Improving my Dogtography!

Last weekend I spent a day in beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon with one of my favourite photographers Elke Vogelsang! Elke came to the UK to run three Outdoor Dog Photography Workshops and I was lucky enough to join her and 5 others on Saturday.

The magazine where I found the UK workshops! Signed copy of Elke’s book and those noise makers worked a treat! I got some great head tilt shot of Holly with them!

I love photography, I take photos of anything and everything but what I really want to be really good at is my dogtography! My main loves and my number one models are Hugo and Holly after all! After the recent purchase of a smaller and just easier to carry around camera, my beloved Olympus Pen, I’d struggled to get sharp images even with them barely moving and was keen to find out why, so when I discovered the workshops were running I was thrilled beyond belief!

After a very early start, a forgotten cup of tea and an unfortunate detour on the motorway, I met up with everyone at the beautiful YHA Stratford upon Avon and spent the morning inside learning the technical side of things. I picked up a real gem, exactly what I’d hoped to learn and something that explained why a lot of my photographs with my new camera have been ‘fuzzy’. I, like a lot of photographers, prefer to shoot in Aperture priority (for now anyway), meaning you choose the aperture  and allow the camera to choose the shutter speed for you. However, as I learnt,  aperture priority doesn’t usually choose a speed fast enough for a moving dog or even a slightly wobbly me and even when I used ISO to help me increase the shutter speed I’d rarely chosen a speed above 1/60th of a second and I’d still gotten blurry images! Once I’d learnt this I was itching to get outside and practice my new found skill!

After a quick bite to eat of some delicious broccoli soup, salad, and sandwiches we headed outside. The rain had eased off slightly by this point and was now only a slight drizzle as opposed to the torrential downpour I’d driven through earlier in the day!

Undeterred, 6 keen photographers laid out in a huge field on yoga mats unaware of the utter madness that was about to descend in the form of no less than 20 soggy doggy models!

I spent a lot of the time petting the dogs and dishing out treats, admittedly of my own doing, but I did manage to steal away a few quiet moments with these two beauties!

Meet Elliott and Walter!

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A lot of the models were rescues and fosters from Many Tears Rescue a small rescue based in South Wales that has dogs in foster homes throughout the UK where, with the help of their staff and volunteers they provide a special and loving environment to help all their animals adapt and find permanent, loving new homes.

It was an absolute pleasure to share the day with the amazing pooches and of course the lovely foster carers and I am so so grateful to them for their time and their patience that day, particular as the weather wasn’t the best! If you’re ever looking for a rescue dog this’d be a great place to start!

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So for me, a new adventure with my  camera, I’ll be spending a while reading Elke’s book and perfecting my new technique I’m sure! A huge thank you to Elke, you can find her amazing work here, and to Fran for organising all three days, and to everyone who attended, brought their dogs and assisted in anyway that made it possible for Elke to visit because it really was an amazing day and a dream come true for me! Thank you everyone!

lots of love and pug hugs xo

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