Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Puppies Steal the Show

Thursday, February 4th, 2010


Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

Today, the Greater Atlanta Pug Club had their 28th Specialty Show. The show got started with sweepstakes. The fun thing about sweeps is that it seems like the puppies always steal the show! There were some adorable up and coming pugs that I am sure we will see more of in the future. After sweeps were the regular classes which brought out some of the best pugs. No literally, I was star struck by the multiple Champion pugs represented at today’s event. Photography wise, this was my first big event of 2010 and I started off the year with a new tripod.

Pug Nationals..the first day

Monday, October 26th, 2009

IMG_2803 PDCA t-shirt

Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

Oh My Pug, it was the first day of Pug Nationals and I was in pug heaven!!! There were so many great pugs there with so many great breeders and handlers. It was a miracle that I made it through the week without ripping a page out of Pug Talk and asking someone for their autograph and their pug’s pawtograph (I made that word up).

So what are Pug Nationals, because really I did not know all about it until I got there? It was a week to show all the things that pugs can do in agility, obedience, rally, and conformation. The first two days were hosted by the Central Carolina Pug Club, one day was dedicated to agility, and the last two days were hosted by the Pug Dog Club of America, Inc. So the next question is what was I doing there? I don’t have a pug that competes in any shape form or fashion. I would love to say that it was peer pressure, but honestly this was a wonderful time to see old friends and to make new friends all centered around the love of pugs.

Another driving reason for wanting to spend seven days in a hotel with hundreds of pugs was that this was an amazing photographic event. It really put what I’ve learned from classes, reading, and real world experience to the test. And if this was a test, I failed on Monday! Hopefully my cumulative score will be better by the end of the week! I really could not get into a rhythm taking pictures on the first day. Part of it was from being so tired (see below), part of it was from just pure sensory overload and not being able to focus, and part of it was that I was just plain too busy looking around to actually concentrate on getting good shots. This venue was completely different from any shows that I’ve attended in the past. The ring was large and rectangular verses the small square ones that I’m used to seeing. Also, there were so many people that by the time that I got up and got downstairs, I was sitting up against the back wall. I did manage to squeeze closer up front as people got up from their seats, but I did wasn’t able to get a primo spot like I have been able to do at other venues. Once again, the dreaded obstacle of lighting was a huge hindrance. There were overhead florescent lights and light coming in from the windows and light coming in from a back door, but it just all clashed and didn’t make things easier to photography, if anything it made it harder. This was why I was here though to learn and to practice, practice, practice. By the end of the day, I got just a handful of photos and was completely exhausted by the whole experience. I can’t believe that I am lucky enough to even attend this event!

Speaking of exhausted, let me tell you why I started the day out tired. First, on Sunday I left Chattanooga at a descent time and expected to be in North Carolina by about 6:00-6:00pm at the latest. Unfortunately, there was a road detour on a section of I-40 from Tennessee to Asheville, NC. There had been a rock slide onto the road so all traffic was detoured off I-40 onto back country roads. I have to say the drive was beautiful with the leaves changing colors, except for the fact that the roads were hair-pin and “S” curves coupled with bumper to bumper traffic. So I finally made back to the interstate where I was able to pick up Cindy and Prada and get to the hotel to get checked into our room. The room that I booked in February was on the second floor of a hotel with no elevators so it took about 20 trips going up and down the stairs to bring all of our stuff inside. Then Cindy is on West coast time so she was still up watching TV at 1:00am; while I go to bed at 11:00pm on the dot. Then at 4:00am the air conditioning starts making this horrible sound. Not the kind of sound where you can just roll over and sleep through it either. To top it all off, it still made the sound AFTER we turned it off too! So Cindy went downstairs and got us a key to another room and in our PJs we gather up Prada and a few things and go to another room to sleep. This room was much better so the next morning we re-pack all of our stuff to move down the hall into another room. Now you can see why I was so tired on the first day!

Too yellow or just sunburst?

Sunday, September 13th, 2009


Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

My photos from today turned out too yellow and I have tried to edit them with little luck. I think that at some point I have crossed the too much editing line and ended up where I started.

