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Archive for the ‘Dog’ Category

There were dogs everywhere yesterday at the Bois de Boulogne, most of them off leash, exploring all parts of the extensive wooded area on the outskirts of Paris. This seems to be a favorite dog walking spot for Parisians and maybe for doggie daycare/training, because, as you can see in the final photo, there were some big groups of dogs.

Most of the dogs and the people ignored me, though a pair of Chihuahuas with matching bright red sweaters barked ferociously as I passed. My path crossed with one large dog and I was struck by its gentle eyes and friendly disposition. I got down to eye level with the dog and petted him a bit, with the owner’s permission. He seemed so sweet.

After engaging with the owner and dog for a few short minutes, I watched them walk away. Only then did I realize that the dog was missing one of its front legs.

Dog in Bois de Boulogne

Dog at Bois de Boulogne

Dogs at the Bois de Boulogne

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Passing by one of the duck blinds in the waters of Occoquan Bay this past Saturday, I saw a larger number of decoys set out and realized it was occupied. Consequently I braced myself when I heard the sound of approaching ducks and sure enough shots rang out. A few seconds later, I saw a duck hit the water not far from where I was standing.

I was focusing on the flailing duck with my telephoto lens when suddenly a dog swam into the frame. The dog, which appears to be a Labrador Retriever, approached the duck, circled around it so it would be heading in the right direction, and then swam back to the blind with the duck in its mouth.

I am not a hunter and prefer to do my shooting with a camera. However, I can appreciate the skill of both the hunter and the retriever in securing the duck that will probably make a tasty meal.

 

retriever

retriever

retriever

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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What was the first thing that you saw when you opened your eyes on Christmas Day? For me, it was the beautiful brown eyes of Freckles, the little Cocker Spaniel that is staying with me over the Christmas weekend while her owners are visiting family. Freckles lived in my house for over a year in the past, so she is totally comfortable with me and with my rabbit.

Freckles is amazingly photogenic—here are some shots of her from the last few days that highlight her soulful eyes.

Freckles

Freckles

Freckles

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Walking two dogs simultaneously while riding a bicycle? I am not sure that I would try it, but this man in Vienna was somewhat successful in doing so.

dog walking in Vienna

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Whenever I walk the two year old German Shepherd who belongs to my son and daughter-in-law,  one of the highlights for Katie is stopping by my house so that she can visit with Prime Rib (PR), my adopted rabbit.

The two of them seem to enjoy staring at each other and sniffing. Katie has never displayed any hostility towards PR and PR is not intimidated by her presence and often just ignores her.

It was an interesting challenge trying to get this shot using available light. Katie kept moving and PR often stayed in a position in which his eyes were not visible. Beautiful morning light was coming in from the right through the sliding glass doors, but it was not exactly where I would have liked it. I ended up using my Canon 24-105mm lens, a lens that I don’t use that often. I particularly like the way that I was able capture Katie’s intense focus and utter fascination with the little rabbit.

PR and Katie

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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How do you find comfort when you are feeling agitated and anxious? I can always turn to religion or to nature or to my photography, but early this morning I realized how comforting it was to have Freckles, a small Cocker Spaniel, leaning into my leg as I sat on the couch reading the Washington Post. Her slow, steady breathing and the warmth of her body helped to counteract my rising emotions as I read the accounts and editorials about President Trump’s first full day in office.

Freckles is staying with me while her owners are out of town and she is really comfortable in my townhouse, which is not too surprising, given that she lived here for over a year before she moved to an apartment in Washington DC.  For her, a trip to the Virginia suburbs is like a vacation in the country, and she particularly likes to play around in the fallen pine needles of my small back yard.

Generally she is in constant motion, sniffing every square inch of the yard, but yesterday I got her to sit still for a moment so that I could take some shots of her. Here are a few of my favorites from our impromptu portrait session.

Freckles

Freckles

Freckles

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When Freckles heard the sound of a fire engine in the distance, she stopped playing and listened intently for a moment. She then leaned back her head and began to howl along with the sound of the siren. Who knew that Cocker Spaniels like to howl?

For the last two and a half weeks I have been taking care of Freckles while her owners have been on their honeymoon. It’s been a joy (and occasionally a challenge) having a dog in my life again. During this short time we have developed our own little routines and, among other things, I’ll miss her curling up around my feet as I use my laptop.

Freckles

Freckles

Freckles

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Yesterday afternoon I had a little photo shoot with Freckles, a two year old Cocker Spaniel who is one of my favorite subjects. Freckles belongs to a friend who has been staying with me and I have the pleasure of spending a lot of time with this beautiful little dog.

Freckles was more cooperative than usual, though I still had to chase her around a lot to try to get some shots. The small size of the backyard of my townhouse and the 180mm focal length of my lens guaranteed that all the shots would be close-ups, which means you can easily see her beautiful coloration and expressive eyes.

Freckles1_oct_blog Freckles2_oct._blog Freckles3_oct_blog Freckles4_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Little kids get pretty excited about snow, but it’s hard to match the enthusiasm of a puppy as she propels herself face-first into the freshly fallen snow.

These shots show Freckles, a year-old Cocker Spaniel, a few seconds after she dove into the snow in my backyard. The yard had areas of sunshine and shadows and the snow appears white when Freckles was in the sun, as in the first image. The snow took on a bluish cast  however, when the snow in the background was in the shadows. I liked the effect and cropped the second image to make the background more uniform, causing it to look a bit like a formal studio shot.

freckles_snow1_blogfreckles_snow2

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Freckles is a year-old female Cocker Spaniel who is staying with me overnight while her owner is out of town. Freckles is usually very active, but she managed to sit still for a minute while I took some photos of her.

I used my 50mm lens for this shot (a lens that I should use more often) and I tried to get as close to eye-level as I could. I shot it at f/2.2, which blurred out the beige carpet of my dining room, though I did have to clone out a couple of objects in the background.

I am happy that I was able to capture some of Freckles’ beautiful coloration and I am sure that most viewers will agree that she is a very photogenic model.

Freckles_portrait© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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