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German Shepherd, Nature, Pet Portraits, Photography

Pretty Little Pockets of Light

Today like most days included hiking with a camera, dogs and the search for tucked-away pockets of light. As spring days turn into summer days, I tend not to photograph as much. Starting today I want to change that mindset.

In the past I was adverse to making photos in summer because the skies were not as dramatic as in Fall which is my favorite time of year to make photographs. Winter is my second favorite followed by spring.

But we all know that photography is an ongoing process of learning, seeing and creating. So with that in mind, today I went in search for hidden pockets of light.

Today’s gear of choice is the Nikon Df and the Nikkor 28mm F1.4D. I love how I can get close to your subject with this lens and still have enough room to show some context in the scene. It has a classic, cinematic look that is also full of character.

The first photograph came rather quickly as I was packing up. This photo of Tuki enjoying the warm morning sun coming through the glass is just so sweet. I love the prism colors the sun is casting on his lil face. It’s nice to get low, with this lil guy, it gives you an idea of just how small he really is.

Here’s a set of photos taken as we entered the trail. I’ve always been amazed at how things bloom and overgrow overnight. The sun was shinning almost directly above so it was nice to get into the shade of the forest trail.

With all the overgrown foliage and lingering clouds, a soft light was cast between the shadows along the trail. Not only does it make for some interesting lighting, it brings a cinematic look especially when shooting wide open on the 28D.

As we came to the creek bed, one of our favorite spots on the property, I could tell the dogs were eager to play in the water. But I had to make a deal with them first! Sticks will go flying after a few photos!

One of the fun ways I’ve learned to get these guys tired is to train the brain and the body at the same time. Knowing that the stick is the reward gets them eager to listen.

Both Rowdy and Tika are working GSD’s but Tika has the higher play drive. So getting her focus and keeping it is important. She still hasn’t learned completely to harness her self control.

The first photo had the sun from the river. The we moved further in to find some more pockets of light. I really wanted a dramatic look for some of the shots. I admire the dog photographs I see online but for my pups I tend to like a bit more moody scenes.

Tika and Rowdy, Working GSD photography
Tika Rowdy Riverbed
Waiting for the stick
Grabbing focus with Rowdy
Keeping Tikas drive in check
Stick focus
Waiting for that stick to drop

Taking pictures in different lighting scenarios is an effective way to develop a better eye. Observing, whether it’s light, shadows, people, animals, or nature, I learn to be very present.

I was very pleased today with how my study of summer light turned out. I got to get the dogs out and about, as well as my camera and I hope to continue my study of light and shadows. After all, no matter what time of day or night there is always a pretty lil pocket of light somewhere to be found!

Light and Shadows in photography

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides.
Junichiro Tanizaki
By AniT, May 28, 2023

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