Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Abbie (2001 - 2011)

I learned of the passing this past weekend of another greyhound that I was privileged to have photographed. Abbie was 16 months post-amputation of her right rear leg when a mass in a lung was found; it was decided to send her on her way. Whether the mass was related to her osteo or not I do not know, but, damn...the list of greyhounds that I know that have developed the disease just gets longer.

Her face reminded me very much of our Nikki, though Nik was not as red.

Rest well and be at peace, Abbie. Surely you were loved, and surely you will be missed.



Abbie and Melissa 

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom and SB-800 flash (pictures 2 and 3); program mode; slow-sync flash mode; +0.3 exposure compensation; matrix-metered; auto white balance; shot in RAW.)

Katie says...

At first I was, like:


And then I was, like:


Then I lol'd:

Katie and Sadie 

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the SB-400 flash bounced off the wall or ceiling; program mode; camera chose 1/60 second and apertures of f/4.8 and f/5; ISO 200; auto white balance; normal JPG.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Until we adopted Sadie in November of '03 I hadn't really looked closely at black greyhounds to notice how shiny their coats can be and just how striking they are in general. Sadie single-handedly completely changed my impression of them and made me appreciate this color -- and for that I'll always be grateful.

Bonnie was my first session on Saturday. She's young, mostly black with some "chrome" underneath. She's every bit the image of the elegance and dignity that is the Greyhound:



Black greyhounds can be difficult to photograph, especially if you are in the habit of using fill flash outdoors. If you don't turn down the power on your flash, chances are you'll have a lot of hotspots appear on their coat. Most of the time I have my flash turned down to -0.3 or -0.7, although I've also started reducing its power even further to -1.0. (On the D300 I adjust the flash by pressing the button labeled with the "flash" icon, then rotate the front control wheel to the desired value.) Then I'll review the image and adjust accordingly, if needed. It's whatever looks good to you.

Greyhounds playing in the water can be -- how shall I say it? -- "manic". Spinning, scampering, leaping, running back-and-forth...I wonder what goes through their minds. It's wonderful to watch:



(I've digitally removed the leash in these pictures.)

And then they're done playing for the time being, they stand there and look quite collected:


And being sighthounds, they can certainly be nosy and curious:

Bonnie and Sara 

Thank you, Sara, for letting me photograph Bonnie.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom; shutter-priority; matrix-metered; auto white balance; ISO 200; SB-800 used for fill in first and last picture only; shot in RAW.) 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bunny tells a joke

Many of you dog-blog readers follow Carrie, who writes a daily blog called Tales and Tails about her greyhounds Bunny, Lilac, and Blueberry, and her GSD Morgan. Being still a noob at this blogging stuff I chanced upon her blog early this year, read a few posts, became a follower, and made the rare comment. She reciprocated and started commenting on my photo posts.

Then, she told me that she was going to Greyhounds in Gettysburg (aka GIG) in late March and hoped to meet. That didn't happen but when I told her I was going to Dewey she said she was going, too. I only had two appointments on Saturday (all in the morning) so my afternoon was free and I decided I'd go see my artist friends Beth and Pete at their rental house. I texted Carrie and told her I was on my way to see the Wade's and, if she knew where it was, I'd meet her there.

Carrie and Bunny arrived there shortly after I did, and after introductions and chatting a bit I asked Carrie if she wouldn't mind if I tried taking a few pictures of Bunny while we were standing indoors. I had my 50mm prime lens on and so I decided I'd use a wide aperture to blur the background behind Bunny, and just focus on her striking amber eyes.


There was something outside that had Bunny's attention but I had no idea what it could be. Whatever it was, Bunny would not look away:


As she continued to stare I moved to her left and positioned her to the right of a wooden greyhound figure that just happened to be behind her. I found that interesting, but what I found even more interesting and appealing was how the light illuminated her profile (much in the same way as the photograph of Turbo I had written about in an earlier post):


While that picture (which needs to be cropped still) may be more aesthetically pleasing, the funny pictures are these three of Bunny appearing to tell a joke.

Bunny: "At first, I was, like..."


Bunny: "But then I LOL'd...":

Bunny: "OMG...that was too funny...":


Suffice it to say that it was a privilege for me to meet both Carrie and Bunny.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 50mm lens; aperture-priority with aperture set to f/2.8; camera chose 1/320 or 1/400 second; matrix-metered; auto white balance; shot in JPG.)

