Saturday, February 25, 2012

Before and After

So I got a few questions about the silhouettes so I thought I'd show the before and afters.  I just figured this out by playing around so there may be a better way out there, but this works for me.

Not sure how well you can see the settings in these screen captures but I'll write out the important bits.

For Coulee below, I had my camera at ISO 100, F/2.8 and 1/8000 shutter speed.  I wanted to under expose her and the ground.  As the day was overcast and not super bright, I also ended up under exposing the sky.  So in editing, I cranked up the brightness and the blacks.  I also reduced the saturation just to get rid of the little bit of colour that was left.  And that was it for this one.

I went out today with Constance and Paisley. The ground was lighter due to a light snowfall and the sky was darker due to thicker cloud cover so we didn't have much contract at all.  For this one the camera settings were - ISO 200, f/3.2 and 1/3200 shutter.  I'm not sure if this is what they should have been at or not...  I had to crank the exposure, the fill light, the brightness, the contrast and the blacks.  I again decreased the saturation.

I also had to go in a use the paint brush tool to get rid of some black dots in the background.  I just set the brush to the max exposure so it would turn everything it touched white. (The picture below is before I used the brush tool.  See how grey the edge of the photo looks?  I'm not sure if you'll be able to click it big enough, but that is just a whole lot of dots) I also took the exposure brush at the lowest exposure setting and filled in a few light spots on Paisley. Some of her white spots stayed white and needed darkening.

The more severe editing gave the outline a much harder edge but I really like them as well.  The finished images are below.

We didn't think it was working so we didn't play around for very long.  It was also very cold and Paisley's newly groomed feet were not happy with the cold and sharp grasses.  We'll just have to do it again one day soon.


I can't help myself.  They are so fun.  I thought they would be perfect to hide her bald belly.  Not so much. (see photo #3 - lol)

Friday, February 24, 2012

More Randomness

I love how Coulee matches her environment in these two photos above.

 She flushed a pheasant (I'm assuming - it was some sort of large prairie bird) and she was so shocked she just stood there like a statue watching it fly away.

This is her "Which way should I go?" stance.  If I've faked my throw a few times she does this so she can be ready to launch in either direction quickly.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Random Photos

The only thing that ties these together is the fact that they were all taken on the same day. There is nothing different or weird or exciting going on in life at the moment so you'll have to be satisfied with dog photos.  I know.  That's nothing new.  :)

I swear she was standing there waiting for permission to go chase the geese.  When I didn't say anything, she just ran back to me.  She is such a good girl.

A natural poser

I couldn't decide which one I liked better.  This one...

... or this one.  I love the tongue in both of them.

Having fun with the 50 mm lens.

Coulee's vampire impersonation... It isn't very good.  Her teeth are way to dull.

It was a little windy yesterday.

You wanna go for a walk?  I'm confused.  Aren't we on a walk already?

I need to make a note to go back in the fall.  I think these trees would be gorgeous if I timed it right.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Sled Dogs

I couldn't sit around and be near a whole bunch of dogs without taking pictures... You knew that right?

We needed a picture of Kira for the website - I think we finally have a winner!

I love how so many of them had multi-coloured eyes 
This girl was super unique looking

The top of the house always provides the best view.

This girl had run in the morning and was pretty sure she'd rather stay home than go out again.

I missed the information about how Jaws loves to eat anything and everything.  He stole my mitten off my hand and promptly tried to swallow it whole.  

I LOVE this picture Amanda took while sitting in the sled.  They are wondering what the hold up is.
Another one Amanda took... I like the way the other dogs are looking at him like he's nuts.  

Pulling us around is hard work you know!

This is Sam and her sister (can't remember her name).  Their expressions are pretty clear about how they feel about each other.  LOL.

Mystery Fun Day III

Every once in a while I treat everyone at work to "Mystery Fun Day".  It's a day when we all get to hang out, have fun and maybe do something we wouldn't normally.  I try and make it adventurous yet not too scary.  They've put restrictions on me - no bungee jumping, not jumping out of airplanes, no hang gliding, no frozen lake things, nothing that will cause an asthma attack, etc.

I'm the only one that knows where we are going until we are on our way. I try to tell them what to bring without ruining the surprise. Last year I played an obnoxious Raffi song to let them know where we were going.  This year, I got some cookies made by Bake that spelled it out...

For our first Mystery Fun Day we went river rafting.  Jo fell out of the boat (of course).  The second Mystery Fun Day we went to the zoo.  It didn't fall into the "adventurous" category but we all had fun and Jo didn't almost die.  This year we went dog sledding in Fernie with Adventure Source Tours and tried our best to kill Jo again.  ;)

At the start getting ready

We went out in 4 sleds.  Our guides drove two of them and took a passenger while two of us drove the other 2 smaller sleds.  Sitting and driving were both quite fun.

They took us on a track they had laid through the woods - we went up and down hills, and through the bush.  We had to help them up the hills and hold on for dear life when we went down.

The sleds with one person had teams of four and the sleds with two people had 7 or 8 dogs.

We all fell off the sled at least once, except Amanda, but she made up for it by falling while walking back to the car. :)  Jo even has a pretty nasty bruise as a souvenir.  Falling in snow is way nicer than falling on concrete (just sayin') and it made me laugh that the proper way to stand on the sled is the same stance we use in Derby.

The dogs were adorable and typical noisy huskies.  They were all pretty tired at the end of the run.

We were all smiles.

Huge thanks to Amanda for taking most of these photos!  I didn't manage to take any while sitting in the sled (I was having too much fun) and it was impossible to take any while driving it.  I did have my helmet cam and I'll post some of the pictures and video in a later post.