Put me down





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Behind The Lens

I took the photo at Browns Bay beach Auckland New Zealand. I had bought a new camera, a Canon 600D to augment my 5D and wanted a lightweight version to be used as a backup, but also to take great photos. This was the first day that I had the camera and set off to take some photos down at our local beach. We took out very active Bichon with us that day.
It was just after lunch, so about 2pm, and the sun would have been quite high, I was just planning on taking a few photos with the camera to see how they worked out.
It was a sunny day, however the grassy embankment near the sand has many large trees that obscure the direct sunlight, and I also put a lens hood at the end of the lens to cater for this as well
This was the new 600D with the kit lens 55-250. I did not use a tripod or a flash and set a fast shutter speed to cater for the bright sunlight. I was making multiple adjustments to all the settings that day, as the camera was new and I was experimenting over the range, and to see how it differed to the 5D. I have been a photographer for years, and was also an infantry solider in my past and shooting a rifle requires some skills in relation to grip, sight picture and breathing, and these come naturally, I somehow seem to do the same with my cameras these days, hold it still, breath out slowly then stop, and press the button. They teach you to squeeze the trigger and never "pull it" and by applying the same technique to the camera button, you get very little camera shake.
Our little dog was playing up, she enjoyed her time at the beach and it was now time to go home, she just refused to move digging in with her little legs, if she had been a child she would have been screaming "I do not want to go back to the car" my wife picked her up but her petulant face and attitude that she wanted to be put down was the real impetus for me to take the picture., I snapped a few images and we went back to the car.
When I got home and downloaded the images I was very pleased to see this photo, however I needed to crop my wife out of the photo "She had her eyes closed" and thus ended up with the square image that you see above. I did no post processing with the exception of adjusting the brightness and contrast slightly. The photo also printed out very well, and I was very happy with this new baby camera that I had added to my bag. The kit lens was great, very little aberrations, and it has served me well over the years
In my camera bag
I have a canon 5D mk 11 and 600D as a backup. I will alternate between the two. A couple of prime lenses and a telephoto or two, and two speed lights make up the core. However like many photographers I have a huge amount of other stuff such as filters, remote releases, cleaning kits, and an old manual light meter. All these items somehow find their way into my bag
Some advice I was given by a retired professional photographer some years ago was that when photographing pets, and dogs in particular was to make a noise and get the dogs attention as soon as it comes into the studio (or whatever location) and snap the photo then. as once the animal has become used to you, the expressions change. In this case the dog was focused on being put down onto the ground and this made for a great photo. So discuss with the other person that you are going to photograph the dog as soon as they pick her up, then as soon as that happens, call the dog and take the shot.

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