October 20, 2016

Fun Day Friends Dogs

This is from yesterday, when it was pretty overcast. Today the sun was out, and it was warm and totally glorious.  But the overcast helps to bring out the colours in the trees, and the reflections.

Lou Shasta and Pat Davis Lee.  My kids and I came out earlier and were slowly making our way about the Island when we cross paths with my friends. Well it went something like that, there were texts involved.

I always love this when the seagulls rise up. There must be an official name for this phenomena. There were two eagles circling above, and the gulls always take flight when there are eagles. I got a couple reasonable photos of the eagles, but they are just small specks on the file, not very interesting.

This is Simon. That is Simon at the top of the blog with the red ball. He was I think six months when we took the top photo, and is seven and a half years in this one. He is the most energetic dog I have ever seen. He is a Blue Heeler Brittany Spaniel mix, his peep is Pat. She is pretty dedicated to keep him walkin.

It is seldom I am able to get good pictures of dogs in the water, just too many negative elements. But these came out really swell. I love the waves moving away from Simon in the first picture. The him looking directly into the light with the light side of his face showing, wow! As a rule Simon is not a water dog. But if it is not too deep he obviously has no objections to it. Blanca will not go in this far.

Finnegan. Seldom do I get a side view of the boy. Looks like we started to get some cloud cover, compared to the next photo of my boy Choco.

Chocolate trying to decide if he is up for another swim. He will not go into the water except to fetch. Even then he has to be encouraged strongly the first few times, but then he doesn't wanna stop.
Beautiful wonderful day at Norm Schoenthal Island.

October 19, 2016

October 18, 2016

Stunning Fall Day

We four went late to Norm's today. I have been having trouble getting up early. Early being 8. Not so early.  I really enjoy staying in bed late, but this is not the time of year to be doing it. Soon going late will be a good idea because it will be cold at 8. 

It is only October, but the shadows feel long. It is beautiful. My kids seem to have passed a point in a dogs life where the most important thing to them is to be with me, they are by my side almost constantly. Wonderful.

This is a picture of Blanca and Finny. Choco refused to cooperate. I need a new technique for him. I should have begun it today.  Blanca is great. She just drills me with those eyes when I tell them to stay, I think she has got it that when I point the camera she looks.

I like this picture of Blanca. I also like the focus aid on the Olympus OM-D e10.  This is the one feature that could possibly make me a complete convert to Electronic Viewfinders.

Of course, since I have eyes only for Blanca, this is how I see the top photo. Pretty cool. I am using here a set of actions that I downloaded from Google, Nik Filters I guess they are called. Google bought Nik several years ago, before that they were highly regarded and expensive. You can now download them for free from Google. There are some useful ones. I have been using the sharpening actions.  They really are sets of recorded actions.

October 1, 2016

Sunning Heron

Eagle eye Mike spotted this wonderful phenomena. It is a Great Heron sunning himself. This particular Heron calls this limb home apparently. We see him there quite often.
There have been a great number of Herons on the river this year. In one day last week Mike and I spotted six, including this one sitting on his limb.
Not much of a photo, it is just a small section of the film, and that was at 300mm. But, it is cool anyway. I have never seen such a thing with a big bird.

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.

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; kenjamesphotography.com
Blackdoggie.com 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.