Continuing what has become a bit of a tradition on the Madaboutgreys Blog, here is my year end round up of ten pictures which sum up the photography year for me. My line up this year has a bit of a geeky photography gear theme running through it, so I should probably start with:
1 BRIAN & JIM
I went to the Photography Show in March with no specific plans and came away with a silly smirk and a Nikon D4s under my arm. It felt like an extravagance at the time, but honestly this camera has been a game-changer for action photography. I can shoot a sequence of fast moving dogs, including the dreaded dog heading towards me shot, and about 90% are in focus.
2 LOUIS THE LURCHER
Continuing my hymn of praise for the D4S, this was shot in autumn on an early morning that turned out much darker than I had hoped. I was forced to work at stupidly high ISO and asking something almost impossible of the camera to grab a focus on very fast dog as he broke through the bracken at about 40mph. I love this camera so much, I want to have its babies…
3 FERN THE WHIPPET PUPPY
Because great photography buys aren’t always expensive. I dropped into Sainsburys to get some peanut butter on my way to this puppy shoot, saw this fleece for something like £5 and bought it on impulse. It makes such a difference to studio shoots for some dogs and cats who hate sitting on Colorama background paper.
3 PORTRAIT OF A BLACK HOUND
This impressionistic series was a bit of a project for me in 2015. You can read more about how it started and why here
4 BINGO THE GREYHOUND
Has to be one of the loveliest locations and one of the sweetest and most handsome dogs I’ve shot this year. I would love a stone floor like this in my studio.
5 WINSTON THE ITALIAN GREYHOUND
My heart did a jump for joy when I was commissioned to photograph this stunning Italian Greyhound. I wanted to recreate the pose and the mood of the famous Art Deco brooch for this image.
6 SAMI THE SALUKI
I photographed a beautiful litter of Saluki pups in the spring. I could happily have picked any of the pups’ images for a place here, but I’ve chosen Sami because he was thought to be the underdog, being somewhat shy, and I’ll always pick the underdog given a chance.
7 CHAMP THE RACING THOROUGHBRED
I’ve been experimenting with textures a lot this year. This was actually a very simple shot without studio lights or any special gear.
8 RUBY THE SALUKI LURCHER
Included for no other reason than that she is one of the prettiest dogs I’ve ever photographed…
9 GRACE THE LURCHER
I have always hated my flashgun and avoided it like the plague. I invested a fortune on Elinchrom Quadras for outdoor work (and am very pleased with them too). Sometimes I will even haul full studio lighting out on location to avoid having to use the hated flashgun. But small speedlights do have undoubted advantage in terms of weight and of course speed, so my New Year’s resolution is to learn to love my speedlights. And I am including this image of Grace, which was shot under speedlights, to remind me of this commitment.
10 JASMINE CELEBRATING THE ALL BLACKS’ WIN AT TWICKENHAM
Twelve years old and grey as a badger, Jasmine is my heart dog, one in a million, and still the most beautiful dog in my eyes. And she is always up for a laugh with shots like this.