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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Practice Makes Almost Perfect

Practice is how you master new skills. I've spent a lot of time in the past year learning to capture reasonably sharp photos of my dogs running at full speed. I've improved although it still requires my full concentration to click the shutter at the right instant.
The next photo is a different picture taken a few minutes later. Notice Shyla's absolutely identical body position as she leaped. Look at the position of her front paws. Look at her head angle. I actually had to check twice to make sure I hadn't uploaded the same photo multiple times.

Obviously, Shyla has perfected her running leap in the past year while I've been working on the timing of my camera's shutter.
As I've been practicing my photography, I've also been training Shyla to cooperate. She's become a superstar model for me, most of the time (except when she smells mountain lions). In fact, this photo is a product of me learning to focus very precisely on one of Shyla's eyes while having the shallowest possible depth of field - which Shyla made much easier by staying perfectly still for me.
This is her contemplative look, with her chin resting on a paw. She loves to lie in this position in the sunshine.
I've recently taught R to rest his chin on the ground or on his front paws like Shyla is doing in the photo above. I think it makes him look even cuter than usual. I trained him to do this using a clicker, and he learned at lightning speed. It is incredible how much R loves clicker training and tries so hard to earn his click/treat.
Happy Saturday! I'm enjoying my Saturday, sitting on my deck for only the second time this year. Of course, the forecast calls for snow tonight but I'm not thinking about that right now.


  1. Love the close up of R, just trying to figure out what he's thinking. lol. Shyla sure loves to run and explore, no need to go to town when she is so happy in the forrest.

  2. I like using the burst mode on my camera to capture action shots. That way you just press the button down and follow them through the action. Usually you get at least one good shot in the bunch. I've done this with taking pictures at horse shows too.

    Your pictures are beautiful as always.


  3. that makes R look like a puppy. :) adorable babies, both of them!

  4. What great shots of a happy girl
    Lily & Edward

  5. Ciara likes to lie in that same position, nothing I taught her, but I have a heck of a time catching it with the camera.

    Glad you are having a nice Saturday. We wore winter jackets to a morning soccer game and were in shorts this afternoon - severe storms tomorrow:( It is days like this that make me think snow isn't so bad after all.

  6. They are so cute! I'm not a lab person, at all, but I love these two.

  7. KB, practice makes perfect and your photos are always perfect. Taffy likes to lay in that same position as R however whenever I try to capture a photo, she gets up. I've tried clicker training with her but she is the most food driven dog I've ever had. She can't concentrate on anything other than that treat. We are in the same area as the OP Pack and are a little concerned about severe storms and tornadoes tomorrow. Taffy doesn't like the storms at all so it will be a long day for her.

  8. I have just a little Finepix camera, and when I try to take a pix of Stella its a disaster lately. When I shoot, it clicks before the shutter opens and Stella is moved, gone, turned around, anyplace but looking at the camera.

    Its become quite hopeless.

    Your pix are great, and the dogs look so fine!


  9. Do you use the fast mode? Love that close-up, was it Brian King who said, you need to focus on the eyes, looks like you have that perfected. Snow at your place, also in NZ, but much further south than here, very cool this morning at 3 Celsius. Cheers, Jean.

  10. I wish I could get photos of Behr that turn out even 1/2 as good as yours. The silly girl NEVER holds still!!! Even if told to sit/down stay, she'll move her head at the last moment. My pictures are more like your first one :)I really admire your photography.

    Love the intensity of R's eyes and the softness of Shyla's.

    Ah yes, the ever changing weather of Colorado! Used to live there and still visit often. I've learned to plan on ANY weather happening on ANY day :)

    Behr's mom :)

  11. As always gorgeous photos. We just have an aim and fire camera!

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  12. What great shots of your beautiful pups, KB!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  13. i have always loved your blog for many reasons, but for sure for the photography! you've always had wonderful subjects to capture!

  14. Add a cape and Shyla would look like she is flying. Your photographs are always so beautiful!

  15. They both are superstar models!!!

  16. Great shots! Your photography is always very nice. ( you need another ticket for BlogPaws for the runner? I still need to sell mine)

  17. I think all of your photos are lovely, and wish I had half of your talent.

  18. You get fantastic shots! Mom loves it when I do the chin/paws flat thing too.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  19. Both your and Shyla's practice have really paid off! Great shots of R too!!

  20. KB, you with your camera and your dogs are amazing! Totally amazing!

  21. Oh yes, that last pic of R is too adorable. When I ask Indy to "lay his head down", I think I do it more so I can see his adorable face :):)

  22. You are definitely a master of depth of field! I love my telephoto for that feature but it is such a heavy lens I rarely use it. Since my dogs are on leash a lot, it's too much to handle.

  23. Great Pictures! I Think its Little difficult to get them in running position. We practice that last week on our session on photo. We had a Berner senner dog?? Dont know if they are in the US.


  24. Your photography is awesome and inspiring. I'd love to get better action shots of my girls; I'll keep working on it!
    Thanks for your sweet words about Zim. I truly appreciate your kindness.


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