We recently went through the heartbreaking loss of our trusty family dog. Gator was a 9+ year old Golden Retriever we raised from a pup. He was curly and bigger than any Golden I've ever seen. His bark was deep and ferocious and the complete opposite of his actual personality. He shed enough I could've been one of those people who knit with their pet hair, if I had been, you know, one of those people. He pretended to harass the cats but everyone knew he really loved them. They certainly did and never even flinched with his bluffing. He wanted out the front door more than anything in the world, and on the few occasions he managed, ran straight out, oblivious to things like streets or cars. We discovered if we just ran out and opened the car door, he would come running back and hop in. We would then grab his red leash, open the opposite side door, clip on the leash, and lead him out and back inside. Of course, he eventually learned the trick and would then demand an actual walk around the yard (or block) before heading in. He'll be sorely missed and in the few days he's been gone we've all "heard" him or thought we've seen him, in his usual spots. Of course, who's to say we haven't?
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We adopted a new baby this week. Ali (who was called Sable) and her sister had been abandoned by their previous owners when they moved and left the animals to fend for themselves. Whenever I write something like this a part of me hopes the offenders will see this and feel guilty. Shame on you. These are living, breathing animals that were suffering because you couldn't, at the very least, drop them off at the humane society. OK, off my soapbox. They were discovered when Ali got into a tangle with a porcupine and neighbors found and brought them in. We were wanting another dog and found Ali at the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society through their Petfinder page. Such a sweet girl. A little timid still, but totally understandable, I think. Yesterday, the first time she was left alone for an hour, she busted out our front window and escaped. She didn't go far, just stayed on our front lawn with the neighbor kids. Definitely has abandonment issues from her previous owners/treatment, but we will get through them.
I know pet ownership isn't for everyone, but please remember your local animal shelter when considering adoption and especially when deciding which organizations to help or donate to. They totally appreciate, and really, really NEED, donations of just about anything: time, money, pet food, blankets, pet toys, animal walkers. Even photography and graphic design services, I hope, as that's what I'm going to offer. And kids can help walk pets at our local shelter with a parent's supervision. My 10 year old wants to help so we'll be headed that way soon.
As far as photo post-processing I really just did basic adjustments to contrast and color saturation. Shows that just a little helps a lot. Here's a tip when photographing your pets: get down low, on their level. Makes a huge difference over the typical "shot from above" look of most home pet snaps. I like all three shots below, but notice how much stronger the first one is over the other two. The camera at her eye level creates a much more intimate, personable feel.
Happy Wednesday! My daughter has another WVC volleyball home game tonight and I'm so excited to watch them play. Sad there are only 2 more after this one though and then we'll have to wait till next season.
Today I got to play with a MUCH awaited new filter/action from Totally Rad Actions (my very favorite action company!) I'm already a big fan of adding texture to photos in post-process and this ingenious little filter makes it so much quicker. As eager as I was to get it, what sold me was the ability to also use your own textures from within the filter, just like the ones that come with it. Very forward thinking of the Boutwells, (the creators), to not limit you to just the provided textures. It was perfect timing as I wanted to post another Before and After.
We got new next door neighbors and they have 2 new puppies! I asked if I could take a few photos in exchange for prints and was welcomed into their backyard on an amazingly golden summer evening. This is Rudy, the pug pup. In this image, I burned in his fur a bit to bring out the detail and added some selective focus to emphasize Rudy. Also added a little more vibrance to bring out the color variation in the grey stone. With this photo, I actually "ended" with the middle image as my final. Then, after buying the Dirty Pictures filter, I reopened it and added the fabulous texture you see here. I liked it before, I love it now. Oh and concerning the texture. I really like adding a couple (or more) of the textures and lowering their opacity so they can really interact and be unique. One of the "textures" I used here is actually a portion of a shot from Yosemite park. I thought it brought back that warm evening color I remember from the night.