So a few days ago Sadie wouldn’t stop barking in our bedroom, which has a window that overlooks our next door neighbor’s house. When I looked out to investigate, I could see someone from the cable company working on a ladder directly across from our window. I let Sadie watch the excitement from the window until the workman had finished. Later that afternoon I took Sadie outside to do her business and we had a surprise waiting for us on our lawn – a neon orange traffic cone, presumably left there by the cable man. After barking at this strange item, then sniffing it from a distance, Sadie decided it was safe enough to approach the cone. Once she had the brightly colored object under her control, Sadie requested I take a few selfies so she could show off her new toy to everyone.
The theme this week in the Pet Photography Challenge Facebook group is thirsty. Sadie was being stubborn during our photo session and refused to drink while the camera was pointed at her. The only way I could get her interested enough in drinking water was to interrupt Sadie playing with her squeaky ball. I placed her ball near her water dish to try to convince her to drink while I took photos. Instead of drinking, Sadie grabbed the ball and put it into her water dish. She thought it was a great new game, drinking water around the ball and then trying to grab the ball back out of the water.
This week’s Pet Photography Challenge theme was black and white. But I’m still trying to work on my technique from the bokeh challenge last month. So I thought I would try to combine the two and see how Sadie looks in black and white and bokeh.
For the Pet Photography Challenge this week the task was to take photos from a lower perspective. This is a technique I use all the time in taking photos of Sadie. It makes Sadie feel like a strong focal point in our photos and also helps to show off tall objects or buildings in the background. I really feel that the closer you are to your pets’ level, the more authentic the photos look. You wouldn’t take a portrait of a person from above them, so why take pictures of your pets that way?
But Sadie is a particularly short dog and I am a particularly short person. So getting photos from a lower angle is always a challenge for us. A typical photo shoot at a park or other outdoor location almost always ends in dirt and grass stains all over my clothing as I try to get low enough to photograph Sadie.
That’s why I love scenarios like in the photos in this blog post. All of these photos were taken last Summer in the Berkshires at the highest point in the state of Massachusetts. Leading up to the monument was a big platform with stairs climbing up to it. I was able to place Sadie on the platform above me and take photos of her from below, enabling me to get both Sadie and the full monument in the photos.
While photos from this angle look awesome and make Sadie look confident and tall, there is one slight problem. You may notice a hand in the photo above. My family, especially Sadie’s uncle, absolutely hates when I place Sadie on a higher level to get a good angle for photos. When we’re on a family vacation, like in these photos, it is almost impossible for me to take photos of Sadie without their constant concern and interruption. Obviously Sadie’s safety is my number one concern. I won’t put her somewhere she can fall. She always has a harness on and I always hold onto the leash, even if it gets in the way of my photos. And Sadie is probably the least jumpy dog you’ve ever met – she refuses to jump onto the couch or the bed, so why in the world does my family think she will randomly jump off of a wall? Regardless of my family’s unnecessary concerns, I think that placing your pet safely at a higher vantage point is the perfect way to achieve great photos from a lower perspective.