September 18, 2016


Bally. She is one of my very favorite dogs that we have met at Norm's Island. She thinks I am one of her favorite people she has met at Norm's, so it works out. She is very sweet. Blanca likes her, but she will not  let her come near me, so Bally and I have to sneak pets and wiggles. Nice dog girl Bally is.

More red. Virginia Creeper I am always assuming.

September 14, 2016

Guest Photographer: Michael E Garcia

Our good friend Michael E Garcia finally today got a photograph of me and my kids that I like. It has been a long time coming. I applied a filter to this, I have been playing around with Nik filters that Google recently started giving away for free. I find that Chocolate especially looks so much better with this filter Detail Extractor applied. Of course this calls into question . . .
Finally my feet are in the right proportion to my head.

Great photo of my Nina Blanca.

September 9, 2016

Pelicans & Herons

It has been so long since I have been here that they have changed the look of the blogger software. I think I can work through it though.

Our official Fall 2016 Family Portrait. 
Finn just insists on being a bit off

 Profile Please! 

Our good buddy and fellow Norm's Island aficionado, and Mr Ever Ready, Michael E Garcia.  He has been getting me and my gang out to Norms at least weekly since mid-August. Now that things are cooling off and the bugs are gone we are trying to work up to being out, oh, let's say 4 times a week. Never set your goals so high you cannot reach them, is that not what they say?
The current program for us, led my Mr. Ever Ready, is to Meander Norm's, looking for any visually interesting diversions. 
Pelicans & Herons are coming.

Pelicans & Herons

It has been so long since I have been here that they have changed the look of the blogger software. I think I can work through it though.

Our official Fall 2016 Family Portrait. 
Finn just insists on being a bit off

 Profile Please! 

Our good buddy and fellow Norm's Island aficionado, and Mr Ever Ready, Michael E Garcia.  He has been getting me and my gang out to Norms at least weekly since mid-August. Now that things are cooling off and the bugs are gone we are trying to work up to being out, oh, let's say 4 times a week. Never set your goals so high you cannot reach them, is that not what they say?
The current program for us, led my Mr. Ever Ready, is to Meander Norm's, looking for any visually interesting diversions. 
Pelicans & Herons are coming.

April 5, 2016


I was sick for most of March. I had a cold and the flu both at the same time. While neither alone was very severe, together they sure took it out of me. I was very weak and tired for almost a month. I am back up and about now, and gaining strength.
I would like to get back to posting on this blog on a daily, or at least weekly schedule. We will see.

January 20, 2016

My Websites

My website situation is pretty jumbled up since I closed Blackdoggie and moved most of my studio portraits to my broader website. So;
I invite everyone to visit my other website; will take you to the same place.

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas To All

What, no dogs?  Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas to all my dog friends, and their peeps, too. Christmas tree on Norm's Island.

December 20, 2015

Tired of My Dogs? Here's a slight variation.

This is Kiva. I looked at my blog yesterday and realized that I have not posted a photo of any dogs except mine for quite a long time. So, I looked about and found this pretty good photograph of our friend Kiva. I did not want to venture too far from my usual theme of white dog, so this worked perfectly. With only minor differences, Kiva and Blanca are duplicates. I love it.

December 14, 2015

December 14 They Promised Snow

Another picture of my best friends. I admit, I am in a rut, but I love it and them. They all do this so well. This much snow fell in about 15 minutes. We walked one lab, totally dry, then about half way through the second lab it started coming down. It was beautiful. Not too cold.

November 29, 2015

Focus? Who Cares, it's Snowing.

It has been a really long time since we have tried this. I am using my new (newer) Olympus OM-D 10, which I have never tried doing this with 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.

This one came out pretty good. You can see Blanca on the left. They are running around a group of bushes. The camera will not follow focus, tracking, 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.

They come running at each other, it looks like for sure they are gonna collide, but they just slide by one another. They do not chase, but run in opposite directions. 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.
They had an absolute riot. They love the snow. I enjoyed myself too. I love my kids.

November 20, 2015

First Snow

It's finally here, the First Snow. November 20. 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.