Okay, I've done that stupid trick of sticking my paw up in the air. Now where's that tasty treat you promised me?
Note: this photo was published as an illustration in an undated (Feb 2010) Squidoo blog titled "Toy Dogs in Brief." It was also published in an undated (early Feb 2012) Squidoo blog titled "Why Does My Dog Eat Poop? (and Grass, Dirt, Rocks)."
Moving into 2014, the photo was published in a Jul 23, 2014 British article in the International Business Times titled "Dogs Get Jealous of Other Dogs When Owners Pet Them."
Here's a description of the third exercise we've been given, in my International Center of Photography (ICP) class titled "On Seeing What's Right in Front of You":
"Pick one person or thing from your daily life that you are drawn to strongly... photograph your simple subject from as many different angles as possible over the next week. Try to use a similar background, lighting and focal length for each shooting session. Pay extra attention to the space around the subject as well as the subject itself.
"Try to create different emotional responses to your subject simply by varying the framing. Write in your notebook what you are drawn to about this thing what the experience is to photograph it. Don't be afraid to go close as well as stay at a distance. Crop in camera while you're shooting. Do not use Photoshop or any methods to change framing after the fact...
"Work fast and don't think too much. Trust your instincts. And as always, have fun with it."
I briefly considered telling my wife that I was going to take several hundred photos of her, from every conceivable angle and perspective .. and then pick the best six to bring to the next class session. But I quickly decided that idea would not be well received; so I decided instead to concentrate on photographing our dog, Rummy. After all, he doesn't talk back, and he has no idea what I'm doing ... or why.
Over the next six days, I took approximately 250 photos of Rummy -- in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, and in as many different "scenes" as possible. As instructed, I used the same camera, and the same lens, and the same aperture (f/5.6) for each shot; and as instructed, I avoided my usual tendency to crop the photos after uploading them to my computer. However, the lighting varied depending on the time of day and where Rummy and I were located; and some of the photographs were taken at night, using a "fill flash."
The final result -- six "keepers" out of the 250 -- was interesting to me for a couple of reasons. First, it did reinforce the point that very different results can be achieved simply by changing the framing and perspective, without depending on other "tricks." Second, since most of the photos I've taken of Rummy in the past have been fairly boring, expressionless "fluffy white dog" photos, it was interesting to see that if one is persistent enough, one can find lots of interesting variations the ultimately create an interesting collection of pictures.
And finally, it was interesting to see that you can't always expect to get interesting results from a single photography "session" on one single day; sometimes you have to be willing to continue shooting the same subject time after time, day after day -- from angles and perspectives that might not have occurred to you, or might simply not have been available, the day before. I should have realized that, since I accumulate lots and lots of photos from repeated visits to places like Central Park, or Verdi Square on 72nd Street. But this was a lot more focused: same subject, same camera/lens, same aperture/DOF, etc.