tomleeson
tomleeson

Do you want to go for a hover?

This is Baxter. He likes to run. Sometimes he likes to hover. He is the Tibetan terrier that I borrow in order to fill the hole in my heart left by my Airedale ...
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This is Baxter. He likes to run. Sometimes he likes to hover. He is the Tibetan terrier that I borrow in order to fill the hole in my heart left by my Airedale Terrier who I had to leave with his parents. Baxter uses me as a provider of transportation to big fields, as a personal groomer after bringing most of said field back with him in his coat, and more generally as a plaything. I use him as a model.

There seems to be a certain disdain amongst professional photographers for those who are made to take "pet portraits" yet I had a tremendous amount of fun trying to capture what it is what makes living with an animal so rewarding. Baxter has his own personality, just like any model, and you work as a photographer to portray this in a still image. However what is more evident is the need to be a part of the image you are trying to create. All photographs require input from a photographer, whether it be a vision or idea, or interaction with your subjects. The mistake, in my opinion and feel free to tell me I'm wrong, some photographers make is that they direct their subjects which does not work unless your subjects are actors. It most certainly doesn't work when your subject is a dog who only cares that you are giving him attention and treats and not for the nuances of emotion and lighting.

So what do you do? Don't direct an acted personality, generate a real one! This requires more emotional effort from you but actually reduces your technical workload as, more often than not, the real emotion you help to generate gives you a stunning picture straight from that press of a shutter.

This shot was captured essentially by playing a game of hide and seek with Baxter. Directing him to "Sit. Stay. Come" gave me the composition I wanted but not the emotion. In contrast, the excitement we experienced as he realised I'd snuck off whilst my beautiful assistant distracted him was utterly beautiful. In the end, the shot I chose hides some of his face but his body language is so strong it encourages the viewer to picture what the image doesnt show. Baxter's position of being completely airborne allows me to use a fast shutter speed and still demonstrate motion. His position is physically impossible so the human brain will tend to compensate by imagining the before and after of this moment.
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Member Selection Award
Outstanding Creativity
Eriaroy mattjohnson_5831 peterjwilkins alicetoniolo kieramlamont erickam
Peer Award
thatblackandwhitelabby Finn_33 Griffonsmane Custerlb djamesbarr
Top Choice
anchicqe tonyposs rkh scalvin
Absolute Masterpiece
georgelai1 candrasurya jasoncervi
Superb Composition
godsbod lisawalkershepherd
Magnificent Capture
martinprice_1139 sharondifferent

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