Hi - Thanks for checking out our blog! I try and update as much as I can with additional details on shoots, equipment, photo editing, and more. 

Please follow along and ask questions! Appropriate topics are: dogs, photography, Canon cameras, dogs, photo editing, dogs, Adobe Lightroom, beer, dogs, and dogs - including the kind that you put chili on. And Minnesota Vikings football (apologies to every person in Wisconsin). 

Steve

Pulling something, out of nothing

June 24, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

When you hire a photographer, you get access to better equipment, experience, and photo editing ability. When you edit your photos, even a little bit, you kick them up to the next level. Or, you save a photo that would've been tossed and you make it into something interesting. Even photo editing on a cell phone can make a big difference in your photo. And that leads me to THIS photo:

Most people would look at this and sarcastically think, "Nice shot of the sun" and chuck it like a recently destuffed stuffed animal. However, if you happened to shoot the image in RAW format (a "lossless" image file - more on that in a future post) and you used a fairly decent camera, you might be able to save it. But only if you edit your photos. 

I tell people that about 60% of the image is finished when I take the shot. The rest happens after I edit the image - in my case, using Adobe Lightroom. If you've done all of the things I've mentioned, you could edit the image into something that looks like this:

You wind up with 2 different interpretations of the same shot. I thought this looked modern and kind of cool. I took out the annoying dandelion stalk in the front, brought out Gatzby's details and added some blue to the sky. Another photographer might edit it completely different. But this shot is something you are taught never to do as a new photographer - you never shoot INTO the sun (because, see image #1). BUT...it's fun to buck the system. Shooting into the sun on a cloudless day can give you a very unique look. And that is what photographers do. They give you options on images you would never be able to pull off using your cell phone camera. 

The point of all this is, if you want to kick your images up a notch, you HAVE to edit them. Nothing dramatic, you can use a simple program that came with your camera or an app on your cell phone to sharpen, crop and bring out details in your images that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. And possibly save a image you otherwise would've thrown away. 

More on photo editing in future posts. Questions are always welcomed! :)

Steve


The trouble with Facebook

June 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

As I mentioned on our Facebook site, Facebook is having a sharing problem...particularly with Facebook business accounts. The trouble is, there are so many people posting things that Facebook tries to share with you only things it thinks you want to see. That means if I include certain things in my posts like a dollar amount or a link, i.e. we raised $141,000 at PuppyUp!, Facebook sees that and thinks we are selling something and "throttles" the post. Many people will never see that post. I've had posts shared with only 20 people (out of almost 600 subscribers) because of something getting red-flagged like that. 

One option is to spend money with Facebook and then they'll be happy to share whatever you want. You've seen the ad's on Facebook and the "suggested posts". The problem is, my business doesn't work well with that type of advertising and if I don't buy in, you don't see my posts. And it goes round and round.

When you "like" or "share" a post, Facebook sees that as something positive and will then in turn share that post with more people so that does help.

That brings us to this blog. As an experiment, I'm trying this to communicate with people who like photography and dogs. I'd love to be able to answer questions and have people see the answer reliably. We'll give it a shot for a few months and see how it goes so buckle in and HANG ON! :)

Steve


The Great Gatzby - He's a Beagle.

June 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Gatzby the Beagle was rescued and came with two things: a heart condition and double dew claws on his back legs. His heart is doing ok for now and the dew claws are just plain...strange looking.

GatzbyPlaying ball at the park during a Dog Grin photo shoot!

Close up of the freaky dew claws. Not sure how common this is but in 10 years of doing dog photos, this is a first for me. A rear dew claw is officially known as a hind-limb-specific preaxial polydacyly. I prefer to call it a rear dew claw.

Here's a nice pose for something like...Beagle Monthly or Better Homes and Beagles. Maybe a dog food bag...
Anyway, the Beagle - as a quick Google search will tell you - was developed in the 1800's in Great Britain to hunt rabbits. As such, Beagles are excellent sniffers and are known as "scent hounds". They are very good at tracking and if you've ever owned one you'd know that it's almost impossible to pry them away from a good smell. Alongside the Bloodhound and Basset Hound, the Beagle has one of the best developed senses of any dog.

We had a fun shoot! He's a lucky boy with all the right Beagle moves and I bet his owners think they're lucky too.


Newfy's First Birthday

May 18, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

We recently had the opportunity to photography a large birthday party...and I mean LARGE birthday party. A first birthday party/reunion was being held for 5 "puppies", mom, dad, and a half-brother. A total of 8 Newfoundland's for over 1000 pounds of dog!

Needless to say, there was lots of food - including personalized dog cake slices for the guests of honor. 

It was a great time for all involved - including us! These dogs are so gentle and calm. I think I heard 2 barks throughout the entire afternoon! They are also excellent swimmers and were often used by early sailors for hauling ropes through the water and rescue duty in case someone fell overboard. Fortunately, that service wasn't needed this day.

Black dogs are notoriously hard to photograph due to the lighting extremes they induce. All the dark fur mixed with bright sky can make them difficult to see. Especially their eyes. It's a very common complaint that I get from owners of black dogs. My solution for that issue is to use cameras that can adjust to the extremes and can pull out that detail buried in the darkness. We also used some new flash equipment to cut into the shadows. More info on the new flash equipment will be coming soon.

Overall, it was a fun day with lots of food, fur, and drool. :)

 

 


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