Posts Tagged Dog
Caldbeck is a picturesque village approx 13 miles SW of Carlisle, Cumbria which creates a very memorable dog walk as it is steeped with history and stunning scenery. There are a variety of interesting features in the village – colourful chocolate box cottages overlooking the rippling stream, a delightful duck pond brimming with wildlife and historic ruins of an ancient bobbin mill to name but a few.
The built up area of the village is full of historical architecture which is accessible to all including St Kentigern’s Church where the famous huntsman John Peel is laid to rest and Priest Mill the award winning restoration of an old watermill with the quant Watermill Cafe and variety of shops. However, accessing the ruins of the old Bobbin Mill (which had the largest waterwheel in the country) is rather limited as the path becomes rough and then very steep with some rough steps whilst continuing towards The Howk (a limestone gorge with rippling waterfalls) so this area maybe best avoided with pushchairs/wheelchairs.
The duck pond is easily accessible from the centrally situated car park but remember to keep your dog(s) on a lead/under control as the ducks are quite tame and will approach expecting to be fed! As a local wildlife photographer as well as pet photographer in Cumbria I have often enjoyed capturing photographs of the resident Mallards and Moorhens on the pond.
Refreshments can be found at the Oddfellows Arms a traditional country pub with its own restaurant and car park – dogs may not be allowed in the restaurant but maybe in the bar area/beer garden – whilst ice creams, snacks and drinks may be purchased at the local store and ice cream van which is sometimes situated near the duck pond.
Public Toilets: Yes
Car Park: Yes
Wheelchair/Pushchair Friendly: Yes if you keep to the paths
Distance: as far as you wish
Railway Station: No (Carlisle or Penrith)
Bus Route: Yes Caldbeck Rambler which travels around Northern Fells to/from Carlisle
Working Dogs are usually large and require plenty of outdoor exercise which creates an ideal scenario for dog photography. The Working Dog group is made up of a diverse set of highly intelligent breeds which can perform a wide variety of tasks. Working Dogs with a fearless nature coupled with a sturdy and powerful build make good Guard, Search and Rescue, Military, Police, and farm dogs although can be kept in homes if given consistent training, lots of exercise and a structured life.
Outdoors is the perfect location for working dog photography. To plan your pet photo shoot in advance –
- Decide on a picturesque location such as a riverside, beach, woodland or garden where you can take photographs of your dog
- Check the weather forecast and choose a day when good natural light is forecast which is essential for taking good pet photographs.
- Consider safety – if your working dog is not used to being around other animals and people keep them on a lead but remember to try and hide it behind them if you don’t want it to show on your dog’s photographs.
Whilst it is good to take photographs of your working dog posing, playing or even working in a scenic location try to take some head shots too:
- Kneel down and position your camera viewfinder level with your dogs head
- Zoom in with your lens and fill the frame with your dogs head but be careful not to cut out tips of their ears.
- Choose a wide aperture such as f 5.6 (or portrait mode on your camera) to create a blurred background
- Try to make sure your dogs eyes are wide open and in focus
- If photographing your dog in bright sunlight make sure they are not looking directly into the sun which might make them squint.
- To create an interesting composition try to place your dog ‘s eyes/nose slightly off centre rather than in the middle of the frame.
I hope you enjoy trying out some of these photography ideas with your Working Dogs – this is the 7th in my series of Blogs about photographing all of the Kennel Club dog breed groups. Click Here for Utility Dog Photography Ideas, Click Here to read about How to Photograph Toy Dog Breeds, Click Here to read about How to Photograph Terriers, Click Here for Ideas to Photograph Pastoral Dogs, Click Here for Gundog Photography, Click Here for Hound Dog Photography Hints & Tips
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Click Here to receive a Free Printable PDF Pocket Guide which accompanies this article and includes an Equipment Checklist, a Shot List and a Checklist for preparing yourself and your Working Dogs for a photography shoot.
The Hound Dog Breeds are a very diverse group ranging from the tall elegant Afghan Hound to the short legged Miniature Dachshund with many more shapes and sizes in between.
Hound Dogs usually make reliable pets but were originally hunting dogs so may show instinctual hunting behaviour. Scent Hounds such as the Bloodhound and Foxhound have a keen sense of smell and are study and tough. Sight Hounds like the Whippet and Greyhound have incredibly sharp sight and are sleek and speedy, whilst the Spitz Hounds including the Basenji and Finnish Spitz have a strong combination of both scent and sight.
All hounds enjoy outdoor activity and natural light creates the best light for dog photography so choose a fine day to take your hound dog into a garden, local park or countryside and try out these ideas to take some great pet photographs of your dog(s):
- Always groom your Hound dog(s) to make sure they are looking their best before you take their photo
- Switch of your flash – make sure your dog is positioned in good natural light
- Kneel down to a position whereby you are level with your dog’s eye line
- If possible gain direct eye contact with your dog whilst you take their picture
- Take photos of your dog in different positions – sitting, standing, lying down
The sleek long nose of a Whippet or Greyhound makes a particularly good profile shot. To capture an interesting profile head shot of your Hound Dog:
- Position your dog looking to one side
- Zoom in with your lens
- Fill the viewfinder with your dogs head (be careful not to cut off tips of ears)
- Use a wide aperture such as f 5.6 (or portrait mode on your camera)
- Make sure your dog’s eyes are in focus
Hound Dogs are usually very active and capable of running at rocket speed with outstanding stamina so are good at agility, racing and hunting. To capture creative pet photographs of your Hound dog in action:
- Try to anticipate your dogs movement and where to point your camera
- Position yourself safely with your camera pointing in the right direction
- Use a fast shutter speed of at least 1/500th second (or sports mode) to freeze action
- Use continuous shooting mode to capture a sequence of action photographs
I hope you enjoy trying out these Dog Photography Hints and Tips with Your Hound Dogs – this is the 2nd Blog in my Series of Dog Photography Hints and Tips, Click Here to read about Gundog Photography Ideas and Watch This Space in the Next Few Weeks for the Pastoral, Terriers, Toy, Utility and Working Dog Groups!
