My pet photography business in Spokane is still in its infancy, but I’ve had a camera in my hand for decades.
Where I am now has been an evolution of the way I see things and the jobs I’ve had. When I was young and had a point-and-shoot film camera, my rough collie, Princess, was the perfect subject.
My career in journalism took me through sports action, spot news and candid shots of people doing people things.
When I transferred to digital SLRs in the mid-2000s, I was hiking with Shep in the Rocky Mountains. You’ve probably heard or read me say “you can’t be in the most beautiful place in the world with the most beautiful dog in the world and not have a camera in your hand.”
I turned to landscape where I developed a passion for using a shallow depth of field. That’s a technique where a photographer keeps a subject in focus and the rest of the image is all blurry.
You can see it in this image I made last summer while bouncing around the dirt roads of Eastern Washington.
For the photography geeks reading this, here’s a great video from Jared Polin, a.k.a. FroKnows.
Shallow depth of field in dog photos
We’ve talked about shallow depth of field in dog photos before.
A shallow depth of field is this week’s topic for our worldwide pet photography blog circle. We are challenged to isolate our subject from its background through use of a wider aperture and distance between camera, subject and background.
Harumph … I lean more towards #lifeinwideangle where I keep gorgeous landscapes in mind for your dog’s portrait session around Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.
Like this one of Newt last summer at Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene.
However, since I’ve stepped up to a full-frame DSLR, I have been leaning more towards softer backgrounds. The higher dynamic range of my Nikon D750 gives me a beautifully blurry background when I attach my Sigma 70-200 lens.
So, I said Bella and I would hit one of our favorite hiking trails, Saltese Uplands Conservation Area in Liberty Lake, with a one-lens challenge. We went Tuesday, knowing the weather would be unpredictable with chances of snow.
We got pelted by graupel instead. Graupel is a weather phenomenon that isn’t quite snow and isn’t quite hail.
Here’s Bella, surrounded by it.
See how Bella is tack sharp but the background, Saltese Flats and the southernmost Selkrik Mountains, is all blurry? That’s shallow depth of field.
So achieving great dog photos with gorgeous Spokane landscapes is still possible with a long lens. Harumph … maybe this blog post is more about how I get stuck in a mindset more than anything! Tell my husband I can be stubborn. He’ll laugh.
Now, remember, Bella is always leashed when we’re hiking. I remove the leash and collar in Photoshop so it isn’t a distraction. It’s just safer for everyone that way.
Here she is with her leash, coming toward me because she didn’t want to sit for a portrait.
And, of course, I can’t get out of a hiking adventure with a #dogsonrocks image:
Some sad news to share
It is with a heavy heart I let you know Sophie crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday.
I featured her and her mama, Jamie, in a blog post two weeks ago. They were the perfect example to talk about the bond dogs and humans share. My little beagle buddy had nasal cancer and started having serious trouble breathing.
Jamie made the most compassionate, loving choice a human can make for her best friends, letting little Sophie go.
Sophie lives forever in Jamie’s heart.
All around the circle
OK, tears flowing? Yes, here, too.
Now it’s time to see more dogs in a shallow depth of field. Let’s head off on a trip around the world to see my friends in the pet photographers blog circle. Start with Kylee Doyle Photography, serving pet parents in the greater Sacramento area.
Click the link at the bottom of her post to get to the next photographer, and so on until you find yourself back here.
Right where you belong.