Today’s weather was rain, on and off, off and on. Kodak and I went for a walk anyway. He doesn’t care – walk in the sun, walk in the rain, it’s all good.
I tried to let go a little more today. More exposures from each setup, looser setups, and a little more watching and trying to anticipate. Part of the problem is that Kodak behaves differently when I stand with the camera up, coming over to see what I’m up to. So now I stand with the camera ready but not at my eye, and when I see the scene start to come together I try to whip it up, let the shutter go (perhaps several times) and then let it drop back to my waist. I spent a lot more time today just trying to observe my own process and identify problems.
We also visited an area with large fields today, which Kodak likes. In a field he’ll just range around, reading the story of the place with his nose to the ground. I’ve finally figured out that many of the photos I want are going to be made with a viewpoint much closer to the ground. Call it dog’s eye level, if you will. Please say a prayer for my knees. I’m tempted to sacrifice the neoprene foam uppers of my current (somewhat battered) pair of Muck Boots™ to become waterproof kneepads, and buy a new pair of boots. But I like the old boots even though they have that hole in the side that leaks (from an entirely unwarranted ambush attack by a blackberry vine) and the mud is sort of ground in so that they look shabby. We’ve reached an accommodation, those boots and I. I don’t complain if they look shabby, and they don’t complain if I look shabby. Just as Wheaties are the breakfast of Champions, Muck Boots are the Wellies of the wise.
Some lessons from today, some learned today and others forgotten but remembered today:
- setting the 5D drive mode to ‘multiple exposure/motor drive’ turns the thing into a visual uzi, and burns batteries in a hurry.
- setting out for the day with just one battery is courting disaster.
- setting out for the day with just one partially discharged battery is really courting disaster.
- taking the cold battery out of the camera and putting in in your pocket while you watch the dog for a minute brings it back to life a little.
- You can make photographs with an SLR without looking through the viewfinder, and the photo police don’t come screaming up in SWAT gear and take you to jail.
- it’s ok if cameras and lenses get a little wet from rain
- It’s a bad idea to step into water deeper than your boot tops (stopped in time, thanks)
- It’s more fun if you eat lunch before the long walk especially if you start out from home hungry
- a Thermos full of hot tea would be nice at the end of the outing. Stopping by Starbucks on the way home is an inadequate substitute.
- some of the photos in the book are going to feature the dog in the landscape but not as the most prominent feature.
- Lower is not always better. Higher is not always better, either.
- Putting that microfiber lens cloth into my pocket was a good idea, because it was really useful at taking the dog nose print off the front element. Note to self – remember to wash lens cloth.
- the lens hood on a 24-105 f/4L-IS will not keep the dog’s nose off the front element when he comes running up excitedly.
Anyway, herewith today’s contact sheets. I have not even looked at these images myself, just unloaded the card and fired up the contact sheet gizmo direct from Bridge. Please set down hot beverages before viewing, lest you scald yourself when your laughter causes spills. I assume no liability if viewing these causes incurable hiccups, grand mal seizures, or death. Only people who are posting their own SoFoBoMo contact sheets may mock me mercilessly in the comments. All others will suffer from my merciless rapier wit in my responses.