Thursday, May 30, 2013


Both pictures taken at Sachs Covered Bridge in Gettysburg, PA during GIG 2013.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 105mm VR macro lens; aperture-priority mode; aperture set to f/4 (top picture) and f/8 (bottom picture); shutter speed 1/250 second (top) and 1/125 second (bottom) at ISO 100 (top) and 160 (bottom); center-weighted; auto white balance; shot in RAW, converted to DNG and imported into Lightroom.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Another shot taken in a grass field north of the infamous peach orchard in Gettysburg, PA. during GIG 2013. I was attracted to how the setting sun acted as a rim light on his legs, brisket, and ears. I couldn't use fill flash here to lighten his body because the grass he's standing in would be illuminated in a pool of light from the flash. I elected to add some fill in post-processing, and used a graduated filter to the sky to bring out some of the clouds. His leash was digitally removed, too, so just know that he wasn't off-lead here.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 and 10-24mm zoom; aperture-priority with aperture set to f/5.6; camera set shutter speed of 1/200 second at ISO 200; center-weighted; +1 exposure compensation; shot in RAW and imported into Lightroom.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Izaskun the galga at sunset

(Note: leash digitally removed.)

(Shot with the Nikon D300 and the 10-24mm zoom at 17mm; aperture-priority, with aperture set at f/5.6; camera set shutter speed of 1/125 second at ISO 200; auto white balance; matrix-metered; shot in RAW and converted in Lightroom.)


Early Friday morning at GIG I met Harry and his owner, Nancy. Remember Harry (he's the greyhound with the Roman nose) and the session I did with him at Dewey? They drove all the way from Massachusetts to meet me at Sachs Covered Bridge for another session while attending GIG (I'm lucky that I have repeat customers -- I will not take that for granted).

The mid-morning light was not too harsh when we started photographing, but once the sun rose above the tree line the shadows got really hard. The light also didn't make Harry's coat too shiny or make too many hotspots (always a problem with black greyhounds).

He walked onto a stony stretch alongside Marsh Creek, and then stopped to watch something on the opposite bank. I took a picture as he stood and watched:

(I digitally removed his leash from the picture.)

Harry is one of those Greyhounds with a Roman nose, as well as having a lower right canine that protrudes. It's pretty hard to not love a face like his:

After taking a few pictures of him in the creek we had Harry step atop a bank while I knelt down on the stony stretch so I could look up at him for a different perspective:

I was trying to find shady spots to photograph him in but they were few and far between. At least here, even though he's in the sunlight, he doesn't come off being too shiny.

Towards the end of his session we returned to the grassy field next to the bridge's "parking lot" and took a few snaps there:

(I removed the leash digitally here, too.)

Harry was easy to work with -- as he was when I first met him at Dewey two years ago.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 with the 105mm lens (first, third, and fourth picture), and the Nikon D300 with the 10-24mm zoom (second picture); auto white balance; aperture-priority mode; shot in RAW and converted to JPG using Lightroom.)

Saturday, May 18, 2013


When I went to the Greyhounds In Gettysburg event this year I flew to Baltimore a day earlier (on Wednesday) than I had done in previous years so I could meet up with Gretchen and her two English coonhounds on Thursday afternoon. We met at Sachs Covered Bridge and stayed downstream of the bridge. Downstream of the bridge there are a couple of footpaths that one can walk alongside Marsh Creek. We walked down one of those paths until we got to a place where we thought Winston might want to step into the creek.

It was clear to Gretchen that Winston was very excited just being outdoors and sniffing whatever new smells there were by the creek. Unlike last year the trees were late in displaying their spring greenery, so there was a lot more sun and harsh shadows than I preferred. Winston was just dipping his front paws into the creek when I tried to hold my camera down low and blindly pointed it in his direction, taking one fill-flashed picture with my D300 and the SB-400 flash attached to its hot shoe.

When I got home I thought I'd try using a Lightroom preset for a different look.

