A GoPro, dogs snout and icy spring snowmelt

flatcoated retriever catching a snowball

Every now and then we’ve remembered to attach our GoPro to the dogs and get some footage from their point of view. One of the highlights of spring photographically is when enough of the snow has melted and snow melt has flooded the nearby fields that the dogs can go running in the water. Since it also happened to be a nice sunny day, it proved to be a great opportunity to photograph the dogs and get some footage.

But as always happens, finding the time to edit the video wasn’t quite as simple. Going through the process of editing was also an excellent reminder of how time consuming any editing and pruning, be it photo or video editing is. And if you are unclear on the difference of photo/video editing and editing photo/video, I recommend reading this excellent blog post on the topic by Rolando Gomez.

Enjoy the video, and then if you’re interested read on for some of my thoughts on things that need improving.

We use the S.U.G.A.R Coat Universal CamCollar to attach the GoPro to our dogs. While all of their pictures show the camera on top of the dogs neck (which should work when swimming), with flatcoats it just doesn’t work when moving on land. So we’ve flipped it around and film from under the dog’s chin. This works, but means that the camera gets knocked around a lot more. Thus, it despite the fairly strong attachments, it falls off every now and then. So, lessons learned:

  • attach the camera to collar with an additional lanyard,
  • cold water is a challenge for the velcro and tapes used (see above),
  • buying a floaty backdoor for the GoPro would also be a good investment,
  • and finally, the flat lens of the dive housing would also be a good investment.

Flatcoated retriever leaping after a snowball

As you can imagine from the lessons learned, we had to search for the camera a couple of times from the bottom of the flooded field. But they are honest lessons that have been learned. On a final note, enjoy a couple of extra behind the scenes photos:

flatcoated retriever catching a snowball

flatcoated retriever in icy water

flatcoated retriever jumping over a ditch

Blue and white

Siren and snow

Celebrating the 94th anniversary of Finnish independence with the colors of our flag. A fresh sprinkling of snow on the ground suits the day.

Frost country 365/49

Kaipuun taivaalla loistaa kuu
Hallamaillakin aurinko nousee
Tuomion tähdet kimaltaa
Viikate: Hallamaat

A quick translation of the above lyrics that played while starting my treck in the moon-lit night: the moon shines from the sky of yearning / The sun will rise even in the land of frost / The stars of doom shine. I also wrote a bit about my walk on my blog.

A moon-lit meander

-27°C, snow-covered fields and a full moon offer an idyllic and slightly rarer scene for making photographs. I initially wandered out to make a picture that I visualized when out walking the dogs a couple of days ago.

Right now, while the memory card is still being emptied and I am only relying on the glimpses I got from the camera LCD, I have no idea if what I visualized turned out or not. When I visualized the picture the light came from a totally different direction and height — and it was sunlight. I’m not sure when the moon would shine from a similar angle, but it won’t do it in this cycle. But I’ll just have to chalk this up as another lesson learned in visualizing and scouting the photographs I want to make.

Who knows, maybe later on when the melting snowbanks get lower my idea will have an even better chance of succeeding.

The lesson learned would have already made the walk well worth the effort, but I do think that I got my shot after wandering towards a stand of birch trees that I’ve shot more often than I’d care to count during our walks with the dogs. The show is published on my photoblog: Frost country 365/49.

And honestly, even though it feels quite bright out in the full moonlight with the snow reflecting the light, a graduated filter would have been useful in darkening the moon a bit.

And I finally understand why there are snowshoe accessories available for tripods.

Half an hour in the cold and even the gear is frosty.

Light Winter Day

A lighter version of my shot for today’s entry in the 365 project. See the the darker version for an explanation of the title.