Cinematic: Pet Photography 52 Week Project- Week 44

This week our theme is Think Cinematically or in my case it could be called Epic Fail: It's a Comedy. Our assignment in our book The Visual Toolbox said this and I'll paraphrase: "Find something you care about. Pick something. Now photograph it. Tell the story. Show me where it happens. Show me the highlights of what happens, and give me a great shot of the climax. Show me real emotion. Now pick you 8-10 best shots. Put them in sequence. Make them work together."

So I read this and actually got really inspired. I thought: I want to create a story. I want to show some emotion in these photos.

I was supposed to have a photo session on Tuesday night with an Australian Shepherd puppy but unfortunately we are rescheduling it because of the weather. I was hoping to use him and a location I love for this week.

This past weekend I shot an event called Barktoberfest - a dog Halloween costume event. There were actually a few dogs dressed up as cinema characters but the photos I took didn't match the vision I had in my head of what I wanted to do for this week. (Spoiler alert: neither do the following photos btw.)

It is Wednesday and my blog post is due Wednesday night so guess what? That left my guy Moose as my available model. I thought about this and actually thought: maybe we can do this.

(Cue the orchestra.)The leaves are just starting to turn around my house and the sun sets behind my house so I'll take Moose across the street from my neighborhood to an open area and take some backlit photos just before sunset. I'll create a story. 

Let me set the stage. Moose is excited to be out. He's not so excited to be on a 15' long lead and tied to a tree. It is 5:15pm. The street behind us is a cut through and has quite a bit of rush hour traffic. The sun is setting behind the trees (remember I live in the land of the trees). Sunset is actually at 6:27pm tonight but I have to go out when the sun is high enough in the sky and not blocked by said trees. 

Here is the first of Moose's cinematic performances in sequence below. I believe his thought process was something like this: This is her idea of a walk? I'll show her. I'm not posing all pretty like so she can get some cinematic photos (whatever that is) and I know I had a bath 3 days ago but I'm just going to roll around right here in the dirt. Maybe I can make her think that my leash or collar is going to come undone and she'll come over here" Yep.... that thought process of his worked!

Drum roll...... Moose's acting debut (these images are edited for color but nothing else.... I thought to myself why bother even if was trash and recycle day on my street??)


After recognizing while taking the photos above that the background is anything but stellar and my dog isn't cooperating anyway, we switched locations. I thought I'd try my luck one more time and tie Mr Moose up to a different tree. Perhaps a little different angle into the sun would help. Well.... remember those damn trees? Yep they are still there however there was a break in the trees and guess what, the sun was right there. I was blind the entire time I was photographing Moose and had no idea where my focus point was because I couldn't see it. 

Because I knew Moose was not happy with being tied to a tree AGAIN, I got out the duck call. I believe this might be the first time Moose has ever heard a duck call. 

Moose's 2nd cinematic debut and his thought process was probably something like: "I think I heard a duck! I'm sure I heard a duck! Where is that duck?? Oh.... it's coming from her.... well that's disappointing!"

That last one was Moose's finale and his way of saying: THE END. The photos I took span a 4 minute period. You must work fast when Moose is your model. 

So this "think cinematically" theme is one I will add to the list of "I need to go back and try these again." Next up is Pet Love Photography, serving Greater Cincinnati and the San Francisco Bay Area. I hope she had more success than I creating images that are cinematic. Have a great week!

PS What I learned this week: I am getting better at keeping the camera straight. I only had to straighten a couple of these and they weren't off by much so that's a win, right? :)

Kim Hollis8 Comments