November 29, 2015

Focus? Who Cares, it's Snowing.

It has been a really long time since we have tried this. I am trying this with my Olympus OM-D 10, which I have never tried before. It does not have the focus speed that my usual Nikons have, but then, nor do I. I made some mistakes, next time I will try to fix them. The camera has a quadzillion settings, so getting them all set right is one big issue.
The dogs had an absolute riot. They love the snow.

This one came out pretty good. You can see Blanca on the left. They are chasing each other around a group of bushes. The camera will not follow focus, tracking they call it, so I have to plan to get the photo at a predesignated spot. I have done this before and can get pretty good at it, as long as I know the routine of the chase. I did most of these with the shutter too slow. Been awhile.

The come at each other, it looks like for sure they are gonna collide, but they just slide by one another. Sometimes they will do this for 15 minutes, but only in the winter.

Here comes Chocolate.

I am hesitant to post this, Blanca looks so vicious. But it is all in the game. She thinks that Choco is her chew toy. He puts up with it, to a point. He has 10 pounds on her, not that it does him much good. She has 50 pounds of attitude on him.

November 20, 2015

First Snow

It's finally here, November 20. First snow. It was cold too, in the mid-twenties. Cold only because we are not used to it yet. We cut half a lap off, because it was blowing in our faces and ChocoBlanca were having issues with snow in their feet.
Saw a post on Facebook this morning; "I am not built for Winter, where are my flipflops". Feeling that way now.

My boy gets his own photo. This is a good photo of him. He does not always please the camera so much. Blanca is always getting the attention. 

It was really snowing for awhile. It was very pleasant. But it was cold. We were the first footprints through this section. When I arrived ours was the only car in the parking lot except for Merle, who is there all the time. But someone had been out earlier, there were foot prints.

October 23, 2015

Beautiful Fall Day, with Fox

Beautiful Day at Norm's Island. My kids and I were sitting in a field north of Dog Beach and out of the brush and onto the trail comes this beauty. She was walking away from us, so I barked and she turned to look at us. Thank You. Even though she was close, she was pretty far away for a camera. This is a 300mm lens and it is cropped. It was thrilling to see her.
Hopefully more to come. This is the the most beautiful fall I can remember, but then I love them all.

June 5, 2015


We see Skoobie at Norm's several times a week. Not so sure about that spelling. He is a very attractive mix of an Australian Shepherd and an Airdale. Pretty energetic. He walks with his peeps Cheryl and Jack, who are good friends with Sharon Peterson's son Scott. Sharon has been telling me about them for months, and today (it was a couple of weeks ago, I moved this post from May 13, wanted Skoobie to have his own posting) for the first time she met them. It was fun. I would like to get more photographs of Skoobie, he has a very nice personality, plus is a great looking dog.

June 3, 2015


Ah, it sure is nice to have friends. Michael E. Garcia and Missy Seu, my friends. Thank You.

Just to keep my faithful blog followers happy, I paste a current photo of myself. Taken on my recent birthday, and sporting my new hat, a Ridley C-Crown Fedora. I like it. It is the best fitting hat I have ever had, it is stretchy.  I got it at The Village Hat Shop, on the internet. Not a popular style in Billings.

June 2, 2015

Blanca Smiles Choco Grimaces

It's okay Choco. Still playing with my new Olympus OM-D. I am just beginning to figure how to get it to focus the way I want, so we have to endure a lot of photos of my kids, the most at lens subjects.

May 20, 2015

Got a Brand New Camera

This is a Test

Here is my first test photo. The new camera is an Olympus (let's see if I can remember all this) OM-D E-M10. Very small, but high performing camera.  I am making no judgements about it yet, I just got it yesterday. It is small, I will say that. Has lots of customization options (overwhelming, actually).

Anyway, Diego Garcia, with my kids, Nina Blanca Pup Face Finnegan and Chocolate Dulce de Leche. Today was a gorgeous day at Norm's Island. We walked with Diego's peep, Mike, and totally enjoyed the whole time.

May 13, 2015

Spring 2015. One Year Later.

