Project 52 | Week 13 – Shallow Depth of Field

The theme for week 13 of the Project 52 Pet Photographer’s blog circle is “shallow depth of field”.

In photography, the term depth of field simply refers to the area of the scene which appears well in focus. When the depth of field is small, or shallow, the image background and foreground appear blurred, with only a small area in focus. A wider depth of field keeps most of the scene in focus.

A shallow depth of field is often used to isolate the subject from its environment while adding a pleasing artsy feel to the photograph. Obtaining the desired focus does take a little practice but the end results can be strikingly beautiful.

When photographing pets, I often strive for a shallow depth of field. I simply like the look and love how it makes the subject pop while adding some interest to the story being told.

The photo below is of our goofball, Odin. He had just come back from having his nails trimmed at the groomers. He did so well, and I was so proud of him. He, in turn, was exhausted!

The paws at the end of the day

And last but never least, here are a few recent hopefuls from the shelter. A shallow depth of field, with the resulting blurred backgrounds, in conditions where the backdrops are limited, allows for a much more pleasing adoption photo.

This week my heart is heavy. For the first time in many years, I will not be going into Winnipeg Animal Services to photograph the adoptable dogs. The COVID-19 pandemic has the shelter closing its doors to the public. Sadly, but understandably, this includes the volunteers. During this trying time, the amazing staff will continue to provide excellent care for the dogs. Adoption requests are being done by phone only.

No one, it seems, is left unaffected in this unprecedented time.

Stay safe, stay well.

“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” ~ George Lucas

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Shallow Depth of Field”, visit Elaine Tweedy of I Got the Shot Photography, serving pets and their people in Northeastern PA and surrounding areas. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Project 52 | Week 15 – Leash Begone

It is week 15 of the Pet Photographer’s Project 52 blog circle and this week’s theme is “leash removal”.

At Animal Services, special considerations and precautions are taken to protect the young pups. For this reason, their photos are done inside and in a controlled environment… often in the exam room. I definitely need a helper here and all the pups are usually sporting a lead of some kind. As a result, leash removal is usually a part of my post-processing workflow.

PhotoShop has some amazing tools that make leash removal quick and easy. The ones I tend to use the most are the spot healing brush tool, the patch tool and occasionally the cloning tool.

Here are some recent examples…

Most of the adult dogs have their photos taken in the outdoor enclosure where leashes aren’t required. But Occasionally a lead is still needed if the dog is a bit skittish or has had a recent medical procedure.

When out and about with Lacie I often use a long lead. It gives her more freedom and most importantly, keeps her safe.

For more examples of leash removal, simply follow the links on the Project 52 Pet Photographers blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing, visit Kim with BARKography based in Charlotte NC. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

“Ever wonder where you’d end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?” ~ Robert Breault

Project 52 – Portrait

The theme for week 12 of the Project 52 Pet Photographer’s blog circle is “Portrait”.

In photography, a portrait is usually a representation of a person often depicting only the face and shoulders. The art of it comes in capturing not only the likeness but also the essence of the subject.

At Animal Services, when doing the adoption photos, I try to capture the dog’s personality in three photos. The first is a portrait, the second a full body shot and the third is hopefully a fun shot.. all taken in the hopes of having a potential adopter take a second look.

With the portraits, I have certain criteria that I try to meet. The first is to have the dog look straight into the lens. I want there to be a connection between this dog and the viewer and nothing does this better than puppy dog eyes. The second is to have the ears up… not folded back. Ears-up translates into a happy, relaxed dog. I wish I could also insist on a smile… and sometimes I do actually get one… but in the shelter environment, this is a bonus.

Here are some of our recent beauties…

When capturing pets with their people the objectives of the portrait are a little different… it’s all about the love.

With my own dogs, the portraits are more relaxed and candid… more about capturing moments. These photos are our memories and mean everything to me.

This one is of our foster dog, Odin. We have had him for two weeks and he is making slow but steady progress. He is such a gentle, goofy boy.

And last, but never ever least, my lovely Lacie, taken after playing in the snow… my heart.

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” ~ Edward Steichen

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Portrait”, visit Jo Lyons Photography, the down-to-earth dog loving photographer for cherished dogs of Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle and the Great Lakes Region of NSW. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Project 52 – Green

It’s week 11 of the Project 52 Pet Photographer’s blog circle. This weeks theme is “Green”… my favourite colour.

With the promise of spring, one can not help but associate the colour of green with hope, renewal and growth.

But interestingly, green also stands for a lack of experience and a need for growth… and it just so happens that this is exactly how I am feeling this week…very green indeed.

