Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘dog

Forgotten Keepers

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Every now and then I go through and purge “junk” images from my archives, and as I’m deleting the throw-away images, I always discover forgotten keepers like these shots of Suki. The one up top has some weird flare in the frame, but I love Suki’s expression. Taken with my now retired Nikon D300s and Tokina 50-135. Two strobes to my right are combating the really bright background to provide light on Suki’s face.

Another shot with the D300s and 35mm f/1.8G, an excellent lens that I still use when I shoot DX.

This was taken during my 52 weeks of Suki project with the D300s and the stabilized Tamron 17-50. One light through a Lastolite tri-grip.

And this…is just hilarious.

Written by Jonathan

March 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

A Shiba’s Life

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Life is pretty good for this Shiba Inu. The day begins on whatever soft surface she decides to sleep on through the night.

“Please don’t bug me with that camera.”

Next is usually some dog-centric outing, like a run along the beach:

In return, she has to tolerate her photo-geek dad chasing her around with cameras and lights. I think she gave me as much attitude as she could in the photo below. Can’t you see it on her face?

And of course, the day always ends where it began:

Yup, a good life for a Shiba.

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Images: Nikon D700 | Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G AFS

Written by Jonathan

November 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Suki…Unleashed!

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Fuji X100 | 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

Such a historic day for Suki, and as you can see, she’s quite happy about it. Today we granted her the most off-leash freedom she has ever had. There’s no better place in the city to do this than at Fort Funston, an old military outpost located at the south end of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. The area is full of wide open space, sand dunes, trails, and of course, there’s the beach.

When Suki was younger we let her off leash at this same park, and quickly regretted the decision as she bolted off into the horizon with no regard for her pack (her comparatively slow-moving human parents). Most Shiba owners have at least one Shiba-bolting horror story to tell….I have like…20. In fact, I took my opening photo of my 52 weeks project at this location. Check out the image here. See the leash? Yeah, I totally didn’t trust her back then.

But while I’d still never ever let her off leash on a city street (it’s not legal anyway in SF), I’ve come to trust the bond Suki and I have built over the years. She definitely knows we belong to each other, and while Bridget was feeling a little hesitant today, I knew that Suki wouldn’t ditch us this time.

So, at peace with the entire concept, we stepped out onto the ice plant and set her free:


Fuji X100 | 1/80 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200

The image above represents a very memorable moment for me. She actually bolted ahead of us, turned the corner and disappeared. Before I could even call out to her, she reappeared just as you see her above. That’s right. A Shiba Inu waiting up and making sure her humans are following….for reals?!?!

From that point forward, it was all smooth sailing:


Fuji X100 | 1/280 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800


Fuji X100 | 1/280 sec, f/5, ISO 800

Suki is definitely the recon member of our family, scouting ahead from time to time but never forgetting to pull back and let us catch up, even stopping when we stop:


Fuji X100 | 1/340 sec, f/5, ISO 800


Fuji X100 | 1/850 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Thrilled with the entire situation, we continued onto a trail from the dunes down to the beach. At this point Suki had burned off a significant amount of energy, and now more relaxed, stuck even closer to us:


Fuji X100 | 1/950 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Unlike the puppy Suki of old, today’s Suki won’t chase absolutely anything that runs (above).


Fuji X100 | 1/340 sec, f/5, ISO 400

A simple “let’s go, Suki,” and she snaps away from what ever she’s doing and follows. If I didn’t have these photos I’d swear none of this was real, just an awesome dream.

The following are a few of the images I took at the beach, processed into black and white in post:

When we were done at the beach, it was a long climb back up the cliff. We took the stairs, and Suki…well, eventually got on the stairs, but not before breaking a few rules. In the image below, she’s looking at me as I yell out “hey silly, you do NOT qualify as wild life! Get back on the stairs!”


