Thursday, September 22, 2011

Two weeks 'til Dewey

I hope to get more sunrise pictures like this one:


Two more weeks.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom at 105mm; program mode; camera chose 1/400 second at f/10; ISO 200; matrix-metered; auto white balance; normal JPG.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sadie's work here is done

Almost every day -- usually in the evening -- Sadie plays leap-frog with the dog beds in the living room. If I'm in an adjoining room I'll hear her woof, which means she's play-bowing -- oftentimes to no one in particular. Then I'll hear some panting, which means she's running around in circles. Then she'll run to one of three dog beds in the living room, place her front paws on the bed and pull the bed underneath while simultaneously leaping over it. This will go on for perhaps a minute or two. I say that Sadie is going "crackerdog".

Katie often watches as a spectator from a dog bed not subject to Sadie going crackerdog, although at times she does try to get Sadie to play with her. But on this occasion I caught Katie surveying Sadie's handiwork after she went crackerdog. I think the expression on Katie's face sums up her feelings better than I could describe them in words.

Katie surveys Sadie's handiwork after she played leap-frog with the dog beds. 

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom at 20mm; program mode;camera chose 1/30 sec and f/3.5 at ISO 2200; matrix-metered; processed in Lightroom with blue filter preset; normal JPG.) 

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.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beach grass

I don't usually photograph plants or trees. But I wanted to try my luck at photographing the beach grass at Dewey Beach. So after watching a fantastic sunrise (the pictures of which I've shared in an earlier post) I walked on a footpath that cut between two enclosed areas of beach grass. I paused at one spot to photograph the grass-lined path that I had just walked up but I wasn't happy with the results. So I resumed my walk.

Stopping at a curve I picked out some tall grass silhouetted by the rising sun. A breeze was blowing and causing the stalks to wave back-and-forth. I aimed the camera towards the sun, which I knew the camera would pick a fast shutter speed -- fast enough to freeze the grass. I briefly thought about spot-metering so the grass would truly be silhouetted but I thought I'd just leave it in matrix-metering and see what would happen. I went to full zoom on the 18-200mm, focusing on the grass, throwing the background out of focus, and compressing the perspective.

Then I waited for the breeze to die down a little so the grass wasn't moving around so much. When it calmed down I took one shot.

This is what I got:

Grass on the dunes 

I guess it came out like I'd imagined it, although I wasn't expecting the overall golden tone. Sometimes I'm not sure I'll get, so this was a nice surprise and part of the fun of taking pictures.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom lens at 200mm; program auto; camera chose shutter speed of 1/640 second at f/13; ISO 200; auto white balance; normal JPG.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three weeks 'til Dewey

I'm always thumbing through pictures I've taken. And with three weeks to go before I leave for Greyhounds Reach the Beach at Dewey Beach, DE, I was browsing through some pictures I took there last year.

One type of picture I tried getting (and not getting) was the greyhound dogprint-in-the-sand picture, so that is one thing I'll be looking for. And I'm curious to see what I'll find on the beach when I get there. Last year on Friday morning I walked along the beach and saw lots of horseshoe crab remains:

Lots of horseshoe crab remains...
More horseshoe crab remains...

Then there were always shorebirds to look at:

A shorebird I can't identify 

And it's fun to see what sort of shapes seawater takes as it finds paths over and around the sand:


I tried to frame this last picture in an interesting way but I didn't get what I had imagined. And I was careful not to stare at the sun while looking through the viewfinder. I used fill-flash to lighten the shadows a bit.

Every picture here was taken during the first hour after sunrise. The light angle is low; the shadows are less harsh. The play between light and shadow is just more interesting as opposed to mid-day. I suppose I'd see similar things on the opposite, bay side of Dewey Beach if I was to go there during the late afternoon. I hope to do that during this visit.

But then, the ocean is not on that side.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 10-24mm and the 18-200mm zooms; program mode; auto white balance; normal JPG.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Of the seventeen hounds that were brought up from the racetrack, I think all of us were taken by the appearance of one particular hound: Rockstar.


This is a picture of him as he was being photographed for his "available fosters" picture. You can get a hint of how well-muscled he is.

He has these eyes that will burn right through your soul:


When he was small dog- and cat-tested I snapped these pictures of him in the corral:

Rockstar Rockstar

Rockstar Rockstar

These pictures really don't capture how red this boy is -- you have to see him in-person. He had no problems with small dogs and cats, so I don't foresee any problem with him ending up in a forever home soon.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 50mm f/1.8 prime and 18-200mm zoom lenses; SB-800 flash; center-weighted and matrix-metered; aperture- and shutter-priority; auto and shade white balance; normal JPG.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Seventeen... the number of newly-retired greyhounds that I met and photographed last Saturday.

When I arrived the first few were already being bathed; I passed by those and walked down to the corral where the remainder were being examined before it was their turn for baths.

What a great looking group of hounds:

Shorty 20110903_0022  Kiley Bret  20110903_0013-1 20110903_0016

I photographed one of the hounds ("Alexis") getting her ears cleaned:


And then I walked over to where hounds were being shampooed and rinsed:

20110903_0050 20110903_0053 20110903_0054

I watched as many hands fussed over every hound:

More pictures in the next post...