Up or Down?

Landscape or Portrait? Telling Your Story in Photos.

While visiting my mom and sister one evening, sis mentioned that she had been making dog biscuits for her dogs. She only has two of them but they’re big enough to eat for six being German Shepherd, Husky, and Rottweiler mix. So she makes them herself to save money. She’s got a couple of cats too but that’s a different story.

I used to think of my sister as Ellie May from the Beverly Hillbillies if any of you remember that show and her love for critters.

Home baked dog biscuits.
Close-up photo of a batch of dog biscuits that my sister makes.

While taking some close-up photos of her freshly baked dog biscuits, my mom said “Let me take your picture Dan.” So I smiled for her to take my photo.

Photo of me horizontal and dead centered. Photo by my mom.
Mom’s awesome son. Doing the traditional adding 20 pounds pose.

I noticed how she was holding her camera and suggested that she turn her camera upright and put my head toward the top and try it again since I was standing upright.

Mom taking my photo with her camera.
Mom turned her camera upright to take my photo after I asked her to try it again and put my head toward the top.

So she obliged and took another one.

Photo of me by my mom after turning her camera upright.
I suggested that mom rotate her camera upright since I was standing upright.
Good job mom. What a handsome son you have. I even noticed that you are bracing both of your arms against your body for stability.
Later as they were looking at her photos on her camera, I started taking photos of them looking at the photos and I had to remind myself to rotate my camera to capture the subject.
Mom and sister looking at something that the picture doesn't show.
Mom and sister looking at what? I don’t know. The picture doesn’t tell the story. How about if I rotate the camera like I suggested to her?

As a horizontal, I could only see them and not what they were looking at. They could have been dissecting a frog or playing cards for all anyone could tell.

Every picture tells a story right?

Some of these photos don’t tell the story as clear if the entire subject isn’t in the frame.

I was sitting on a couch opposite them and had a fixed length lens on so I couldn’t move back any further. Simply rotating the camera tells the story more completely.

Mom and sister looking at photos that she had taken with her camera.
Telling the story more completely. After turning MY camera upright, I am able to tell the story more clearly.
I am aware that many people are using cell phone cameras now and they are more naturally shooting vertical photos of vertical subjects because of how the phone is held.
I thought I’d just mention this in passing to think before you shoot. Or in this case, re-shoot after if you can because you ARE taking photos to tell a story aren’t you?
Mom and sister giving a smile to me.
Mom and sister giving a smile to me.

I Have a Dog

Well, let me correct that. OncWinston_DEJ_8122e in a while I have a dog. A friend of mine asked me if I could take care of his dog while he went on a few short vacations this summer. So for the third time this year I’ve watched a small dog named Winston He’s fixed, chipped, and a good protector of his home.

Many of you have dogs and I’m impressed with all of you that have chosen to provide a home and love for them. I’ve never had a dog of my own due to the attention that they need. As for the other common household pet of the feline persuasion, I’ve had numerous in my lifetime. Cats are a little more self reliant. Give them food, water, and a litter box and they are fine for a couple of days if necessary instead of only eight to ten hours.

Dog looking out car window with his tongue hanging out - blurry.This little guy gets very excited and looks at me with a twinkle in his eye and smile on his face when he sees his leash and knows it is time to go out. He jumps excitedly a foot in the air in anticipation of going outside. But he isn’t one that likes to be let out alone in his fenced in back yard to do his duty and always expects me to go out with him. When the door is first opened after working all day and he has to go out, he greets me at the door and runs out about three steps, turns around and waits for me to come with him or he will try to come back inside with me while I am putting my stuff down so I get to go right back outside with him while he takes care of business.

When I took him for a walk the other night he sniffed, stopped, and ‘marked’ every spot where other dogs left theirs. I didn’t know he had that much in him.

Dog sitting and waiting for my command or a treat to be tossed to him.He does not like walking in the rain to do his duty, and neither do I like taking him out in the rain if I don’t have a cap on my head. When we had to go out in the rain, he avoided the grass. He is so short the wet grass drags across his belly and he seems very uncomfortable so he stays on the sidewalk. Nevertheless, he had to do his duty and eventually he did what we went out for.

The day after the rain, I brought him in the back seat of my car without a pet carrier and he happily rolled around on my back seat and then enjoyed the view and air as we headed to the park for a walk. The next morning my car smelled like ‘wet dog.’ So I bought an edible air freshener. A pizza; and brought it home in my car to help cover the smell. The only problem then was my car smelled like a wet dog sat on a pizza for two days.

Blurry Dog sniffing my camera.
Winston sniffing my camera.

I really like the adjustable length leashes available when I take him out because when we are walking along I can let him out to sniff a tree or hold him close to my side so pedestrians, joggers, and bikers can pass by. As we strolled through Riverside Park and using that leash a biker came zipping past from behind us and he began barking and chasing her before I could stop his. She yelled at me and said. “That’s not funny!” Well, I was just as surprised as her and hollered out, “Ma’am I’m sorry but I wasn’t laughing. I’m just dog sitting and I didn’t know he would do that.” Good dog. Guarding the world from those mean bikers.

Winston at the Drive ThroughAs for companionship, Winston will snuggle right next to me as I watch television, read, or work on my laptop. I’ve slept at my friend’s house a few times while he was gone and Winston loves the company.  As for sleeping next to me, it just doesn’t work well, we both move around too much so neither of us get much sleep so he ends up getting his mat on the floor and I get the couch by myself. Oh, he snores a bit too.

Feeding time has been fun. I was told to just keep his bowl filled which is contrary to how I’ve taken care of other people’s dogs. Another couple who I dog sat for earlier in the year have two dogs and they feed their dogs in separate rooms with one scoop of food a day. Their dogs are both in great shape. So Winston has gone on a diet whenever I have watched him. Less in, less out, less chance of having doggie bombs in the living room when I get back from work at the end of the day.

Photo of a woman picking up dog poop with a plastic bag over her hand right after her dog did his duty.If I ever do get a dog, it will be one that can use the toilet like us grown humans do. I am not fond of picking up their bombs from lawns and house floors and carrying poop around in a small plastic bag.

I still don’t think I can have a dog of my own because of the attention that they need. I like the companionship that they provide but my life hasn’t settled down yet where I can have one full time. So, again, a tip of my hat to those of you who do have a place for probably the most popular household pet in the world. Cheers. Here’s a doggie treat for your friend.