Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Favorite Resources

Next week starts my graduate studies in earnest, so this will likely be my last post to this particular blog. Although I never say never, as you never know ūüėČ As noted in previous posts, I will keep the The Art of Schutzhund Photography blog live for those who are looking for inspiration and ideas on photographing IPO (Schutzhund) dogs are work. I have truly enjoyed posting and sharing my journey with you. I also appreciate your support and visits. Thank you!

In wrapping up my posts, below is a list of my favorite resources that have helped and inspired me these past years. I encourage you to visit these sites. Some are free; some not. Some investments are very reasonable, while others are a bit more expensive. But like most things, an investment of time and money is needed to make significant progress. I hope there is enough variety in this list for you to find something of value.

Note: I left the URLs where you can see them, rather than as links, to avoid broken links and what not.  If a URL is not included, I tried to indicate a possible source.

Books (Hard Copy and E-Books)

Blair. L. Photographing Dogs: Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers. 2013. Amherst Media, Inc. Available from Amazon.

Digital Photography School. Publisher of e-books, tips and tutorials. Excellent resource. www.digital-photography-school.com

Hisch R. 2012. Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age. Focal Press. Available from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Light-Lens-Photography-Digital-Age/dp/024081827X/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

Kanashkevich M. Natural Light: Mastering A Photographer’s Most Powerfule Tool (e-book). Digital Photography School. http://digital-photography-school.com/book/naturallight/

Laird, S. Artistic Elements (e-books). Using textures and layers to create digital photographic artwork. Stunning! http://www.stephanielaird.com/psd.html

Patel J. What the Heck is a HISTOGRAM. (e-book) Jay Patel Photography. All of Jay Patel’s e-books covering a wide array of photography topics may be found at http://visualwilderness.com/learn

Peterson B. Understanding Exposure. Revised Edition. 2004. Amphoto Books.

Peterson B. Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color & Composition in Photography. Revised Edition. 2003. Amphoto Books.

Peterson. B. Understanding Shutter Speed. 2008. Amphoto Books.

Peterson B. Understanding Photography Field Guide. 2010. Amphoto Books.

All of Bryan Peterson’s books are available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_11?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=brian+peterson+photography+books&sprefix=Brian+Peter%2Caps%2C209

Pflughoet, J. Beautiful Beasties: A Creative Guide for Modern Pet Photography. 2012. John Wiley & Sons. Available from Amazon.

Articles of Note / Websites / Blogs

Action Photography. Photographic Magazine. August 2003. Reprinted with permission on Steephill.tv Bike Travelouge. http://www.steephill.tv/photography/action-photography-tips.html

Bigman, A. PPI vs. DPI: What’s the Difference? 99Designs Blog. February 26, 3013. http://99designs.com/designer-blog/2013/02/26/ppi-vs-dpi-whats-the-difference/

Copyright Guidelines. Reprinted with permission by the Photo Marketing Association International. http://www.kodak.com/cluster/global/en/consumer/doingMore/copyright.shtml

Creamer, D. Understanding Resolution and the Meaning of DPI, PPI, SPI & LPI. Ideas Training.com. 2012. http://www.ideastraining.com/PDFs/UnderstandingResolution.pdf

Johnston. M. Bokeh in Pictures. The Luminous Landscape. April 4, 2004. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/sm-04-04-04.shtml

Sloma K. Exploring with a Camera: Printed Aspect Ratios. Kat-Eye Studio blog post. November 18, 2011. http://kateyestudio.com/2011/11/exploring-with-a-camera-printed-aspect-ratios.html

Organizations / Tutorials

KelbyOne (previous National Association of Photoshop Professionals). A website full of amazing tutorials for Photoshop, Lightroom and Creative Cloud, plus a subscription to Photoshop User magazine. www.kelbyone.com

Professional Photographers of America. Atlanta, GA. www.ppa.com. Excellent organization with many resources for emerging professionals and long time professionals as well. Dues are stiff, but worth it.

