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Black and White

52Frames Week 03:

The challenge prompt: “Black and White”, with an extra challenge of “Shoot With Film”

Black and white images are pretty, but I much prefer color, so I usually struggle a bit with this theme and usually resort to choosing a black and white model. But, I’m aware of this trend, and I avoided it this time - although Scout is a light colored yellow labrador retriever. 😉 Scout and his mom joined me at McCabe Meadows, a local park here in Parker CO, providing a variety of photographic possibilities. The moment I stepped out of my car, Scout's excitement became apparent. With my treat pouch securely fastened to my hip, Scout swiftly snatched it away, playfully scattering its contents and promptly cleaning up the mess. What a surprise! 😄 Having photographed numerous dogs, I couldn't help but be impressed by Scout's quick reflexes, and he repeated his snack heists throughout our session, keeping me on my toes. 🙃

As we walked to our first spot, Scout’s mom reminded me that I had met him before, and even taken his photos! 😮 Eight years ago, I dropped my son off for cross country practice where Scout’s mom was a coach. She had brought her new puppy Scout to the practice, and when I saw him I immediately offered to puppysit for the duration of the practice. I took Scout to the back field and played with him and photographed him until the runners returned. I only have a vague recollection of that meeting, but I remarked that it seemed very “on brand” for me since I have a reputation for stealing puppies and photographing them. 🥰 I looked in my archives and sure enough, found those early photos, which I’ll share below.

Returning to the present, Scout's enthusiasm made it clear that he remembered our previous encounter. To keep him in check (or rather, to protect my treat pouch and keep him in position 😉), he remained on leash for the majority of the session. (Side note: wearing leashes/collars during my sessions is not a problem, because I am a MAGICIAN in Photoshop – I digitally remove them. #safetyfirst) We explored various locations, including a field, a dog-sized bridge, and a human bridge – though Scout made it clear that he wasn't a fan of the latter, prompting us to quickly move on. Our journey continued to a snowy area, which was Scout’s favorite. After we took some “formal portraits”, I turned off my light, cranked up my shutter speed and we focused on getting some fun action shots. I set my camera to the monochrome profile so I could get a sense of the scene in black and white, I laid on my belly in the snow to get a nice low perspective, and I instructed Scout’s mom to try to hit me in the head with the ball – then jump to the side as soon as she’d thrown it. Easy peasy. 😅

This photo is far from perfect, but I love the energy and enthusiasm of it. “Focus”:

Yellow lab chasing a ball in the snow at McCabe Meadows in Parker, Colorado

f/2.2, 1/1250th, ISO 800, @ 135mm, 01/17/2024

The behind the scenes (BTS) look of how I created it:

Behind the scenes (BTS) of a dog photography session at McCabe Meadows in Parker, Colorado

Additional (unedited) images from the session:

Yellow lab photos in black and white

I thought some of you might be wondering how close the dogs come to me during these action shots, and how I handle it equipment-wise. The first answer is… close! 😅 They usually divert at the last second, either juking left or right, or sometimes jumping over me. When they are close, I turn my camera to the side and duck my head; this frame was taken just before I completed the action, my camera’s safe, but my head’s still a target, lol. This method usually works, but there was that one time that I took a Great Pyrenees to the face, and lemme tell ya, that HURT. Black eye and broken glasses on that encounter!

Behind the scenes (BTS) of a dog photography session, where a yellow lab is running at the camera

Interesting to note my growth as a photographer. Things I did right: got somewhat low, occasionally used a long focal length & shallow depth of field, got nice natural expressions. Things I did wrong: shot in full, side lit sun. The last photo is still Scout’s mom’s screen saver eight years later. 😱 Photos are powerful.

yellow lab puppy images

From Scout’s mom: "Scouts favorite game is to bring you his squeaky toy, lamb chop or a few other stuffed animals, and you hold it and he gives it “nibs” and then you have to squeak it so he can howl and howl."

Ginger Wick Photography is an award winning dog photographer specializing in creating beautiful custom artwork of dogs & their people. Based in Parker, CO serving the Denver area.





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