Pup pictures

This weekend I loaned a light kit to Fur-a-Good-Paws, Clay County’s animal care league. They used it for pet Christmas card pictures. While I didn’t shoot the photos, I did get a rather nice picture of Sookie, my rat terrierist,  and I, where Sookie is actually standing still. I admit, I am holding her, but still, I’m excited to see it.

Seeing all the folks coming in to get pictures made of their pets made me want to throw some of my furrier recent pictures on here.  On a side note, support your animal shelter and adopt a pet if you can. In Clay County, Fur-a-Good-Paws does a lot for animals, but they could use all the support they can get.

Now, on to the pictures. First, here are some pictures I did for my co-worker Nancy, who breeds golden retrievers. Check her dogs out at http://www.biblesgoldens.com/

I did a Christmas card last year with seven of these pups lined up in front of the Bible fireplace. This year Nancy just brought in one puppy, Annie, who was a bit sleepy:

I sort-of wish that I had shot this with a soft-focus filter on the lens. Oh! Or a star filter. Either would be cool. Annie showed she could pose with the best of them too:

Seriously, doesn't this just look like it belongs in a calendar? What a ham.

No one can deny that Annie is adorable, but pups can get into trouble too. As Sookie reminds me by destroying things while I type. Anyway, here’s my friend Heather new adopted rat terrier – Shih-Tzu mix. I can’t really resist saying this, but he’s a rat$h#*. Sorry about that.

Ralphy's named after the protagonist in "A Christmas Story."

Ralphy being held (and looking slightly scared of the fisheye lens) by another friend, Geoff. He, Heather and I formed the Pulse desk of the Daily Egyptian at SIUC one semester way too long ago. Meet Geoff's shoulder.

Ralphy with his new owner, Heather. From one rat terrier owner to another, I wish you nothing but luck. If Ralphy is anything like Sookie, you'll need it.


Spooky. nicely decorated too.

So during my so-slow-it-hurts quest to go out and actually do things in Clay County, I took a nice step and went to a Halloween party hosted by Nita, who I’ve worked with on photo shoots, and her twin sister, Rita. Nita and Rita have done Halloween parties and haunted houses for years and invest a lot of work and time in their displays and figures. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.

Oh. And I realize we’re coming up on a month past Halloween, but that’s procrastinating for you. Now quick, before I find some thing easier to do, here are the images:

I shot these on my D70, at 1600, with a tripod. With that camera, up close, the noise and color on these aren’t wonderful, but going saturated and contrasty to cover some of that up suits the subject matter. On most of them I couldn’t really frame through the viewfinder, because that evening was pretty humid and my glasses kept fogging up. The pains of being a geek.

That's a plasma lamp for the old crone's crystal ball. The details made this such a cool haunted house.

That's a plasma lamp for the crone's crystal ball. The cool details made this haunted house.

That spider was at least ten feet across......Buddy.


Fall Colors

My boss, Mark (who you can see in the portraits from the earlier post about being a photographer’s guinea pig; he’s the one with the tie…..not my dad) and I had an idea last year for a feature photo of fall colors from the top ot the Flora Cargill plant. This year, we took the photo. The assistant plant manager took us up and we got a great view:


Looking northwest from the Flora Cargill Plant.

So, in the interest of full discretion, Mark actually shot this. We both went up to the roof, but I stayed there while Mark ascended the scaffolding on top of the roof. I am not a fan of heights. I was happy with as far as I had come anyway. I work on the different color’s responses in Lightroom to make the colors pop.

Another “fall” story, especially around here, is the harvest. I knew I would be able to get a good image for Mark’s story if I just took a drive at a good hour. With my camera and telephoto on the seat next to me, I take a drive. I found this harvester going northeast of town. The dust really makes the picture.110509_harvestWEB

Lea’s Senior Pictures

I shot some senior pictures for my friend Mark’s niece, Lea, about a week ago. It’s been a little while since I’ve done a full-out portrait session, but I think it went really well.


Now Norman, be cool, but Lucky may have sat on that after we did the photo shoot.

This particular shot was planned out by Lea and her mom, Belenda, like, a year in advance. They wanted to have Lea with books in the woods and this antique Seti from Lea’s grandfather Norman’s collection. I don’t know if I spelled “seti” correctly. Norman didn’t want us using it, but he wasn’t home that day.

Here are some more shots:




I used the shadow/highlight tool in CS4 to amp the colors and dynamic range a touch. Oh, and Lea's parents moved that yellow branch into all the shots for me.


f 2.8, iso 200, 1/250 second. Shade provided by Belenda wrangling the fold-out reflector.


This seems to be most peoples' favorite set from the shoot. Lea by another of Norman's antiques. I also did the the shadow / highlight thing here. It's a bit more noticeable than the other picture.

I think I did a pretty decent job on these, but that is only one of the reasons they worked out as well as they did.  Lea was very proactive about making this photoshoot happen. She got the plan in motion, pulled out a good range of expressions and was willing to try different ideas.

Lea being proactive about her senior shoot.


This shot was all Lea's idea.


And this shot was my favorite. That light is killer. I've always liked that road as a background too.

I was pretty happy with this set of images. Thanks Lea.