Friday, January 31, 2014

Miami, meet Ocean

You will sometimes hear of a list of things that racing Greyhounds may not have encountered during their racing careers before heading off to their adopted homes: linoleum flooring, stairs, city traffic...or the ocean.

Miami had not seen the Atlantic before Saturday's photo shoot at Dewey. How would he react to getting his feet wet with sea foam blowing all over?

Miami, meet Ocean:

No problem! Success!

(I've digitally removed his leash, incidentally.)

Not only was this the first time Miami had seen the ocean, it was also the first time for his companions Thyme (Greyhound) and Izaskun (Galgo), too.

I added some exposure in post-processing to keep Miami's white fur from looking a dingy gray. Some highlights were lost but that didn't really matter to me — I also didn't want his eyes to look like two dark holes in his head.

As an aside, Miami was profiled recently in a local news story in Philadelphia.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 105mm VR macro; aperture-priority, with aperutre varying from f/2.8 to f/5.6; shutter speed varied from 1/1000 to 1/3200 second; ISO varied from 100 to 400; +0.7 exposure compensation; center-weighted metering; auto white balance; shot in RAW, converted to DNG, and imported into Lightroom.)

Sunday, January 26, 2014


It was windy at last year's Dewey. And kind of rainy. And windy. It was like this for five days.

And I couldn't think of a better title.
This is Jen and Kasey braving the wind and ocean spray during her session. I was trying to show their small figures in context with the large waves pounding the beach and the big overcast sky. Not really breaking any new ground here: it's just a woman and her Greyhound.

We had the entire beach to ourselves because nobody in their right mind would spend a lot of time out there.

But still, it is a picture of Jen and Kasey on a windswept beach during the worst weather I've ever experienced at Dewey. And it counts for something because I've rarely taken pictures in bad weather like this and made the best of it. Fortunately the wind and spray didn't bother either of them at all.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 105mm lens; shutter-priority with shutter set to 1/1000 second, f/7.1 at ISO 100; center-weighted metered; auto white balance; shot in RAW, converted to DNG, and imported into Lightroom.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sammy, Harry, and Loki...and photographing the black Greyhound

A long time ago I was asked by Carrie of Tales and Tails about how to photograph black Greyhounds. I'll share a few suggestions on how I photograph them that you might find helpful:

  • Photograph black Greyhounds in shade whenever possible (pictured: Sammy, photographed in open shade):
  • Avoid mid-day, direct sunlight, if possible, to prevent hot spots on the fur. I prefer to photograph in the early morning or late afternoon when the light is softer and comes in at a lower angle (pictured: Harry, photographed around 9AM):
  • If you do use flash outdoors, lower the camera's flash compensation to -1 (or whatever value you prefer) to keep the fur from appearing too shiny as black Greyhounds tend to be that way. (On Nikons, this button is used to control the flash's output when used in combination with turning the command dial either left or right. Image copyright Ken Rockwell.). I set the camera's flash exposure mode to slow-sync, which allows the camera to keep both the background and the subject properly exposed. And if your flash has a tilting head, point it up at least 45 degrees and use a flash diffuser if you have one to soften the light further (pictured: Loki, photographed in late afternoon with flash compensation of -1 and slow-sync):

These are just suggestions which give me the results I'm looking for. Play around with the various settings until you find the values that you like.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 50mm and 105mm VR lens. All shot in RAW, converted to DNG, and imported into Lightroom.)

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    Je t'aime (1999 - 2014)

    I had known Je t'aime ("I love you") from seeing her run in the Solvang Streak for a number of years (she had attended the West Coast Greyhound Gathering every year since it began in 2005). It wasn't until two years ago that I got to the chance to do a session with her in the Secret Garden of the Royal Copenhagen Inn. She was a beautiful brindle girl:

    She was twelve at the time. There's something about a Greyhound face grown white with age that's so wonderful.

    In April of last year (three months before Katie's amputation) she had a rear leg removed due to OSA and bounced right back.

    This year will be the first Solvang gathering where she will not be there. She crossed the bridge on my birthday.

    Friday, January 17, 2014

    Some of my favorite photos I took during 2013 (part 2)




    Sadie (belongs to a different owner):








    Speed Racer:

    Mary, Speed Racer, and Trixie:

    Cat and Sully:


    (All photos taken with the Nikon D600, 50mm, and 105mm lens; shot in RAW, converted to DNG, and imported into Lightroom.)

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Some of my favorite photos I took during 2013 (part 1)

    Bailee-Mae and Julie:


    Winston in Marsh Creek:


    Izaskun near the Peach Orchard:

    Miami near the Peach Orchard:

    Daisy wades in Marsh Creek:



    Axel, Janel, and Duncan:


    (All shot with the Nikon D300 and D600 using the 18-35mm, 50mm, or 105mm lens; shot in RAW, converted to DNG and imported into Lightroom.)

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

    Maggie (2002 - 2014)

    "Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there."
    Isla Paschal Richardson

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

    Sadie is salt and pepper

    At this stage of her life she's more salt than pepper.

    (Shot with the Nikon D600 and 50mm f/1.8 lens; aperture-priority with aperture set at f/2.8; 1/250 second at ISO 400; center-weighted metered; +0.7 exposure compensation; auto white balance; shot in RAW, converted to DNG and imported into Lightroom.)