Ferrets In A Jar

Two ferrets in a vase

Ferrets In A Jar

 

Okay, so it is technically a vase, but Ferrets In A Jar has a better ring to it.

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Snow on the Smoke Bluffs

Snow covered trees and rock faces

Smoke Bluffs in Squamish, BC, Canada with snow.

I always love to see the surrounding hills & mountains with fresh fallen snow. ┬áThe snow defines the shapes of the rock in a way that doesn’t show otherwise. ┬áPlaces that seem steep turn out not to be, and places that look flat turn out to be vertical (or, in some cases, indented).

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T-5: Impulse control? What is that?

First, a couple of housekeeping points. I missed a day in posting here, because the photos I took were just grab shots with my phone and none of them were worth sharing, and my numbering system is off but I am not going to change it. Originally I planned on making Caiman’s final vet appointment on Friday, but as my vet is not available on Friday we made it for Thursday instead. I get one less evening with him but that seemed better than postponing it until after the weekend.

These shots were taken in our front yard. Caiman was lying in the grass, happy, and I took some photos without him noticing me. Then I made a noise to try to get him to turn his head and look at me.

It worked, sort of…

Caiman has never really had impulse control. Over the years I have taught him certain situations where he must resist but I have never succeeded in getting him to look at the camera without coming over to say hi. This time, like so many others, he promptly leapt(ish) to his feet and hurried over to me. I just laughed and snuggled with him. The photos are just memory shots now, it is not important that they are good, and so this sequence is priceless.

2014 Pet Calendar Model Call!

It is that time again! I am looking for pets of all shapes and sizes to be in my 2014 calendar.

T-7: And then it rained

Child and old dog walking together

My younger child and I took Caiman to the beach. We have had an incredible summer, given that where we live is sometimes humorously referred to as “The Wet Coast”, and the vegetation is gasping for moisture. It has not rained in weeks, but it started raining when I took Caiman out of the van and it stopped again when I put him back in. It was sunny and rainy all at the same time. It was beautiful…

close up photo of an old dog walking in the rain

T-8: Old eyes

Caiman has always had very deep set eyes. As a photographer they have driven me nuts, because unless I am very careful he has these black holes in his face in most photos, but now I am glad of them. He has become sensitive to bright light now and his natural facial structure helps protect him. Poor old guy…

T-9: Nap on the deck

I laid down on the picnic blanket on the deck to take a brief break from gardening, and Caiman came over, curled up against me, and fell asleep. I was trapped. Another day – another situation – I might have woken him up and made him move, but this may very well have been the last time this happens. It was priceless, and so I stayed where I was until he woke up on his own.

T-minus series: Making the decision to let an old dog go

Recently I realized that my old boy Caiman has come to the point where life is no longer worth living. It has been a gradual decline, and this is not a crisis situation, but the decision was made to let him go sooner rather than later.

I am taking photos of him on each of the days he has left. I have been posting them on my Facebook page daily but not here, so the photos I will be showing on my blog posts are from a few days ago.

portrait of an old dog lying in the grass

This is not the first time I have had to make this decision, and I’m sure it never gets easy. I had already decided that winter is too hard on him, and that I would not put him through another one, but inside I was hoping that some emergency situation would make The Day obvious. That has not happened, and so I have had to look at each day and compare it to those that came before, and make the judgement call that this day is too hard when that one was still okay. It sucks, big time, but I know this is the last loving gift I can give him.

Fiesta

I’m going into the archives for this photo. A couple of years ago I went to visit with a good friend I hadn’t met yet. We have been friends online for years but until that day we hadn’t met in person. I had just splurged on what is now my favourite camera lens and she let me try it out on her dogs, and her goats, and her rabbit.

I’ll show you photos of the rest another time, but for now I need to show you this photo of Fiesta. I didn’t get many of her, and they are all very similar, so I cannot show you more. There won’t be any more – for one thing my friend lives on the opposite coast, and for another Fiesta left her suddenly this week.

She will be missed.

portrait of a beautiful dog

Project 52: Antique or Vintage

These are the instructions for this week:
I am a collector of antique dog memorabilia and I especially love old dog themed cabinet cards and photos, so I thought it would be fun this week to do images with an antique or vintage feel…either try an overlay or texture, old props or backdrop, anything to create an old fashioned image! Have fun with it!

This is Bear, a 3 month old ferret. He is a darling wiggly little beast, and his colouring works very well with the antique tones.

vintage style portrait of a ferret

Project 52 is a group project. Please visit all the other talented pet photographers, starting with Karen Ramos (Spotty Nose Pet Photography, Los Angeles, California), by following the links at the bottom of our posts.

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.

Project 52: Style

“This week’s theme is style. Fun, fashion, or photog-style – you decide for this week’s challenge! Here are some ideas . . .
a) What photography style are you?
b) Your dog’s sense of style or fashion!
c) Any other style you can think of! Have fun!”

I have to say, the idea of dressing up the dogs appealed to me, but in the end I ran out of time. (Everyone heaves a sigh of relief…) This is my favourite style – simple portraits, preferably in black & white.

Here are two of Rivet, one serious, and one smiling:

And one of Caiman, getting older by the second:

And, finally, a silly kid shot just for fun:

Project 52 is a group project. Please visit all the other talented pet photographers, starting with Melbourne Pet Photographer, by following the links at the bottom of our posts.

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.

Project 52: Low Angle

” For this week’s challenge the images you capture need to be taken from a low angle – ideally lower than eye level on the dog. Let’s capture those scrunchy chins and droopy faces by getting as low as we can! Don’t be afraid to get dirty!”

This fit in perfectly with a shot I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I’ve seen a number of whimsical fantasy photos that have inspired a number of ideas along these lines.

This was definitely a collaboration with my child. I needed her help in getting the right photo of the dog (Rivet was very enthusiastic, too enthusiastic, and I wasn’t able to get her looking the way I wanted without her pretty much crawling into my lap) and she had her own ideas for how she should look in the photo. I had imagined her crouching, but she wanted to be standing, so we shot both and in the end we both liked this one best. We had fun!

And then, a day or so later, I decided that I needed to use another of the poses that she gave me. For this one I used an older photo of Caiman, and in some ways I think I like it better. Her body language is much more along the lines of my original idea, and the simpleness of the setting allows for an older feel to the processing.

Project 52 is a group project. Please visit all the other talented pet photographers, starting with Blue Amrich Studio in Boston, MA, by following the links at the bottom of our posts.

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.

Project 52: Over Post Processing

This week the theme is Over Post Processing:
“Many of us strive to make our photos look natural, but for this week, I’d like to you to do the opposite, and go crazy with the post processing. A photo that is pretty obviously edited. Think creative, stylistic or artistic.”

This is a processing method I like to do sometimes, and when I do I often add elements into the background. In this case I liked the negative space so I have not done that. Obviously I did a fair amount of work on this but his eyes really are that colour. Striking, aren’t they?!

Project 52 is a group project. Please visit all the other talented pet photographers, starting with Stacey Gammon Pet Photography, New Jersey, by following the links at the bottom of our posts.

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.

Project 52: Body Parts ~ Pet Photography

We had fairly basic instructions this week:
“This week theme will be Various Body Parts of your pets, for example, pricked ears, innocent or big round eyes, curly or flurry tails and etc. Have fun!”

“Have fun” she said, and fun we had.

And, just for (more) fun, here are some ferret toes. Ferret toes and little girl hands, which aren’t really as dirty as they look.

Project 52 is a group project. Please visit all the other talented pet photographers, starting with Kelly Coyle (Sweet Silver Photography, Nashville, Tennessee), by following the links at the bottom of our posts.

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.

Project 52 – Negative Space

This week the theme for P52 is Negative Space. I use a lot of negative space in my photography, so this was a relatively easy week for me. Caiman and I went out into our back yard yesterday and just hung around for a while.

Close up photo of dog showing one eye with negative space

In this next photo Caiman proves that you are never too old to play with a stuffed hedgehog, especially if it has pink toes and squeaks loudly when stepped on. I was experimenting with the processing in this one and the colours ended up differently than my norm, but I think I like them like this.

