Jenny

This weekend I had a shoot with Jenny. I wanted to do something in Game of Thrones-style, and use a friends dogs to be “wolves” (small, but still). I had a clear idea of the final result, and we had a lot of fun trying to achieve the right poses, fight the mosquitos, get the dogs to cooperate, keep the dresses up (a bit too big), and keep little sister busy…

Behind the scenes a shoot can look something like this:

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After about 90 minutes, I had all I wanted and more. Finished result after some work in photoshop to get the fairytale feeling:

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And, of course, little sister got a quick portrait 🙂

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It’s a lot of fun to get to work with a theme like this! Thank you all those involved in the process!

 

Plans for 2018

Good morning!

I think 2018 will be a fantastic year. I have online-courses, workshops, photo-sessions, fine art projects, and a book coming up!

This blog, however, will not be updated as often as before. Almost all of 2017 I had the ambition to post about two times a week, and never lived up to it. This year I want to set a goal that motivates me, and doesn’t feel like “work” – this blog is just for fun after all. That means that I will post when I have something on my mind that I want to share. It can be photos that I love, a new fun tip I think you will like, information about workshops and online-classes, or just something I’ve been thinking about.

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Make sure you follow me on Facebook, that’s where I’ll keep in touch on a daily (well, not daily but a bit more often than here) basis.

Today the sun is out, the birds are singing, and I’m hoping that the winter will end soon. I have a vacation coming up in 28 days (yey!), Fuerteventura here I come! And I got the first layout on my coming book about dog photography in my inbox this morning, and it’s bea-ti-ful.

Maybe I’ll skip working today, and just grab my camera and go for a walk with my dogs. Who knows what we’ll find?

Halloween is closing in!

I love to do theme-photos. Halloween is extra fun because there are no limits! Inspired by a favourite book this is my Halloween contribution for this year. I hope you like it!

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It’s a bit obvious, I know, but it was a lot of fun! Happy Halloween everybody!

Brighten dark dogs eyes, Lightroom and Photoshop

Often when I photograph dark dogs, I can’t get the light to perfectly enhance their eyes. (It’s hard to do when you are outside and the dog is moving very fast…) But, I can easily fix that in my computer!

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Let me give you a walk-through of my go-to-tips, in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop:

I hope you found some new tricks, and keep experimenting!

Behind the scenes: create photo art with a piece of cheap fabric

I still have two photos left in the Content Creation Challenge, and this weekend I got some beautiful fabric that gave me an idea for “time”.

Yesterday I worked at school all day, and I felt totally empty when I got home. I love my students, and I give all I have…

So, a perfect time to do something that requires a whole different mindset than teaching! The dogs followed me, curious about what I would do. I really liked this sky, but soon saw that the light didn’t work at all.

So I moved, and soon learned that horses are 1. very curious, and 2. easily scared.

But I got some shots to use, the light was perfect, and I liked the sky even better!

Now, I wanted some extra shots of the fabric and moved to an area with shorter grass. I was careful to use the same angle, to get the same light.

It was windy, and that means I would have to flip the photo later to get the flowy fabric on both sides. Not a problem. Much harder to get the fabric to cooperate! I have 50 shots of me holding fabric in the wind…

And the final photo looks like this:

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I am really pleased, this is almost exactly the image in my head 🙂

So to make this photo you need:

  • Two dogs as company (absolutely necessary for the creative process)
  • Two skittish horses (optional)
  • A piece of fabric, about 100 kronor (10 dollars)
  • Patience
  • A tripod for your camera
  • Remote (I use my phone and Fujis app)
  • More patience and stubbornness
  • A few hours in Photoshop (three, I think it took me)

 

Challenge (almost) completed!

Today is day 15, and I have done my last photo. Well…almost…I’m still two days short, and I will do them. Some day 😉

I have really pushed myself, done things I have never done before, and learned a LOT!

Some photos I’m really proud over. Some not so much. Live and learn 🙂

Here they are, in order!

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And the challenges:

  1. Rebirth – enclosed space (inside my mind)
  2. Emotion – no face (fear)
  3. Endings – door
  4. Beauty – my idea
  5. Spellbound – warm light
  6. Potential – open space
  7. Breaking – shattered (my self esteem)
  8. Curiosity – new location
  9. Being alive – rope
  10. Pressure – water
  11. Forgotten – paper
  12. Flight – wings (mine are made of light)
  13. Growth – myself

Some of these are very emotional to me, and I have put a little (or a lot) of myself in every one of them (visible or not).

What have I learned?

Apart from the technical stuff (thank you, youtube!) I have started THINKING differently. And that is always interesting! Let’s see where it leads…:)

 

Content Creation Challenge

Almost ten days ago I joined Brooke Shadens Content Creation Challenge. Create a new piece of art every day for 15 days. Make sure it has some kind of content. And then there’s a theme for each day, and a challenge to use or do something special.

Interesting. Hard. Crushing my self-esteem to smithereens at times, but also making me try new things and walk new roads. Frustrating. And fun.

