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
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?”
Fuji X100 | 1/420 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200
I’m proud of you Suki. Today you have proven yourself off leash. =)