Monday, June 13, 2016

How to Talk Dog

Like many, most of my life I have lived with dogs.  They have been my most favorite  part of my photography for over 30 years.  I love watching animals talk and wanted to share some of my observations ...

The native language of dog (outside of smell which I have no clue about) is body language.  Voice / sounds are used for getting the others attention and at communicating attitude, but not so much for conversation.  If you want to talk dog it starts with carrying on a conversation using your body.  I am not saying don't ever use your voice, dogs can learn language and meaning.  Just know that dog language starts with body language.

The base body language conversation is about relationship - attitude.  Safety, confidence, expectations, acceptance, understanding.

Your body is your first level dog voice.  The direction you are turned in relation to the dogs position.  Which direction your head is turned and the angle of your head.  Whether you are staring or have soft eyes.  Standing or sitting.  Walking towards or away.  It is all a conversation.

Want your dog to get used to coming? walk away.  The next time your dog barks at someone you don't want them to ... don't say a word, walk between your dog and the someone and turn and look at your dog, see how it changes things.

For me, listening to dogs includes with watching them communicate with each other.  When two dogs greet for the first time the noses touch or come near each other.  In a split second the angle of the heads and eyes in relation to each dog communicates the degree of friendliness and acceptance.  Watch that first touch and turn, it is a fascinating conversation.

I don't know all the answers, every dog is different.  The joy of this way of thinking is I don't have to know in order for you to learn, I learn everyday.  Your dog is the teacher.  As long as you continue to do different things with your body to see how the dog reacts your dog will teach you ...being a dog talker always starts with being a good dog listener.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Considering Waste Management for Commercial Trash Service?

Just wanted to put out in the 'blog-o-sphere' that if your business, or someone you know's business is considering commercial trash pickup - and is considering Waste Management - before you decide, be sure to read the fine print!

We have a 2 yard (6'x3'x3') dumpster that is picked up every two weeks.  Having noticed the rate steadily climbing, I checked our bookkeeping and the monthly rates were as follows at the beginning of each year - 2005 through 2014 ... $73.95, $82.24, $90.26, $95.09, $97.17, $105.11, $114.20, $120.37, $128.84, $146.06 and then $160.73 in June 2014 (the time of this writing).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fog Was Not The Plan

Stephen and Patti are one of my favorite couples.  We did their engagement photos on the beach near where the family often vacationed in Santa Cruz, photographed their wedding, and photographed the kids growing up...

So we decided to go back to Santa Cruz and do family photos for a bit of adventure, which I am pretty much always up for.  Just when we started the FOG came in HEAVY - it was perfect and sunny just before we started. :(  At moments it was visibility at 25 feet and kind of windy/cold.  Although disappointed, we sucked it up and made the best of it.  I thought it was real interesting what we were able to get given the situation so thought I would share, here are my favorites... :)

Restoration from a Walk By Snap ... :)

This photo of -don't know how many greats- grandma was lost, long story of it being in a shared apartment, moved out and went back for it it could not be found ... the only record of it was a random snap one of the family members took of it while walking by.

The first thing to do was adjust the perspective, the photo wasn't taken square to the wall so it was a little distorted by the viewing perspective.  I placed the same line around both the original image on the left and the adjusted image on the right to show the adjustment ...

After retouching out all of the room that is reflected in the glass, adjusting / painting in better colors here is the finished restoration ... Not really sharp as the original was so far out of focus, but otherwise I was really happy with this job. :)

Not Perfect, But Happy :)

We like to make all work perfect! :)  But with every job though there is a trade off between time and perfection ... which translates to both money and my own feelings that the image is not getting that much better for the time put in ... I have a lot of patience for detail work, but keeping it real I can reach a point where it becomes more of a challenge to keep going.

This was a tough one ... faded with very little detail...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Photo Restoration from Mount Lassen Family Vacation

Last June we scheduled a family vacation / celebration for my wife Joan, to celebrate her 70th birthday.  We booked a rental cabin in the Mount Lassen Park area months in advance with deposits and everything - and we were told by the people renting that they would contact us for the final payment a week before.  Well they didn't, and I emailed and I called and I sent text messages and heard nothing (later found out that were stuck in Nicaragua, sick in a hospital - they made it fine and contacted me when they landed in the US and got the messages).  So the day before our trip I got on the web and finally found someone who had a cabin we could rent (daughter and son-in-law flying from Florida, vacations ... schedules and such we just had to make this happen) - and they were super sweet and the place was fantastic (and even dog friendly, we had scheduled to bring our dogs)  ... Info Here

And yes, Joan had a fantastic birthday vacation, but on to the restoration story ... There are family photos all over the house, all are in great condition except for one unique 11x14 photo hanging in the master bedroom.  I kept looking at it thinking, gee, if I was home I could fix that color, and having just enough vacation time on my hands I called the owner and asked if I could take it off the wall and copy the photo to see what I could get out of it.  I grabbed a couple of chairs and a board and made this home mode copy stand ...

The Photo on the Wall ... !

The parents photo on the wall had been torn, taken down from the wall, then lost ... the only record of the photo still around was in the background of these other photos.

None of the photos were taken straight to the wall, so the shape of the photos has been distorted.  The first task was adjusting the perspective/shape as it would have been in the original, which after 'squaring' everything up became making a guess on how thin the faces were - played with it with an eye on the above photos, combined parts of each, art work and some noise removal and here we go. :)  Just wish there was more detail, but the client was thrilled to have a special photo they thought was lost forever and I was thrilled to be able to do it for them :)