November 14, 2012

Week 46

Since I last posted, I have not checked Facebook.  After nearly a week without it, I can say I'm much happier and less stressed.  I miss being able to share certain things, like the results of the Agility show this past weekend, and get instant feedback.  But I'll live :-)  I find I'm getting more done off the computer now, so that's good too!

And for the record, the weekend results weren't much to post about unfortunately.  His Open standard runs were actually quite nice and on Saturday he had a clean run all the way to the last bar of the double- the final jump of the course. :-(  It was taking him right into a corner and the spectators started cheering as he left the ground and he tried to turn too tightly and took out the bar.  I think he hit it with his back foot, because he cleared it with plenty of height.  The standard run on Sunday was also nice, but again, a bar on a tight turn got us.  Guess I know what we need to work on :-)

The novice JWW course on Saturday was a disaster.  For some unknown reason he couldn't complete 6 weave poles!  This is a dog that I have sent to 12 poles from half way across the ring with the dog walk between me and the weaves and he did those beautifully!  He normally loves the weaves and I have to be careful he doesn't go off course to do them!  But not Saturday. He has a chiropractic appointment on Friday, so we'll see if that helps.

The JWW course itself was very do-able for the handling I need to do.  Something I wasn't sure was possible.  So I had only entered him for Satuday because I figured either he would get the last Q needed for his title, or I wouldn't be able to handle him through a course without contacts.  Little did I know he would blow it on the weaves!  The weaves!?

So no Q's at all this past weekend.  But it was encouraging to know he has progressed to the point that I can be the handler for an open level course!  He just has to keep the darn bars up!

Yesterday I went for a photography drive.  I had some specific shots in mind, but got a few others I really like as well.

For the 52 weeks for dogs group, I got this one:

I had planned a different shot with a fence, which is why we stopped at this one along our drive, but it didn't work out.  The fence slats were at the wrong height and the lighting wasn't right for what I wanted to do. While contimplating options, Dazzle heard something small rustle the leaves in the drainage ditch and I snapped this photo before he shot after whatever it was.  Despite burying his head and snuffling around for quite awhile, he thankfully didn't come up with whatever had caused the sound. :-)

He kind of blended into the leaves in the background of this photo, so I used layers and desaturated the background a bit to help him "pop".

I'm having to be creative with his shots because his tail still looks like hell and is actually getting worse.  We have an appointment tomorrow to see what is going on.  I know it started as allergies (shortly before I took the combine chasing shot), causing him to lick his tail till he got a hot spot.  But I think it's probably a bacterial infection now because it covers almost his entire tail.  Which had to be shaved, so like I said, it looks like hell.

For the 52 weeks for NOT dogs, I got this one:
This photo was inspired by this shot:">
It was much harder than I thought to find a road with leaves on it!  So I had to settle for a trail off the road I was on. I gave it a valiant effort though and ended up on gravel backroads I had never been on before!  Thank God for GPS :-)
The original shot is a much nicer location, but I think I nailed the technique I was inspired to use.  I also have a version of this photo that I like even better that kept the color in the sky: 

To get these, I made a copy of the original, de-saturated the original, then pasted the copy as a new layer.  I increased the color saturation on that layer (probably too much) to bring out the color in the leaves, and then used the eraser tool anywhere I wanted the de-saturated version to show through, which was anywhere with green.
While driving around, I saw several things I was inspired to capture.
Like this bull who might need some anger management.  I didn't get more than a few steps from my vehicle since I wasn't sure if he would try to do to me what he did to the gate!  He was still within a fenced area, but it was only thin wire.    

I saw the sun shining through these grass seed heads and found a place to pull over to try to get the shot. I had to crop tightly to avoid getting power lines and poles in the back, but I really like how this turned out.

Faces in places... Saw this tortured soul on a gravel back road.  Didn't even have to get out of the vehicle!

I tried to do the same thing with this Teasel as I did with the grass plume, but I'm not as happy with the reult.  It looked better in person :-)

I did find this in the lower right hand corner of the shot above and I like this better than the original group shot :-)

While doing yet another U-turn on deserted back roads, I spotted this old culvert.  I wonder when it was created and how much the road above has been built up since then.  The road is still only slightly wider than a one-lane road and required pulling off to let construction trucks pass.

This photo cannot do justice to how pretty this white tree looked against the blue sky.  I saw it in passing and had to back up and pull over to get the shot.

An interesting sign I saw in my travels.  "Triple H"  Hunting - Horses - Harley's

Kissing trees- This was another scene I drove by and then went back to get.  It looked even more comical in person.