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Personally and professionally I enjoy photographing dogs. One challenge in photographing dogs can be in photographing dark colored dogs particularly all black dogs. I have had lots of experience photographing black dogs. I have had two different black dogs in my life. I have also photographed multiple black dogs at our local animal shelter. I have spent quite some time photographing them to various degrees of success. With lots of practice and experience I began to get good at creating nice photographs of all black dogs. The more control of the situation you have the better your results can be. However we do not always have as much control of the circumstances in which we photograph as we might like, particularly when photographing animals in a shelter setting. The biggest key to photographing black dogs is the light. If we are able to get the light right we are able to bring out the texture in a black dogs fur or the color in their eyes. We can bring out at least some element that shows their personality.
Check out these other tips for photographing black dogs from Mother Nature Network: http://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/how-to-photograph-black-dogs-and-cats


Ideas that never see the light of day

I find that throughout the day I have a variety of ideas come to mind.  Bet this happens to you too. I often have enough ideas pop into my head that at some point I have forgotten at least one or more of the ideas I thought of. Some ideas are not important and are little frivolous things with really no significant consequences if I forget them. Other ideas are more important to me and may have to do with business, photography, art, dogs, or a variety of other topics that interest me. Some of these ideas are things that I would like to research a little more or read up on. Some of them I would like to write down and see if I can find a way to make these ideas work for me in some real way and incorporate them into my life. To help me do this I have started writing things down more (typing them up in my Evernote app). This way I at least don’t forget them and can come back to them and reference them and rewrite things and make changes and updates as I find out more information.

I find that actually making my ideas happen is where my shortcomings factor in. I love to think of things and think about things. I have a constant flow of information that I like to read and listen to and this inspires me with new ideas and thoughts frequently. And these ideas get added to my list. I write them down and describe what I think I would like to do. And then……. And then nothing. It fizzles out. That nice long list of ideas and goals and projects that I have generates very little actual action. Nothing gets produced. Nothing gets done. It’s not that I stop thinking about the ideas or topics I have noted. It’s that I just can’t bring myself to make any further progress. I am a world class procrastinator for one. I can always find a reason to put things off or something else I can do instead. Like write down more ideas. I also, as many people probably do, experience significant anxiety about taking any further action on a variety of tasks. This part of making it real creates some real, at least in my mind, fear. Fear of exposing myself to the world, or that one person I have to send this to, to try to move on to the next step. I am afraid I will be rejected. Afraid to be exposed as a fraud. Afraid to succeed? If I take that next step and I am not rejected then I have to do more work and then probably expose myself to even more people and possibly even more rejection. Is it in my head or is it real? I don’t know. Maybe it’s both.

While the fear and anxiety may be real, is it justified? If I am rejected what have I really lost or suffered? There is no real physical threat but the threat is to my psyche and my psyche is very sensitive to that threat. I should be able to overcome it. I tell myself this all the time. It is not logical to fear sending an email, making a phone call, or submitting my photography to an editor. What is the worst that can happen? They can tell me no thanks or just ignore me. And I have been told no in the past and it hasn’t hurt me and it hasn’t closed the doors to those opportunities. I can contact other people with my ideas and get a yes eventually if I keep trying. So why is it that I have such a hard time moving on to this phase of idea and project fulfillment? Perhaps I will never know. Maybe I am not meant to know. It seems so simple. Just write a letter and hit send. But it is so much easier for some reason for me to sit here in my cozy box in my comfort zone where I do not have to take that chance. I don’t have to reach out and make contact and expose myself. Will I ever be truly happy in my career that way? Probably not, but I will be safe. Do I want only to be safe? No I want to be happy. I have spent my whole life with the single-minded idea that I want a career I enjoy and find fulfillment in. SO why is it so hard for me to take the necessary steps to make that happen. Why am I afraid of finding happiness, of fulfilling myself? Maybe I am afraid that after all of this work and thought I will be wrong and I will not be fulfilled by my choice of pursuits. Maybe that is the real fear that is holding me back.
 

Stopping to help a dog

Today on my way home from work I saw this huge soggy dog standing on the sidewalk in the pouring rain. I thought should I stop and check on him. But maybe he’s just out front to go potty and their human was watching from the door. Then soggy dog started walking away as I slowly drive by so I pulled over and watched and soggy dog kept walking. I thought am I really going to be the person that runs out in the pouring rain to check on a dog….. Of course I am. This soggy but friendly Newfy was wondering away from home and luckily had a collar and tags on. Thankfully he had only gotten a few houses away from home when I saw him and stopped. So I held his collar and walked him home rang the doorbell and have him back to his human who was very thankful.

Drone Photography

In march of last year I began writing this article after reading another interesting article in National Geographic. The article was related to the use of drones. There had been a lot of coverage about the United States use of drones at that time and it all sparked an idea in me. Unfortunately the article got shelved while I started working on other projects. The article I was writing was from a theoretical point of view, but now it appears it is reality. So read this short article and then check out the real deal.

As I was reading an article in the March 2013 National Geographic magazine I had to stop as inspiration for this article struck. The article was about drones, which are a controversial topic. Drones hold a lot of potential, potential for good and ill. I prefer to see the potential for good.
As a wildlife and nature photographer I began to imagine the possibilities which were hinted at in the article. 
The possibilities for documenting wildlife, habitats, and behaviors that are currently difficult to observe in the wild are unimaginable. As this technology improves there is so much that could be done. 
I first thought of wildlife specials like big cat diary in Animal planet. Forget trying to navigate the savanna in jeeps with break downs and slow moving over rugged terrain. Simply send out a drone and follow the wildlife and zoom in or fly down to get images of the behaviors you are trying to study. 
Trying to fund a radio collared animal to continue a study? Send out a drone to home in on the signal and send the coordinates back to you. Perhaps even anesthetize the animal via drone. We can launch attacks via drone a tranquilizer should be comparatively simple. 
The article alludes to a spy drone designed to look like a hummingbird. Imagine the possibilities of being able to infiltrate animal habitats completely camouflaged as an element naturally occurring in the environment. Currently this is often done by getting up extremely early and staying in a hide for extremely long hours for days on end waiting to observe behaviors often in inhospitable environments. Imagine being able to accomplish this from the comfort of a lodge. This technology could even reduce any impact caused by our attempts to document animals.
The downside to this technology is it would remove us from the amazing experience of seeing the wildlife in person. I don’t think there is anything in the world that can replace the feeling of experiencing wildlife first hand and I believe that feeling and the associated emotions are critical for protecting and conserving our wildlife and their habitats but I think there are clearly situations where the use of technology would be preferential as a way to get better data as well as protecting wildlife and habitats from increased stresses. 
To see my speculations come to life check out Will Burrard-Lucas (http://www.burrard-lucas.com/), a professional wildlife photographer from the UK who uses innovative tools such as BeetleCam and now BeetleCopter to gain unusual perspectives. This seems to be drone photography as I imagined it come to life. I am excited to see where this will go.
You can also check out my photography at krnaturalphoto.photoshelter.com and follow me on social media at KRNaturalPhoto.