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Thread: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

  1. #1

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    Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Took the D800 and 70-200 2.8 along for a walk this weekend. It was a beautiful spring day in Alaska which meant bright sun on snow. And the dogs are about as wild as life gets around here this time of year.

    OK, Dad. Time for my walk.

    Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Are you coming?

    Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Hitting the trail.

    Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Breaking trail.

    Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Now that was fun!

    Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    The last shot reminded me of a very similar one from 14 months ago when Grace was 3 mos. old. Taken with the same lens and the trusty old D300 in totally different lighting. Notice the feet are in exactly the same position in both shots and in the third image running down the trail. I've shot tens of thousands of frames of dog photos now and have noted that they appear to be right or left lead just like people are right or left handed. Doing jumps etc. they also place their feet consistently in exactly the same position just like human athletes practice. I knew you were all dying to know that information

    Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    I love these images. Great shots of a beautiful dog! Numbers 3 and 4 are my favorites! If the images and dog were mine, I would have a 20x24" stretched canvas print of #3 on my wall!

    Interesting point regarding left or right foot lead...

    Also interesting:

    I found out at a rescue dog training session than a dog will wag its tail differently when stressed or when pleasantly excited.

    When happy, the tail will wag equally to the left and right but, when stressed, the tail will wag predominately to the left. That was proven by a collection of videos of dogs happily or stressfully wagging their tails...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 23rd April 2013 at 03:15 PM.

  3. #3
    kaneohebud's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Dan: Your photos of your dog are beautiful. Especially difficult in snow on a sunny day with a dark dog. Well done!

  4. #4

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    Re: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Thanks for the comments, guys. This time of year she gets her picture taken plenty. Actually our other shorthair was with us too but she tends to range a little farther so doesn't offer as many photo ops. That's interesting info on the tail wagging. I'll pay particular attention to the side preference for the tail henceforth. Too many people never learn that a wagging tail doesn't always mean the dog is happy or playful. Also among dog owners there seems to be an unfortunate correlation between cluelessness and a preference for aggressive breeds

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Hi Dan,

    Great shots, my only constructive suggestion would be to desaturate, or change the colour of, that red behind the head in #1.

    Outstanding series none-the-less,

  6. #6

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    Re: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Great shots, my only constructive suggestion would be to desaturate, or change the colour of, that red behind the head in #1.
    I agree Dave that red is distracting. I did zero PP on that image other than changing to standard picture control (from neutral as shot) and cropping slightly for format. That one is a D800 version of a snap shot. Though that may be a contradiction in terms.

  7. #7
    PhotoByTrace's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    LOL! Your first photo captures a scene I also see quite regularly... The earnest look on her face made me laugh.

    Some great photos here Dan. I especially love the last one. Grace was having a hoot! And the photo communicates that so clearly. The puppy picture is sweet too!

    Dogs have set foot falls for the different gaits just as horses do. Grace looks to be showing a rotary gallop in these two photos. The rotary gallop is four-separate footfalls with two moments of suspension; left-rear, right-rear, suspension, right-front, left-front, suspension. Or vice versa for the opposite lead. It is the fastest gait for the dog. Just some more trivia to file away

    What is the purpose of the bell on her collar, Dan?

  8. #8

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    Re: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoByTrace View Post
    ...What is the purpose of the bell on her collar, Dan?
    Multiple purposes. We walk the dogs off leash on wooded trails so it helps us keep track of where they are when out of sight. When they go out of bell range we call them back in and repeat.

    Second, we live in bear country. Theory is that if the bears hear you coming they will move away. We figure the dogs cover more ground and are always out ahead of us so even if the dogs don't react to a bear, it will hear the bells and be aware by the time we're coming along. Ninety percent of bear attacks are people stumbling onto sows with cubs. If they hear you coming they'll gather their cubs up and scram.

    Third, and closely related to the above, in addition to bears, we have moose, wolves, and lynx. The bells may save heart failure from a dog bursting out of the woods on top of you unannounced

  9. #9
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    i love "the look" in #1! It's comical. Great series.

    Re: tail wagging clues… ahhhh! now that makes sense watching my last two dogs. If I only knew...

  10. #10
    travis4567's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Dog for a Spring Walk

    Love the photos..I would just soften them up a bit...too much contrast.

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