Friday, May 25, 2007

Dog Day Afternoon

I went to a dog show last weekend and took some photos. That's a phrase I never thought I would churn out on my keyboard. For one, I don't own a dog; secondly, I usually photograph weddings and portraits in Europe. Portraits of humans.

But there you have it: after the urging of my Czech girlfriend to come to photograph her walking her dog in front of some judges, I became a dographer (dog+photographer, not on wikipedia yet).

Well, photographing dogs turned out to be a pleasant surprise, mainly because I happened to meet famous Czech photographer Jan Saudek at the dog show. He was just strolling by with his lady and baby. No dog, no camera. Mr. Saudek is not a dographer.

I told him how I admired his work and that it was a pleasure to meet him. He even let me take his photo.

If you haven't heard of Czech photographer Jan Saudek, you have probably seen some of his more 'tame' images on postcards. His work is not for everybody, as it involves nude figures in various odd situations. He uses black and white film and colorizes the final print with subtle blues and tans.

So after tearing myself away from my photographic blubberings with the Famous Photographer, I resumed my dography in earnest.

First and foremost: I took no photos of dogs sniffing other dogs butts, fighting with each other, or all the other things we have all seen dogs do. I try to find the unique moments in every shot I take. However, getting a shot of dogs playing poker was the last thing I expected.

Nor did they hold Japanese tea ceremonies in the park. They were just being, well, dogs. And with a few hundred of them in the park, it was a real miracle that the place wasn't strewn with doggie doo. In fact, I didn't see one doggie land mine the whole time I was there.