Monday, November 14, 2011


At the end of a long day of sessions on Friday I met Treasure and his mom, Robin. Treasure lives in Canada, and has a set of "toofers" that needed photographing.

So cute:



After I grabbed a few shots of Robin running with Treasure, I turned around and watched Treasure walk down the beach:


And then tried to get a couple of the two of them walking together:

Treasure and Robin

I tried converting that last photo in black-and-white and cropping around just their footprints:

Treasure and Robin 

I still don't have the footprint shot I want just yet. But it'll come one day.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom; shutter-priority mode with shutter set to 1/1000 second (mistake!) and aperture set to f/14, f/16, f/8, and f/8 respectively at ISO 800; sunny white balance; SB-800 used as fill-flash; shot in RAW.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bella (1993 - 2011)

I got a last-minute request for a session on Friday afternoon during Dewey. It turned out my subjects were three Italian greyhounds: Bella, Marco, and Milo. Bella's owners wanted to get some pictures of her at the beach because they took her there often. They'd adopted her when she was thirteen. But now at eighteen years of age she had long been blind and had other maladies. She is not well and we're not sure she'll be around to return to Dewey next year, I was told.

So I spent the majority of the next hour photographing her for as much as she would tolerate. The rest of the time I photographed her companions Marco and Milo. And while I did that for a few minutes, Bella came up to me and started barking. Not with any malicious intent, you understand, but I think she was doing this just to let me know who was in charge. So I stopped, turned, petted and scratched her for a few moments, then returned to photograph Marco and Milo. As I resumed shooting, she resumed barking.

She must've been one protective broodie in her younger days. I could imagine her saying, "So I'm old, missing teeth, can't see a thing, and a bit wobbly, but I can still smell and hear where you are and I can put you down on the ground."

I couldn't help myself but smile at that thought of her.


Bella suddenly fell ill and passed last weekend. Rest well, Bella -- I'm glad I met you. And, yes, I know who's in charge.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom at 200mm; program mode; camera chose 1/320 second and f/11 at ISO 200; slow-sync; SB-800 used for fill; auto white balance; post-processed in Lightroom; shot in RAW.)


Jude was part of the session that I also had with Ivan and Kyle. He, like Ivan and Kyle, is a stunningly beautiful male. All three of them were easy to photograph...which is a good thing for me.

I took a few snaps of him as he stood with the ocean behind him:


My friend Aimee took him into the surf to jog beside her (out of view here):


Later on, he and Kyle walked together:

Kyle and Jude

The hour that I had with all three of them went by so fast. I had a lot of fun photographing these three hounds.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm lens; auto white balance; top picture: program mode with camera choosing 1/250 second at f/14 at ISO 200; matrix-metered; second and third pictures: shutter-priority mode with shutter speed set at 1/1000 second at ISO 200; shot in RAW.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I had decided that when I went to Dewey this year that I would wade into the surf with my camera and brave what I thought would be the chilly waters of the Atlantic. I could not have been more wrong: the water was so much warmer than the waters off Los Angeles. That being the case, I went out further into the water to get a different perspective of Kyle as he stepped into the receding water.


Later, he was still a little unsure of all this water:


But afterwards he started digging a hole in the sand, which was surprising because he'd never shown an interest in digging. Greyhounds are funny, funny pups.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom; both pictures in program mode; auto white balance; slow-sync set using SB-800 for fill; shot in RAW.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Despite what you might think when you look at Ivan's ears, it was not windy at all during my entire stay at Dewey. This is just how they are.


(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom set at 105mm; program mode; camera chose 1/250 second and f/16 at ISO 200; slow-sync flash mode; SB-800 flash used for fill; auto white balance; shot in RAW.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Charlie is a greyhound who, if I remember correctly, is relatively new to the beach. During my session with him at Dewey we tried to get him close to the water and see if, perhaps, he might play in the surf.

Ummm...not so much:


He was a little suspicious of moving water and foam. But he didn't try running away, either.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom set at 60mm; shutter-priority with shutter speed set at 1/500 second; camera chose aperture of f/13 at ISO 200; slow-sync; SB-800 used for fill; matrix-metered; auto white balance; shot in RAW.)