Sunday, September 11, 2011

Beach Party!

For a true Newf owner, there is nothing better than taking the dog (or dogs) to the beach and enjoying the sheer joy of watching them do what they were born to do - work and play in the water!

Photos of these moments are priceless, and kudos to those of you who go out armed with dogs AND a camera. I have to admit, I tend to focus on the moment and rarely combine play time at the beach with my camera, but that is my loss. For me, it is easier to photograph when I have someone along I can delegate the dogs to, freeing me to focus on shooting, so I rarely mix the two activities.

Carol Stohlgren sent this priceless image of her two dogs, Bo and Storm, playing at a beach near San Simeon CA. She says it is her favorite photo, in part because it captures the two dog's relationship, both with the water and with each other. She uses it for her Facebook page and her computer wallpaper - as well she should! She's captured the two dogs in a wonderful moment of happiness, they are close-up so you can even see the whites of the black newfy's eye, there is wonderful detail in the fur - it is just great!

Are there problems with this image? After studying the image for a while, I realized that there is a black collar or something hanging off the Landseer that I'd like to pick off - but it isn't immediately apparent. And, I suppose a purist would point out lack of detail in the waves - but we aren't shooting for Ansel Adams perfection and when you are photographing a black Newfoundland and the crashing of waves - there is just so much the camera can record. The point is that she got great detail where she wanted it - in her subjects!

Could I improve this image? Oh, I tried. I brought a wee bit more detail into the Landseer's white fur, and I played with actually extending the background a bit so the dogs are in one third of the frame. And I darkened the edges a hair, but honestly - she nailed this in camera - where it needs to be done!

I will give you something to think about, though, if you are taking your dogs out to shoot at the beach, like this. Look for alternate angles. Might there be a more interesting background that doesn't distract from the dogs? (Maybe, maybe not!)

A photo I took last year of Arayo and her pal Gracie in Nova Scotia is very similar to Carol's. I wish I'd been as close to the dogs in my photo as Carol was in her's, but I do like the inclusion of the coastline to give the image a sense of place.

But, everyone's view of the world and of their Newfoundlands is different. Thank goodness! And, much of what I like about photography is trying new things. This blog is to give you a few pointers, and a couple ideas of things to try when you next head out with camera and dog. Carol - thank you for sharing this lovely image with us. Beautiful shot!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the nice comments on the photo Karyn--we just learned last week that we also won a little photo contest that our NCNC newsletter is having each month--and the Newfs are the recipients of a wonderful new water wubba! I am anxiously awaiting your critique on Priscilla's photo of Casey--I love it and was so impressed she got such a good action shot with no blurring!
    - - Carol