Dec 1, 2007

Missed It By That Much

Being a photographer of nature can be annoying.

There's always The Shot, the one you really want to capture. It's a rare opportunity, a really truly difficult thing to get just right. When the moment presents itself you'd better have your camera ready, because you're only going to get one chance at it. And there'll be a clothesline pole in the way most of the time.

There's only two shots of Borzoi that are really breathtaking--one is of them launching off, their back legs digging hard into the ground, their front ends well up, front legs reaching far out. That's the one up there, with the pole in the way.

The second is the obverse of the first photo. Borzoi have what's called a "double suspension" gallop, which is to say when they are running full tilt, at one point in the gallop all four feet are off the ground: the front two are facing backwards, the back two are reaching forward well past the front feet. That's the other cool shot. And if you do a search for Borzoi it's inevitable that you'll find them both.

This isn't quite it.

Neither is this.

You'll also find out when photographing the Borzoi hound that there's one really easy shot to get--that of them lounging:

Nothing can lounge quite like a Borzoi who is tired from crazily galloping around the back yard while carrying a stuffed chicken.

And then there's Penny, who is very photogenic and who for the most part hates cameras aimed at her and whose gallop is so short that it's impossible to see without a really good set of binoculars.


meno said...

That dog is spectacular. I want one. Wonder what my cats would think?

Irrelephant said...

Meno, Belle lives with SIX in our house, and she gets along fine. Borzoi are very prey driven but if you get one as a puppy and train them, carefully and with a lot of love, there won't be a problem. *S* Borzoi are very smart and very sensitive, so it doesn't take a lot. They've got very cat-like behaviours so if you've got cats you already have half the battle fought.

Scott from Oregon said...

For dog photos I find, you have to be willing to lay on the ground and shoot a little up on them.
Otherwise, you get too much ground as background.

Irrelephant said...

Excellent point, Scott. I'll take that one to heart.

Maggie said...

She's astounding.

so about the borzoi and prey - if you thought you might want cats at any time is it best to have the cats before you get a borzoi puppy? or is it even better to get them both at the same time so they grow up together? maybe full grown cat with good defenses is better? hmm. just you know, future planning. three years to go and a book..heh.

Irrelephant said...

Maggie, I'm honestly not sure. The prey drive is going to be there regardless of whether the cats were already there or not, I think it's mostly down to how YOU respond to the dog around them. We got Belle long after the cats were here, so as a puppy (two feet high and some forty pounds even then) she was pretty unsure about everything, so she adapted well to gentle but consistent training--any time she wanted to chase we'd 'bark' at her: "LEAVE IT!" That became her key words for all things no-no, and it's worked beautifully. The drive is still very intact--she'll chase squirrels, strange animals, birds, whatever, but inside the house the cats are part of her pack and therefore not to be bothered.

Vulgar Wizard said...

If you lie down to photograph her, she's going to see you and pounce on you, thinking your ready to play, on her terms. THAT would be hilarious. Let me know when you're ready to attempt this so I can come over with MY camera and shoot you trying to shoot her. Oh, buuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnngggggggggg.