Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!! It’s hard for me to beleive that another year has gone by and another one is begining, so I thought that I’d update you. I know, I haven’t posted in like forever, but I haven’t forgotten my blog, I just haven’t taken the time to post in a while.

But anyway, I have been taking photos and playing around in Photoshop in my absents, in fact, here’s my favorite Photoshop results;

(that’s my favorite truck in the whole wide world)

And what I call “The Wolf Revenge” actually, that’s Candy

And one of my all time favorites of Candy

But as far as regular photo shoots, I do have a few photos that I really love. Most of them were taken with my Nikon D300 with my favorite lens, the 70-300mm VR.

Candy running over poor Chevy

Candy acting silly, as usual  ;)

I love the ‘unusalness’ of this photo, there are so many different elements to see and figure out.

Candy jumping off her favorite play ground; the 28ft goose neck trailer

Candy stalking big brother

Candy jumping on her favorite play ground

Buford enjoying some time outside (he’s an inside cat)

Candy just chillin’

Meet My New Desk Partner; Dakota

Ok, I’m still a little out of it, but I managed to summon up enough time and energy to introduce you to my new desk partner, Dakota;

Dakota is a blue and black, male, crown tail Betta. When I first brought him home, I put him in an old, glass, open top fish tank that I’ve since my old Betta died a couple years ago. (and finding that old fish tank in my closet was one of the inspirations for getting Dakota) but the point I making is when I had my old one, my cat Buford didn’t pay any attention to it, and I didn’t think he would to Dakota either, wrong!

The first thing Buford did after I put the bowl on my printer table was he started drinking out of the bowl, and spotted Dakota swimming around.

Well, Buford was very, VERY, interested in that open topped fish tank, but all he did was drink out of it, but I was afraid that his drinking, would escalate to his fishing, so I knew right then I needed to get a new tank with a lid if I wanted to keep Dakota. (and I did) So, off to Petco again.

Well, I got another tank, and this one will fit on my desk where I work all the time and not on my printer table that way I can see and watch him.

And I’ll let you know, Buford was THROUGHLY disgusted when he discovered that I had moved Dakota to a new tank with a lid, I got the most hateful, cat look that I ever had gotten from Buford, and I’ve gotten a few, but I know now for certain because of that look I got that his drinking out of the bowl, would have escalate to his fishing out of the bowl. (sorry Buford, but I like my fish)

Although now I’m starting to realize how much I enjoy Betta’s; and now I’m starting to think about getting another one or two when my life settles down again and I get my new desk area more stationary … boy Buford will be pissed at me, 1,2, maybe even 3 Betta’s in his room that are off limits for his consumption.

So brain dead, can’t think of a title

Ok, where on earth to start… well, I’ve been so busy and exhausted lately that watching Terminator 2 doesn’t even perk me up… well maybe a little bit. (I LOVE that movie) I just got back from San Antonio from shooting a conference for a client, I just moved my computer upstairs into my room, Candy got sick, I’m trying to start making a 30 minute-hour long DVD for a client… so I won’t be posting for maybe a week, so please hang loose and I so appreciate your patience! But in the mean time, here are a few pics of my new computer set up;

This is my desk

This is my temporary extend-a table that will be made into a built in “L” shaped desk

This is my whole set-up

And for those wondering, that is a Ducati Streetfighter S on my desktop background :)    

I REALLY want that bike!!!

Dog Photography Tips on Outdoor Portraits Part 3

Another interesting portrait angle is “Up in the Air” that is where you are lower that the subject or the subject is higher than you. (take your pick of sayings but they both mean the same thing)

This dog photography tip works best on smaller dogs or cats. Although it looks really cool for big dogs, I’ve never gotten around to doing it. What I did for Buford in the photo above was I set him on a ladder rack that was about 4 feet off the ground I got behind him and Buford was more interested in looking over his domain than looking at me and it made for some great “cat attitude” portraits.

Now, the subject doesn’t always have to be 4 feet off the ground; it can be a porch boundary brick fence that’s about a foot and a half off the ground.

Now, I did have to edit this photo quite a bit in Lightroom 2 because I didn’t use my off camera flash although I should have. (that’s one dog photography tip I didn’t even follow my own self, but we were in a hurry and I knew I could save it in Lightroom) a dog photography tip for outdoor portraits that are in the shade and the background is in bright sunlight; you are almost guaranteed to need a off camera flash to keep the detail in the dogs face if you don’t have Lightroom.

Dog Photography Tips on Outdoor Portraits Part 2

Of course, everyone wants to see the studio type photos of their dogs, I like taking those kinds of photos outside.

This photo was staged, I laid Candy and Wolfe down beside each other, and then I laid down in front of them to get down on their level to make the angle of the photo more interesting. I wrote a dog photography tip post on lying down, and I can’t emphasize enough how getting lower than your subject can help your dog photography.

This photo is one of my all time favorites of Candy, I took it fairly early in the morning and what I did was sit her down on the grass covered hill with the fence behind her and the sun making a outline around her and using my on camera flash (one of the few times I use on camera flash) and flicked my hand off to the side to get to look over there and CLICK! I got the shot. (I even like the small lens flare)

Now this portrait was Photoshoped. I took two different focal points, one of Candy, one of Wolfe. I later merged the two focus points in Photoshop. But the dog photography tip I wanted to point out in this photo was that background is completely blurry, and I think that is what makes an outdoor portrait more interesting.

In this photo, I was emphasizing the eye reflection in Candy’s eyes, I should have framed it closer, but I still like the photo.

Again in this photo, I was laying on the ground. Now, for some dogs this may be a little hard because they will get very excited about you lying on the ground a few feet away from them. If you plan on shooting photos of your dog while laying on the ground you might want to do a few training exercises beforehand.

                To start with, make sure your dog knows the sit command and will do it under any circumstance and anywhere. In the house, sit down on the floor near your dog and if he gets all excited as him to sit and you may have to help him a little to remember to sit. After he sits, praise him immensely and treat him, after he gets the idea that when you sit, he sits, you can advance it a little. Instead of sitting, lay down on the floor, first on your back and if he gets all excited tell him to sit and when he does, praise and treat immensely. By now, you will be able to photograph your dog while lying down and not get clobbered.

Well, that’s all the dog photography tips for now, I hope you can benefit from the training tips too. 

Photo Friday – Candy in the Bronco

I love taking photos of dog in and on cars & trucks and rusted out hulks. It gives the photo so much flavor and character, so naturally when my brother was restoring an old 78 Ford Bronco in our RV garage, I just had to set up a photo shoot.

I did a post a while ago on how I took the photo above if you’d like to see it.