I love my dog, her name is Piper. She’s just slightly over 1 year old, and she’s probably been the most active and affectionate addition to our family. She’s half Golden Retriever and half Yellow Lab, but she really looks like a pure blood golden.
Not only is she a wonderful and loving dog, but she’s quite photogenic. This post goes out with thanks to my wife who was willing to put up with me for these photos and be my model. Also to get Piper to be in a state of mind built for happiness and photographs. Here is the first shot, a view of just how happy Piper is with my wife, and just a show of the love between the two.
One of the things Piper loves is to fetch…
I wanted to get a shot of Piper running for a throw from my wife, I wanted to get it with a bit of blur to show her speed, and it’s difficult to get her focused in and a good shot as she’s a little unpredictable with her runs. Here’s her looking back to see if my wife is going to throw it or not.
After she had gotten some exercise, Piper just wanted to focus on my wife and watch her. You can see the connection between the two by looking at how focused her eyes are.
Finally, you can see the two staring lovingly into each other’s eyes as they hold hands.
And finally, this is the shot that I actually wanted to get and asked my wife to come out and pose for. I wanted a photo of Piper’s paw inside her hand. I used a wide open aperture for a bit of bokeh and focused in on their hands. I had to crop in to get rid of Piper’s tongue, since it’s almost impossible to get a shot of any of her without that thing wagging its way into it. The actual settings were: ISO 200, 31mm for the lens (62mm on a DSLR) an f/4.9 and 1/250sec for the shutter speed.
Post production, I dropped clarity to -15 and increased luminance smoothing to 21 (In Lightroom) After that, I cropped it down to get rid of the tongue and some parts of my wife’s knees. After that, I exported and here it is. I love this picture, the joining of hands between dog and human, the human gesture of a handshake learned by a dog and her happiness at doing it. This picture to me embodies the partnership of a human and a dog; the love and trust, the companionship, and the taking on of each other’s mannerisms.