This is the one I like the most so far (potential and use open space)

 

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Keep reaching for the stars…

 

This one was most self-reflecting (breaking, use something shattered – I guess it’s my self-esteem that is in a million pieces…And it’s two “me”, representing my constant struggle within)

 

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Not. Good. Enough.

 

And I still have six more days to go!

So…why did I choose to do this (and why do I continue creating, even if I feel like I lack both time and talent)?

Because: I don’t feel good enough.

YET.

And that three-letter word is all that matters. The fact that I lack skills and that I feel that I want to create MORE and BETTER is a matter of practice. Practice does not automatically make perfect, but it makes better. It’s the ONLY way to get better.

I may not feel like I’m good enough yet – but in the future, I will be better than I am now.

To be creative, to me, is a constant struggle and I think most people strive to get better. Some give up and say “this is all I am. This is all I will ever be.” and they may or may not be content with that. Giving up is not for me though 🙂 I will keep on practising till the day I die, and probably after that as well.

If you want to see all my photos, you find them on my Instagram. If you like any of them please let me know, that makes me happy.

PSD, JPEG, TIFF…the short guide to choosing the right file format for your image.

I have finished editing my photo, and it looks good. I want to save it. Now…what file format to choose? Why are there so many? And most importantly:

which one should I choose?

 

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Don’t ask me! I have no idea!

 

Well…The formats exist for a reason. And which one you should choose depends on what you want to do with the photo!

I will give a short description of the ones I use:

PSD is Photoshops own format. It saves your image, and your editing: the layers, the history. Perfect if you want to keep working on it! But hat also means that the files are large, and there will be programs that can’t open them. Suitable as long as you stay in PS!

TIFF is your photo, uncompressed. Can be read by every program, and I have used it when I have sent photos that will be printed in a book (to make sure they can use the file in their program).

JPEG is the most common choice when the photo is done. When you save you choose size and quality depending on if you want to print it or share it on the web or send it to someone. Most programs can read it without problems.

PNG is for graphics, line art, or images with a lot of text. It is also perfect for images with transparency or fading (like logos).

PDF is for when I make downloadable price lists or “mini books” with text and images. The files are big, but it looks good!

So, to summon:

Want to make more changes? PSD

Need to send it to someone who might use it in another program? TIFF

Done with your photo? JPEG

Made a logo or an image with a lot of text? PNG

Made a price list that you want people to download? PDF

 

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I’m almost always in JPEG!

 

Hope that helps a bit! It covers the most common scenarios, and help you avoid little mistakes (like saving an unfinished photo in JPEG…been there, done that!). And when in doubt: save it twice in different formats!

The Creative Kelpie

First of all: big news! I have decided to keep things nice and tidy in my head, so BuJo for dog owners (and for everybody else) is getting a blog of its own. Visit TheCreativeKelpie and see for yourself! Sorry about the double posting, I promise that it will only be new material from now on!

So, this blog post is about how you can use the fact that your dog is creative. And by “creative” I mean that he or she thinks for him/herself, and finds stuff to do. I also mean that you may be creative together, and train fun tricks!

My kelpies are very creative. I love to just follow them around and observe, and see what they do!

A little patience goes a long way…Sooner or later they will forget that I am there, and do something kelpie-ish! (And as you can see in the first photo – the technique works with every breed!)

The trick is to be ready when that happens. I often bring my camera along for walks, and I always check my settings to match the light. My standard settings during a walk are 1/400 (handles slower action), f/2,8 (I like short DOF), and ISO 200, but I always adjust to the light! I normally use AF-C to be sure to get focus quickly even if my dogs are on the move. Want to learn more about

(Want to learn more about camera settings? Look HERE  for tips on portraits, and HERE fo tips on action. And don’t forget ISO!

The other type of creativity is a bit more planned. I teach my dogs to trick-pose! Well…at least one of them 😉

I’m sure your dog knows some cute tricks. Sometimes it’s hard to get the dog to hold the pose while you take the photo, a tripod and a remote are good investments.

 

Photoshop: how to use the clone tool

I’m not perfect. Sometimes when I photograph I get caught up in the moment and focus too much on the dog – and miss stuff in the background that really bothers me when I see the photo on the screen!

 

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Oh no! container, house, and a car…If only there was a way to fix this!

 

And sometimes when I take a photo I KNOW that there will be something in the background, a tree or a fence or something like that, that I will want to remove later. But it’s the best place possible at that location at that time.

And sometimes dirt or fur is in the wrong place.

 

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I believe the scientific expression for dirt under the eyes is “eye-guck”. At least that’s what I call it. And I want it gone!

 

Isn’t it nice that photoshop has several great tools to remove unwanted stuff from your photos? A BIG help for photographers like me, who is almost always outside and work with fast-moving animals! One of my favourites is the CLONE TOOL.

How does it work? See here:

Do you want to learn more? I created a free online course: A dog photographers simple guide to the clone tool in photoshop. It teaches you all you need to know to fix 99% of your photos, in a simple way. It doesn’t teach you EVERYTHING about the clone tool, that would be an enormous course, but what you need to know.

Coming up: Dogs in motion – how do you capture them in a photo?