Best camera

two flatcoated retrievers, Luka and Topi, running in the snow

Some years ago when the iPhone was still a relatively new thing and the camera was nothing special, Chase Jarvis started to talk about how the best camera is the one you have with you. Over the years, phone cameras keep getting better, but they are still a far cry from “real cameras.” But still, it’s a camera that is always with you. And of course, for a good photograph you need vision – and often getting in close to you subject.

The above shot was taken during one of our walks with the dogs during an overcast day that didn’t warrant dragging a big camera along. Going down low, knowing my subjects and waiting for them to get close enough (and firing a burst of shots) gave me this. One of my best dog photographs lately and one that I wouldn’t have made without the camera in my phone.

All of the editing of the photograph has also been done on the iPhone using Snapseed and for reference, this is the unedited photograph.

Luka and Topi, unedited


A mis-shot while checking the setup for today’s Life of Jalo. But very apt for the day.


A flatcoated retriever silhouetted

I photograhped the above photo of Topi (Miss Mallorys Third Time Lucky) based on an idea that I had that Anna then refined. Alas, my idea still needs to be shot but I now have to wait for the snow to melt before it can be attempted.

After taking the picture, I then noticed Glyn Dewis’ tutorial on creating a Bond-style gun barrel effect and thought to combine the two. As a walk-through of the tutorial the attempt worked fine, but honestly Topi’s picture isn’t quite good enough to easily get a clean separation of the silhouette and I don’t have a good metal texture to apply to the gun barrel part. So you will not get to see the end result. But it did get me to start thinking of setting up a rig for shooting on white seamless to get a good silhouette of a dog. And not just posing stacked…

Project52: Vision statement

So, the first assignment for the Don Giannatti’s Project52 was defining who I am by creating a vision statement and making a photograph that realizes my vision statement. The photograph was supposed to be taken at home or in my own yard and during the assignment period, so some limitations were set. Which was good, since it somewhat reduced the pressure in what should be created.

Although vision statements are not necessarily public, I don’t feel any need to hide mine. In fact, I feel that forcing myself to write it down in publishable format makes it a bit more real. And it forced me to spend a bit more time reflecting on it. So, here goes:

My work shows a glimpse into the character of my subject. It tells a story through the moods and atmosphere it invokes. The first sentence is what applies to my current work in photographing dogs, live music, and fire. It is a sign of a good action or unplanned shot. The second is where I am taking my photography in creating planned photographs.

Miss Mallorys Third Time Lucky "Topi"