Although August is often called the “Dog Days,” the timing of this pair of photos is purely coincidental. Most of my animal kingdom photo efforts are centered around birds, with both smaller (dragonflies and other insects, for instance) and larger specimens (horses) included. Other than snapshots of our now-deceased three cats, I never seriously pursued pet photos. But then Cinders came calling the other day.

My Neighbor Cinders

Cinders is a member of my neighbors Jeff and Lori’s family. She’s a 13-year-old Weimaraner and although 13 is an advanced age for a dog, she’s still fairly active.

She wanted to check out our place, so she made a stop in the back of the house where my bird feeders are — may have spooked a few grackles for me (Good girl, Cinders!) before sniffing in the garage a bit and then returning to Jeff’s side, where I took these shots.

Still On The Alert

I shot both with the Sigma 75-300mm OS, zoomed to about 180mm, which allowed me to fill the frame. Both were shot at ISO 400 and f/5.6, the first at a shutter speed of 1/320 and the second at 1/400. I did a little post work to increase the contrast; the pavement behind her had a way of flattening the mid-afternoon light, which was ranging from muted to intense as the sun moved in and out of some fair-weather clouds.

An adult dog doesn’t have the “cuteness” of a puppy shot, but in her face and eyes I think you see her character, and that’s what I wanted to capture. My biggest problem was that, although she had paused in making her rounds, her head was in constant motion, sampling the air and being constantly on the alert.

So, Cinders, hope you like these portraits, and anytime you’d like to stop over and spook a few grackles for me, you’re more than welcome!

Staff Writer Paul Sevensky is a communications specialist and amateur photographer.  When he isn’t shooting, he covers advertising and PR on his own blog, at www.paulsevensky.com. View all of Paul Sevensky’s posts on The Roving Photographer.

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