Monday, April 16, 2018

Catching Cookies

Catching Cookies
The boy's got talent


He makes it look so easy.

Zachary rarely misses, and when he does, it's almost always my fault.

Henry actually did pretty well tonight. Alas, the photographer... didn't.

Dog Blog Post #2480


(Syncing post count with what Blogger says the right number should be)

Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2357. "Striking"

118 Pictures in 2018 - #12. Precision

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© 2018 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Dogs Noir

Henry Noir
Private Detective Henry


Dog Blog Post #2477



Hard to go wrong with a dog in a Fedora as your model.

Henry always reminds me of the world-weary private detective, while Zachary is the by-the-book cop.

Photography Assignment



Our Daily Challenge - April 15, 2018 - "Grey & Black + A Dash of Light"

Daily Dog Challenge 2356. "Sharp"

118 Pictures in 2018 - #74. Strong Contrast

Zachary Noir
Inspector Zachary


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Friday, April 13, 2018

This and That

We have This...

Canine Crooners
The Barbershop Quartet (more or less)


... and we have That...

Cookie Spot
Henry in his Cookie Spot


Oh, and the Other Thing is down below!

Dog Blog Post #2476


Click on the images to see the topics (images, as always, are hosted on Flickr.)

Photography Assignment



Bitey-Face
Big Mouth Zachary (and friend)



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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

One of Those Days

The Good Life
Mr. Henry


Dog Blog Post #2475


The boys enjoyed a change of routine earlier in the evening and were still a bit too wound up to put their best into their modeling tonight.

Of course, they were not concerned.

Their Modeling Contract stipulates they get full wages even when the effort is, shall we say, substandard.

No worries, tomorrow dawns another challenge (or two) and a fresh opportunity to redeem their good names.

And more Cookies.

Truth in Advertising: Henry was most definitely NOT serious during this shoot, and I was rather surprised to find this image in the set.

Those darn Cookie Bags were as slippery as could be, and both dogs were quite intrigued by them.

In the end, while I liked Zachary's shot better (also uploaded) because it was a more accurate portrayal of the shoot (sigh) I went with this one because you could sort of see what was in the bags.

Photography Assignment


Our Daily Challenge - April 10, 2018 - "Purple"

Daily Dog Challenge 2351. "Rich"

Alas, the "golden" bone Cookies weren't nearly as as obvious in the purple bags as I had hoped, and the golden bags were too small to hold them.

Live and learn.

The Good Life
Zachary: "He he he... ho ho ho... snort!"


Next!

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Waiting for Diner

Waiting For Dinner
Henry... waiting


Dog Blog Post #2474


Where's Staff when you need them?

Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2346. "Symmetry"

Well, I tried.

Zachary's shot was marginally more symmetrical, but as it was practically identical to a shot I took in late February (oops) you get Henry.

Seriously, if I had tried to duplicate Zachary's earlier shot I couldn't have gotten it any closer.

Besides, who doesn't love a picture of Henry?

Our Daily Challenge - April 5, 2018 - "Reflected Selfie"

I'm the (upside-down) baby-blue strip on the side of the dog bowl.

As I was kneeling on the floor, logic says my right hand is on the floor at the top of the bowl, putting my tilted-head at the bottom. That would have my left arm wrapped around my neck, firing the remote over my shoulder at the camera somewhat behind me.

The fact I seem to be pointing over the wrong shoulder is a bit troubling, but then I'm also upside-down so maybe it all works out in the end.

I'm a bit surprised how small I am, since I was close enough to catch the side of my head in a nearly identical shot.

Henry is focused solely on the two little Cookies on the bottom of the otherwise empty dog bowl.

Since he is absolutely certain he's going to get them (and he did - plus more) he'll sit there motionless for - essentially forever - waiting patiently for the good word to eat them.

Yes, the bowl is huge... and shiny... and as I've mentioned before, it's only used as a prop.

The boys Real Bowls heavy ceramic with rainbow paw prints on the side, since they are easy to keep clean and always stay put.

100x : 2018 - #33

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hint Hint

Hint Hint
Henry: "Eh hem"


Dog Blog Post #2473


It looks like Henry is trying to tell me something.

I wonder what it could be?

Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2341. "Take A Walk"

100x : 2018 - #32

Yesterday


In the Bag
Cookie Thief


Zachary, where did you get that bag of Cookie Loot from???

Daily Dog Challenge 2340. "Contrast"

Fun with the anti-reflector.

A slider or two may have been pushed in the making of this picture.

Note to self: Next time, make sure the top of the bag is pulled up so it actually looks like a bag. (sigh)

I was thinking of this for 118 Pictures in 2018 - #74. "Strong Contrast", but since it's not that hard of a picture (for the boys) I think I'll let it go for now and see if I can do better later in the year.

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Golden Easter Bunnies

Now let's see a big smile!

Golden Easter Bunnies
(crickets)


Dog Blog Post #2472


Golden Easter Bunnies!

Very rare.

Only seen once a year, for which the boys are eternally grateful.

Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2342. "Easter"

118 Pictures in 2018 - #83. "Fantasy Beings / Creatures"

Oh, come on guys, it's not that bad.

Golden Easter Bunnies
(more crickets)


Is it?


Golden Easter Bunnies
(silence is golden... at least it is today)


Don't worry guys, the Bunny Ears are going back into their box for another year.

Truth in Advertising: The boys actually don't mind wearing Bunny Ears.

This was the lighting test shot, and I hadn't pulled out the Cookies yet.

Henry isn't about to put forth posing effort until he's sure I'm ready (read: have Cookies.)


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Friday, March 30, 2018

Mr. Zachary

Mr. Zachary
Mr. Zachary


Dog Blog Post #2471


Zachary has never been a limber dog, so I fully intended for this to be a Henry Picture.

But we'd had the house open to enjoy the lovely spring day, and apparently the "Studio" had reached unacceptably high temperatures for the Precious Puppy and his Luscious Locks (75F?)

Hot Models are not Happy Models, and Henry was thus sent to go pant in the other room in front of his fan.

Thankfully, Zachary generously volunteered to take over, and lacking a Plan C (being a two-dog household) I took him up on it.

Here's Zachary, showing off his Contours, and doing a most admirable job of it, if I may say so.

Photography Assignment


Our Daily Challenge - March 30, 2018 - "Contours"

118 Pictures in 2018 - #55. Contours

The reflector has been turned around, black side out (anti-reflector!) to keep the flash (on the right) from bouncing off the fridge (on the left).

The flash has been dropped to half-height (20"?) to accentuate the shadows.

The backdrop is my trusty black stretch velvet fabric, doing what it does best.

I love pictures like this, and really wish I had more excuses to take them.

100x : 2018 - #30

Mr. Henry
Hot Henry



Day's End
Zachary enjoying a pre-bedtime chew on his Lacrosse Ball




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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Dinner Time

Dinner Time
"Tick... tock... tick... tock..."


Dog Blog Post #2470


Guess what Time it is?

Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2337. "Time"

Our Daily Challenge - March 27, 2018 - "Numbers"

118 Pictures in 2018 - #113. Geometric Shapes

Circles, Squares, and a green Triangle.

This is one of my many fabric backdrops, typically two yards cut from the bolt at the local fabric store. This one is quilting fabric: 100% cotton.

Alas, I rarely trot them out and I'm not exactly sure why, other than it's hard to get the lower-left corner lit correctly for the lighter-colored fabrics, like this one.

For this this shot, there is a speedlight sitting on the floor right behind Zachary's rump, at a 45 degree angle to the backdrop, pointing upward the same amount.

It came out a bit too bright there, and I'll try to remember to dial it back a bit the next time.

100x : 2018 - #29

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Rolling Henry's Way

Rolling Your Way 12/52
Lucky Henry



Dog Blog Post #2469



Dog Cookies Outside Of... of the box and rolling Henry's way.

Yes, those really are Dog Cookies, which might be a bit Unexpected given their resemblance to a certain kid (and adult!) favorite.

These are "Classic Crèmes" by Three Dog Bakery (carob and peanut butter flavor) and were a huge hit with the boys.

(Usual disclaimer, just a happy customer, etc...)

Photography Assignment


Our Daily Challenge - March 25, 2018 - "Outside Of..."

Daily Dog Challenge 2335. "Unexpected"


Earlier This Week



Zachary
Handsome Zachary


Love Zachary's soft look here. I see it often in Real Life, but he rarely shows it for the camera.


Zachary
Dapper Zachary


Our Daily Challenge - March 21, 2018 - "All In The Mind"

Daily Dog Challenge 2331. "Like A Painting"


Bitey-Face
Goofy Goldens

That's my boys!

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© 2018 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Quality Control

Quality Control?
Zachary: "Next"


Dog Blog Post #2468


I told the boys they could only have one Cookie each for dessert.

Leave it a Golden to pull out the scales and the large Cookies, and start weighing each one to find the biggest.

Photography Assignment


Our Daily Challenge - March 19, 2018 - "Measuring Tool(s)"

118 Pictures in 2018 - #45. Scale / Scales


Today


Ghostly Henry
Henry: "Boo!"


Daily Dog Challenge 2328. "Get Around"

... in a circle, that is.

118 Pictures in 2018 - #54. "Experimental"

This is a 1 second exposure at f/7.1 ISO 100 with -3EV, with the flash at the end of the exposure time.

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© 2018 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Irish Dogs? 11/52
Irish Dogs?



Dog Blog Post #2467


When I read Rand's preamble to the topic, the boys immediately trotted off to the fridge to get some Guinness.

I'm not sure that's quite what he had in mind, but since there's a little bit of Irish Inside Of everyone - even a pair of Scottish Dogs - on St. Patrick's Day, I wasn't going to argue.

Yes, I know it's technically no longer St. Patrick's Day, but yesterday was Day Spa Day and their Modeling Contracts expressly forbid formal posing on Day Spa Day.

Note that is probably more for the Photographer's sanity (they come home exhausted AND wound up) than the boys' lack of desire to earn more treats.

Contrast this image with their Flower/Sunhat shot from a few days ago if you were confused by "Models vs. Dogs" comment then.

Clearly, they take their beer very seriously.

Even when it's in a can.

(Don't blame them, the store was completely out of bottles, and Guinness in a can is better than no Guinness at all - at least on St. Patrick's Day.)

Photography Assignment


Our Daily Challenge - March 17, 2018 - "Inside Of"

Daily Dog Challenge 2327. "Green"

118 Pictures in 2018 - #89, "Two of a Kind"

100x : 2018 - #25

Irish Dogs?
Oh, Henry...


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Friday, March 16, 2018

TGIF

TGIF
End of a long week


Wishful thinking, Henry. There's no Cookies in the coconut cups tonight.


TGIF
End of a REALLY long week


I have NO idea what Zachary was thinking here. Probably hoping that darned hat didn't fall off. Again.

Dog Blog Post #2466


Some days you get models, some days you get dogs.

Today's shoot definitely went to the dogs.

What a pair of characters.

Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2326. "Made It"

... to the end of the week (and the end of the shoot!)

118 Pictures in 2018 - #75. Sunhat

100x : 2018 - #24


Yesterday


Bitey Face
"Roar!"


The boys playing their favorite game is a...

Daily Dog Challenge 2325. "Cheery"

... sight :)


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© 2018 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Looking Handsome

Handsome Henry


Handsome Henry
Henry with Hat


DSC_9616
Henry without Hat


Handsome Zachary


Handsome Zachary
Zachary with Hat


Handsome Zachary
Zachary without Hat


Why a purple hat?

I have fedoras in red, blue, purple, and black (two!).

I like the way the boys look in the black fedora, but as the background is usually black I don't use it as often as I should.

The red is nice, but rather... loud... and needs the right kind of picture.

The blue is pretty hat, but for some reason either the hat or the boys look... off... in color when together.

Which leaves purple.

It shows up great (but not TOO great) against black and goes well with their coats.

Dog Blog Post #2465


Henry, looking Smart in his purple fedora, decked out in his winter coat, showing off an Abundance of fur on his legs, called feathers.

Golden Retrievers have feathers on the backs of their legs, on their belly, and creating that characteristic golden flag of a tail.

Despite my boys being closely related, their coats are surprisingly different.

Henry has the most luxurious fur. I don't call him Luscious Locks for nothing! His coat has some natural wave to it, giving him a bit of a rumpled or bed-head look.

Zachary's coat is almost completely straight, with a just few curls near the nape of his neck. His coat is thinner, his feathers generous but not luxurious, and he doesn't spawn dust bunnies in his wake like Henry does.

Our first golden, Beau, had a much deeper, richer color (see the small image near the top of the right column) which shone like true gold in the sunshine. He had the least amount of coat of the three, being very much wash and wear.

Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2334. "Smart"

118 Pictures in 2018 - #48. "Abundance"

Our Daily Challenge - March 13, 2018 - "Birds of a Feather"

Bird Dog, that is.

With feathers. :)

100x : 2018 - #23

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Happy Birthday Zachary!

Happy Birthday Zachary!
Henry: "Night Night Momma"


Dog Blog Post #2464


A Favorite Pastime: Sleeping. Definitely sleeping.

I tried my hand at quilting some years ago.

I found it quite relaxing - a pleasant way to spend an afternoon while watching football.

Well, many afternoons.

This isn't a hobby for the impatient, at least not at the pace I worked at.

Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2332. "A Favorite Pastime"

Our Daily Challenge - March 12, 2018 - "Patch or Patched"


Photographer's Note: The boys posed themselves while I was setting up, and since the dog bed is a bit difficult to work with on hardwood floors with two very animated dogs on board (or they would have been had I tried to flip them around) I didn't argue the point.

I probably should have, as it put the quilt (the principle prop) on the far side of the flash.

I'd actually planned to shoot them individually, where I could have had them facing the camera with the quilt wrapping around them and spread out on either side.

Oh well, they prefer being together anyway.

And the Birthday Boy (on the left) is 10 years old today. He'd like you to think he's a Mature Dog, but he's still a puppy at heart.

100x : 2018 - #22

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

In The Lead

In The Lead 10/52
Henry, leading the way!

... but Zachary has the ball.


Shhhh
The lead and the ball!



Dog Blog Post #2463


Photography Assignment


Our Daily Challenge - March 11, 2018 - "Along The Way"

The Boys
The Boys


It's a terrible picture (lighting, focus, color...) but I like it anyway.

Yesterday


Shhhh
Henry with a purple hat



Shhhh
Henry in the dark



Friday


Shhhh
Sweet Zachary



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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Daring Dog

Daring Dog
Daring Dog Zachary


Dog Blog Post #2462


In The Center of the picture is Zachary, doing his best Indiana Jones.

Or is it Crocodile Dundee?

I'm drawing a blank for any other like-character minted in the past 10-20 years, which is sad. Both those series - one infinitely better than the other - were from the 80's.

Perhaps I just need to go to the movies more often.

Either that, or the boys are going to have to switch to tights and a cape.

Daring Dog
Daring Dog Zachary: "I am NOT wearing tights!"


Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2318. "In The Center"

100x : 2018 - #21

Homebody Henry
Homebody Henry


Henry really is a Homebody.

The sort of dog who is excited to go for a walk... for about a mile... and after that just wants to go home.

Family, food, fan... not necessarily in that order.

And naps.

Plenty of naps.


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© 2018 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Cookie Brigade

Cookie Brigade
Cookies to the Rescue


Dog Blog Post #2461


Hurray! Cookie reinforcements have arrived!


Photography Assignment


Our Daily Challenge - March 7, 2018 - "Things are Looking Up"

Daily Dog Challenge 2317. "Watch Your Focus"

In many ways a reprisal of yesterday's shoot, taken with a single flash and only a couple inches separating Henry and his beloved Cookies.

2018 Weekly Alphabet Challenge - J is for Job

118 Pictures in 2018 - #39. "Strong Smelling"

The boys get lots of little Cookies during shoots; small, non-greasy, non-crumbly, low calorie, pleasant (to humans) smelling Cookies (my favorite is Pumpkin and Sweet Potatoes) which they happily work for and hoover up when the opportunity presents.

AFTER the shoot is over, and everything is put away, the boys each get two of the Cookies shown above.

They are greasy, crumbly, and much more... fragrant... especially the Salmon variety.

This is the boys favorite non-specialty Cookie, and a shoot isn't officially over until they have received them.

I was saddened to hear the company who makes them was recently bought up by one of the big names in the food industry. Fingers-crossed that they don't ruin them.

Cookie Brigade
Plan B


Cookie Brigade
Plan C


Henry must think I'm positively nuts.

Aside: Henry sure has big paws! I don't usually shoot from this angle. Now I know why.

I actually liked Plan B best of the trio, being less static and having more depth, but I just couldn't get past that huge paw to pick it as the shot-for-the-day.

Plan C had too much interference from his ear to paw, not to mention that rather uppity whisker.

Once again, Zachary got off easy - running through his tricks for exactly the same treats as Henry had to work for.

Why did Zachary get off so easy?

Because I was tired of kneeling on the hardwood floor! I usually use a remote and leave the camera on a short stack of books. Today required a much more personal touch.

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© 2018 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Special Delivery

Delivery
Special Delivery



Dog Blog Post #2460


Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 2316. "Small"

Well, THAT didn't work - but I uploaded it anyway to show I at least tried. :)

In fact, I had so many problems with the flashes that I gave up before I even got to the part of making Henry and the figures on the same level.

Or playing with distances to try to get more even focus.

Once I put everything away, it occurred to me that I probably should have switched to controlling the flashes manually, instead of having the camera doing it.

I think the proximity of the LEGO figures was throwing the camera's control of the flashes off.

I've never tried using the flashes in manual - something new I'll have to try... someday.

FWIW: There's a flash 4-5' away diagonally behind and to the left, lighting the figures, and the second flash in its usual spot "lighting" (or not) Henry.

Alas, I couldn't get that flash to fire properly in this setup. Fresh batteries, and then swapping flashes, didn't help - which should have been a Big Red Flag.

Unfortunately, by then I could feel myself growing frustrated.

Since the boys modeling contracts clearly state they only pose for Happy Photographers, we called it a day.

Happy Photographers have Happy Models, and Happy Models make for good pictures.

Anything else is pointless.

Zachary was REALLY happy, since all he had to do was run through his favorite tricks.

Since he performs them with such enthusiasm, it was a great way to end things.

Mr. Henry
In the spotlight


See... the flash was working just fine.

Yesterday



Hello Down There
Hello Down There


Henry...

Our Daily Challenge - March 5, 2018 - "On The Floor"

What else would you expect to find there?

No, I didn't set out to take a shadow puppets picture, but as I was moving around Henry, trying NOT to get the in shot, I thought... why not?

And then spent even longer trying to get a fun, but reasonable, shadow. :)

Daily Dog Challenge 2315. "From Above"


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© 2018 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Road Closed

Road Closed 9/52
Road Repair Crew


Dog Blog Post #2459


Uh oh... looks like my route is closed for repairs.

Good thing they've got a crew working on it.

Hmm...

Photography Assignment


Our Daily Challenge - March 4, 2018 - "Route 66"

Truth in Advertising: We had some trees removed this week, including a large Bradford Pear that was just right of the boys.

We pulled up the bricks so the tree service could use their stump grinder on a particularly prominent root, as well.

Daily Dog Challenge 2314. "Yellow"

Rats - on the little iPhone screen, under the glare of the great outdoors, I didn't realize their yellow hardhats had washed out.

(sigh)

Yesterday


Open and Airy
New look for an old side yard


After an almost completely dry February (a few tenths of an inch of rain, at most) we've heartily welcomed March's early rains.

Alas, we'll need another seven storms like the one that just went through just to hit average, and odds aren't on our side at the moment.

Our Daily Challenge - March 3, 2018 - "In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb"

Daily Dog Challenge 2313. "Airy"

Earlier this week we had four roof-height fruit trees removed from the border next to the house here, a large Bradford Pear removed just right of where Zachary is standing (in back) and a smaller pear removed from the top of the hill just back of that - all planted by the previous owner.

All were either diseased or hopelessly shaded out.

Obviously, our side-yard is now MUCH more open and airy than it was before!

I'll miss the big Bradford Pear, as it was quite lovely in its prime, but the rest had long ago outgrown their welcome.

118 Pictures in 2018 - #14. Open and Airy

(Everything is relative, after all)

2018 Weekly Alphabet Challenge - I is for Isolated

Poor Zachary - he hates wet weather and is hanging back, alone, in hopes I'll quickly return to the backyard and then back into the house.

He didn't have to wait long.

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