I have been trying to work on my dog series when I have a bit of free time, (which isn’t often,) but I was lucky to have a friend from the photo program bring her Italian Greyhound puppy into the studio this afternoon for me to photograph. Stella is a 4-month old show dog puppy from Nebraska.
Normally with my dog work I use bright backgrounds and the same basic lighting setup. Stella seemed so much more elegant and graceful than all the other dogs that I had in the studio, so it seemed like a bright background would not be as effective as a dramatic one would be. I decided to go a different direction and instead of highlighting the funny moments like I normally do, I tried to go more fine art with this shoot. I have always been inspired by Tim Flach’s work, so I tried my hand at his type of styling. ( Tim Flach’s Website)
It’s a bit different from what I normally do, but of course I still have the fun photos in there.
This is a small sampling of the shoot, check out all the proofs by visiting my Flickr page: HERE
Trying out my new watermark/Logo in the corner on this one
This Thursday I was very lucky to find someone to come fill my studio time. Laura Phillips, (the owner of the Saint Bernard and Chihuahua that I photographed earlier,) referred a friend to me. I had never met the dog or its owners, so I wasn’t really sure what I was in for. All I knew was Laura told me they’d be meeting me at 4 with a large beagle. When I headed in to my studio time 20 minutes early, I met Carrie and Snoopy. Snoopy was a VERY large beagle mix, who believed everyone was his friend. Snoopy was very sweet, but was a little difficult at times as there were other people shooting in the studio and he believed he needed to go make friends with them.
All things considered I got a few good shots. I went with a light, almost pastel yellow background and threw a grid spot over a flash to light it. Without the extra light it turned up a dirty grey-yellow. It was the only color of seamless paper left that I hadn’t tried. I wish the school had ordered red, green, purple, etc instead of 50 rolls of black and 50 rolls of white, ( but I guess most people prefer sleek, elegant high-key or low-key portraits instead of wild and crazy colors. I just think doing a black or white background doesn’t really fit when you have a dog with a humorous expression–I feel the color helps convey the comedy.)
As always, check out my flickr for all the proofs by clicking: HERE!
Today was one of the rare times where I didn’t have a massive amount of homework waiting for me when I got out of class. After Wedding and Location finished up at 5, I checked out a Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift lens and a Canon 580X ii Speedlite flash unit. I didn’t have anything particular in mind when I checked them out, I just wanted to familiarize myself with them more before I actually have to use them in the field or for an assignment. I went over to let Stoli out and decided that he could be my test subject. Stoli was NOT a fan of the flash and would whimper every time it went off, so that was short lived. I also had a hard time getting him to sit still long enough for me to manually focus the tilt-shift lens. After getting frustrated, I broke out my trusty 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and did some action shots. No sooner had I put on the lens then a stray cat came wondering into the yard. Stoli has never had an up-close encounter with any cats before, so he went berserk. There are a few stray cats that hang around the house every so often. The other night I let stoli out and one of them scampered out from under the deck, and he chased after it until I called him back. Well today this cat just froze and hissed, so Stoli got the opportunity to get as close as he dared. The cat didn’t have claws, so it must belong to someone. I was worried that Stoli would get hurt since the cat was bigger than him, but I figured he would learn. Stoli wanted to go up to the cat and lick it, but the cat would not have that. As soon as stoli would get close, he would swat at him and start hissing. Stoli took this as a game, so as soon as the cat swatted, Stoli took off running around the yard, doing circle laps around me and the cat for a few minutes before coming back for another attempt. Needless to say, he was pooped after it was all said and done. I brought Stoli inside for a water break, and must not have gotten the back door all the way shut, because as I was petting him, I hear a “meow” from the hallway, and there was the stray orange kitty! I felt bad for the poor thing putting it back outside. It huddled up against the house for warmth. I always feel sorry for animals in the winter. (Granted it’s not terribly cold here today, but it was only in the 50’s, and it will only get colder from here.)
Also, I want to apologize for posting so many things about Stoli. I am trying to be pretty regular about keeping a blog. I drug my feet so much with this blog for the first year of its existence, but I realize now that it can be a really powerful tool. Keeping up with the blog requires me to go out and shoot outside of class and its projects. I most often find myself shooting the dog, because he’s always there to sit for me, and his quirky personality makes me try hard to capture his goofy side. So, I’m sorry if you’re sick of dog posts, but it’s really the best way to get me into photo-blogging
Anyway, enough said. Here are some shots from the evening.