Though a 2,000 square foot studio space with 15-foot ceilings, a large skylight, distressed brick walls and wood floors would be delightful, I do the best with the resources available. Case in point was Doggie Derby Day yesterday. The image at the top is the “studio”: a tent, some wet grass (freshly cut to make sure clippings stick to everything!), a black cloth backdrop, a strobe light with a softbox, and a camera. The portraits at the bottom were shot in this studio. Surprised?
When the Forked River Rotary Club planned their second annual Doggie Derby Day I doubt they imagined it would be 50 degrees and raining. But so it was. In spite of the gray skies and high humidity, a few hundred brave humans and canines forged ahead and participated in the event. I was there to make some portraits to help raise money for all the great work the Rotary does in our community. I had some great looking models come by and they were all excellent in front of the camera. You’d never now it was wet and gloomy out!
On Tuesday I awoke early, packed up the truck and headed to my friend Drew’s house to photograph “The Girls”. Drew rescued Molly, Jenny and Jade from Southern Ocean County Animal Facility over the last several years, and we have been trying to connect to create portraits of them. I had hoped that the sunrise would provide dramatic clouds and we could capture all three together with pink, orange and blue skies above them. Predictably, the sun and the girls had different ideas. However, I was still able to follow them around their backyard and eventually each dog agreed to pose for me.
This was my first field test of my new Elinchrom Ranger Quadra light system, and I couldn’t be happier. What these photos don’t reveal is that they skies were rather gloomy and the backyard has a significant canopy covering it. Shooting without a strobe would have been difficult at best. But the Quadra’s excellent engineering allowed me to fine tune the light output so blend the strobe with the natural light. It worked just the way it was supposed to.
When I have the time I love to surf the internets to see what other photographers are doing. Often I’ll see great work that sparks new ideas (e.g. Sarah Beth Photography, Printz Photography, and Hairypants). Sometimes I’ll see things that remind me I’m pretty good too. And occasionally I’ll see photography that blows my mind. Tim Flach blows my mind. Check out a collection of some of his best dog photos here. Or visit Tim’s website to see his full galleries. Horse lovers: you will be amazed!