Friday, January 13, 2012

52 Weeks of Beth

It was a hard choice.  Who was I going to pick for my 52 weeks project this year?

Ranger was my first 52 Weeks Project throughout the year of 2010. 


As you all know, Bea was my subject last year to document her growth.

This year I had to decide.  Beth, Brynn or Bonnie?  

Bonnie was tempting.  Her freckles and personality combine to make her a joy to photograph.  I can pose her on anything and she has a perpetual smile on her face. 

Her expressions make me smile.  

I dare you not to laugh at her Hyena Face.  

This is her WTF were you thinking face. 

As much as I love Brynn, she was my last choice. I have thousands of pictures of her.  She is the dog that goes everywhere with me, so it stands to reason she would be the subject of more than her share of photographs.  

That leaves Beth. 

She is the oldest and and the least photographed of all my dogs.  She is a challenge to shoot because of her dark face and dark brown eyes.  The trick with Beth is to make sure the light is on her face and lighting her eyes.  Then you can get the full googly eye, bat-eared Beth effect.

1/52 Beth

Canon EOS 7D, Lens Canon EF 135mm f/2L
Aperture: f/3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/640
ISO: 1250
Processing: only a slight crop & cross process

The above shot was relatively easy to obtain.  She was tired from diving in the river and playing fetch, thus willing to stay in one place and actually lie down.  I held the ball over my head, my camera in the other hand, kneeling on the ground and snapped this shot.  The light was low in the horizon, under a thick cloud cover, which is why I had to use a f/3.5.  I learned long ago to NEVER shoot a picture of Beth under 1/640.  Even her tongue moves fast.  I let my ISO decide for me & it compensated without too much noise.  I think the picture captures Beth perfectly, especially the dirt on her nose, just a few seconds before her tongue was covered with grass and dirt too.  For such a fastidious little dog she sure gets messy when playing fetch. 

This week is...

2/52 Working Beth

Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens:  Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
Aperture:  f/8.0
Shutter: 1/1000
ISO: 640
Processing: crop to remove ugly sheep butt bokeh in corner, levels adjustment to brighten a bit, unsharp mask, & ever so slight vignette

Beth is a hard worker, in this picture she had brought the sheep and was flanking wide to push the sheep around me to start a drive across the field to the gate. She puts her entire heart into pleasing me.

This year I decided to stop trialing her, as a result she is working better than ever. The pressure is off and now she does daily chores with a purpose. She is a much happier dog working on her own sheep doing predictable chores in a field she knows well.

We were blessed with an amazing golden late afternoon light - which lit up her eyes perfectly. I had to crop the picture down to remove the blurry unattractive sheep butt - I think it seems to enhance the movement with a little bit of motion blur on her front paw. 

I shot this on my knees in the middle of the pasture with 6 Border Leicester ewes doing their best to knock me over. Needless to say you risk life and limb to capture the perfect shot. Not only do you have to watch what you are doing with the camera but you need to ensure you are not trampled to death. Sheep do not respect the power of a Canon. 

Silly woolies.

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