The most redeeming thing about being at the dog show today was seeing CH Sunburst’s Patent Pending ‘Edison’ when the Chow Chows showed. There is no picture that can do this stunning boy justice. I semi-refrained from drooling all over him ringside and I did refrain from loading him into my vehicle and driving off into the sunset. His owner/handler was gracious as I snapped photos left and right and told him how much I LOVED his Chow. I have always loved Chow Chows and one look at Edison and you just know that he’s got that something special. For more on Sunburst Kennels and Edison

Cherokee Rose Cluster Conyers Kennel Club

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009


Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

Day two of the Cherokee Rose Cluster sponsored by the Conyers Kennel Club. One would think that after taking 420 photos the day before that I’d have a better day today. No. Today the pugs showed in a different ring so I was having to adjust to a different spot around the ring and a different angle. Also, I got very overzealous about trying to get shots and some of the photos had more of the ring fence and the floor than they did pugs. There were also more pugs that showed today and more people there so I spent part of the time talking and not really concentrating on taking pictures. By the end of the day, I’d taken over 700 photos. Thank goodness for digital cameras and large memory cards! When I got home to look at the pictures, I got more quantity vs. quality. I had jumped all over the place and my photos were blurry. I might have to invest in a tripod. It would steady the camera and hold me to one spot. Needless to say, I was a little deflated by my novice camera skills. Once again, I did not upload all the photos, but just the ones that I feel like were the better of the images that had good lighting and minimal noise.

But…any day spent with pugs is a good day!

Cherokee Rose Cluster Lawrenceville Kennel Club

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009


Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

Okay people, this was it, the day that I’d been waiting on for weeks!!! AKC Conformation Show day!!! This was why I bought a fancy camera, have been going to 8:00am camera classes for the past 6 Saturdays, and why I had been marking the days off on my calendar. My personal dream is to be a professional photographer for ring/action shots at AKC Dog Shows, specifically to photograph pugs. That day is still a ways away, but I really felt like today was the first day in a step in the right direction. Today’s event was the Cherokee Rose Cluster sponsored by the Lawrenceville Kennel Club. I arrived super early, partly because I did not want to chance traffic and partly because my nerves were raw from being so excited. I am sure that I looked like a jumping bean to other people. The pugs started going through the different classes of judging. I did not really feel that I had a great spot around the ring, but I am sure that is just something that I’ll have to overcome. I snapped over 400 pictures throughout the morning. I walked away feeling pretty good about my first conformation show with my new Canon. The reality of my skills came when I got home and pulled them up on the computer. It is a lot harder to get great shots that it looks!!! Part of it is lighting-or lack of lighting. Part of it was noise from the zoom lens-which equates to camera shake and a picture that does not have sharp edges. Part of it was knowing what shots to get-I am trying to learn as much as I can about the show side so that I can anticipate the shot. And finally, part of it will just be practice, practice, practice. I really debated whether or not to put up all of the photos or just the ones that were the better photographs. In the end, I decided that no one wants to go through all of the photos so I picked the pictures that had the best composition and lighting.

Beyond the camera, I just love pugs so much and it was such a joy to see the adorable pug faces!!! I never get tired of seeing beautiful (and handsome) pugs! Another great thing about going to the shows is meeting the people who are so dedicated to the betterment of the breed.

Doggie Paddle

Saturday, August 8th, 2009


Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

Doggie Paddle is held each year at Warner Park. It is a fund raiser for McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center. The last Saturday of the season is for the dogs! They close the pool and let the dogs go swimming for the day. They have 2 kiddie pools and the large pool so dogs of all shapes and sizes can join in on the fun. Lola does not especially like to go swimming, but it got sort of hot so I put her in the baby pool for a few seconds to cool her off.

I went crazy taking photos. The sun was very bright so some of the pictures are over exposed. Some are pretty good one considering the direction of the sun and my angle. I think that I got some nice shots of the dogs jumping in the pool and swimming around. Overall, it was a great learning experience with my new camera.

I’m in love with my Canon 50D!

Thursday, August 6th, 2009


Originally uploaded by janahallpapa

This is it! I finally got up the nerve to take my camera to the dog park so I could test this baby out!!! And I am in love with this camera. It is amazing at how fast it is and how clear the images are!!! There’s no turning back now!

This is one of my favorite pictures from today, because you can actually see me taking Lola’s picture in the reflection of her eye. And Lola was a great subject to photograph!

What have I done to myself?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009


Originally uploaded by janahallpapa

Friday night: It is the eve before I get my new camera. My mind has been whirling all day. I have been trying to come up with a name for my new photography business. I have been checking out different companies to build me a new website. I have been doing domain name searches to see what options I have for a new URL address. I was just about at the point of my brain exploding. I asked my husband what he thought about different names, ideas, and concepts. He told me to get the camera and learn to use if first. Wow, that was a blow to my ego. I went to bed that night a little deflated.

