Friday, January 25, 2013

Sadie at the park

I took Sadie and Katie to a nearby park during a break between rain showers that passed through our area yesterday. She is putting up with not being allowed to run, go on long walks, or go crackerdog for now; I can't say she's happy about it.

But I needed an excuse to carry my camera with me because I haven't taken any pictures of the girls for the past week or so. And walking to the park just seemed a good reason to get them out of the house and be outdoors.

There are a few small berms around the perimeter of the park. I had the girls stand on one of them and, as I was kneeling below them, I snapped a few pictures under mostly overcast skies. I hoped that the overcast might keep Katie from squinting but that was not to be. Sadie, however, watched and listened to some dog barking from its backyard that bordered the park.


I knelt a short distance away from her because I was trying to get a whole-body shot for a change, but when I started looking at the picture in Lightroom I decided that a close crop of her head appealed to me more. I dodged her eyes a bit to bring them out, added some sharpening on her face, and added a vignette to emphasize her face as the main subject.

After we were done we left the park and crossed the street to go home. I looked down at Sadie, and she at me, and I knew by the mischievous look in her eyes that she wanted to start pogo-ing as is her habit when we're walking down the street. But I had to say "no." I rubbed my hand over the top of her head and said a few words to her, and hating that I had to deny her the fun we have grown accustomed to having. I hope I don't have to keep telling "no" for much longer.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 50mm f/1.8 lens; aperture-priority with aperture set to f/4; camera chose a shutter speed of 1/160 second at ISO 100; cloudy white balance; normal JPG.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

On my photo bucket list

One item on my photo bucket list is to get a good picture of Sadie smiling. Now, let me explain: Sadie is sensitive. Sadie thinks she's in trouble when some of us talk loudly in conversation. She thinks this even though the conversation has nothing to do with her. So she will walk or trot up to whoever is doing the loud talking and start smiling and smiling. It's cute to see her do this, but we tell her that she's not in trouble and that things are okay.

So, one day (soon, I hope) I want to get a picture of Sadie smiling. I hope it'll be similar to this picture I took of Pistachio in Solvang a couple of years back:

Pistachio smiles for me

We're not going to start yelling on purpose at her to try and get this response -- that's just mean. But smiling is part of her personality that I have yet to capture. So getting a picture of her doing this is on my photo bucket list.

What do you have on your photo bucket list?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hijinks on hold

Sadie's developed a bone spur on her right hind foot, so until we get that sorted out she won't be running or playing around with Katie like this:

Katie (front) and Sadie

I am amazed seeing her facial expressions when she plays.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm VR zoom; shutter-priority mode with shutter speed set to 1/1000 second; camera set aperture at f/4.8 at ISO 2000; auto white balance; normal JPG.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Other favorite pictures of mine from 2012

Some other favorite pictures of mine that I took during 2012...

Sadie licks her nose:


Katie stares at me while lying on our bed:


Tadeo the galgo waits for me to give him a treat:


Jen and Skye at Dewey Beach:

Jen and Skye

A crescent moon and a weather vane in Solvang:


JJ the tripod at Greysave's spring picnic:


Josie Bean at Oktoberfest:

Josie Bean



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some of my favorite photos that I took during 2012

Ava near the Sunken Road in Fredericksburg:


Romeo the galgo in his backyard:


The head of a newly-retired greyhound is cradled by an adoption group volunteer:


Jesse the Chinese crested relaxes during a break from small-dog testing:

Shannon and Jesse

A newly-retired greyhound smiles for me:


A greyhounds runs at the Blur of Fur at Gettysburg:


Joey and Ruth at Dewey Beach:




Hoover and Jennifer at Marsh Creek, Gettysburg:

Hoover and Jen

Elvis on his bed:


Amelia is taken for a morning stroll in her wagon at Dewey Beach:

Amelia goes for a ride

I'm sure I'll think of some others. I'll put those in another post.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Whalewatch Season Begins

It's the beginning of the 2012-2013 whalewatch season here in southern California. For us whalewatch naturalists it's time to go on board the Voyager and, with her crew, take passengers for a three-hour-long cruise out into Santa Monica Bay to see the marine life. From the last week of December through April we go out to look for the whales blues, fins, and grays; common, bottlenose, Risso's, and Pacific white-sided dolphins; Dall's porpoise; sea lions and harbor seals; gulls, brown pelicans; auklets; cormorants; grebes; scoters; shearwaters -- more birds than I can think of right now.

But the very first whalewatch trip of the season, on the day after Christmas, is for us naturalists only. It's to introduce the newest whalewatch naturalists on what they can expect to see and do while on the boat. Unfortunately, the weather this year conspired against us. Overnight it had rained, and after the storm had passed it was breezy and cold. A small-craft advisory had been issued for rough seas, so there was little chance of us going out past the breakwater and into open water. We had to settle for a very short up and back in the small marina.

Many of us had brought our cameras, so it was disappointing that we were denied the chance to photograph any whales that could be out there. But I tried to look for something to photograph, and it was towards the end of our short jaunt that I got this picture of a female California sea lion perched atop a buoy:

Female California sea lion on a buoy

Then yesterday afternoon I had a whalewatch trip to do. This time the weather was perfect: bright, sunny skies, little wind, relatively flat seas. Because there had been fin whales sighted on the morning cruise it was planned to go back there for my afternoon trip. But once past the breakwater the plans were changed because there was a gray whale sighting just a few miles out. We found and followed it and possibly another whale heading south and rounding the peninsula. By the time we got to our turn-around spot at Point Vicente there were five gray whales all around us, although they were not visible all at once. It was a good show for the passengers.

Before we turned around and headed north for home we spied numerous small splashes on the horizon, getting progressively closer. They could only be dolphin. We steamed a bit in their direction, but then put our stern to them as the pod of common dolphin overtook us. Many of them passed on either side of the boat, but there were a number of them that chose to bow-ride. This pleased the passengers immensely: many of them gathered on either side of the bow to lean over the railing and watch the dolphins just below the surface.

It is not often that I have seen common dolphin leap high out of the water. And not having photographed dolphin in several months I was completely out of practice. Of all the pictures I took, this one is probably the best:

You can see more common dolphin in the background. They are such fun to watch -- I never get tired of seeing them.

As the season goes on I hope to get better shots than this. There have been orcas in these waters the past month (the latest sighting was on New Year's) and I'm hoping I'll be lucky enough to see them this season.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 70-200mm VR zoom at 180mm; shutter-priority, with shutter speed set to 1/500 second; camera set aperture to f/4 at ISO 100; auto white balance; normal JPG.)