Thursday, June 28, 2012

SPCA Photo Day


Jack's adorable tail. 
Things were slow at the animal shelter all week . . . very few new dogs.  And suddenly--BAM!  Today was my day to go in, and I discovered that there were nine dogs who needed pictures!  I got to eight of them--the ninth was engaged.  :-)

And what a wild bunch!  One of the boys was so enthusiastic about coming out to play that he tried to eat the camera. Believe me, I got home and was surprised to find that I actually had some decent shots of the-boys-who-would-not-sit-still.  :-)

So here they are!  The crew of eight.



Harold. Ever met a dog named Harold? I haven't. 

LOL.  The indescribable Hooch. 



The Darling Teddy. 

Bobbie again.

Talk to you again soon! 


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Always Something to Do or to Write

In my free time--which is to say, when I can snatch a minute here and there--I'm writing a little book on how an amateur professional photographer can use simple things to take beautiful photos of shelter dogs and cats and help them find new homes.  I've sketched out a few chapters, done a little research, and I've just designed the cover.  What do you think?

Once I get this finished, I will probably publish it as an ebook and then donate a portion of the proceeds to my local SPCA.  (And that's another way to help your local animal shelter.)

But seriously--if I can do this, anyone can do this.  Best of all, I have a good supply of not-so-good pictures through which I can illustrate my don't-do-this lessons!  :-)

Example:  Don't crop your photos so it looks like you're featuring a two-legged dog.

Don't hang a backdrop and not see the sun shining through it.

Don't let the dog get so hot that all you notice is his VERY long tongue.

And don't use a photo in which the animal looks like it would eat a prospective family's children. :-)    (This was actually just a yawn--she was a very sweet dog.)

DO portray the animal as a pet that would be perfectly at home with anyone who has the time and love to give.  :-)

What do you think?  Would a little book like this inspire you or someone you know to pick up a camera?


Monday, June 25, 2012

Hurricane Debby says hello

I struggled to wake up this morning--either because I sleep deeper when it's raining, and it rained all night, or because Charley, my ten-year-old mastiff, woke me up to tell me he'd pooped by the side of the bed.  (This is an annoying habit of his, but I'd really rather he tell me than not.)

In any case, I woke up to silence and the sight of a brightening horizon. What? Our forecast called for rain for the next three days, courtesy of tropical storm/hurricane Debby spinning out in the Gulf.  Cheered by the sight of the approaching sun, I got up and stumbled to my office to check emails.

A few minutes later, my husband came in with Babe, our nine-year-old mastiff (who hasn't adopted Charley's annoying habit, thank heaven.)  "There's a tree against the back door," says hubby. "And I can't let Babe out that way."
The view from my back door. 

A tree?   Just how hard did the wind blow last night?  There are no trees in that part of the yard.
A few minutes later hubby appears with gardening gloves on his hands. "The tree has thorns," he announces, "and it's a monster."

Okay, then.  The hubby--who does not care to know the difference between a tree and a vine--is describing our bougainvillea, which is truly a monster and I don't know why I ever planted the thing.  Each winter I pray for a good hard freeze to kill it--or at least beat it down to the roots--but this past winter I must have been asking amiss.

So I go outside to take a look.  Sure enough--the wind or the rain or something--has toppled the monstrous bougainvillea and pushed it against the side of the house, blocking the door and a clear passage to my kitchen window (which I rarely have cause to visit).

After the hubby leaves, I get the electric hedge trimmer and go out in my pajamas, figuring I'd rather sweat now and shower later.  I trim away the flustered plumbago and the moonflower vines, then begin to hack at the bougainvillea.  I trim until I wear away the skin from a rising blister on my index finger, then figure that the job is too big for my hedge trimmers--this calls for a chain saw.  Hubby has gone off to borrow one, but he's so accident prone that I worry about him chopping off a limb of his own instead.

And so far, this is our only damage from Debby.  We still have a forecast of wind, rain, and the occasional tornado, but we're faring quite well compared to some of my friends in Colorado who are literally running from a raging wildfire.

The night blooming cereus bloom. 
One bonus--as I was cleaning up after the storm, I discovered that my night blooming cereus, arguably one of the ugliest plants on the planet, is heavily pregnant with a bloom.  I have to watch it every day in order to find the night when it blooms . . . which means I'll be up late very soon.  :-) The bloom makes up for the unattractiveness of the plant.

The bloom reminds me of that musical/movie with the blood-thirsty plant named Audrey who croaks, "Feed me."  What is the name of that movie?  My mind is blank.

And that's the report from Hunt haven.  I'm off to the grocery store before the rains begin again.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Morning with the Puppies

Saturdays are my day off, so yesterday I did what I like best--I went to the SPCA.  Tried something new--because I knew I had little dogs to photograph, I simply stood them in front of a white cardboard background and on a white foam board.  Working with morning sunlight only, I think it worked pretty well.  :-)

So here are Buster and Pinky, who have grown up together and should be adopted together,
Celina and Kasumi, another pair (though Kasumi bosses Celina around something terrible),
and Charlie, who simply could not take a bad picture. He was a pleasure to photograph.






Pixar's Rules of Storytelling

My friend Deborah Raney sent me a link to this image . . . and it's definitely worth printing out and framing--or at least taping to the desk. The folks at Pixar certainly know how to tell a story, and I can tell you from experience that these 22 points work.

But I never thought about putting them in such a charming poster. :-)

Read. Learn. Implement.

And enjoy your story.

Click to enlarge; right click to download, save, and print.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

A cloudy day with the dogs at the SPCA

I took the day off and loaded up my camera gear--had a new lens and wanted to try it out with my furry pals at the SPCA.  Here are the results.  :-)

Cute little Becca. 

Beautiful Bridgette.


a basketful of Rottweiler mixes





last but not least, Zoe. 
I wish I could say that this one came straight out of the camera. Afraid not. Literally had to stitch these puppies together in order to force cooperation.  :-)