Monday, August 29, 2011



Dog Blog Post #430: This is one of those oh-so-easy Daily Shoot assignments that I personally find oh-so-hard...

Make a photograph with an emphasis on the sky today.

The problem? It is nearly impossible to look up and not see trees, big shady umbrellas (we have several) or the house. Combine that with dogs only a few feet high, and it's a recipe for disappointment.

My best first effort is below...


... taken around lunch time. I had to use "straighten" to make the shot crooked enough to crop off the umbrella (to the left) and still leave enough sky to qualify. While there's nothing particularly wrong with shot (other than Henry being a bit too contrasty) there isn't much of anything wonderful about it either.

A few hours later, after the sun had fled to the other side of the house, it dawned on me to try using a mirror to capture dog and sky. Despite the lack of blue, I rather liked the effect of sun on the puple-leaved plum tree, and posted it anyway.

Might have to revisit that shot some time at a better hour to see if I can get more true blue sky.

And now for something completely different - yet another stab at a Scavenge Challenge item:

25) "Education Center: In the days before digital cameras and photo processing software, photographers often used fabrics, grids and oils on glass as creative filters to achieve soft or sparkly effects. This month, try one of these ideas! Refer to the examples in the Education Center."

Rose Leaves

Bronze Fennel

... with the first picture being new rose leaves and the second of Bronze Fennel just going to seed, which normally looks like this...

Bronze Fennel

What did I do? I smeared a little (VERY little) butter on the inside of a glass pie pan, and held the lens close while I took the picture.

To my eyes, there was barely enough butter to be visible, and I was worried it wouldn't even show.

Obviously, the camera "saw" things differently.

Editor's Note: Sheltie Times commented on the boys love of the camera (I believe the word was "amazed"). I read somewhere that dogs view the camera as a big unblinking eye, and since staring at a dog is terribly rude, this explains why some dogs dislike cameras.

I don't remember ever having trouble with the boys and cameras, but I started taking pictures when they were wee pups. Any time I'm taking pictures of them I have cookies on me, and with practically every shot a treat is given.

In fact, they react to the shutter as they do my clicker. A click = a treat. Is it any wonder they have grown to not only accept, but demand, attention from that big unblinking eye!

I've also seen a gradual increase, over time, of poses I like. My guess is that they cue off the shutter click (assuming I click when I see something I like) which gains them a treat, and so try to repeat those poses in hopes of winning more cookies.

Some people get uptight, rushed, or nervous taking pictures. Dogs can pick up on this and decide it's all the camera's fault and so want to avoid the situation that makes mommy unhappy.

I know I get that way if a shoot isn't going how I had it pictured in my head. I know it because I see it reflected in Zachary's behavior. When he starts getting "hard to work with", it's a clear sign that the problem is really me. I take a deep breath, give him a big hug (he loves hugs) some "free" cookies just for putting up with mommy, then toss the ball a few times, and try again.

Or not.

Some things just aren't worth it. :)

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved


Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

I love the butter effect! It looks like some fancy software work:)

As for the sky, hmm, maybe you need to chop down a tree? Is that Henry's ear in the mirror? I would have guessed Zachary's:)

fromsophiesview said...

More ideas for me to conquer...Sophie has always been very camera savvy...yes she does get up and move plenty but she just seems to know what and when it's "camera time" so let's obey....thanks for this!

Pup Fan said...

Camera as clicker... how cool!

houndstooth said...

I think your sky looks rather nice! Is there a place nearby where you could try snapping a picture with more open sky? I know how you long for more wide open sky shots.

I had such big dreams for the red assignment, but it didn't turn out like I pictured it in my head. *sigh* Back to the red drawing board. At least I got one of my missed assignments made up!

Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! My mom seems to have problems taking photos ... SKY alone with no "object" doesn't work very well. A blue sky is an added bonus. You did great. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Oh thought of you this weekend ... getting anew camera. We went to a K9 sports event and mom's camera setting were somehow not working well. Most of her photos were blurry. Golden Woofs

greygirl25 said...

The butter on the pie pan is really cool. It looks like an artistic photoshop filter.