Caponigro, JP. John Paul Caponigro Illuminating Creativity. His website includes online tutorials, DVDs, ebooks and printed books. www.johnpaulcaponigro.com

Cheat Sheets, Online Tools

CameraSim. Simulates camera settings; great way to play with lighting, distance, focal length, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. http://camerasim.com/apps/camera-simulator/

Color Temperature. Useful chart. http://www.3drender.com/glossary/colortemp.jpg

Cost of Doing Business Calculator. National Press Photographers Association. https://nppa.org/calculator

DOF Master. Depth of Field Calculator. http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

The Photo Argus. Cheat sheets for portrait lighting, photography, photo tips, light fall off, reflectors, plus more. This site also features tutorials and other resources. http://www.thephotoargus.com/resources/helpful-photography-cheat-sheets-to-make-you-life-easier/

PhotoBert CheatSheets and Accessories. http://www.photocheatsheets.com

Photopoly. Another great resource. http://www.photopoly.net/22-useful-photography-and-photo-editing-cheat-sheets/

Ultimate Exposure Calcultor. Fred Parker Photography. http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

Web Design Ledger. 13 Super Useful Photography Cheat Sheets. http://webdesignledger.com/resources/13-super-useful-photography-cheat-sheets

Until next time…Happy Shooting Рand again thank you for visiting!


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Greetings and Happy New Year –

My first class as a graduate student officially starts tomorrow. I am very excited and a little nervous, too – a good nervous. To calm those nerves, I completed a redesign of my website – BJ Spanos Ink Photography. I invite you stop by and ¬†let me know what you think. It’s simpler then the previous site, but that is in keeping with my change in creative directions. I am still very much available for photo sessions and would love to shoot your dogs, cats or other critters in action and being the magnificent creatures that they are!

When I get a free moment, I will share with you more about my new artistic direction – that is, using HDR, textures and digital painting techniques to create unique and dramatic photographic art. These techniques have been around for awhile, but I haven’t seen them used much in IPO photography. So, a new challenge. If you take up the challenge before my next post, please contact me. I would love to talk with you about your experiences and what you’re discovering.

It may be March before I can post again. As always, I appreciate your support, patience with my wacky schedule and your encouragement. I am so pleased with how the Art of Schutzhund Photography has progressed these past years and look forward to many new adventures!

Happy Shooting!

BJ Spanos

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Hello! ¬†I wish to express my sincere appreciation to each of you for following my blog. I have truly enjoyed sharing my experiences and what I’ve learned about photographing IPO (Schutzhund) dogs at work. It is an adventure!¬†After more than four years, however, I feel I need to change directions! Don’t worry! This blog will remain, and all the previous posts will still be available, but I will no longer post regularly.

Reason is I’ve been accepted to graduate school to study clinical mental health counseling. My goal is to work with patients who have been diagnosed with serious or life threatening illness and their families. These studies will occupy most of my time.

Yes, I will still be photographing IPO dogs as well as be available for photo shoots of your furry friends. And, on occasion I will post about my other types of photographic creative efforts; for example, digital painting. Below is an example. One of my goals is to use this technique to digitally paint IPO dogs in action, as well as portraits of non-working breeds. More about that in a later post.


So, yes Рdo check back when you can!  Again, many thanks for your support and encouragement. Best wishes for a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

BJ Spanos

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2013 SE Regionals-873

Hello! ¬†Once again life has interfered with my goal of posting every two weeks and sharing my passion of photographing Schutzhund (IPO) and working dogs in action! ¬†I am on deadline with a work project. Yea – that ol’ work thing! ¬†I will have a new post up next week – I hope! Thank you for your patience and understanding.

If you have any questions or topics you would like to see covered in my blog, please let me know!

Until then – Happy Shooting!!

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I bet you’re wondering when the next post will be up, as I try to post every two weeks or so. I appreciate your patience as I work through a very hectic period in my life, including a lot of travel (9 states in 5 days with one trip) and a new house. Look for a new post this weekend, with highlights from the USCA National German Shepherd Dog Championship and continuing the series on perspective. The slide show above offers a few of my favorite shots from the Nationals to whet your visual appetites, including one with an oil paint look for fun.

Again, thank you for your encouragement and support. Your visits to my blog and your kind words both here and when we meet in person are very much appreciated!!  Happy shooting!

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Greetings!  Thank you to all my readers for your continued support and encouragement. I truly enjoy writing this blog and get a big kick out of watching the hits pile up. Passing 20,000 visits is a real milestone, especially considering that Schutzhund is not a large universe, although those of us in the sport tend to think of it as our whole world.

As with last year, we are having a hectic summer, including integrating a new dog into our pack. Zarek Von der Sauk is just nine weeks old and already has made himself at home. Shannon Hoffman Slaman of Von der Sauk German Shepherds bred Zarek. His father is Farin Spod Lazov, a son of Agent von Wolfsheim (WUSV, BSP), and his mother is Nutja vom Kathargo. As you might expect, taking care of a puppy plus two other dogs, traveling and working has left little time for photography and blogging.