Saturday: It’s camera buying day!!! I carried a big ol’ bag of goodies out of Wolf Camera with a smile about as big as my bag! I had plans to take Lola to the dog park, but it ended up being a completely crazy day so I did not even look at my camera after I left the store.

Sunday: What have I done to myself??? I don’t know how to use this Canon 50D what so ever! I got the battery charged up, the lens attached, the memory card inserted, turned it on, and just about burst into tears. I took a couple of pictures, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. I put it on the standard setting snapped a couple of pictures. They are very clear, but I guess that I took for granted that I have used my Canon Powershot S5X IS for over a year and could just about operate it with my eyes closed. I have got a lot of learning to do on this camera. I think that I am going to table my big plans to be a professional photographer until I can get the hang of this thing.

Wednesday: Got my camera out again, and I am starting to get a little more comfortable with it. At least I figured out how to zoom! LOL! I like this picture of Baby Girl, even though she looks kind of pitiful. She is still my sweetheart.

Pro Photographer?

Monday, July 27th, 2009


Originally uploaded by janahallpapa

Background: I have several point & shoot cameras to include Olympus & Fuji. In 2008, I got a Canon Powershot SX5 IS bridge camera (I also have the Canon Speedlite 430). Working with the Powershot has really given me the confidence to take the SLR plunge!

Events: I have been going to AKC confirmation shows for about 2 yrs now. I started out taking a couple of pictures of my friend’s pugs. But since I got the bridge camera, I take about 100-150 photos per event. I go to the Rose City Classic in Portland, OR and to several shows in ATL throughout the year. All of the photos that I take are just candid shots of pugs in and out of the ring.

Recently: I have been in contact with some of the show pug owners and have emailed them photos of their pugs in the ring. One of the people offered to pay me for the photos!!! Of course I declined, but I made me feel great. Well, not just great but more like on Cloud 9 from joy that I could provide a picture of their dog at an event. Plus I had no idea how to tell someone to pay me for a photo that I’d emailed to them. I love pugs, taking pictures of pugs is a hobby, but if I could squeeze out some money for it, that would be great. Realistically, I don’t know what type of market there is for these type of photos, but we’ll see.

Thoughts: I have been thinking of upgrading to a DSLR camera. Why, because I get so obsessed with some of these pugs and I want to get better shots!!!! I have been going to the free Wolf camera classes. The instructor is very good and very knowledgeable. The classes are about a 1.5hrs each Saturday, but I feel like I need some additional detailed information. I stopped today and got Digital Photography for Dummies. Ironically, if follows the same format of the Wolf classes. It is broken out into sections like ‘what camera is right for you?’, ‘intro to digital photography’, ‘advanced digital photography’, ‘edit your photos’, etc. I just felt like I needed a reference book handy for some of the terminology. I have not completely committed to a camera, but I am leaning towards the Canon 50D. Also, I believe that I need the 300-500mm lens.

In the meantime: I had a graphic artist design a logo for my Papa’s Pugs website. She is currently working on some additional images for me. Right now my site is “okay” but by no mean professional. Once I get all my graphics done, I am looking to have the whole site re-done with the new logo and colors. And possibly a way to buy photos through the site.

Future: I don’t know of any professional photographers at the AKC dog shows that do informal ring shots. Most of the photographers are doing the winner portraits. I want to concentrate on the action shots in and outside of the ring. If I get really good, I might be able to work with some of the existing agility photographers as back up person or something-still thinking on this one.

Options: AKC confirmation, AKC agility, Play Dog Excellent (agility training center), charity dog events, rescue events.

The pug in the photo is a very handsome boy, Sailor, that I photographed last year at the Georgia Classic Dog Show.

Merry Christmas in July

Saturday, July 11th, 2009


Originally uploaded by janahallpapa

The Chattanooga Pug group had a Surfin’ Santa pug party this weekend. Big thanks to Kate & Scott who organized this event complete with tropical decorations and of course, Santa!! Photos were taken and printed on site for a $5 donation to Music City Pug Rescue in Nashville, TN. We raised $75.00 to help the needy pugs in rescue.

Pictured is Lola with Santa in her customer made harness by Harness Heaven.