We live near bushland and get a lot of birds visiting our yard, especially when everything is in flower. For some reason, our Poinciana tree is flowering now after a rather lacklustre performance in December and it recently attracted the attention of a male and female pair of King Parrots. We don’t see King Parrots very often and they never stick around for long, but these two love birds preened and napped for about an hour while Hubby washed the car and I invaded their privacy with my zoom lens.
It is easy to tell the difference between an adult male and female, the male has a red head and his colouring is more vibrant. The female has more green, and she kept a watchful eye on me whilst going about her business. It was a real pleasure to see these birds hanging out in our garden, so often that tree is full of less colourful but more vocal crows and noisy miner birds.
So, I finally decided on a business name and some of you have probably already guess what it is after seeing the title of my blog post. Thank you for all of the feedback I received after my earlier post ‘What’s in a name?’ it helped me develop more concrete thoughts about the next steps to take. The name I settled on is ‘Two Black Dogs Art & Photography’ which seemed logical because it has meaning to me, and it builds on my existing ‘brand’ (if you can call it that). I hope that the words ‘art’ and ‘photography’ provide enough information about me and people will explore my website or contact me through social media to get more detail about me and the type of work I do. For those of you reading this post my business focuses on creating pet portraits using the medium of pastels and/or photography. You may be wondering why the word ‘pet’ doesn’t feature in the business name, it is because I also paint landscapes and wildlife, photograph shelter dogs, and on the odd occasion I photograph people.
My website is currently a portfolio, created using the Adobe Portfolio which is free to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers. At the moment I have no pricing available and no way of booking online, my work comes through requests via email or direct from friends and family. Whilst I have years of management experience, having my own business is new to me and there is a lot to learn so I am taking things slowly while I find my feet. If you would like to see examples of my work, please take a look at my portfolio: https://www.twoblackdogsartandphotography.com.au and let me know what you think.
The logo for Two Black Dogs Art and Photography was partly developed by a graphic designer and I then tweaked the typeface and layout a little to suit the various formats. Thankfully the designer is a friend who accepts gift cards as payment and he was happy for me to adapt the logo to suit, providing me with the source files that made it possible.
This is going to be a steep learning curve for me, I will be trying to find more regular work in the interim as art and photography supplies don’t come cheap plus we have a senior dog to support 😉 If you want to follow my work you can find me on instagram @twoblackdoggiesartandphoto and I will try to share more on this blog, my posts have been rather infrequent these past 12-18 months. On that note I’d like to thank you all for your patience and your support, this blog has been going for about 8 years and I’ve (virtually) met some wonderful people as a result.
After two major health scares in the last 18 months I was worried Bundy might not make it to his 12th birthday (equivalent to approximately 75 years of age in human years). The fabulous news is that he did make it and apart from being hard of hearing and slightly more demanding, he is in great health and still capable of wreaking havoc on all stuffed and squeaky toys.
Happy 12th Birthday Bundy! Sorry, there is no cake (apart from the squeaky cake toy) but I can promise you lots of love, car rides, chicken pieces, squeaky toys, kisses and another year of being smothered with love.
It’s a hot day for a birthday, time to relax in the shade
Ready to party and waiting for me to hand over the presents
November is storm season in Queensland and we’ve had a couple of loud and scary ones but thankfully the worst of them missed our place (touch wood). As a twenty something loving in Newcastle I discovered how much I loved a good storm when staying with family near the beach. From their house I watched in awe as the clouds rolled in and the light changed creating an eery atmosphere before the skies opened and the lightning let loose. It was magic.
There were pockets of storm action Sunday afternoon, mainly to the north of us so we got very little rain and only a few rumbles of thunder. We did however see some amazing cloud formations and fantastic light as we strolled around a local sports field. Bundy could not have cared less about any of it, he was too busy following random scent trails. With only my iPhone at hand I tried to capture the amazing nature of the clouds and light using the Lightoom mobile app and my phone’s native camera app. The images are a little dark, more post-processing required or perhaps there are better apps for capturing these types of scenes on a smartphone.
Halloween is not a huge event in Australia although it’s popularity is growing and if there are children in your neighbourhood you tend to notice it more. We don’t have children, so poor little Bundy bears the brunt of the Halloween costumes on offer at Kmart. This year it was a toss-up between a pumpkin and a glittering red devil costume, however, as a result of my indecision neither made it into the shopping trolley. Fortunately a camera-toting, dog loving friend had underestimated the size of her wolfhound cross when buying a spider costume, and apparently, an XL costume is more suitable for a staffy such as Bundy.
The first photoshoot was conducted in bushland, I thought a natural environment would suit a big, black spider. The messy nature of the background and the floppy legs made it a little harder to see the detail of the costume, and converting images to black and white didn’t seem to help. I then tried photographing Bundy in our backyard with a less cluttered background. At this stage Bundy was pretty much over the costume and I really had to bribe him to do more than stand there and look sullen, as you can see, he still looks sullen but he did cooperate.
More recently I bought a hooded skeleton costume which supposedly glows in the dark. The glow factor of the costume hasn’t been tested, a photoshoot in the dark isn’t something I am prepared for so I am happy to wait until Halloween to see if the costume actually glows. With props in hand and treats in my camera bag, Bundy and I headed off to our bushland setting. Bundy was happy to explore while I stuck fake spider webs on the trees and lit a few candles, thankfully the day was overcast and the rain had dampened the setting minimising any risk of a fire breaking out.
The results aren’t bad although there are a few things I would have done differently:
Sprayed for mosquitoes (huge and vicious things)
Take the time to set the scene up before adding Bundy
Used more candles
Dressed Bundy in a costume that you could easily see from any angle
What do you think? What could I have done differently?
I grew up in the country, riding horses, bushwalking and swimming in creeks. My parents have lived in the same house for almost 40 years and are surrounded by a mix of farmland and bush. This scene is pretty typical of the area and it is a scene that always fills my heart with joy. As much as I love cities or walks along the beach, it is the countryside where I feel most at peace.
The rain that fell on us at the end of another long and hot Queensland summer did wonders for our little garden and the park outside. Everything was lush and green, funny little funghi moved in and we had numerous creatures living among the plants, thriving on the fresh green shoots of our gardenias. My thumb isn’t that green, however I have managed to keep a few plants alive and I love it when I see creatures in the garden even if they’re actually destroying it leaf by leaf.
Bundy seemed pleased that I was not turning the lens on him for a change, instead I got as close as I could to the frogs, bees, spiders and mushrooms and started shooting away. I think I could have used a faster shutter speed on some of the shots, they’re not as sharp as I would like however it is good that these things are becoming a little clearer to me. I am learning. For some of you it is Spring time which means lots of beautiful blooms and bright colours, looking forward to seeing what lives and grows in your garden 🙂
For the last three years we’ve gotten up early on Christmas Day to head to the beach for sunrise. It has become a ritual for us, we load the car up with towels for us and the dog, fill our takeaway cups with fresh coffee and I make sure my camera is ready to go. Leading up to Christmas is always a mad rush of last minute shopping, tying up loose ends at work and preparing for visitors. The beach is relatively peaceful and quiet at sunrise, it is a beautiful and calming way to start the day.