While it has been a good summer in a lot of ways, it also has been a sad one. We said good-bye to our Leroy v. Rietnisse (Eli), who passed away in July. He was a remarkable dog, who achieved six SchH 3 titles. Eli and my husband, Peter, showed successfully at the 2010 New England Regional Championship and the 2010 USCA German Shepherd Dog Championship, where they took home a trophy for the highest scoring team from the southeast region.

We also said good-bye to Peter’s father, who passed away on Sunday, August 5, at the age of 88. For most of his life, Robert Pericles Spanos’ passions were being stock and commodities broker and his family. He also founded a management consulting firm, ran a television station, worked in advertising, insurance and sales. He flew combat missions as a B24 navigator in Africa and China in WW 2 and graduated from Purdue. Late in life, he published a book of poetry, in which he wrote about himself: “I’ve had a great life…God has given me the things that count.” May both Bob and Eli’s memories be eternal.

I will be posting a new blog entry towards the end of next week or over the weekend (August 18 -19), so please check back.  Stay cool and happy shooting!

BJ Spanos

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Suzanne Lavallee hosts a popular dog blog in San Francisco, called Spoiled Bitch.net. She recently ran an article on Schutzhund Spring Trials in the Bay area.  The article also features a description of the sport, along with some of my photos!  Very cool!

According to Suzanne, “SpoiledBitch¬†is a lifestyle resource for dog lovers that is hopelessly devoted to helping you and your dog live the sweet life in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.”¬†Suzanne trained and handled her own dogs in Schutzhund, French Ring and Mondio Ring.¬† She also has participated in police dog training and urban search and rescue training. She¬†founded SpoiledBitch as a way to share great new discoveries with dog owners, especially in the Bay area.

Thanks, Suzanne!

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Photography is a grand adventure!

Today, in the quietness of Christmas Eve, I have been thinking about my Schutzhund (Dog Sport) friends, especially my photography friends. ¬†You are an inspiration to me as we strive to capture Schutzhund dogs doing what they (and we) love best – being on the field training, trialing and just having fun. Just as Schutzhund is a team sport, so is photography.¬†I have learned so much this past year, particularly from you as we talk over camera settings, share frustrations over difficult lighting, figure out the best angles and congratulate each other on getting “THE SHOT” of the day. So, thank you for sharing in my adventure! Here’s to 2012 and many more photography adventures!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year to you, your families and your furry friends.

BJ Spanos

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As I’ve been teasing the past few weeks on Facebook and Twitter, I am pleased to announce the launch of BJ Spanos Ink Photography, featuring:

  • Dog Sports ‚Äď Photographing Dogs in Action ‚Äď Playing, Competing, Training
  • Smug Mutts ‚Äď Creating Memorable Photos and Artwork of Your Pet at Reasonable Prices
  • Fine Art ‚Äď Photographs, Collages, Custom Photo Editing, Hand-Made Cards and Books

The website is also accessible via bjspanos.com.  Please stop by when you get a moment. It is definitely a work in progress, but I am open for business. If you are in the Atlanta area, give me a call. I would very pleased to work with you.  Also, I am happy to travel to photograph pets and/or working dogs and their handlers one-on-one or at trials, although I am not available as an event photographer.

Which brings me to some changes on the BJ Spanos Ink website. I also am pleased to announce that the Sport of Schutzhund: A Photographic Essay book is nearly SOLD OUT. I have a few more cases left (less than 10), but since the stock is almost gone, I have removed the Art of Schutzhund Photography section from the BJ Spanos Ink website. That part of the site now features BJ Spanos Ink Photography, as noted above. You can still order single copies from Amazon or from Leerburg. The special offer for a box of books for working dogs and Schutzhund clubs is still open as long as supplies last. The gallery of Schutzhund photographs that once resided on the Art of Schutzhund Photography site has been retired. Thank you to the photographers who graciously allowed me to include their pictures in this gallery. I will be posting a collection of my own Schutzhund pictures on the BJ Spanos Ink Photography site, as time permits.

Please be assured that my dedication to the Art of Schutzhund Photography remains as strong as ever. And, I fully intend to pen more posts to this blog on what hopefully will be a more regular basis. Thank you for your encouragement and visits. May this fall bring us all opportunities to grab some great shots of the dogs we love and admire!

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Hello! ¬†It has been a very busy August and early September. As a result, I have had precious little time to blog. I hope to have some new posts up soon. One of the projects that has kept me busy is BJ Spanos Ink Photography, which will officially launch next weekend. I’ll have more to say about it then. . I am looking forward to cooler fall temps and colors, which always make for wonderful photo backdrops. Until next time, thank you for patience and understanding as I work through this hectic period – and thank you for visiting!

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