Saint PAWtrick’s Day

As some of you already know, I live in a town named Dublin, which is located in the middle Georgia area. It was named by (you guessed it!) Irish settlers who thought the land reminded them of home. (I wish…) Dublin is about halfway between Atlanta and Savannah, which made it useful in trade of agricultural, textile, and other trading. It was also chosen as the site for a Naval Hospital, built in 1945 to convalesce those suffering from Rheumatic Fever. It is now the Carl Vinson VA hospital, which is where I work. I love my job, and Dublin is a nice enough town of roughly 16,000 people.

Anyway, I ramble… The town is named DUBLIN, after Dublin, Ireland… and of course, Saint Patrick’s Day is kind of a big deal around here. The town hosts a parade and other family activities. It’s a lot less boozier than Savannah, but kid-friendly, and makes things interesting for the locals. I’m not Irish at all (or at least that I know of… I’m Scottish, English, Cuban, Spanish, and Italian, actually… I describe myself as 25% Hispanic and 75% Generic White Girl) BUT I enjoy any kind of holiday and an excuse to act sillier than usual.

The Humane Society got in on the action, hosting a “St. PAWtrick’s Day” Dog Costume contest. And of course, since I am the volunteer photographer for the shelter, I was asked to come on down and shoot the event. It was going in the paper, website, and Facebook page, so, off I go with my camera in tow.

It was pretty cute… Here are a few of my favorites:

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{ Drucilla & Chuck }

As most of you know, I am somewhat of a regular at the local Humane Society. I show up ever so often, camera in tow, prepared to crawl into dog pens and photograph scared, dirty, and unhappy animals. It’s challenging to capture the spirit of an animal when they are often lost and heart broken. I am diligent, however, and will not leave until I catch a glimpse of this dog or cat’s soul, just so a potential adopter can see the beauty that I see.

I say all this, not to brag on myself. I need no congratulations or pat on the back. However, I would like to acknowledge someone else who is far more diligent than myself. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some very dedicated, amazing people. The director, George, his wife, Dee, some of the workers and volunteers at the shelter (like Reggie, Cindy, and Debbie, just to name a few) who have been more than helpful during my visits. One particular volunteer, however, I have become most fortunate to know.

This man is a Navy veteran, dog lover, and as a journalist, he is one heck of a good writer. His name is Chuck Warzyn, and despite ups and downs in his own life, one thing is certain: he WILL go to that shelter at least 3 days a week and walk those dogs, and he WILL go to that shelter and give them all fresh Kong balls filled with peanut butter, and he WILL ensure I am updated on what photos need to be taken/changed/moved/deleted/replaced. And he does it all so eloquently, whether it be by telephone or e-mail.

On my way out of the shelter on Saturday, Chuck mentioned that he wanted a photo of Drucilla, the resident Irish Deerhound, jumping up with her paws on someone’s shoulders, just to demonstrate her size to any potential adopters. He happily volunteered to be the “shoulders”.

This is what we got…

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I just loved it.

Animal Photography: Fuzzy Faces of November (Humane Society)

Last week was pretty exciting for me, because I broke down and bought a prime that I’ve been lusting after for quite a while. The 50mm f/1.2L finally arrived to my house after much anticipation. I’ve shot with the nifty fifty 1.8, upgraded to the 1.4, and found the focal length great, but the 1.4 wasn’t really up to snuff. So instead of buying a new copy of the 1.4, I decided to go ahead and get the 1.2. The ultimate prime lens for working in super wide aperture (1.2 to 2.8 is spectacular!) The images are beautiful, crisp, and I found that I had far less throwaways. The color is good, not perfect. It doesn’t require much adjustment in lightroom at all. The histo-curves are to die for if you have your settings right. Shooting in manual wasn’t hard with this lens. it gobbles up light and produces beautiful, creamy bokeh. πŸ™‚

Now, to the fun part… Here are a few of my favorite HS shelter photos from last week. More can be seen on their website and Facebook Page.

Sally… my favorite dog of our session. Sweet as pie.

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The face of mischief:

 

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Dixie, the pit bull that ate her owners lawn chairs πŸ˜‰

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Dash the super smart terrier:

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Hello….. πŸ™‚

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Favorite beautiful kitty cat of the day… this guy… –>

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Stunning Red! –>

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And my boy Rocky, who finally got a haircut –>

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Another curious kitten –>

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Cats are quite fun to photo. So exquisite –>

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New Spirit 4 Aussie Calendar Submissions

Every year, the rescue we adopted Thor and Duncan from, New Spirit 4 Aussie, publishes a calendar for national fundraising. Β Last year, the organization requested adopters to submit photos of our rescued Aussies to go in the calendar for 2013. Photos are submitted along with a donation and then members vote to select a cover photo, plus all the months. All photos submitted are included in the calendar somewhere, so everyone’s dog gets a spot. We were super excited when Thor was selected as “Mr. February” this year’s calendar and have been looking forward to participating again. (Of course I was excited, it is photography and for a great cause!) Also, just in the nick of time I was thrilled to find out that they are accepting rescued Aussies from OTHER organizations too, so that means Mr. Buckley can be included since he was adopted from Carolina Hearts Aussie Rescue (CHAR). The deadline for the upcoming 2014 calendar has finally come, and it took me days to decide which pictures to submit. In true Southern fashion, I don’t get in much of a hurry about anything, and naturally waited until the last minute. Finally, my decision has been made andΒ I wanted to share our submissions and encourage you to donate to a rescue! The calendars come out in time for 2014 and they make great gifts for Aussie dog lovers!

 

Mr. Duncan

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Taken with Canon 6D and 24-70 f/2.8L II lens, indoors using natural light from window

 

Mr. Thor

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Taken with Canon 6D and 50mm f/1.4 lens, outdoors in sunlight

 

Mr. Buckley

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Taken with Canon 6D and 50mm f/1.4 lens, outdoors in sunlight

 

Now, donate to a rescue, pet your favorite furry creature, and take plenty of pictures of your pets to share with the world! Remember, fostering and adopting save lives!

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