I am spending the weekend with multiple cameras in my hand since I am staying with two of my little buddies, Digger and Coco for a couple of days. I absolutely love these two. I have been walking them weekly for two years, so I have had lots of opportunities behind a camera with them. Although I’ve gotten a few photos that I love, I haven’t quite mastered Diggie.
Digger is an challenging photography subject because staying still isn’t in his vocabulary. He is in constant motion. He has more energy that any animal I can think of. One of his favorite things to do after you’ve thrown a toy and he’s fetched it, is to run straight at you and then veer off and run back and forth and back and forth, zooming past you as he’s good and ready to come back to you. Sure, other dogs do things like this, but not like him. He loves getting a toy in his mouth and then whipping his head around. Be careful if you’re near him though because he will hit you and hit you hard. He has bruised my shins and arms with a basketball (definitely bigger than his head…not a problem), a giant really hard stuffed fish, many rope toys, most recently the green loofa dog from the photo, the list continues. One time he shoved the smaller blue ball that’s in one of the shots underneath my legs on the stairs. No biggie right? I was wearing shorts and it was covered in dripping saliva. He’ll also hold onto a toy with the last breath in his little body. You can lift him off of the ground by his teeth, even swing him around and he WILL. NOT. LET. GO. So that sort of energy does not lend itself to sitting still for a photo. Even if he is sitting down, he’s STILL frantically chewing on a toy, which makes a still photo not so much. If dogs were candidates for Ritalin, he could certainly be the spokesdog.
In addition, he really dislikes the camera. It doesn’t matter which one I use (biggest one, big one, point and shoot, or blackberry), he knows what it is and acts accordingly. Lots of animals will turn their head away but they can usually be coaxed back. Not him. He’ll turn his head or even his body and that’s that. Last night he looked very cute sleeping, so I put the camera over him to snap a shot and before I even pressed the button, his eyes were WIDE OPEN. He just knows!
I adore the little maniac and I’m learning a lot from him. Part of the anxiety that comes with photography is missing the shot. With him, it happens almost every time. He’s teaching me to be craftier. To be faster. To take twenty shots because even if I missed the one I wanted, he might do it again, or something even better.
I have collected a couple of photos, actually all taken on my Blackberry, that I liked. I won’t actually know what I have on the D200 and D80 until I get home. Hopefully there will be some shots I really like. This picture of him was taken while scratching his head. He will calmly sit for scratches but the instant you stop, he’ll bolt. So, I pressed the button on the camera and kept scratching until the last second since the camera takes a bit, guessed when to remove my hand, and somehow I got the shot. Yes!
Here’s an classic example of his response to cameras. I wanted to get a photo of him on the pillows so I took more than one to get it right. This is basically the photo I wanted:
This is his response:
Shh. Don’t tell him I took this:
This last one is a video when I actually caught him on tape doing two of the things I absolutely love: