Friday, November 26, 2010

Shasta is Thankful for Treats

I hope everyone had a wonderful Turkey Day with lots of
yummy treats.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This Will Make You Smile

Pedigree Dogs ad shot 1000 FPS using the Phantom camera

Darling Dog

Since becoming very involved over a year ago in animal advocacy and rescue, I am continually appalled at human behavior toward their "pets".  This sweet, precious Pit Bull, Leela, was living for at least 5 months in 6 foot tall weeds right by an apartment complex in Davis, California --- obviously dumped there or abandoned by a resident.  My sister heard that some residents were feeding her so over a 3 week period she was able to gain the dog's trust by visiting her every evening and bringing food and her dog Shasta to show Leela that she would not be hurt. There is not an aggressive bone in this dog's body and she does not deserve to be abandoned.  Now she is in a loving home, but it will take some time before Leela is no longer afraid. 

 Her markings are so beautiful, and that one ear is always up and testing the safety of the environment.

 Doesn't she look precious in her jacket?  Pit Bulls do not have a thick fur coat, it is more like skin and so they get very cold in the winter.

Leela can even do yoga poses! These last 2 shots on the couch were at the end of my visit and you can see that her expression is more relaxed and she is not quite as afraid of me as she was in the beginning.  She relaxed so much she fell asleep.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Finally Met the Famous Gonzo

I have heard all about Gonzo for at least 5 years, maybe longer.  He is my brother's dog, an Akita and possibly Labrador mix, saved at the last minute from being euthanized.  Gonzo shares some character quirks with our rescue Pearl who is probably a Husky or Samoyed mix, but Gonzo is pretty unique.  They both tend to make Chewbacca noises (like that character on Star Wars), both hate baths and avoid all water, and they don't bark as much as many dogs.  My sister has nicknamed him Eeyore for his sad demeanor when my brother is away and she is pet-sitting because he mopes around.  He has some really beautiful orange eyes and gorgeous black and white fur.  It was great to finally meet him after hearing about him for ages.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shasta In Action

Not all are sharp or perfect, but it makes me smile to see what the eye misses when you are throwing those Frisbees for your dog.  Shasta can FLY sometimes! I know there are a lot of shots posted here, but I have so many to choose from...these are just a fraction.

Friday, November 19, 2010

More Shasta Cuteness

I wanted to try capturing some action shots of dogs and Shasta was the perfect subject....however I need to fine-tune my technique.  I used my D700 with a 70 - 200 VR lens and thought that at shutterspeeds of 1/1250th and up I would get sharp images but usually I did not.  Since it was very hard to predict where my sister would get the Frisbee to go, I was zooming in from a distance and did not use flash. I tried various apertures too, to blur the background but we could not find an area where we could get Shasta far enough away from the background to blur it as much as I would like, except when I was panning.  Also we tried several locations and shot on a cloudy day, a sunny day in the shade and in the direct late afternoon sun.  While I like the soft light of the cloudy day, my sister loves the shapes Shasta's shadows make from the sunlit shots (try saying that phrase quickly 3 times!).  Still, even though not many shots are sharp, it is funny to see Shasta's fierce expressions and her body contortions as she tries so valiantly to catch that Frisbee.
It was in the 70s this day and Shasta got so hot she went to the shade and sat inside a large Pampass grass plant to cool off:

 And finally, my sister with her wonderful Shasta:


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shasta --- Lucky Dog

This is Shasta, my sister's first dog as an adult (she has been owned by cats for years).  She is a rescued dog, about 3 years old, and she has found a wonderful forever home with my sis.  Shasta has Blue Heeler and Border Collie in her lineage and just about her only fault is that she has a difficult time not herding new visitors, as I soon found out (which involves being nipped on the heels).  But after a few days we were great friends and it was so much fun to take her everywhere with us, California is such a dog friendly place.  She goes on walks several times a day, and is a fantastic Frisbee catcher.  The intense stare in these shots are typical of herding dogs too.


or maybe she has been taken over by an alien....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blue Too

Another shot from the jetty.  I could have stayed there for hours there was so much subject matter to shoot.  This lone seagull was perched on what my brother called "Jacks"  which are the concrete forms that pile against each other and prevent erosion --- they do resemble a child's jacks.  And from certain angles they looked very "Stonehenge-ish" in the fog and mist.
I cloned quite a few pelicans and cormorants out of the sky and water, they were not completely sharp and cluttered things up, though they were really interesting.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Catching Waves

My brother warned me that I may be confronted about taking photographs of the surfers because they do not want any posted on the web that might give away the location where great waves can be found.  I really had no intention of shooting the surfers at all, but after getting lots of shots of dogs and pelicans and waves, etc I got interested in watching and trying to capture some of the surfers.  I thought I might be able to recognize my brother and his yellow board but evidently I got someone else. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blue and Orange

And purple.  At the end of the jetty I discovered these starfish clinging to a rock.  I have no idea why one is bright orange and two are purple.

Not far from the starfish I saw what I thought was one of the surfer's dogs swimming near the jetty but it turned its head and it was a seal!  I only got one shot before it went under.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Keeping Watch

It was very treacherous walking along this jetty, carrying 2 cameras and my tripod and having to watch each step over the uneven chunks of concrete and slippery, wet, mildewy wood in between but the long trip was worth it.  This Spaniel was one of a pair of dogs who ran up and down the jetty to stay even with their surfer out in the waves. The sky was fantastic and threatened rain but it never did. This would have been my submission for The Color Blue assignment, if I hadn't been sick. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Kind of Landscape

I went to California to visit family, and of course to do a little photographing while I was there.  I tried, I really tried, to shoot landscapes, beach scenes, surfing, vineyards, etc...but everywhere we went there were dogs, dogs, and more dogs.  My brother lives in Eureka, on the northern coast, and this shot was taken while he was surfing.  All the surfers have dogs and they play and wait until their person comes back in.  These 4 dogs were having a great time in the mist and overcast 55 degree-or-so morning.