Friday, September 30, 2011

Breaking Rules

Breaking Rules

Dog Blog Post #462: Ok... this one was a bit odd...

Friday: "Rules" can be stifling if taken to extremes. Break the rules today with focus, composition, etc, and see what happens.

I decided to fix the exposure at 1/60s and get the boys chasing a Lacrosse Ball, figuring that would mess with focus.

Breaking Rules

Breaking Rules

Breaking Rules

Breaking Rules

But is it art, or is it just blurry?

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 29, 2011



Dog Blog Post #461: Thursday's Daily Shoot assignment...

The economy is in the news all the time. Make a photo that illustrates the economy or its impact on you in some way.

The boys were clearly unimpressed with their new "economy size" bowls and cookie.


Frantically trying to finish up the Scavenger Challenge...

23) What do you consider your greatest achievement? Represent it in a photograph.


... and from my description in flickr:

Our first dog, Beau, was a WHOLE lot of dog. Way more dog than we ever should have had.

Getting his Rally Novice Title was an achievement NOT because of the title itself, but because of the journey he and I took together to earn it. He taught me patience, persistence, and the importance of give and take.

I learned that experts don't know everything, even if they think they do. That you should stand up for what you know is true, even if no one else believes you, and that just because someone doesn't always do what you want, doesn't mean that they don't love you.

13) Photograph a landmark which typifies your area (i.e., structure or terrain).


5) Show us the end of a day with a sunset or some way to relax, etc. Go for mood!


12) "Snail mail" is almost a thing of the past. Do you have any old correspondence?

Snail Mail

... a few of my collection of greeting cards my mom has drawn and sent me over the years, which I store in the organ bench (don't ask me why, I haven't a clue.)

This leaves me just one more to go, and one day to do it.


© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved



Dog Blog Post #460: Trying to catch up in the blogs - hopelessly behind in flickr groups. Discovering that the only thing harder than keeping up is catching up!

Wednesday's Daily Shoot assignment: Breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Make a photograph of a yummy part of one of your meals today.



The tripod, some peanut butter filled spoons, and the camera on timer with a five second startup delay followed by taking nine pictures, two seconds apart. This is the same setting I used to get the Poker shots a few days ago. Of course, this was a whole lot easier than trying to make myself disappear behind the ottoman.

Editor's Note: I have no idea who won the game - the won't tell me.

Took several Scavenge Challenge shots - I'm woefully behind there as well...

"14) Find a display of produce at home, on a store shelf or at a fair and make it look good."


"11) Live plants are found in most homes and many offices. No dead or plastic specimens!"

Live Plant

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Place your Bet

Place your Bets

Dog Blog Post #458: Still avoiding son's germs... falling further and further behind in my blog following...

Monday's Daily Shoot: Make a self-portrait, with or without the camera in the frame.

Yes, I freely admit it, I totally ducked the intent of this assignment.

But really, tell the truth, which would you rather look at - plain old me, or one (or more) of the boys?


This was total pain to shoot, requiring contortionist's skills that I clearly do not possess. I took over 60 shots, camera on timer on a tripod, with only a few managing to get only the small bit of me that I wanted to show while avoiding the majority, which I didn't.

As usual, I started with patient Zachary. As usual, you probably won't ever see any of those shots, although they made up the lion's share of the 60. It wasn't until right at the very end, feeling rather dejected and shooting a few of Henry just to keep him happy, that it dawned on me to hold a cookie between my thumb and the cards in order to get focus (of the canine variety) where I wanted it.

The rest of me is off to Henry's left (camera's right) wishing I had moved my arm just a few inches to the right (camera's left) to make things like up a bit more naturally.

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Red Cups

Red Cups

Red Cups

Dog Blog Post #457:

Sunday's Daily Shoot: Make an interesting photograph of something mundane and ordinary today.




Why is it, when faced with finding something ordinary, everything starts looking interesting?

Red Cup

Poor Henry - it's hard to look dignified with a red plastic cup on your head, but somehow, he almost manages.

