Archive for June, 2008

stella, san francisco ca.

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

I’m back from my travels and with a ton of photos to download and weed through! But before I even get started on my NZ pictures, I still have my San Francisco photos to share. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t take any dog photos on that trip . I just really needed a break and wanted to take photos of non-doggy things.

On our last day in the city, I took my friends for a visit to this wonderful all-natural, all-handmade bath and body store I used to work at in 2004 called Sumbody. I think this place will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the LAST hourly job I’ve ever had (I got an internship at an ad agency while I was at Sumbody, and the rest is history.) So I had to stop by for a visit, and was surprised to find an employee there with her dog! Of course I had to take pictures and not only were these my only dog photos, they were the last photos of my trip.

Meet Stella. She’s a service dog and thus is allowed in places where dogs normally aren’t allowed. She’s incredibly smart, sweet, well trained, and was the biggest love bug. She was also so incredibly behaved inside the store, and looked quite comfy there with her dog bed and toys. I loved her!

(Click on small photos to enlarge)

enter the PawPrints pet photo contest!

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

This year at the L.A. County Fair (held from Sept 7th-30th in Pomonoa, CA) there’s a cool new attraction: Bark Park!

Enter a world where man’s best friend is deemed king of the hill and everyday house dogs are considered royalty. Where is this magical place, you might ask? Welcome to Bark Park – the one-stop human shop for all things canine.

And if all that weren’t cool enough, Bark Park will feature a special art gallery of pet photography! Pet loving photographers will have the opportunity to enter an online photo competition for a chance to win prizes and exhibit their photos to 1.4 million visitors attending this year’s L.A. County Fair. This competition is open to anyone, anywhere, regardless of whether you’re professional or amateur. The only catch is that if your photo is chosen for display at the fair, you have to have a printed and framed photo shipped to Los Angeles. But that’s it! There’s no entry fee. And there’s even a separate competition for young photographers too.

Head on over to Dog Pix and Flix to enter. And spread the word to to anyone you think might be interested. Did I mention that I’m judging this competition too?

To find out more information, visit The L.A. County Fair Bark Park website. The contest closes July 20th so hurry and get your best pet photos submitted. Good luck everyone!

more max.

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Just because you can never get enough of a really cute, goofy boxer. I love the black and white photos — Max and his owner look like they’re deep in conversation don’t they?

Below is a spread from the coffee table book Max’s owners decided to get. Max had a whole lot of fun tearing apart a little squeaky bunny I brought for him to play with. (Click to enlarge)

i feel naked.

Monday, June 9th, 2008

I am a self-proclaimed Photoshop whore.

Ever since I started using it back in 2000, I’ve been addicted. But when it comes to my photography, I always try my best to get everything right in camera as much as possible.

Unfortunately sometimes my best isn’t well, the best. And that’s when I have to do some processing tricks to get the photos looking perfect. I use a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop to do my processing and I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend that you try this out if you haven’t yet.

Why? Because Lightroom speeds up your overall processing so much. I consider it “Photoshop for Dummies” — you just slide bars around to achieve the look you want and there’s no complicated masks, layers, and blah blah blah. But the thing is, oftentimes you NEED those complicated layers and masks and things (and really, they’re not so complicated once you get the hang of them).

What happens if everything in a photo is gorgeous and properly exposed, but the dog’s face is not? You take it into Photoshop, create a layer mask, and make the dog’s face looking right while everything else is hidden. Can’t do that in Lightroom.

And what happens if everything else in the photo is perfect except for a piece of trash you forgot to move out of frame before you shot? You take it into Photoshop, do some pixel pushing and remove it. Can’t do that in Lightroom.

The following are a few before + afters of photos I recently processed that needed some extra work. I feel naked showing my “before” photos. Really, really naked. But hey, I think every photo needs a little extra work once it comes out of the camera. And these really demonstrate the great results you can get when you combine the power of Lightroom + Photoshop.

(By the way — I don’t use actions or presets. I’ve tried using them, and they’re just not for me)

Lightroom: Removed yellow color cast, increased overall brightness

Photoshop: Increased brightness of Max’s face

Lightroom: Removed green color cast, added some detail back into the clouds and brought back details in Max’s face

Photoshop: Further exposure correction in Max using layers and masks

Lightroom: Removed yellow/green color cast

Photoshop: Increased saturation and detailing in wood floor; brought back details of Dottie’s face; corrected exposure of Rob and Anne

Lightroom: Fixed white balance, brought out more details in wood floor and railings, added saturation

Photoshop: Added in sky from a separate image; increased details in wood; corrected exposure of Rob and Anne in a separate layer

hooray for new homes.

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

I love it when a bunch of Pawd Squad dogs find homes at once! God bless all the kind families who took in these homeless dogs just looking for a second chance at life.

7 dogs were recently adopted — 6 were dogs I’ve taken headshots of:

By the way, I photographed Precious back in NOVEMBER 2007! Her owners surrendered her along with another yellow lab. The lab was adopted pretty quickly, but Precious has been waiting for her home for a long, long time. I’m so glad she’s finally found it.

As for Fannie Mae, that gorgeous girl was photographed way back in December. Carole, the founder of Pawd Squad recently left me a note saying:

Fannie Mae got ADOPTED YESTERDAY. And you know why they chose her out of all the Rotties on the planet? It’s because they said her picture was beautiful and her eyes were loving and Iooked sweet. YES…IT WAS THE PICTURE YOU TOOK HER THAT GOT HER A NEW FOREVER HOME! Thank you Ms. Grace.

I can’t say enough how awesome it is to aid in the adoption of these dogs. If you love photography and have a little time to spare on the weekends, how about taking some photos of dogs and cats at a rescue or animal shelter? You could always donate money sure, but donating your talent and time and being a part of the adoption process is PRICELESS!

Well I’m off to enjoy a fabulous weekend in San Francisco, the best city I’ve ever lived in and still continue to miss dearly. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend too!