Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Incredible Diving Dog

Years ago our son taught our Labrador Retriever to dive in our swimming pool to retrieve a torpedo toy and when we had a photo club assignment of Unusual Perspective I thought that photographing her from the bottom of the pool would fit. I have a Sony Cybershot point and shoot that fits in an underwater housing that I used on a scuba diving trip to Cozumel 3 years ago so that is what I used to capture these images. Unfortunately it only takes jpgs, and you cannot use the viewfinder with the housing on so I often had the camera pointed a little off and would only catch part or nothing of Maggie so it took several sessions. And sadly, she has severe hip dysplasia and now has so much trouble kicking her rear legs hard enough to propel her to the bottom to pick up her toy that she had to give up a number of times, but she loves to dive. The view from under the water is so much different from what you can see from ground level as she splashes and dives, sometimes I almost breathed in the water from laughing so hard. After post processing some of the images I decided they were a little boring showing the plain bottom of the pool so I combined images from my dive trip to make it appear like she was diving in the ocean. I got so many that I loved that the next few posts will show those various images.
Sony Cybershot in underwater housing, Program mode, f2.8, 1.200th, ISO 100
Post processing: after increasing the exposure and blacks in ACR, in PS I cloned out distractions and the tile at the water level, did a Match Color adjustment to get the blues of the reef image closer to the blues of the pool, merged visible all the layers and changed the blending mode to Soft Light at 50% opacity, added a texture layer for the waves, sharpened with the highpass filter in softlight mode.


  1. I really liked the one that you presented the other night, but I love this one. Your post processing is excellent, but your imagination to think of this shot and then your decision to put the underwater coral, plant and fish in the scene was brilliant! Great job taking a simple concept like "unusual perspective" and creating a stunning and compelling image. My hats off to you, Ma Lady.

  2. Thanks Larry! I had a hard time deciding between this image and the one I submitted but I had flipped the reef here so that Maggie was looking right at the Blue Tang and wasn't sure if the light was the same on Maggie and the reef after that. I hope you get a chance to share these with Chloe, I think she would enjoy seeing them as much as she likes watching the Dock Dogs and the ones in the park.