Every time I go out with my camera, I hope to learn something new. It doesn't always happen but today it did.
Today I learned that a frisbee is not the best toy if you want to take pictures of a dog playing fetch.
Today I tried to tackle another part of our photography homework...
An environmental portrait is a portrait executed in the subject's usual environment, such as in their home or workplace, and typically illuminates the subject's life and surroundings. By photographing a person in their natural surroundings, it is thought that you will be able to better illuminate their character, and therefore portray the essence of their personality, rather than merely a likeness of their physical features. It is also thought that by photographing a person in their natural surroundings, the subject will be more at ease, and so be more conducive to expressing themselves, as opposed to in a studio, which can be a rather intimidating and artificial experience.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I'm really not enjoying trying to set up posed pictures. I'm not very good at it at all and can never seem to get what is in my mind to happen in reality. And while Marlin is easier to direct than either of the girls, he is rather... shall we say... stiff. :)
Amanda doesn't know it yet, but tomorrow it is her turn to model.
I've been trying for days to get a high key image... It definitely isn't just leaping off the camera. I've given up trying to do it with dogs in the snow and have been scouring the house for white objects. Apparently we have no white walls, no white table cloths, no white sheets, no white towels... In short, nothing big and white that I could use as a backdrop. So I've used the biggest thing I could find - an 8.5 x14 sheet of paper. That kind of limits what I can do. But I've been trying...
In the meantime, Marlin was playing fetch with the kidlets. Vito and Boone are here for a sleep over which means we aren't sleeping. ;) It isn't that bad but having Tigger (aka Boone) bouncing around on the bed at 5:30 a.m. made sleeping a little difficult. I know Amanda, I should have crated him but he was having fun. :)
Oh, and I still haven't managed a picture for my 52 Week Flickr Challenge. The challenge this week is reflection. I thought I'd get a picture of Coulee reflected in Marlin's sunglasses. Um yeah. We are still working on it. Today is the deadline. The bad weather isn't helping. I may need to go to Plan B.... Any ideas for Plan B?
Oh, but there is some really good news... Check out Macromutt.com!
So I started a photography class last night. I've been looking forward to it for a while now. After the first night, I can already tell it is going to be very challenging and will be pushing my limits - which is a good thing. Part of our assignment this week is to take high and low key photos. If you don't know what these are just go to Flickr and do a searches for high key and low key. I know it helped me understand a little better.
Today at work I focused on the low key. There is a little patch of sun that comes in the side door and it was very fun to take pictures of the dogs as their head was just entering into the patch of sun. Izzy and Vito were quite willing models.
I didn't think I'd like the Low Key photos very much but I have to admit, I find these pretty interesting. These are all straight out of the camera but I think I'll take out that bit of light in the top right corner of Vito's picture once I have time to edit them.
I bought the girls Rollover stuffed hooves or "nails" as we've been refering to them. They have quite enjoyed them. Whenever Lacey gets tired of hers she "buries" it to hide it from Coulee (or from us, or just to save for later perhaps..). The top of her nose is a little raw from trying to hide it in pillows and under the carpet.
Two years ago Marlin and I started working on our patio. We pulled up the sod and started to dig. And then we stopped. And left behind a huge bare area that was filled with mud and weeds. Nice eh? Last year we phoned a landscaping company and they were going to try and fit us in last summer. It never happened. Guess what? It is finally done. We couldn't be happier.
I love checking out pet stores in other towns so while in Cranbrook I checked out a pet store downtown that I hadn't been to. I wasn't dissapointed. They had tonnes of cool things including lots of eco-friendly stuff. I couldn't resist buying Lacey a new collar. It is made by Wagging Green, a company I had never heard of before. A percentage of each collar goes to a different cause - and whichever collar you purchase determines which cause gets money. So my purchase went to help the honey bees.
Marlin and I headed out to Cranbrook this weekend to meet up with my sister and her family at my Dad and Shelley's place. The girls stayed behind with Amanda and her crew.
We arrived on Friday and spent some time outside enjoying the great weather. We had our big dinner Friday night to clear up Saturday for going out and having fun.
Saturday night we dyed some eggs with silk scarves and ties. They were super easy and really neat looking. You can find instructions here.
Sunday morning before we all headed off for home, we went and visited some friendly horses that Dad and Shelley know. They just live a few blocks away and belong to some good friends of theirs. We came equipped with apples and carrots and Hurc and Sooz were very happy to take them out of our hands.
This was what we got when we ran out of food.
I'm not sure if that is a "Thank you for the treats" smile or a "That's all you brought?!" expression.
Marlin and I went out with the girls this afternoon. It was gorgeous out - sunny and around 10 C. The dog park wasn't too busy as it was close to supper time, so we were able to play quite a bit of fetch.
We threw the frisbee for a bit but after we were done, Coulee hunted down a tennis ball and was pretty relentless trying to get us to throw it. Marlin eventually gave it a few tosses, much to Coulee's delight.
Dogs really shouldn't be photographed while shaking, but really... who can resist?
And just so you aren't left with the impression that Coulee really is that freaky looking, I'll show you my favourite photo from the day, taken just moments before the big shake.
And not to be left out, while Coulee was playing fetch, Lacey was busy doing her best Baywatch imitation.
Don't worry, the fascination with taking pictures of the girls in the river will eventually wear off and you'll see something other than water and the girls running. But it is so nice to have water instead of ugly brown grass as a background. I'm desperate for some colour in photos but it will be a while before the grass is green again. Maybe next time Coulee will have a bigger toy to add a larger splash of colour.
The river has finally opened up and the girls and I have been down there twice this week having lots of fun running through the water.
It is almost impossible to get a bad picture of Coulee when she is wet. I'm not sure why not, but she always photographs well when wet. They aren't always flattering, but she is usually in focus and the colour of her eyes always stand out.
Last summer Lacey never actually swam and I'm hoping this year will be the year. She'll run through the water but never go out actually swimming. She didn't go in too deep this week but she definitely seemed more comfortable around the water than she did last year.