Portrait of Caiman lying in the back yard

And, finally, a shot taken yesterday that was not specifically for this post. It fits the theme though! These three were part of a much larger flock of geese, and I like the rhythm to the way they are turning their heads.

Canada geese swimming

Project 52 is a group project. Please visit all the other talented pet photographers, starting with Melbourne Pet Photographer, by following the links at the bottom of our posts.

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.

P52 – Blur

This week the theme for P52 is Blur.
“As pet photographers, two of the most important things we strive for is sharp focus of our subjects and overall clarity of the image. Therefore we sometimes forget that blur can be beautiful. Blur adds expression and artistry to our images. So let’s experiment with blur this week! Whether in the foreground, in the background or all throughout image, let’s unfocus ourselves from sharpness.”

It seemed to me to be a good time to experiment with the Brenizer Method, which uses multiple images stitched together in Photoshop to simulate a wider aperture than the camera lens actually has. In other words, it allows for more blur in the image than would usually occur. There was a learning curve for me – this was not my first attempt – but I ironed out the worst of the problems. This isn’t something I expect to use often but I am glad that I tried it out.

Portrait of a brown dog in front of yellow flowers

Project 52 is a group project. Please visit all the other talented pet photographers, starting with Barking Lab Studio, NJ dog photography, by following the links at the bottom of our posts.

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.

creativeLIVE workshop in Seattle

The week before last I was in Seattle for 4 nights. Two of the days I participated in Arica Dorff‘s Pet Photography Workshop at creativeLIVE, and the third day I played tourist.

This was my second time at creativeLIVE. I enjoyed myself greatly both times. There is something special about spending such a concentrated period of time with people who share my enthusiasms. My fellow students at the workshops and I will stay in touch and continue to encourage and support one another.

Here we all are after the second day. This photo was taken with Karen’s camera.

Group photo taken with Karen's camera

From left to right: Me, Darcy, Melissa, Rebecca, Paula, Arica, Christiana, Karen, and Heidi.

On the sightseeing day we managed to fit in many of Seattle’s tourist landmarks including the Space Needle, Pike’s Market, and a view of downtown from the hillside. My absolute favourite part was the Chihuly glass exhibit at the base of the Space Needle. I would happily go again – it was easily the best $19 I spent that day. My photos don’t show the scale of the work. These pieces are enormous.

Photograph of glass art Photograph of glass art
Photograph of glass art Photograph of glass art

 

Project 52 – Something New

This was my week to pick the theme for Project 52. I picked Something New.

I had grand plans, but life got in the way, and so far this is what I have. Background is a neutral beige, coloured with a gelled flash. The pink gel is a new toy that I got several weeks ago and hadn’t taken out of the package before this.

I had imagined this shot as a classic head-and-shoulders portrait, but Caiman won’t sit for me anymore. I think it hurts his back, so when he made it clear that he was going to lie down instead I went with the flow.

Photo of a brown dog against a pink background

Project 52 is a group project. Please visit all the other talented pet photographers, starting with Raleigh pet photographer, Tara Lynn, by following the links at the bottom of our posts.

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.

Pet photography workshop at CreativeLIVE!

Next week I will be heading down to Seattle for a two day workshop on Pet Photography with Arica Dorff. You will be able to watch it live for free on CreativeLIVE. The workshop runs on May 23rd & 24th. I can’t wait!

Project 52 – Street Art ~ BC Pet Photography

This week the theme for Project 52 was Street Art.

This guy is painted on the wall of a building near the beach and this first photo was taken last spring. We call him Faceless Graffiti Guy, even though we have since learned that he does have a face – he is looking up into the sky and that mass is a beard.
3/12 Faceless graffiti guy

Recently I discovered that he is also painted on an outhouse in a nearby park. You have to walk in on a path, not on a street, and he is almost hidden in away in the trees. Street art, without the street…

Photograph of a dog sitting in front of a painting on an outhouse

I have been planning to use this particular painting all week, but for some reason I didn’t end up taking the photo until the very last minute.

Project 52 is a group project. Please visit all the other talented pet photographers, starting with Lina Tay, Petlense Photography, Wichita Kansas, by following the links at the bottom of our posts.

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.