We walked back to the bridge and fortunately there were few people around while I took a couple of pictures of Gretchen and Winston.

Lately I've been trying to capture a bit of something that describes the relationship between owner and pet. Most owners beg off from being included in a picture, but I'm glad that Gretchen was more than willing to be a part of the picture. I think it makes for a stronger image:

(Shot with the Nikon D300, Nikon 10-24mm zoom (top picture) and SB-400 flash; Nikon D600 and 50mm lens; aperture-priority; center-weighted; shot in RAW and converted to JPG using Lightroom.)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Treasure (2001 - 2013)

Another of my Greyhound clients went to the Bridge yesterday: Treasure. I met her at Dewey Beach in 2011. Her owner asked me to get a close-up of her adorable front teeth:

I just saw Treasure and her owner at GIG a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't take any pictures of her then. I've always liked this one particular picture I took of the two of them during our session at Dewey:

I was trying to convey the closeness of their relationship by not only showing them walking together, but by showing their footprints as part of that companionship.

Your mom misses you, Treasure, as do all the people who came to know you.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fun with treats

During one photoshoot that I did during the Greyhounds in Gettysburg event (held at the end of last month) I had three Greyhounds jumping for treats at their owner's suggestion. This was to try and get some action shots of them. (Speaking of which: our two girls rarely jump for treats, and I would venture to say that a fair number of Greyhounds don't either. In fact our first Greyhound, Alex, would just follow the trajectory, from hand to ground, of any treat tossed to him. You could even bounce a dog cookie off his head and he would still not jump for it. This causes some people to think that Greyhounds are not particularly bright.)

Having not tried capturing this sort of action before, I went with shutter-priority and picked a shutter speed of 1/500 second to start with and adjusted accordingly.

Here are the contestants -- Tanzanite ("Tanzi" for short):




We took the dogs individually and their owner tossed a cookie in the air while I tried to anticipate where the dogs were going to be when they jumped and caught it. In hindsight I would've made my job easier, I think, if I took a series of shots of each attempt. Instead, I took one shot per attempt, and taking it before the dog snapped at the treat.

Naturally there were a lot of misfires:

But then there are the succesful shots. Opal:



I learned that I need more practice. Now, if only our girls would cooperate...

(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D lens; shutter-priority mode with shutter speeds set at 1/500 or 1/1000 second; aperture varied from f/2 to f/4; ISO varied from 100 to 800; center-weighted metering; auto white balance; normal JPG; post-processed in Lightroom.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cara surveys her domain

The past few weeks I'd been busy getting ready to go as a first-time vendor to the Greyhounds In Gettysburg event in Gettysburg, PA. As a consequence I hadn't been writing much. So I have a lot of catching up to do.

I flew to Baltimore on Wednesday of last week and stayed overnight with greyhound friends of mine. The next day I drove up to Pennsylvania and overnighted with another friend who lives not far from Gettysburg. This particular friend has four dogs (two of them galgos), volunteered for years to move galgos out of Spain, and set up a non-profit to continue rescuing galgos after she moved here from the Netherlands three years ago.

After dinner we spent most of the evening chatting. Soon after her husband excused himself to go to bed, his empty spot on the sofa was soon occupied by her two galgos. Eventually they both fell asleep there, but before they did her white galga, Cara, looked up to see what was going on in the kitchen.

She is a stunning girl. I chose an aperture of f/8 to get as crisp a picture as possible, knowing that in the dim light from the table lamp the shutter speed would be long and the ISO would be high. Fortunately having a VR lens makes getting a picture in lighting situations such as this very easy.

I decided her picture might look better in black-and-white, so after I returned home I imported it into Lightroom to see what I'd get. I just added some underexposure and burned in her tail a bit so it wouldn't disappear in front of her chest.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 105mm VR f/2.8 lens; aperture-priority mode; aperture set to f/8; camera chose shutter speed of 1/20 second at ISO 6400; fluorescent white balance; -0.7 exposure compensation; normal JPG.)