Sunday, May 6, 2012

Love Thy Dog

     During the course of winter, I got a bit lonely living just in my room and thought of getting myself a dog.  There are many of them desperately being disposed online.  I checked Craig's List.  But it came to me that there are also some animal shelters here in South Korea.  So I was curious.  I found myself on one of their pages.  It's a sad story after another.  But then I saw a link on how to help out.  I see a call for photographers.  Great!

     I know it's true that a picture makes a thousand words, and that first impressions are important.  This is where photographers could come in handy.  A good picture of a potential pet could make or break attraction to future adopters.  As I read some amazing stories of a helping out shelters, I decided I'd like to do the same.  First step was to communicate with these volunteers.  It's another story.  But sufficed to say, I came about to a shelter quite near my place.  It's not so popular on my facebook community.  So I think I should help out.

     But there's a problem.  I have very little experience taking pictures of animals.  In fact, the only subject I had was my cat, Meow.  Fortunately, my boss decided we need a dog.  So in comes a puppy.  An addition to the company.  And thank goodness for that, I got someone else to practice with.

At first I wanted her out of that leash.  But I'm glad it's on her.  I didn't realize how hard it is to control someone who can't fully understand human language.

Me and My Rope
Her leash is also attached to a long rope stretching about 8 meters long.  The boss considered it would make her happier if she can walk about on a longer distance.

     It was a challenging feat.  "Mint" was playful and curious.  He doesn't stay still long enough for me to compose a shot.  Being a small puppy, I have to lie on the floor to get to her level.  According to some tips, it's best that way.  I was using my Carl Zeiss T* 80-200mm along with my flash unit.  With her black eyes, I just have to get some catch lights on her.  I know I'll suffer post-processing without it.

Black Eyed... something that rhymes with "peas"
Well, she has black eyes.  And this photo shows how important the aforementioned catch light.  Without it, I think her eyes will look like just some hollow spaces on her face.

The Face
The objective is to draw some emotions out from the viewer.  It shouldn't just be a cute picture of a puppy.  It should be something that makes the viewer ask, "What's her story?"  Being the person who took this picture, I think I did it.  But I don't know about the others.

    Despite Mint being a new addition to the company, and me not so much attached to her yet, I had fun taking pictures of her.  It was challenging but educating.  It's a big wake-up call again.  Very much different from taking pictures of Meow.  And if it was already hard to take pictures of this little gal in an open space, I reckon it'll be much harder taking pictures in a shelter.  I need to change my ways.  I have to learn how to act fast.  Really fast.

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