does) and his ears to come forward (is he listening for the cookie???) but I can never get the stare that goes with a Lacrosse Ball.

It's much harder to go the other way - get a relaxed look when using a Lacrosse Ball for expression. Mostly I just have to wait him out, and if he's been chasing the ball, he'll eventually have to open his mouth to pant, and his eyes will soften and his ears relax a bit at the same time.

The above thought popped into my head as I was in the bookstore today, browsing the photography books. On a whim, I picked up a Portrait Photography book and was flipping through the plethora of posing options when I realized both how different Zachary's expressions are when facing my two bait options (cookie vs. ball) -and- how limited both his expressions and poses are compared to all the poses I saw in the book.

Henry has even few posing options, but seems to show a wider variety of expressions, that I have limited ability to control.

The upshot is that I going to ponder on that further this week, and see if there are teaching opportunities there.

Speaking of which - a new (Bi-)Weekly Worksheet should be up on my BZDogs blog. The boys completed Sit and Down @ 5' (3 pictures each on 3 different days) although I really need to revise the rule as my own bad photography blew the last "sit" shoot and I'm going to have to redo it tomorrow.

Editors Note: Wandered through a big box party store (Party City) and came home with a few more "treasures" that will hopefully pop up in pictures in the near future. While I thought the options for boys were a bit limited, I saw tons of pink, frilly, shiny and/or fuzzy princess things, for those so inclined. 

Finally, the non-dog Scavenge Challenge shot (deserted buildings are so lonely)...


If you like water droplet shots, stop by tomorrow. :)

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved


houndstooth said...

I love your beautiful shots! I think getting their expressions under control is more a matter of luck and knowing what mood they're in when I get ready to shoot than anything else for me. I've toyed with an ears up command and trying to clicker train for it, but I'm not sure it would work. Royalty only does what royalty feels like! *sigh*

I vow to get back in the DS saddle today! The Scavenge Challenge is a wash for me at this point, so I'm going to hope for getting started and doing well on August's list! I really love your abandoned house, though!

Sheltie Times said...

How could you not get a beautiful picture of him?

Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! Golden Beauty. A very typical Golden LOOK ... Precious. Happy MONDAY! Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Tanner and Beth said...

Way to go guys. See, I would be looking at the camera. I just love to pose for mommy. The second I hear the camera turn on, I start to mug!

Puppy Kisses,

Pup Fan said...

So interesting to think of the cookie expression vs. the ball expression... you really can see it! :)

1000 Goldens said...

I want to kiss and hug you Zachary - such a beautiful dog!

greygirl25 said...

Beautiful pictures of Zachary, as always.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Zachary looks cuddly no matter what expression he's wearing:) Love the scavenger photo. Old buildings are so interesting, if only they could talk!