I have been feeling some pressure to post to my blog before a full year passed and finally the motivation arrived. I got an email from my dear friend Ann Marie, whom I had lost track of for twenty five or so years.  So Ann Marie this is what we are looking like circa 2015. Nina Blanca and my boy Chocolate join me for our official spring 2015 portrait. Spring has been very early this year, and I am very late in getting the portrait taken, swat those mosquitoes. Not a very charming photo of my girl and my best friend, but a better than usual photo of me. Finnegan would not participate.
Photo by my great friend Michael E. Garcia

"Whatcha doin" says Blanca.  "Get on with it, would you" says Chocolate

May 24, 2014

More to Come (maybe not)

This is Rudy.  Beautiful high energy dog that walks at Norm's with his peep Karen and friend Nikki.

We have several new photos to post, but since it is a holiday and I expect everyone is looking at my blog I figured that I better get to it.  I will.

April 16, 2014

First Timer - Bentley

Hey Whatcha doin?  This is Bentley.  Last Thursday, April 10 was his first time at Norm's.  To say that he had a blast would be to understate it.  All new stuff.  At first he was a bit shy of my "big" dogs, but he cottoned on quickly.  He is a great little man, he has a wonderful presence about him.  He will be walking at Norm's with his peep Sharon.  We enjoyed walking with him emmensely.

As always, one click on the photo and it gets BIG.

Notice The Green Stuff?

Wadda ya mean, I'm in a rut.  Go on, get your dogs to sit like this every time you ask.  This is close to being our official spring portrait, but alas, not enough green.

Strike a Pose Chocolate

My beautiful confirmation perfect TRose Kennels Master Chocolatier Dulce de Leche.  23 inches at the shoulders, perfect. 56 pounds. Perfect.  Actually his eyes are too big. Not perfect.  Pink nose, not perfect. Oh well.  I never even registered  him.  I just love him and He just loves me. My very bestest buddy he is.

Fergus's Day is Everyday! at Norm's

This is the boss.  Fergus.  He walks at Norm's every morning with his peep Larry.  Fergus is small but carries a big attitude.  On this day we found him to be pretty playful, so we took the opportunity to snap a few photographs of him.

Don't let anyone fool you, Fergus is a really great fella.  We like him. Even Blanca gives him the nod.

Choco Blanca's Sister Little Girl

Looking for something else yesterday I came upon this picture I took several years ago of Little Girl, the sister of Chocolate and Blanca.  She is a beauty, I think.
It was a very disappointing outdoor photo session, it was windy and the sky was clear and bright and the light was harsh and the dogs would not cooperate.  So I never, after one quick look, looked at the proofs again, until yesterday.  It still was a disaster, except for this picture of this beautiful girl.  I believe she would be 7 months old here.  Very regal look.

Master and Student

Chocolate, the student, is followed by the master, Diego.  Blanca could not care less about the ball, but she likes to harass her brother Chocolate.  Three happy dogs.
Diego taught Choco several things.  How to go for the ball with vigor, to go into the water after the ball, also with vigor (though Choco has not mastered that yet, he is still hesitant sometimes)
When they first met Diego would pick on Choco.  But now when they see each each other they run up and bump chests.  Choco idolizes Diego.  It is fun to watch.

December 22, 2013

Snowy Fun

This was a few days ago, we are not going to Norm's today.  Too cold, too much snow.  But Choco sure is having some fun here.  He and Finny love sticks.

November 27, 2013

Absolutely Gorgeous

Absolutely gorgeous day at Norm Schoenthal Island today.  We walked with our new friend Halle, shown above, and her peeps Ivy and Morrison.  We had a wonderful time taking pictures and talking photography and getting a little muddy, but not too much.
Halle seems to be at least partly Spanish Shepherd (aussie) though she could be part English, or Border Collie.  Some kind of English farm dog I would say.  She has a nice personality and was accepted by Blanca, which is of course important.  She and Finny played some, though I had the impression Halle mostly thought him a pest.
We had fair lighting today, the clouds were sparse but did their job often enough.  The photo above is pretty hard light but the conditions are perfect, so no problem.

November 7, 2013


Today we met Gabe, and walked with him and his peep Ilene.  Gabe is a beautiful 3 year old full size Airedale, Airdales being King of the Terriers, Ilene said.  Finnegan simply loved Gabe and they played pretty hard for most of the time we walked together.  It will be interesting to see what Finn does next time he sees Gabe, as I have written before, often he will ignore dogs on the second meeting. They had so much fun, it would be hard to believe.
Ilene said that she had just retired and has been bringing Gabe to the Island everyday.  He obviously is very happy with this development.  It is certainly good for him.
Today was an ideal fall day.  I was dressed too warmly, dressing for the 35 degrees the computer said before I left the house.  Must learn to go outside for awhile before leaving the house.

We got some nice photos of everybody today.  Earlier in the morning it was thinly overcast, my favorite kinda light for dogs.  But as the morning progressed, and by the time we got Gabe worn out a little and over to the south side of the island, the sun was pretty strong.  This photo of Blanca, she is watching someone walk by on the trail, we are off in the middle of a field taking pictures, was taken early.

Must be something over there.  The light is a little stronger in this photo.  Choco photographs best in profile. I like these two photos, and these two dogs.  Now I need to look for something with Little Big in it.

October 29, 2013

First Snow

We stayed home yesterday for some psychological adjustment, so today was our official first day of snow for 2013 at Norm's Island.

We had a great time, hardly anyone was there.  It was not cold, and the three mouseketeers had a wonderful time.  Not a one of them was thrilled to be sitting for this photo, but they did it.  Come on, Smile guys.

October 16, 2013

We are Going to Miss Missy - Gathering at Norm's Island

Sunday, October 13, a bunch of us devoted fans of Missy Seu gathered at Norm's Island to walk with her to show how much we love her and how much we will miss her when she moves to Bozeman.
I cannot even begin to name everyone, but those I know are Michael E. Garcia and Diego, Linda and Little Big Man Finnegan,  Merry Ann Peters and Rudy and Ollie, and Phil Seu, Justine Timmons and Marley. Emma is there somewhere, and in the front I see Chocolate and Jill, and I do not know the name of the goldendoodle.

May 15, 2013

Sweet Molly

Today I photographed Molly.  She is a Labradoodle.  She is a very sweet soft girl that I liked very much.  As you can see, it is hard to see Molly.  She is in there somewhere.  Maybe next week I will photograph her on a white, and put a light behind my head so we can see her eyes, maybe. In the darkness of the studio her pupils open all the way up.  I put a light on her to see if it would help, but it was not powerful enough.
We met Molly walking at Norm's Island.  She walks with her peep Sharron.  I posted a picture of Molly at Norm's last week.
Molly is a beautiful, and gentle girl.  Normally he is pretty high energy, but she was low key for the photo session.
Molly may have been cautious of me because my girl Blanca gives Molly a hard time.  Will not let her approach me.

May 11, 2013

Berkeley, Puppy Extraordinare

This is Berkeley.  She is a 12 week old Labradoodle, obviously leaning heavily to the Lab part of that.  She is a miniature version, and will not be too big.  She is very sweet, with sharp teeth and sharp claws, and she liked running toward me and jumping on my head.
Puppies are both easy and difficult.  They are easy because they are small, and they do really cute maneuvers, but the seldom hold still and are sometimes eager to explore beyond the local area, and of course they do not mind yet, oh, and they pee.  Berkeley was no different from this, but she did quite well.
We met Berkeley one day at Norm's Island when her peep Sharon was carrying her around.  Luckily for Berkeley Sharon is not going to let her on the ground at Norm's till she has her second set of shots. Very smart of Sharon.  So most days she stays at home while Sharon walks with her other Labradoodle Molly. When she is free to run at Norm's I hope to get some photos of her there.   I hope to have a photo, a studio photo, of Molly here soon.

May 9, 2013


Today in our studio we were honored to have Pearl.  Four month old Chocolate Labrador.  She is a beauty.  I met Pearl at Norm's Island walking with her peeps Lee Anne and Nathan.  I could not pass up the chance to photograph this beautiful pup.  She is named for the white mark on her chest.
This was a lighting experiment. I have never photographed a dog with must one light before. I like it, but still think we need a slight kicker in from stage right.

That darn ball again.  The ball makes it much easier to deal with photographing puppies.  Trade secret there.  But it does become a problem when the same ball is in all of your photos.  Simon made this ball famous.

May 4, 2013

Good Friends

Rolo, Selkie and Bally.  My kids and I really like these three.  It lends one to wonder if dogs have a preference for other dogs of the same breed, or if it is just that the temperament of these guys and gal are amenable to Choco and Blanca.  Blanca will even play with them, and she seldom plays with other dogs, except for Chocolate, who she considers her chew toy, and Finnegan, who irritates her till she has no choice.
Rolo, Selkie and Bally walk at Norm's most mornings with their peep Kay.  We enjoy all four of them.

We have been working on walking on objects, Blanca has no qualms at all, Finnegan will do most things with some coaxing, Chocolate gets as far away as he can, like in this case to the middle of the slough.  This is a nice subtle picture of both of my kids. Mike Garcia is making funny faces at Blanca, thus her rapt attention.  Choco would prefer he be throwing sticks.

April 29, 2013


Today at Norms we walked with energetic Molly and her peep Sharon.  My dogs, including Finnegan were unusually rough on Molly for some reason.  It may simply be that when Molly first came to us I was sitting down.  If I am sitting, Blanca will keep all dogs away from me.  This may have set the tone for the day.  I was really surprised that Finn was even mean to Molly.  Molly is a sweet, soft girl.  I do not want my kids being pushy.  Molly is beautiful, and amazingly energetic.  She is a Labradoodle.

April 27, 2013

Beautiful Day

Update; As I have been looking at this picture the last few days, it has occurred to me; this is one happy bunch of dogs
We spent almost four hours at Norm's this morning.  We were lucky to see many of our favorite friends, both peeps and pups.  We walked a really fun 2 hour lap with Mike and Diego, Rick and Marne, Maggie and Spice Girl, and Petra and Addie.  All that after a quick lap with Steve, Brisbane and Shanti. We had a great time.  We kept meeting people and stopping for the pups to play and to talk, and for Mike to throw the ball, simply a marvelous time all around.  I have a bunch of photos to post, I will try to get them all up today.
Mike was throwing a tennis ball the whole time and I lost my usually dedicated boy dogs for the whole day.  Above is the Dog Piper of Norm Schoenthal Island leading his dedicated followers.  He does this while never carrying treats. He even got the girl here.

Chillin Diego.  Needing a moment of relaxation after hours of chasing the tennis ball.

This is a baby here, we did not write down the name, but he was great.  Maybe someone can inform me as to his name.

Wow! Maggie May.  We never get photos of Maggie May.  She moves alot, and of course she is the dreaded by photographers black.  She is the sweetest girl.  We really like her, though because of Blanca I can never tell Mags how much I like her.

My boy Chunky Chocolate.  Choco is Diego's main protege.  He idolizes Diego, and has learned ball from him.

Beautiful Marne.  I really like Marne, I know I say that everytime I post a picture of her, but I do.  She has a great presents.

I am proud to call Rick my friend.  Here he is with Maggie May and Beautiful Marne.  He was workin on getting a photo of Diego walkin on the leaning tree.  He had the problem that his lens was 4000mm, so all he could get was Diego's eye.  But it was still good.

Here comes Brisbane.  Beautiful boy. Australian Shepherd who walks with his friend Shanti and his peeps Steve and Bronwyn.  I like this photograph.  Try as I might I have very few good photos of Bris.

I kept my camera pointed at Addie the whole time we walked together, this is all I got.  She never stops.  Addie was very much on Finnegan's case to play, and he would not, he was busy with playing ball with Mike, Diego and Chocolate.  Annoyed Addie to no end.  Addie is very lucky to be with her very good for her peep, Petra.

We met this beautiful boy today.  One of the advantages, amongst many disadvantages, of walking on Saturday.  One meets dogs and people that one has never seen before.  This boy is, like Blanca, a victim of Merle to Merle breeding.  He is deaf and partly blind.  He seems to do quite well, and it seems he has a very caring mom.  He has the same pink rimmed blue eye ans Blanca.  He is lucky though, he has black nose. Because of the black on his ears I wonder if he does not have some hearing in that ear.
I hope I get to photograph him in the studio, he was beautiful, though he pays a high price for being so beautiful.

Looking back on a very busy day, my beautiful Nina Blanca.

April 24, 2013

Lucy's Day at Norms

We had a special treat today because Lucy came with Missy and Emma to Norm's Island.  She is good at getting us to maintain a reasonable pace.  Here we caught Lucy seeking a better vantage point on top of an outcropping, watching Emma and Chocolate foolishly splashing into the Yellowstone after sticks.

Lucy getting a ride from her very faithful servant, Missy.  Missy is one of my favorite people.  I think that Lucy would concur.

Best Friends.  Missy and I were discussing how Finnegan will like a dog when he first meets them, play very hard with them, but the next time they meet he will ignore them.  Well, this is not the case with Emma.  Finn absolutely loves Emma, and they wrestle and tussle, taunt and tease and posture every time they see each other, and love every minute of it.