Enter Odin… a 5-month-old shepherd mix who somehow found himself alone and at Animal Services. He was safe there, but very very frightened… so much so that he completely shut down. I first met him last week while taking the adoption photos.

Once home I could not stop thinking about this poor little lost pup.

“Maybe we could foster” kept dancing around my head.

The thing is, my life is very comfortable right now. My hubby, Roland, and I are retired, we have only one dog… and she is the best dog ever! We have not fostered in about 20 years and haven’t cared for a puppy in… I don’t remember when.

Should we actually do this? Could we do this?

It took a day, but the thoughts never left so I finally broached the subject with Roland and showed him Odin’s photos.

“Go get him”, was all he said… and so that is what we did.

So now we are the proud foster parents of a very fearful, very cute, very big pup.

To say we are feeling a little green and overwhelmed is putting it mildly. Our saving grace has been Lacie. Odin LOVES her and will follow her anywhere and everywhere. Lacie has become his safe place. This is a very good thing as he still wants very little to do with us… but will tolerate our presence if Lacie is close by.

Baby steps are needed to build this pup’s trust with humans. “One day at a time” is our current mantra.

Here he is on his second day in our home. While outside, he tends to hide in amongst the trees but as long as Lacie is out there… so is he. The trees add a touch of green to our still very white world.

And to add a more traditional bit of March Green… Here’s Lacie.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

For ’tis green, green, green, where the ruined towers are gray,
And it’s green, green, green, all the happy night and day;
Green of leaf and green of sod, green of ivy on the wall,
And the blessed Irish shamrock with the fairest green of all.
~ Mary Elizabeth Blake

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Green”, visit Pet Love Photography, serving Greater Cincinnati, the San Francisco Bay Area, and destinations nationwide. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Project 52 Week 9 – No Place Like Home

The theme for week 9 of the Project 52 Pet Photographer’s blog circle is “no place like home”.

Home means different things to different folks but for many, home is our safe place… a place where we are accepted and loved.

This sense of “home” is as important to our pets as it is to ourselves but sadly, for the many shelter dogs, a home is not something they have recently known.

Lacie is home
The majority of dogs that end up at Animal Services, where I volunteer, enter as unclaimed strays. Some may have been living on the street for a while, some may have suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves lost and alone. All of them have their stories, many of which we will never know.

Every effort is made to find their families by every means we have. If no owner is found, (and I am so often amazed when no owner comes forward. Why is no one looking for this dog??) the dogs are vet checked and placed in our adoption program.

Lacie was one of these dogs. Four years ago she somehow found herself at the shelter, a timid little gal, unsure of her new surroundings. Happily, for all of us, we found each other and she became part of our family… our home became her home.

I still remember the day we brought her home. All of our crew lined up to meet the new girl. First came Sadie, then Coco and not far behind Bear, the man-cat, bursting with curiosity as he peeked around the corner.

Lacie was fortunate, her time at the shelter was short. For many of the dogs, this is not the case.

It is difficult to determine why some dogs are repeatedly overlooked for adoption. For some, it is that they are nervous, scared and present badly in their kennels. For others, they may simply be the wrong colour, too big, too vocal… but for most the “why” remains a mystery.

So they wait, some for days, some for months.

The good news is that eventually, they will find homes. The real joy comes when a long-timer, a dog you begin to think will never leave, ends up in the best possible home. It’s almost as if the wait, although long, has been necessary so that the very special someone, their perfect match, can find them and take them home.

And we are left smiling and marvelling at their good fortune as we wonder if maybe there really is a plan, maybe things do happen for a reason.

When these dogs leave through the front door with their new families for their new forever homes, it is indeed the best of times.

These are the days and the times when we know why we do what we do.

These are the days I get to delete the dog’s photos from the adoptable dogs album on our facebook page. Happy deletes!

But the reality is, the flow of lost and stray dogs entering the shelter is never-ending.

So we keep on doing what we can and try to remember the happy stories on the days that are hard.

Here are just some of this week’s faces, all hoping for forever homes and their own happy tales.

Aspen

Cashew

Chia

Goldie

Hudson

Moxie

Nutmeg

Timber

Jazz

So many great dogs needing good homes.

“For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.” ~ Roger Caras

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “No Place Like Home”, visit Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Related Links:
City of Winnipeg Animal Services
Winnipeg Animal Services – facebook page
Winnipeg Animal Services Petfinder page

Adopt a Shelter Dog

These are the faces of this week… each one hoping for a forever home.

Bruno

Hooch

Kip

Rudy

“It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” ~ John Grogan

Related Links:
City of Winnipeg Animal Services
Winnipeg Animal Services – facebook page
Winnipeg Animal Services Petfinder page