Monday, January 9, 2012

Good Luck and Pet Blogger Challenge

Good Luck

Dog Blog Post 562: Never hurts to hope for a bit of luck when taking pictures!

Today's Daily Dog Challenge was:

70. Crossed Paws Show us your crossed paws! Just your dog, your dog with a friend or any other way you interpret it.


Our Daily Challenge - Jan. 9, 2011 - "Resolution"
112 Pictures in 2012 - "#60. Something beginning with ‘G’"

Turned into:

When I told the boys I'd resolved to take a picture a day of them for an entire year, they crossed their paws and wished me Good Luck.

I'd say they had my best interest at heart, but I'm pretty sure they were just thinking of all the cookies they are going to earn in the process.

... where "G" stands for "Good Luck" (or Golden Retriever, if you must.)

Good Luck

As I hinted at yesterday, Henry seems to be over his nervousness about the Speedlight. This seems to be because I'm using a small piece of black foam wrapped around the front of side of the light, which is pointed straight up at the ceiling, ensuring that direct flash doesn't hit him in the face at all.

This does reduce the effectiveness of the flash, especially since it's on the tripod about one foot off the ground and I have ten foot ceilings in the kitchen, but it's worth it. Alas, even at 1/60s, the above shot rang in at ISO 1400 and therefore rather noisy. I think I can up the Exposure Value to get more flash, so I might try that. Or perhaps adjusting the bounce angle a bit to get better range.

Using the remote control is also helping, since I don't "click" until the time is right, so I only take a few shots using the flash. I still take a fair number of shots (keeps the boys happy) so I try things out without the flash until I'm happy with the setup and therefore the "flash" shots are few in number at the end.

The best solution will come when the Dining Room has recovered from Christmas and I can try out my new CFL lights and shoot through umbrellas there. :)

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10


Just saw the Second Annual Pet Blogger Challenge, so thought I'd tack it on here as a First Timer:

1. When did you begin your blog?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009. Wow... has it really been two years???

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

As I stated in my introductory post:

With the new year fast approaching, I've decided to work up my list of canine goals for the coming year. I'm hoping writing these here will help me measure and ultimately meet these goals, the way a scale helps a dieter measure and meet theirs. Of course, in this case the scale is set up in the town square... with a town crier announcing the results every time you step on.


While I'm not naive enough to think that just writing these goals is enough to make them happen, I do hope that by publicly stating what I hope to accomplish, the desire to keep from looking like an idiot here will overwhelm my desire to keep from looking like an idiot where ever the road takes us during the year.

3. Is your current purpose the same?

In a way, yes, as this blog is still devoted almost exclusively to the boys...

If not, what’s different?

... with the marked difference being what my goals for them are. Where once I worried about fronts and finishes and the dreaded 10 second Watch Me cue, I'm now focusing on focusing and posing and capturing the beauty that I see in them.

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

I think I reached a logical end with my first set of "training" goals.

Losing Beau at the end of 2010 brought home how short our friends time with us can be, and made me reassess how I was using that time. I realized that spending it getting the perfect left or right finish was no longer meaningful for me.

In its place has grown a love of photography, and the subsequent attempt to capture the beauty I see in my boys. For their part, they get to spend more time playing with me, the stress level has dropped to almost nothing, and they get tons of cookies.

Learning still occurs, the various props and poses I try keep them guessing, and so I think my tagline of Two Dogs Journey Toward Canine Enlightenment still rings true.

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?


If the former, how often — and what techniques do you use to stick to it?

Daily means daily. Anything less than daily requires scheduling and courts disaster (i.e. drifting away, never to return.)

If the latter, do you worry about… well, whatever you might worry about (e.g. losing traffic, losing momentum)?

See afore mentioned "Daily"

5. Are you generating income from your blog?


If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?


If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?

No - this blog is for me.

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?

I like showing off the boys. I like taking a few minutes at the end of the day to recap what comes to mind.

7. What do you like least?

Waking up at 12:30am after I nodded off on the sofa and realizing I haven't written anything yet.

8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?

I'm hoping to find a way to incorporate more training back into here - particularly tricks for Henry that I can leverage into better and more interesting photographs. There are only so many ways one can take a picture of two dogs laying on a pillow, and so in order to grow as a photographer, they are going to have to grow as models.

Who knows, perhaps a new list of Canine Modeling goals will be first completed goal for 2012!

-- Like the idea of a daily prompt? Click on Daily Dog Challenge and join us!

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved


Amy said...

Your boys are gorgeous! This is my first visit to your blog, but I'll be back. I photograph my guys all the time and I'll welcome the inspiration. Thanks for joining the challenge.

houndstooth said...

I'm so glad you joined the challenge! I learned more about you today than I knew before. I look forward to seeing your pictures of the boys every day!

Seriously?! You got umbrella lights? I could just cry with envy!

houndstooth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrice and Higgins said...

I think I stumbled on your blog sometime last week!! Love the photography!! The paws crossed melts my heart!!

~Patrice & Higgins

Sue and Doug said...

awe..they really do like each other! cute!

Anonymous said...

Your dogs are always so beautiful. Love the paws crossed photo. It was fun to learn about you too.

Bicontinental Dachshund said...

Big beautiful boys! I love the idea of a daily dog challenge.

Thanks for the opportunity to look at your blog.

Keep on wagging,

LuLu and Wally said...

So glad you joined the challenge! And I wanted to thank you for inspiring me to start photographing again with your daily dog challenge. I look forward to joining in soon! :)

Edie said...

Amazing pictures! Thanks so much for deciding to take part in the challenge. It was great to virtually meet you.

Pup Fan said...

Umbrella lights? I'm super jealous over here!

I love swinging by your blog and seeing what creative photo you come up with each day. You're a real inspiration to me - I want to be as good of a photographer as you one day! :)

Kim Clune said...

I love your unapologetic self indulgence. There is nothing that says your passion can't satisfy an audience. Your boys are beautiful, as is your photography. Thanks for introducing yourself. I'm happy to meet you!

Kolchak Puggle said...

I love your blog and I love that I know no matter what I can come here *daily* for some cute golden shots. I admire your photgraphs so much ad I love reading your "camera banter" and imaging what all those words could mean. LOL. I can barely use my point & shoot, but I've been scouring the fabric store for a good piece to use like your background s. Such a great simple solution! Thank you for sharing how you do it.

Helen P. said...

You have some great photos! Can't wait to see more!

Tegan said...

An amazing commitment to blog daily, and photograph so much too. Your blog will hold a host of great memories. All the best for 365 days of blogging in 2012.

greygirl25 said...

I love my dog blog. Everyday they bring me such joy and happiness (well, maybe if Timber could have remembered his name...)

I think your blog does the same thing. I look every day, I just don't always have the where with all to comment. Long days at work are killers.

Colby said...

Those are some handsome boys you have their. We've been training guide dog puppies for the last 5 years and recently started training our first Golden Retriever (the others were Labrador Retrievers). We'd love to see some photographs of Henry doing tricks. The photos on your blog are gorgeous I can't wait to see more in 2012!