Friday, March 30, 2012

AKC Nationals Envy

Several of our friends have made the journey to Reno this week to compete in the AKC Nationals. Though we qualified for Nationals in the first few months, I decided that the trip was just too far of a drive (1850 miles, each way). And while I still think that was the right decision, I cannot help but look with longing at the photos and stories our friends are posting. There is an energy level at Nationals that you just don't get at a regular trial.
Meanwhile, we have been having great weather, so we have started "unpacking" the dog's favorite toy- the swimming pool. Sure, it is still too cold for humans, but the dogs don't seem to care, so this weekend they should be back in swimming heaven.
And if I don't fill up the entire weekend with backyard projects, I hope to get my camera out and play with my new lens. I've only had a few opportunities to use it so far and have been very happy with the results.

Here are two photos of friend's dogs that I took at last weekend's agility trial- just point and shoot- no special setting or editing (except to compress the image size for the web). Overall, I'm pretty happy with it and can't wait to play more!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New toy

Many of you that know me know that I like to play with photography. Despite what many say, I am not a good photographer, I just take a LOT of photos and throw away the bad ones. : ) When I do take pictures, I much prefer natural light over flash- it feels softer and more natural, and you don't get nasty shadow or devil eyes. But unless there is a LOT of light around, your camera lens must stay open a long time to get the photo, and any amount of motion (of the subject or the camera) makes a mess of things. Unless of course, you have a fast lens.
So today I made the splurge and bought myself a good (not pro, but not beginner) fast lens and I am so excited to play with it. Fortunately, I have a whole pack of dogs that are used to me taking pictures of them and they play along.
So here, for you to see are my first two photos, no retouching with the new lens. I'm like a kid in a candy shop.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crating Space

What is it about crating space that turns normal people into crazies? For the uninitiated, when you go to an agility trial, there is space set aside for "crating," meaning that this is where you set your dog crate, chair and other junk. At some trials, it can be very roomy and people bring tables for snacks, or chairs that recline. At others, crating is very tight and your dog's crate is butted up against the next... and sometimes the club members will "police" the crating space, moving stuff down to ensure that you have not wasted space.
But whether the crating is spacious or tight, every trial has a handful (or more) of people that get there way before the allotted time to get the "prime" crating space. Now granted, there are some people who need a space for a reason. If you have a reactive dog, you don't want to have to climb over everyone to get out. But for most of us, it DOESN'T REALLY MATTER. (ahhh, I can hear the rumbles of disdain as I say that). Nevertheless, there is tension, and anger, and anxiety over who sits where and how much space they are using and who is saving space for someone else. I swear, it feels like high school.
I wish that there were a better way... if someone knows a club that has a good way of dealing with crating space issues, I'd love to hear it.