Click Here to receive a Free Printable PDF Pocket Guide which accompanies this article – including an Equipment Checklist, Shot List and Checklist for Preparing for Your Hound Dog Photo Shoot!
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Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters are the four recognised categories of Gundog Breeds. As the Labrador Retriever is the most popular pet dog in the UK the majority of companion dogs in the country are Gundogs. With a wide variety of all shapes and sizes throughout the different breeds the one thing all Gundogs have in common is the need for regular outdoor activity. This creates a perfect scenario for capturing stunning outdoor pet portraits surrounded by the natural environment.
There are a variety of stunning outdoor locations to be considered when planning to capture Gundog pet portraits. Depending on the time of year seasonal scenery can range from lovely lilac heather moorlands, blankets of orange leaves in Autumn, snow covered patchwork fields in Winter or a sheltered sandy beach in summer. Seasonal landscapes such as these can set the scene to create stunning backdrops for your pet photographs. To successfully incorporate seasonal landscapes into your pet photography:
- Positioning your Gundog in a suitable location
- Use a wide angle lens
- Choose a narrow aperture such as f16 – f22 (or landscape mode)
- Capture an expansive background behind your dog
Rolling countryside, waves lapping a sweeping shoreline or a majestic mountain range are ideal settings for your dog photographs however, If you are unable to access the countryside for any reason summer blooms or flowering spring bulbs in your garden or local park can also create an eye catching backdrop for your Gundog photography.
To capture attractive close ups photographs of your gundogs:
- Positions your dog in front of evergreen foliage, flowering shrubs or summer blooms
- Kneel down to a position where you are level with your Gundog’s eye line
- Zoom in with your lens to fill the frame with your dogs head (be careful not to crop out the tips of the ears)
- Select a wide aperture such as f 5.6 (or portrait mode on your camera)
- Create shallow depth of field to blur the background slightly
Capture creative images of working Gundogs showing natural behaviour traits of hunting and retrieving by using a fast shutter speed of least 1/500 of a second to freeze their actions – be prepared to hit the shutter button quickly as capturing unexpected behaviour often creates unusual and amusing pet photographs.
Part of the reason Gundogs are very popular pet dogs is that they are usually very loyal and affectionate to their owners. Pet photographs showing dog and owner together can be a powerful way to show this strong bond. To capture photographs of pets and owners together:
- Try setting the timer on your camera to allow yourself time to move into position beside your dog(s)
- Ask a friend to oblige by taking the picture
- Commission a professional pet photographer to capture such a special moment www.debsdogphotos.wordpress.com
Always avoid using flash when capturing dog photographs as firing a flash not only creates the potential problem of startling your dog but also forms a strange green glow in their eyes (the equivalent to red eye in humans).
I hope you enjoy trying out some of these pet photography ideas with your Gundogs whether they are Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters and ultimately capture keepsakes of your special pet to treasure forever. If you found this article useful please feel free to share it and leave a comment below. Click Here to receive a FREE Printable PDF Pocket Guide which accompanies this article – including an Equipment Checklist, Shot List, and Checklist for Preparing Yourself and Your Gundog for a Photo Shoot!
Today my puppy pal Bobby came to play and Deb took some pet photographs of us! Bobby is a Border Collie Dog and lives in Cumbria too, but he’s a bit younger than me and as you can see he has black, white and brown hair, (I think it’s called tri coloured) not red and white like me . We had a great time chasing each other around the garden. Sometimes we did high flying judo moves in mid air and sometimes we played hide and seek. I played a joke on Bobby and pretended I was dead just so that I could jump up and catch him! Deb laid down on the grass too I thought she wanted to play but she was doing her pet photography! It is a good idea to lie/kneel down to your dogs level and focus on their eyes using a fast shutter speed (or sports mode on your compact) to capture a good photos of them playing.
Speak Soon Woof! Woof! Maggie
My fluffy red fur has transformed into luscious long hair and my tail has become bushy with a white tip. I arrived here at Orton Rigg Farm, nr Carlisle, Cumbria on 21st February 2015, I’m not a fox but as you can see from my photographs I’m a Red and White Border Collie pup called Maggie!
I’ve got lots of places to explore and play – there’s the garden, a few fields and even a little wood with lots of trees! The garden is just great for digging holes and they (the humans who look after me) provide flowers for me to dig up and eat – so kind of them! They also peg brightly coloured laundry up on a line for me to jump up at and pull down to the ground!
At a certain corner of the garden , Deb (one of my humans) sometimes talks to another (invisible) dog called Boy and tears roll down her cheeks, she also throws balls around for me to catch but I prefer to try and catch the birds out of the sky! The swallows dive low into the garden but I have never caught one yet because they fly very fast ! Deb is a pet photographer (I don’t really know what that means), but she always has a black machine strapped around her neck which she sometimes points and clicks at me !? Woof! Woof! Maggie