What fun! I spent July 12th-16th at the State Fair photographing Splash Dogs. Besides being a great learning experience the people, dogs, and atmosphere made this and outstanding event.
Jeff, Serena and Heather ran a wonderful show. The area included a nice shady relaxing area for the dogs in spite of the heat. Misters were on the pop ups for the spectators. Canine Companions was on hand and Dave Sacco and Buddy raised over $1000 for the Humane Society in Colorado. They need a lot of help for displaced animals from the Waldo Canyon Fire. Not sure who had more fun the people or the dogs.
As I sat there taking what seemed like 1000's of shots and checking them for exposure etc... I started noticing a few small things. Like how different each dog was in their approach and attitude. Some looked like they were grinning from ear to ear. And oddly how some closed their eyes just before impact. I closed my eyes too when I jump in. (Don't like the water in my eyes). Others were so calm. No matter how the handler tried to get them excited. Some definitely not calm! But even the not so calm seemed to at a certain point to just relax and accept the ride down.
I started seeing what a unique personality each dog had and how they reacted to the situation second to second in my 8fps. I love capturing those changing moments.
But while I was giving into that little quest the light began to change. The wind picked up and the misters started misting across the front of the dock. My daydreaming was interuppted with oh no! The combination of the harsh backlight and the mist was wreaking havoc on my pictures. The autofocus was going nuts, nothing was clear and all of a sudden I was struggling to figure out how to get these last shots. The finals!
Well, I panicked, tried lots of things. None of them seemed to work. It was hot. Getting hotter. I was tired and thought of giving up. Again my mind drifted to each dogs reactions. A lesson here?
I relaxed. I could not change the weather, the sun or turn off the misters. How could I make lemonade out of lemons? Relax and accept the ride down? The last shots of the day were tough. But here is what I got by relaxing and accepting the light and water! How I see it !