Fuji X100 | 1/320 sec, f/5, ISO 800 (flash on)

Such a beautiful area to bring the dog, and such an exciting day for Team Suki!

One side note: I’m getting a lot of questions and emails about what picture settings I use when I shoot with my Fuji X100. I’ll go ahead and answer that question here once and for all. I’ve mentioned this before, but for most of my recent blog posts that involve shooting simple snaps and documenting life etc, I find it easier to work with the JPEG files from the camera than to shoot everything in RAW. So when I’m not shooting RAW, I use these picture settings:

Film Sim: Astia
Dynamic Range: Auto
Color: High
Sharpness: Hard
Highlight Tone: M-Hard
Shadow Tone: M-Hard
Noise Reduction: M-Low
White Balance: Auto
WB Shift: +2 Red, -2 Yellow

I make slight curve adjustments in post to my taste, and that’s it. Depending on the situation, I sometimes use the Provia film simulation as well. The other question I get a lot is “does the X100 produce great JPEGs?”

YES.


Fuji X100 | 1/420 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

I’m proud of you Suki. Today you have proven yourself off leash. =)

Shibapalooza!

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I can’t think of a good reason why I’d ever drive to LA and back in the same day. Ok, I can think of ONE: To see a giant crowd of Shibas.

Shibapalooza is an annual event hosted by the Shiba Club of Southern California. How could we not go!?

There was a picnic lunch, games, a raffle, and various other fun Shiba-related activities to take part in. I just stuck to chasing the little furballs around with my camera:

So many Shibas!!!!

We ran into some Twibas as well (#Twiba on twitter), looking handsome in their Twiba bandanas:

Finally got to meet Tokyo!

Remember Taro from our last Shiba shoot? He was there too. Love this little guy:

Suki’s half-brother Zuko was there too! Always nice to reunite with family. We kept lots of treats handy so our Shibas could have SOME kind of interest in the event:

Why is Taro the only shiba I’ve ever met that doesn’t mind being carried?

Isn’t he the sweetest?


Suki had the easy part when it was all over. Sleeping in the comfort of her back seat mounted soft kennel while her humans took turns driving. Must be nice, Suki…must be nice.

PRINT GIVEAWAY:

The first person to tell me in the comments how many pictures in this post contain Suki gets a free print of their choice from www.jonathanflemingphotography.com! Think you know how many times she appears in the image spreads above? Let me know in the comments! (one guess per person only please)

UPDATE: Congratulations Taro! You were the first to guess correctly. There are 15 instances of Suki in this post. Good job, little buddy!

Written by Jonathan

July 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Food Trucks and Pink Peonies

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Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 35mm f/1.4G | 1/4,000 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Off the Grid is awesome for two reasons: great food, and Suki is allowed. The large, 30 food truck Off The Grid Market is held every Friday night at Fort Mason here in San Francisco. It was windy and drizzle fell on us the whole time, but oh well. Let’s eat!


Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 35mm f/1.4G | 1/2,000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800

Bridget and I had a very interesting dish: spicy curry chicken over sweet potato waffle fries. Sort of reminded me of the Pork Fries at Broken Record. Great stuff. We also got to meet up with artist and blogger Karleen, along with her husband. We spent most of our time with our cameras pointed Shibaward:


Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 35mm f/1.4G | 1/1,600 sec, f/1.4, ISO 400

Suki had no issue doing “roll overs” and “shake paws” with her new friends. Impressive!

I’m sure you can see from the last three images that Suki is quite a tolerant Shiba!

I should probably mention that the images in this post are all processed in Lightroom 3 using Cara Rose’s “Suki” preset, a custom preset inspired by the artist’s first encounter with Suki. Cara was kind enough to send me the preset as a gift! The punchy contrast and warm glow it applies to my images was perfect for combating tonight’s dreary weather. The “Suki” is available as one of 12 custom-made presets in Cara’s San Francisco inspired preset package, which she sells here. Thank you, Cara!


Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 35mm f/1.4G | 1/2,000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800

My little X100 stayed in the bag most of the evening, mainly due to all the drizzle. It still found its way into curious hands, however. Make sure to check out Karleen’s work at pinkpeonyphotography.blogspot.com.

Three Shiba Stars

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For me there is nothing more fun to do photographically than take pictures of a Shiba. What about taking pictures of three Shibas? Now that’s what I call an awesome afternoon. This here is the mighty Taro. Just look at his confident gaze and large stature.

The Taro executive shot. Feel the power of the mighty Shiba!

Ok, actually, Taro is tiny. The smallest Shiba Inu I’ve ever met in fact, and yes, he’s full Shiba. Look how sweet he is…why doesn’t Suki ever kiss me??? Oh well.

Anyway, the following images are a few highlights from the afternoon we spent with the Shibas yesterday. Still have a ways to go in processing most of them, but I was anxious to get some posted up on the blog:

If you’ve been following my blog recently, you probably know that this is Suki. Not! This is Suki’s half-brother, Zuko. They met for the first time not too long ago.

The real Suki is on the left above and in the picture below. She’s looking a little concerned in the group shot above. Maybe she thought she was done with the whole cameras and flashes in my face thing and is not happy that it seems to be starting again. Sorry Suki! Being a model is tough, I get it. =)


Keeping these three together required leashes, treats, and very patient assistants.

Spent some time together at the dog park in Mission Bay. Check out Suki giving Taro the stare-down:

The Shiba meetup doubled as a Flickr meetup as we were briefly joined by the very talented Cara Rose. She came packing some serious heat, film cam on one shoulder, digital on the other. A photographic force to be reckoned with! Looking forward to seeing her shots, both from her visit to San Francisco and from running around with me trying to get some good frames of the dogs.

Make sure you check out Cara’s amazing work on Flickr, and also on her blog. Nice meeting you Cara!

Taro…such a happy face.

Taro’s light frame allows him to get some serious air, which we tried to capture at Peace Plaza in Japan Town.

Large, Medium, Extra Small (Zuko, Suki, Taro)

After a few photos at the Plaza, we formed a little Shiba parade down the street on our way to lunch.

I wondered if I could finish such a large lunch, while Suki wondered if she could turn that pigeon into lunch.

Zuko, being well-behaved while we chowed down.

I think the image of the day goes to little Taro. I just love the way this shot turned out, capturing the Shiba Inu spirit while revealing something about Taro’s unique personality. I’m telling you, I could photograph Shibas all day. High resolution gallery on my website is forthcoming!

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Camera: Nikon D700

Lenses Used: Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G // Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G // Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G VRII

Written by Jonathan

June 5, 2011 at 11:35 pm

More Dog Park Antics

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Packing up and getting ready to head out alone on a photo walk, I turn around as I open the front door to see Suki giving me the “I’m going too, right?” look. Agh, she gets me every time! Ok Suki, let’s go… People often ask me how I get Suki to cooperate when I take pictures of her, or to cooperate with anything for that matter. Here’s the simple answer: get her tired first! There’s no better place for her to run some energy down than at the dog park:

If I need Suki to chillax while I take pictures out on the street, the day has to start here, where she engages other dogs in GLORIOUS BATTLE!

Ok. Not really =)

We’ve never met a Corgi that Suki didn’t absolutely love. Maybe she finds it endearing that they look like stubby, disproportionate Shibas.

Besides the sparring, the dog park is a great place to play fetch. Fetch on Suki’s terms, that is. I love how she starts playing “soccer” with some random lady at around 00:35 in the video clip above. Towards the end, she’s like “eh, I’m done.”

I actually did do a photo walk with Suki after this visit to the park, but I’ll make that a separate post. =)

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Images: Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 24mm f/1.4G
Video: Olympus PEN EPL-2 + M. Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 MSC

Written by Jonathan

March 31, 2011 at 9:08 am