Our cat Matty is demonstrating below that you can often throw a couple of body parts in the frame besides a head.
This week's blog theme has us filling up the space in our image with the subject. If you have read through and followed this blog for more than a minute, you will often see me doing many dog head shots in this manner. It's technically called "filling the frame." It looks like this.
I will often use this method when photographing shelter dogs, or any pet that is in a space with a background that is not desirable, as the photo above illustrates.
Our cat Matty is demonstrating below that you can often throw a couple of body parts in the frame besides a head.
If you would like me to help you fill a frame, I have many methods and styles to choose from. Contact me to set up an appointment, and I am sure we can photograph and nicely frame something up for you. There are many samples in the studio for you to review.
In the meantime, check out more full frames in the blog circle, starting with Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching pet and family portraits in Coppell, Carrollton and the greater Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex. Enjoy your weekend!
If you were to go back through some of my blog posts, you would see a number of photos where dogs climbed aboard a rock during a photo session.
Rocks are nature's pedestals. I don't have to build a platform if a rock is available. Sometimes rocks place a small dog up high enough for us to see the sky, or a rock can put a dog in a stream so we can capture him/her in the water.
In all cases, rocks are a great commodity in the photo industry, especially for us pet photographers.
The little, older beagle above, was at home on a large flat rock, and better able to hold a pose from that vantage point. Sometimes a rock does add an element of control, as a dog may think about jumping down. So using a rock for a dog that may not be well trained to a sit, can be helpful.
We have many rocks in our area. On our property, we have a number of very large rock formations, some which are used by me for photos, and others that are used by the animals that reside with us as well as our grandkids. Many of our parks and walking areas, also have great rock outcroppings.
In the photo below, three smaller dogs are brought to my level on a rock in the woods, at a local park once again providing a resting moment to dogs that may be very active or overly happy. You can tell by the expressions on these three faces, they were ready to G.O. at a moments notice.
More often than not when you see a sunset photo, you will see the sun behind the subject and a golden glow. I appreciate these shots for sure, but I thought I would show you some of the ways sunsets can be captured besides the standard method.
This goose preening on a nearby lake has a sunset going on in front of it. You can see the color cast on the water and somewhat on the goose, but not the actual sunset. This photo gives you the idea of a sunset without actually seeing it. That's one way to capture a sunset photo.
Sometimes everything around it is colored the same color as the sky during a sunset. Yesterday I went running out of my house because I thought I lived in PINK WORLD. The sky was so pink under the setting sun, that even our house looked pink! We have very vivid sunsets here, and this photo shows how, once again, without actually seeing the sun setting, you get the feel of it happening. This is Corey, and he was a very good boy the day I took these photos.
When the sun is almost below the horizon, magic can happen. I was just so lucky to be driving by our neighbor's farm when this occurred, and also lucky my camera was in the car. I am never that lucky, so I am guessing this was my one-and-only sunset silhouette for my lifetime.
Finally, my girl, Billie. I took her to our favorite field with the sun setting in front of her and very changeable skies due to an approaching storm. You can see the suncast glow on her face and coat. She hardly ever sits still, so all the planets must have surely been lined up. AND, we did make it home before the storm.
To see more, what I am sure will be, beautiful sunset photos, hit the blog circle starting with Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching pet and family portraits in Coppell, Carrollton and the greater Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex. Have a great weekend, and enjoy every sunset you can!
If you have been following this blog for a while, you will have seen this photo before. The red bridge at Lazybrook Park is one of my most favorite spaces to take photos of pups and people. It's an historic bridge that was moved to the site and reassembled. It's perfect for photos in almost any kind of weather.
Another favorite space is Hillside Park. Taken a while back, these photos showcase the docks and water there. There is also a nice foot path through the trees which makes for wonderful opportunities to grab great pictures.
We are lucky to have many parks and many lakes in my region, and all of them are picture worthy, with wonderful scenery that makes for fantastic backdrops.
Finally, I like the little gardens and benches at a nearby University. It's the one I retired from since going on my photographic journey. The grounds are always kept well, and it is a nice spot to capture candids.
What are some of your favorite places and spaces?
To find out what locations attract the photographers of the blog circle, start with Jessica Wasik of Bark & Gold Photography, celebrating the joy and love between Pittsburgh pets and their people.
In the meantime, enjoy your own spaces this weekend. Stay safe and healthy!
I haven't blogged in a few weeks...I think. It's hard to say because I don't really know what day it is anymore.
We have a new puppy. Talley is an English Setter and she is now 10 weeks old. So things are a little frantic, and sleep is sometimes a luxury in terms of getting at least two hours in a row. We haven't raised a puppy in almost 8 years.
I have been intimately aware of her little pink puppy tongue because, well, puppies chew everything. Everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
But she's cute, and actually has been a very good pup.
As dogs get older, their tongues get longer and loll around a lot. Especially on hot summer days. Saturday is the first day of summer. It will be a hot weekend, so I'm guessing there will be lolling tongues aplenty.
Here are some studio shots of dogs who said "hey, it's my tongue and I will show it."
As you can see, tongues are pretty unique. Like a fingerprint. Except when you have 7 dogs and someone licked the patio door window and no one will tell who it was. We have plenty of stock in Windex.
For more variations on this theme (Tongues), check out the blog circle starting with Pawparazzi Pet and Animal Photography presented by Shae Pepper Photography. Enjoy your weekend and the first day of summer!
This week the blog circle is a free-for-all. It's my choice to decide what exactly I'd like to write about. Since it is up to me, let me tell you some things I wish were really up to me.
If it were up to me, our pets would live forever.
If it were up to me, all animals would be treated kindly and well loved.
If it were up to me, all homeless pets (and people) would have a home.
I realize these aren't things I can control on a large scale, but on a very small scale, there are things I might be able to do.
I can make room in my household for some dogs and cats that might not otherwise have a home.
I can treat the animals I meet, and those that live with me, kindly, and provide for them until they can no longer stay with us, and pass to spirit.
I can be sure that their images live forever in print on my walls, as a loving reminder of each one of them.
Below is a quick snapshot of one of our dog-related areas in our family room. I took this with my cell phone late in the evening.
The shelf features some of our dogs that have gone to spirit. That's Winston, Burton, and Daisy (from left to right). Our dog Moe is to the left of the shelf, and our dog Danny is below it. Both are still enjoying life with us, but Moe is 14 this year, and Danny is approximately eleven.
Yes, I know our pets are not going to be able to live forever, but a good photo can live on, reminding us of them everyday. You can see the wooden urns in front of the photos of those that have passed. This shelf is a great comfort to me, and brings back great memories, including the memory of their favorite expression or pose.
There is another wall in our family room with more photos of the pets not featured here.
This past week, we finally had some beautiful, sunny weather and I went outside into the yard with our dogs, who enjoy good sunshine, toys and green grass stretches. I wanted to capture some photos of them doing whatever was "up to them."
They are below and include: Luke with his crinkle toy, Moe being Moe, Lilah with her fuzzy, and Billie trying to steal Luke's toy.
On Monday, June 1, I will be reopening my photography business as part of the yellow phase of Covid-19 restrictions. Our county went yellow on Friday, May 22nd. I will be posting clear instructions for scheduling over the weekend. The studio will remain closed, but outdoor/location sessions are available.
My hope is to create more memories for more people, who just like me, want their pets to live forever.
To read more "photographer's choice" blog posts, start the circle with Pawparazzi Pet and Animal Photography presented by Shae Pepper, then look for the link at the end of each blog to take you the rest of the way through the circle. Have a lovely weekend!
While life is never truly devoid of color, there might be some times when you feel that way. That's not what this blog is about.
Instead, this week is devoted to classic black and white images.
I don't often take black and white photos, although I admire many. There are times, however, that I don't like the vivid color in a photo (whether it's grass being too green, or too many patterns or colors all together in the same place), and it's those times I will turn to black and white for the answer.
I found our cat, Barney, sitting on a patio chair this past week and decided to grab a quick photo. I think his look is highlighted quite a bit more than it was when the photo was in color. The bright pattern on the chair stole the show away from Barney's gaze.
Black and white is very good at keeping the eye focused in the places it needs to go. Barney's photo has been converted into a "classic" black and white image.
Let's look at a different type of "black and white."
Below is a photo of a black and white (Blue Belton) English Setter. If you do a comparison to Barney's photo by scrolling, you will see that the Setter photo has a reddish tint to it. I used an effect called "selenium" to bring a bit of tint to the photo, and highlight the detail in the Setter's coat. This is not a "colorized" technique. The effect simply stamps a tone onto the photo.
But wait, there's more.
I found a photo treatment called Wenge (when-gay), which has been used by a number of photographers to lend a brownish tone to wood in photos. Wenge is actually a type of wood in itself, so it makes sense the color it names would be brown.
I had snapped a photo of a funeral director's dog sleeping in the lobby of the funeral home one day. The photo was taken with my cell phone, and not my camera. I transferred it to my editing software and applied the Wenge effect to it. The result is below.
Prior to using the effect, the doors with the patterned glass just blended into the wood. The Wenge effect helped to bring them forward and showcase the glass almost as if it were lit from behind. This tonal effect lends itself to a very old-style black and white photo, not quite the very brown sepia treatment, but something a bit softer and easier on the eyes.
Three different ways to look at black and white, or images devoid of color.
But wait, there's one more. Back to the classic black and white. Meet some cows I passed on the road several weeks ago. I took this photo for a class I am taking. The color version is up on my Facebook business page, but the greens of spring were way to vivid at the time. I turned it to black and white for a class project, and like it much better this way.
And that's everything in black and white. For more great photos, follow the blog circle this week starting with Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography, fetching portraits in Coppell, Carrollton and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Enjoy!
Not many people know this, but I am usually singing a song in my head when I am behind the camera. The song can be anything and normally fits with the situation.
It's no surprise then, that as I sit here and write this blog, I am playing Woodstock, sung by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. If you haven't heard it, some of the lyrics include: "We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon; And we got to get ourselves back to the garden." It's the first song that also seems to pop into my head every time I see the sun dropping to meet the horizon, bringing the "golden hour" of photography.
It is most likely the song that was in my head when I snapped this photo.
Depending on where exactly the sun is located as it sets, the colors may be red, yellow, orange, pink, but often they are golden. But the golden hour of photography is not really about the color at all, instead it's about the period of daytime shortly after sunrise, or before sunset, when daylight is softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky.
Going back through various blog posts you would find many photos taken during these two time periods, although I am not really a morning person and prefer the setting version, rather than the rising version, of sunlight.
In the photo above, I like that the English Setter portrayed is an Orange Belton. This coat color lends itself well to golden hour photography. The same Setter below, with a different expression and surrounded a bit more by the trees rather than the field, and the dropping sun has to glimmer where it can. (P.S. I used the photo below in the "Bokeh" blog as well.)
Depending on the time of year, the golden hour may reflect differently on the surroundings. In the Fall, the changing tree colors often allow for brighter, more flamboyant colors.
I don't do many landscape photos, but the photo below was taken of a local barn that I always liked (it is a house now), during the golden hour time frame on a Fall day.
Yes, there is a Setter running in the field near the barn. If you can imagine this same scenario taken in very bright sunlight mid-day or on a big, puffy cloud, blue sky day, you can begin to see the difference the golden hour can make in photographs.
I am always admiring sunsets, whether I have a camera on me or not. But no matter how hard I try, I can never quite show the actual colors as I am seeing them.
Stay golden my friends.
To see more on the subject of golden hours, jump to the blog circle of pet photographers, starting with Pawparazzi Pet and Animal Photography presented by Shae Pepper. Enjoy!
By the time you read this blog on Friday, I may have already led three dogs to the bathtub. We have 7 dogs, and so that means, should I get through the three, I have four more to go. There are no lines to the tub. It's not a valued commodity among our dogs. They prefer outside baths in the summer in the dog tub.
It is due to the unruly dog state of being that I asked the cats to help me out this week for our theme of "leading lines." Someday we will get to the groomer again.
Whenever I set up a photo session, or later in post processing, I am always analyzing where my eye goes first in terms of viewing the photo.
For instance, in the photo above, where does your eye go first? Does it rest on the pop of red from the ball? Does it follow the baseboard line into the kitty? Does it land on the kitty's paw outstretched to move the ball? There seem to be many opportunities for the eye to land in different places in this photo, even though "leading lines" are being used.
It's still a cute photo, and really shows the personality of our cat, Matty, but let's look at other examples.
The following photos were taken around 7:00 - 7:30 p.m. (sunset time) near my studio. Our cat, Barney, was keen to help out with this week's experiment, and unlike his usual self, most cooperative. Barney is the cat that arrived here one spring day and never left. We were his choice. He is a bit ruff and tumble, so I can understand why he might have been "put out" of the house, but we are pretty easy going about ruff and tumble cats, and Barney has decided he likes being a house cat. I do have him trained to stop what he is doing if he hears his name in a certain tone of voice, which is helpful to the overall peace among our cats in house.
In the photo above, hopefully your eye lands right on Barney to begin, then wanders later to look around a little bit more. He has many lines to bring you there: the lines on the steps, the downward lines of the trees, and the light which concentrates mostly on him (off camera minimal-powered flash, camera right). Twilight adds a little more blue than I'd like to Barney's coat, but his tones blend in well with the steps.
Here's another one, different location. I let Barney pick the locale, and he decided a drink was in order for the evening, so he pawed himself up to the bar.
This is my favorite from the few I took Tuesday evening. Besides the bench lines which sort of box Barney in and lead your eye to him, even the circular route of the rustic bird bath brings you around to Barney. By this time the light was dwindling, but the moon was as bright as could be, and so I used some of that initial moon light to locate my off camera flash (left side and behind). Barney stayed right in place the whole time, and eventually got his drink.
I think I will make a hanging canvas of this image for my pet wall in our family room.
To read more about "leading lines" and see more great photographs, let the following link lead your eye to the blog circle starting with Jo Lyons Photography, the down-to-earth, dog-loving photographer for cherished dogs of the Great Lakes NSW.
Believe it or not, we have a snow storm headed our way for Friday night into Saturday morning. Oh joy!
I have been a little lax in doing other-than-blog-circle posts on this blog in a while, but there is something about being at home due to a pandemic which gives you extra time to work with.
I decided to pull up a project I have been working on over the course of--oh, well--hmmmm--a too wide expanse of time. In this project, I have taken some photos of our granddaughters and made them into fairies.
But what about our grandsons, you ask? (Or maybe you didn't ask, but here is my response anyway.)
Grandsons are a tough nut to crack. They aren't as easy-going about photographs. I am going to have to figure out something for them eventually, but that's another story.
Let me share some of the "fairies" in our lives.
I spent quite a bit of time on the photo above. Here's what it looked like before I began this specific project.
The above is an untouched, unedited photo. It was taken three years ago, and I started the project just after that, but got sidetracked - - - - A. LOT.
I had to hunt for everything from the proper thing to sit on, to a background that would work, as well as a fairy gown to match the image and some cool lamp post images to choose between for the light source. I think it came out pretty magical.
Then there is this image.
I thought I had a finalized version of this image a while back, but decided to change it once again. I still see some issues with light, that I will have to fix, but it's on its way to being done. Sometimes the more you look at things, the harder it gets to see what needs fixing. The before image is below.
Again, it is untouched and unedited.
I had to create the pond from a number of different stock finds (I think there were 10 in total, combined to make the single pond), then remember to add reflections.
The background was also found in stock photos, but my own, taken in our woods. The animals were all stock photos. I thought about adding a bear in the background, camera right, and still may do so.
Finally, last year, I took some photos in our own woods with our granddaughter that lives local to us, and turned them into fairy photos.
Version one is above. Unfortunately, I do not have the originals to these. But I am pretty happy with the way they turned out. Version two is below. Which version do you like better?
My goal is to ultimately frame all three together and hang them on our wall. It's a great age and time to remember when they were all not-so-grown, and believed in magical things. Plus, I will be offering fairy photos for kids and grandkids, with or without pets, once we are able to become fully operational again.
Have a great week, full of believing in the good works and magic of our daily fairies, whoever they may be!
i got the shot
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