Photography, Traveling, and Dogs

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A photo of the road while we were on our way to Oregon this summer. Beautiful, isn’t it? I love this picture because it blocks out the gray metal of our car and focuses instead on the beauty of the scenery around us.
Photography © Books and Bark Blog

WARNING: This will be a long post.

Before I start posting about my experiences, I thought I’d start by writing a blog post about each of my hobbies. These include (but aren’t limited to) writing, photography, and traveling. So here’s the post I’ve been dying to post since I decided to post about each of my hobbies: photography, traveling, and dogs.

I’m a traveler. Not a tourist, but a traveler. You see, in my mind, there’s a huge difference between travelers and tourists. Tourists go places for the end result, the destination. Travelers aren’t afraid to stick their heads out the window and feel the wind on the face. They go for the journey, the experience. I love sitting in the car, on a road trip, confined in the back seat with my iPhone, dog, drawing utensils, and, of course, my camera.

Bind (as we’ve nicknamed our soon-to-be-five-year-old dog) doesn’t necessarily enjoy riding in the backseat with me, but, at the end of the day, when she feels “insecure” (don’t ask me why, she’s a very strange dog), she comes over and lays her head on my lap (okay, maybe I’m overstating that: she lays her head somewhat near my lap) and asks me to pet her.

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My favorite photograph of some roses we saw.
Photography © Books and Bark Blog

Well, we take that dog with us everywhere. She’s the one that actually got us traveling. You see, when we first adopted her around two years ago, we used to travel. A lot. And usually by plane. But Bindi (that’s our dog’s full, real, and yes, legal, name), being a Border collie mix, and at 55 pounds, is way too large to travel by plane. She also has a bit of separation anxiety when she’s introduced to new things and tends to depend on our family to comfort her. So it’s really all thanks to her that we decided to do a yearly family road trip to different parts of North (and hopefully [soon] South) America.

Last year, I didn’t have a very good camera, but when we visited a famed rose garden, I wished I did. Though, thankfully, we could walk right up to the roses and take pictures of them, and my phone’s autofocus was pretty good, so I could use that. I took about a hundred pictures (none, unfortunately, of our dog) of scenery. And I enjoyed it. When we got back, I even got a few of the pictures printed, just for fun. And they turned out pretty good!

Well, when we got back from our trip, Summer was nearly over, school was starting, and I kind of lost interest in photography. I forgot the satisfaction it can give a person to see what magic they’ve worked with a camera.

Well, anyways, I kind of forgot about photography until my school’s annual summer trip to Washington D.C. and New York. Of course I wanted to take pictures of all the monuments, so I borrowed my dad’s Canon PowerShot SX230 HS with a 14x optical zoom–pretty great for a digital camera. Needless to say, I fell in love with that camera, and with photography and general. Upon my return home, I was EXTREMELY reluctant to give it back to him, but it was his camera. When I went on our 2013 Summer road trip with my mom, stepfather, and our dog, I asked him for it again. He agreed, and I discovered my newfound love of dog photography. Well, over the course of one year, my dog and I had grown closer, and she’s grown up a bit, so I decided to start photographing her instead of just landscapes.

It turned out great, though she’s not always the ideal photography subject. Being a dog, and on a road trip, she’s constantly interested in whatever-that-new-smell-that-just-drifted-in-through-the-window is. So, being a dog, she twists and turns and can’t seem to stay still for ONE SECOND.

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A picture of our dog, Bindi, in her favorite in-car sleeping position.
Photography © Books and Bark Blog

I eventually ended up taking about 1,000 photographs and having to delete about 2/3 of them due to her moving or bad focus because she’d just moved. Well, by the time we got back to… wherever we live (I’d prefer not to tell you), I’d really fallen in love with the camera and dog photography. So I ended up keeping the camera with me all of the time.

It has AMAZING resolution. I’m not even kidding. Just click the image to the left of this text to view it on its own page and then enlarge it. And enlarge it again. And enlarge it again. Enlarge it as many times as you can, and you’ll see just how amazing this camera really is.

Plus, it’s got the added bonus of being able to take pictures of things a mile away (if they’re visible, no trees/buildings/other objects blocking the view). The zoom’s THAT GOOD.

I guess an affinity for photography runs in our family; one of my uncle’s main interests (other than his interest in art; he’s an AMAZING artist, by the way, I’ll probably end up posting one of his drawings here) is photography. He’s a really good photographer, and the first in our family to try it out as a pleasure hobby. He has one of those HUGE mega-zoom, high-def Nikon cameras (I’m not sure of the exact make and model). He often takes pictures of our dog and our family on our other extended family road trips.

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I’m sure this looks pretty scary, but fear not! Border collie mixes who are afraid of squirrels do not attack people. This is simply what happens when she’s yawning and annoyed with me at the same time. Apparently, the flash from my camera was too bright from her dark corner.
Photography © Books and Bark Blog

I have always really enjoyed photography and travel, but I guess I never really realized it until recently. I’m working on using Photoshop (first I’ve got to save up or somehow obtain a copy of the software; it doesn’t come cheap!), and learning better photography techniques.

My dog, as I said before, is my main photography subject, but sometimes, she gets really annoyed with me and tries to show me her teeth in the least-showing-teeth-way possible (don’t ask me how or why, I don’t know). Anyways, in this picture, where she looks like a crazy sociopathic psycho dog, she’s actually just really annoyed with me, and this is how she looks like when she yawns. On a normal day, she’s a quiet, sleepy little puppy-dog.

So anyways, this has been a really long post, mostly because I was trying to fit as many photographs in here as I could (apparently not a lot).

Well, I’ll probably end up writing a post about my dog soon, or you can learn more about Bindi on my page for her.

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This is what Bindi looks like BEFORE she gets annoyed with me; it’s more like “turn that bright light out of my face”. Anyways, I think she looks rather adorable!
Photography © Books and Bark Blog

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