Monday, September 19, 2011

Katie's not sure of my sanity

I can't help myself: I love it when dogs tilt their heads, trying to comprehend what you're blathering about or what you're doing in their face. It's like they think you've lost your mind but still can't help themselves but look at the spectacle that is you.

Both Sadie and Katie do the head-tilt. I had both girls out on the front porch the other night at dusk to take some photos. Both tolerated my repeated attempts to get something decent in the nice but failing light. Amazingly, Katie was in no hurry to go back inside as she is often wont to do. So I tried photographing her from different angles: some below her, some at eye-level, some above her. She was a good sport through it all. I finally said, "cookie", and she started tilting her head to her left, then to her right.


I was trying to be careful about the background here. I didn't want too much of what was behind her to be a distraction. While focusing on her eyes I set the 50mm lens aperture at f/2 to blur both the foreground (see how her nose is a little fuzzy?) and background. After importing into Lightroom I dodged her eyes and left ear to lighten them, sharpened the area around her eyes, and finally added a slight vignette.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 50mm f/1.8 lens; aperture-priority; aperture set at f/2, camera chose 1/320 second; ISO 400; center-weighted metering; +0.3 exposure compensation; normal JPG.)


  1. I love the head tilt, too! It's funny you mention it. Treat and Hawk used to "take a bow" on command, and I've been lax in teaching it to Bunny. I decided to get the clicker out today and start getting her used to it so I could start teaching her the trick. I had it while we were taking some pictures, and darned if I didn't get the best ever head tilt from her with that clicker! I'd never have thought that would do it, but she gave the RCA dog a run for his money this afternoon.

    You really are going to be shooting close to where we're staying! I'll make sure we get down to the beach to see you. Is there a time or day that's better? I don't want to drop in while it's a really busy time for you.

  2. I love a head tilt, and Katie has a really obvious one. :) I shaped Henry to do it over a few weeks of puppy class, and it's just too cute. :)

  3. carrie, any time or day while i'm at dewey is fine by me. and if you want, you can meet up with those of us that dare to wake up early enough to watch the sunrise (which is around 7am). one of my friends has promised to throw me down the stairs if that's what it takes to get me up so i can photograph the sunrises.

  4. Beautiful pic. I seem to get the sharpest pics at f/2 on my 50 f/1.4. I just started using Lightroom. Still trying to get used to how different it is from iPhoto which I've been using to catalog my photos till now.

  5. It might take an act of God to get me out there at sunrise, but I'll try! It's a heck of a lot earlier out there than it is here!

  6. Lovely photo of Katie. Beryl doesn't do a head tilt at all but Frankie does it very well, except it's usually when I'm at the computer and working on a video that has someone he knows (or me) talking on it! And the camera is never there or the light is wrong.