Zachary, on the other hand, shows off his "tap-dancing on the table top with a lampshade on his head" side.

Sorry for the shortness of this and the last few posts. Son has spent much time in this room doing homework, and he's got whatever creeping crud is going around school these days, and I really don't want it.

I'll catch up on the blogs when I either deem him safe to be around, or I come down with it myself.


© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved



Dog Blog Post #456: Oops.... kinda fell asleep early last night.

Saturday's Daily Shoot: Make a photograph today with a central point of interest in it.

... and if you think you remember that from a few days ago, you would be correct.


Fortunately, as the day was destined to be a busy one, mostly absent the boys, I spied the scene above of my son trying to enjoy his breakfast.

Amazing how easy it is to acquire friends in our house - if the situation is right.

Alas (for the furry ones) a breakfast of ham, eggs, hash browns, and biscuits was not meant to be, as son did not care to share, although I did pay them a few cookies for their efforts.

(Late in the afternoon, however, they split half of MY ham, egg, and biscuit breakfast for dinner. Call it a consolation prize for spending the day at the "spa".)

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 23, 2011


Flying Square

Dog Blog Post #455: Frantic Friday.

Friday: Lose the rectangle today. Make a photograph with a square (1:1) aspect ratio and post it. Crop if needed.

Simple instructions.

Square Kiss

Simple pictures.

Eye Squared

Happy Weekend!

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Under Construction

Dog Blog Post #454: No time for idle chatter. The Daily Shoot assignment?

Thursday: Construction seems to be perpetual: streets, sidewalks, buildings. Make a photo of something under construction today.

Of course they got to eat it when I was done taking pictures!

Graham crackers and peanut butter... Yum!

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved


Happy Couple

Dog Blog Post #453: It was too hot today. Triple digit hot. Hot enough to cook dinner on the dashboard. Hot enough to spontaneously combust the landscape...

OK, perhaps not quite that hot...

... but it sure felt like it.

It was certainly hot enough to have a certain overly-furred dog of Scottish heritage giving me the hairy eyeball for having him outside long enough to snap a shot or two as I tried to satisfy the Daily Shoot assignment of...

Wednesday: Bright, vivid colors can draw attention and add "pop" to a photo. Make a photo that has vivid colors today.

Happy Couple?

Of course, the bandana on the head probably didn't help in that regard.

Inside wasn't any better, as by the time I had time to set up "the set", the sun was well on its way down, and I ended up with...


Hold Steady


Normally, at this juncture, I say something like, "Thank goodness that tomorrow dawns a new day, and a new assignment." But as it is already tomorrow, and I've already seen the assignment, I'm not really sure it's cause to celebrate.

Oh well, could be worse. It could be "yellow" or "orange"!

Scavenger Challenge shot...

24) The seasons are turning. Photograph something demonstrating the change.

Heh - not sure what part of the world the moderator lives in - Ok. that's a lie. I do know, and it's one considerably north of me - but there's little in the way of seasons turning here.

That said, I did find a early-to-bed Chinese Pistache...

Chinese Pistache

Now that is vivid!

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Dog Blog Post #451: Monday Daily Shoot assignment:

Make a photograph today with a central point of interest in it.

This seemed to be a perfect opportunity to set up "the set", but it was a really long day and I didn't have time to dream up a theme, let alone find, haul out, arrange bits and dogs, and then put everything away.

So - this is just the raw backboard from "the set", and nothing else.

I was pretty sure I could stack the cookies on Henry's nose, but had never been successful with Zachary before.

Boy, did he surprise me! Perhaps he was miffed that I started with Henry, as Zachary usually gets the first crack at assignments.

(Which is why Henry shows up more often - not because he's better, or I love him more, but because I get all the kinks worked out with (more) patient Zachary, then switch to fresher horses (Henry) and usually get better shots.)

Balancing Act

But not today. Today I started with Henry, because I was pretty sure Zachary wouldn't hold still long enough and I wanted to make sure I got a shot.

The camera was on the tripod. I had a 5 second initial delay (probably should have set it to 8 seconds) and then had it automagically take a picture every 3 seconds for a total of 9 shots. I put him in a stay where I wanted him and focused on the center/side of his head that had the greatest chance of staying under the focus point. I pushed the button, and moved in front of him, and began stacking, counting after every shot and leaning back right before the camera was due to click again.

Alas, I found that trying to stack them in a single tower was a bad idea, as the cookies are curved and they just slid off one another.

Plan B: Same a above, only put a pre-stacked stack on on the nose and lean back once it was balanced. That worked much better!

Henry actually managed to balance 4 cookies, but he pulled his head back and the camera focused on the backboard instead, making the shot blurry.

After I finished with Henry, Zachary clearly wanted to give it a go, so I figured why not? Cookie Parity had to be maintained, anyway.

Wouldn't you know, not only did Zachary come through with some lovely shots, but he even managed a stack of three. In focus.

Go Zachary!

Scavenge Challenge shot...

1944 Quarter

... along with my long winded description from flickr:

Scavenge Challenge September 2011  - "7) Present a man-made item more than 50 years old in a setting appropriate to its use or era."

This is a 1944 US Quarter, worth $0.25 when it was minted 67 years ago. According to a random site I found using google, $0.25 in 1944 is worth $3.15 in today's money.

For the curious, $3.15 will buy you a Tall Cafe Mocha from Starbucks (the small size, followed by Grande and then Vente.) And yes, I actually stood there and scanned the price list to find something just the right price!

I don't usually drink Cafe Mocha's, but I bought one just for this challenge, and rather enjoyed it.

How did I come by the coin?

I collect US State Quarters in a well-intended but less-than-diligent fashion, usually opting to pour out the small change jar ever few months to see if anything of interest has accumulated there.

One day, as I poured the mountain of coins onto the big table, I hear an unsually high-pitched noise. Sifting through the coins, I discovered this 1944 Quarter.

Up until 1965, US Quarters were made from silver. The fact I noticed the sound difference probably has more to do with just how attuned we are to the sound of falling money, than any huge difference in the sounds the silver and non-silver coins make.

And finally, a peak at this weeks Weekly Worksheet. To read more about it (and see a larger version) try clicking on the image to transport to my other blog.

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 18, 2011


In Focus

Dog Blog Post #450: For Sunday's Daily Shoot assignment we had:

Make a "sharp" photo today any way you interpret it, either tack-sharp focus or a subject that is sharp itself.

... and while I would have loved to have taken a picture of a sharp dressed dog, it wasn't meant to be. Given the grim lighting in the house in the summer, I could either have a sharp picture (outside) or a sharp dresser (inside) but not both.

So I took the easy way out, and snapped some picture of Zachary, as Henry had been hogging more than his fair of camera time of late.

Zachary and the Weed
Zachary, Ball, and Weed

Sharply Focused Dog. The picture isn't half-bad either. :)

Cookie reward or Ball reward - any guesses?

Scavenge Challenge item:

19) Fine or massive, photograph a chain in such a way to give the viewer a sense of its size.


Spotted this beauty while walking toward the car dealer yesterday. What is it about rust that is just so enticing to photograph?

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved


Through a Window

Dog Blog Post #449: Running really late, so we'll keep this short and sweet...

Daily Shoot for Saturday: Make a photograph through or of a door or window today.

And yes, that is exactly what it looks like - a brown paper bag with a "window" added to it.

Through a Window

Zachary was too busy chasing his Lacrosse Ball to participate.

Why a brown paper bag with a "window" added to it? Because I was busy? Because I was feeling lazy and didn't want to actually find a good window/door? Because all my windows have nose prints? All of the above?

The rest of the photography day was spent on Scavenge Challenge items - something that pleased my son greatly, as it included going to car dealers to check out some really "sweet" cars...

15) This one's particularly for the guys! Get creative and make a cool photo of a car or truck.

... like these Chevy Camaros

Chevy Camaro

... these Porsches (~$125,000)


... and this Audi (~175,000)


Yup, the kid was a pretty happy camper. :)

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved