Tag Archives: German Shepherd

Introductions – Lensbaby Blog Circle

When Janet Broughton from Definitely Dreaming first suggested the idea of a Lensbaby Circle Blog I thought “that sounds like fun”. I decided to give it a go and this is the first post in this series.

I had no idea what I was going to write about in my first post and slowly some ideas started to come together but life got in the  way meaning I couldn’t carry them out. Just as I was struggling to think of something, life took another unexpected turn and one of the events preventing me executing my original ideas suddenly turned into a positive.

We now have an English Springer Spaniel puppy, called Tyke. So meet Tyke …

He is eight weeks old, sleeps, eats and terrorises our other dogs Jack (2 year old German Shepherd) and Splat (4 year old English Springer Spaniel).

He makes great subject for Lensbaby lenses and to get good photos I had to work with smaller apertures than normal and get out my flash gun. The photo above was taken with the Sweet 80. I need much more practice at positioning the sweet spot to capture him on the move.

I swapped to the Edge 50 and captured the following shots, where Splat has had enough and makes his escape leaving Tyke with the sofa to himself.

Having claimed the sofa he then decided it was time to fall asleep. I swapped to the Soft Focus optic and had a play while he slept in my lap.

This optic seems to capture to gentleness of his sleep perfectly. It wasn’t long before he was up and on the go again. This time playing with Jack…

and attacking my old shoes…

These were taken with the Velvet 56 lens at f5.6. This was different for me as I normally shoot with this lens at f1.6 – f2.8, but I love the way they have captured his playfulness.

It wasn’t long before it was time for another nap…

I usually shoot flowers so it was a challenge to capture a moving target. I remembered some of the basics of using a flashgun and was amazed that these worked so well. I had fun and so did Tyke. Hopefully he’ll learn to love the camera.

To see the other blogs in the circle and more great Lensbaby photos please follow the links til you get back to where you started. To see Ute Reckhorn’s Lensbaby circle blog click here.

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First Impressions

I treated myself to a Lensbaby Sweet 80 optic a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been having a play an getting used to finding and placing the sweet spot of focus.

We went out with the dogs on Sunday morning, it was a grey dull day not great for photography but out of habit I took my camera gear. While we were wandering round the common I thought I’ll try for some action shots of Splat fetching the tennis ball. I set the aperture and shutter speed and focussed on where I expected him to run through.While I was setting up they had a false start and there were a few shots which included Jack.

The shots of Splat didn’t work, he moves faster than I expected so they were blurred. There was something about one of the early shots including Jack which appealed to me. I think it was the expressions on their faces and the sense of movement. The focus wasn’t sharp as they were both just outside the sweet spot.

I’ve downloaded Topaz Studio and had an initial play but still have lots to learn. I thought I’d have a play with the free Impression adjustments. I love the result, see below. It turned an very average photo into something I really like and was happy to post  on social media. I’ll have to play some more.

The Chase
On the common

 

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Dog day

It wasn’t great day for photos yesterday. It was dull and overcast but was supposed to brighten up later.

Having pre-ordered the new Lensbaby Sweet 80 optic, I was playing with the Sweet 35 and Sweet 50 to get used to moving the sweet spot. It’s tricky to get the hang of and I haven’t used these lenses much recently.

There wasn’t much inspiration on the common, the summer flowers are passed but the autumn colours are just beginning to turn. The dogs always play with a ball as we pass the playing field and then charge about chasing each other. I set the sweet spot to the centre of the frame and the focal distance where I thought they would cut across in front of me. I then hit the shutter as they charged chased one another.

Jack

At play

On the way home we passed Evie’s gate and there she was, waiting for us. She’s a really friendly German Shepherd cross Rottweiler who comes running down from the garden to see Jack and Splat, and to get some fuss. She’s watching Jack and Splat heading down the road home.

Evie

Please come back

It was great when I got home and downloaded the photos to find that I caught Jack exactly in the sweet spot. His face is in almost perfect focus. All I had to do was crop the image and make the background black and white. His colour doesn’t look good against a green background.

Evie is just beautiful and the background really shows off her colour.

It would have been great if I’d got a photo of Splat to complete the set …

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Tristan and Tyke

I don’t remember how I found out about Lensbaby lenses but I do remember the first time a got great results with some of the optics for the first time. Two of my favourites are below. They are old favourites.

The first photo was my first success with bending the sweet 35. We were both tired out after a long walk along the Malvern Hills. We’d met A friend and walked from the Wyche Cutting to Hollybush and back. It must be at least 10 miles. Tristan looked so peaceful sleeping on the sofa so I got the camera out. It didn’t work in colour but I love the black and white version. This is the background photo on my iPad and the only photo on my desk. Over the years a Tristan and I must have spent hundreds of hours and walked hundreds of miles on the hills.

 

The second photo was taken with the edge 80 and this was the first time I felt I’d got the focus where I wanted it to be. This shot was taken in the morning before we went out for a walk. Tyke was just lying looking at us, in the most beautiful morning light, as if he was saying “get a move on”.

 

Sadly both have gone, which is why these shots are so special. I now have another GSD and spaniel which have yet to calm down and learn that when I get the camera out they just have to lie down and stay out of the way. They are still mad keen to see what I’m doing, and frequently scare off or trample all over my subject.
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Competition Update

I posted last month about choosing photos to enter into the White House Vets Photo Competition, the results are in, and my photo “I think I’m stuck” was second. Check out the other winners here. Congratulations to everyone who took part.

White House Vets Photography Competition

It feels very strange, its great that judges really liked this shot, but it’s my least favourite and if it hadn’t been for Emily’s reaction when she saw it, I wouldn’t have entered it. He looks so sad …
Maybe that’s why I don’t like it, it upsets me.
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White House Vets Photography Competition

Our vet, White House Vets, is having a Pet club photo competition. I’m not big fan of photo competitions but I thought I’d give it a go. The last few times we’ve been on the common I’ve tried to get a photo of our young springer spaniel, Splat, jumping into the pond but he’s too quick. I have lots of great photos of dramatic splashes but no springer …

Most of the photos I have of the dogs are of them asleep somewhere in the house. It was a great excuse to go through the photos of the German Shepherd as a pup. His facial expressions are great and he looks so cute., but I am very biased.

Looking back made me realise how poorly I catalogue my photos. It’s one of those “must do better next time” tasks. Although they are all filed by date, without a reference event it’s not very helpful. Without the website I would struggle to remember what I have.

It was difficult to down select to a few, but I eventually reduced it to six.. I went for cuteness over technical excellence, so ended up with four puppy photos, a sleepy one and an action shot.

My final choice is shown below, what will the judges think?

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