I'd like to say the the pictures here were of dogs at play, but really it was the photographer who was playing. I wanted to practice freezing action with a strobe light during the daytime and not have it look "flashy" and there was also a new gadget that I bought and wanted to play around with; a fog machine! What better models to work with than the Border Collies of EmDogs in Plano, a suburb just north of Dallas, Texas. These dogs will happily do the same thing over and over again while I worked to dial in camera settings and the numerous attempts of getting the fog "just right" on this windy day (note to self: fog machine + windy day = unpredictable results). I can't think of a better session than this one for the Week 17th theme of Play Time in the Pet Photography 52 Week Project.
This is Ollie's signature start-line move on the agility field, it wasn't taught, it's just his jam. Ready. Set. Go!
Emily and I thought it would be fun to try to capture a different angle on the A-Frame, typically it's photographed from the side and you see the dog arcing over the apex. Here I laid down on the grass at the base of the frame and had a strobe light raised to the height of the apex and worked on catching the dogs just as they were crowing the top (note: don't try this at home unless you are comfortable with a speeding Border Collie whizzing past your head). We had a gorgeous day with clouds so the simple background really makes the dog pop against the bright color of the frame and the saturated sky.
Ah yes, the fog machine. By the time we got around to working with it, the wind had picked up so we were left with trying to run it through a tunnel just to keep it from immediately blowing away. Timing the fog's travel through the tunnel along with the dog's speed proved to be tricky. Pump the fog into the tunnel and release the dog too soon and they beat the fog out. Release them too late and the fog's cleared by the time they reach the end of the tunnel. We got a few good frames and I think it looks pretty cool. I definitely want to go back and play with this some more, maybe at night and backlight the fog and do silhouettes. I hope we have another play-themed topic later this year!
I can't wait to see what the other pet photographers played around with this week, starting with Elaine Tweedy of I Got the Shot Photography, serving pets and their people in Northeastern PA and surrounding areas and then continue by clicking on the link at the bottom of each post for an around the world tour of playful pet photography! Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography is a Certified Professional Photographer with the organization Professional Photographers of America; a designation held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry and professionalism. Penny Whistle specializes in both natural light and studio photography providing pet, couple & engagement, family and high school senior portraits as well as corporate headshots and commercial photography services in her studio located in historic downtown Carrollton as well as on location in Coppell, Grapevine, Southlake, Flower Mound and surrounding communities in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.