December 30, 2012

Good Friends and Big Ice, by Michael E Garcia

I have never seen the ice like this before.  Not in Billings.  There is an ice jam downriver and it has caused the water to back up, then freeze, creating these huge hunks of ice.  The river is not this deep, the water under the ice is pretty shallow still.  Finnigan broke through the ice a couple of days ago, before it was this thick, and I had to test the depth, thinking I would have to wade out after him.  He got back though.
I am standing here with my wonderful, intelligent, and informed friend Missy Seu, and her Black English Lab Emma, and Chocolate on the left.  Missy Loves Emma.
It is cold, like 8 degrees at this time.  We have had a long cold spell since the day before Christmas.  Christmas morning was below zero when we crawled out of our warm warm bed.  This morning, Sunday, was a more reasonable 18 degrees when we went to Norm's.
This photograph was taken by our friend Michael E Garcia with his beloved Canon 7D and his equally loved 70-200 f4 lens(which causes me lens envy-Nikon just introduced one similar).  F11 at 125th of a second.  I made that part up. 
Glad that I am friends with Missy.  I am glad that I prefer to were desert khaki when I walk at Norm's.

December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays Everyone

I Love this photograph.  My Happy Holidays Family Photo.  My good friends Bonnie and Rick, and l- r, Spice Girl (dog) Cleo (cat, aka "Peeps")(how did you get a cat to do that) then a very eager Maggie May, and of course sceptical Marne (will you just take the picture mr.)  Love it.

December 21, 2012

It's a New Era! Three Beautiful Girls

Marne and Koda, two of my very favorite dogs.  Marne is a  6 year old Weimaraner and Koda is a 7 month old Vizsla.  Thanks for the spellings on those breed names Mike.  German and Hungarian I do believe, in origin, but both beautiful in reality.  Thanks girls for finally posing for me.

Of course, not as beautiful as my Nina Blanca.  I will own up to being biased, partial, opinionated. Prejudiced. subject to a particular pattern of behavior, yeah.

And one eager boy. Focus.  Michael E Garcia is about to throw a stick, and my boy Chocolate goes into deep focus mode.  I have been trying to get him to move away from Mike so I can get a photo from his front, but he is very determined and focused on that stick and will not move.

December 18, 2012

How Your Dogs Should NOT Behave . . .

We will keep the identity of this person a secret, okay Steve?  This morning this undisclosed person said that he was giving up on treats after this.  I am embarrassed to say that the two worst offenders in this picture are my dogs, followed by two well trained Aussies. Then we have one very good, though very interested, Emma.
I do apologize for  my dogs behavior.  Not much at this point I can do, I just blame it on those beautiful blue eyes.
Dogs from the left; Kiva(white), Emma(black), Shanti(yellow), Rolo, Finnegan(just his bumm shows), Blanca, Chocolate, Selkie, and beautiful Bally.

Stick Games

Just a few frames later, they return.  These two have become good friends, after a rocky beginning.  Choco just idolizes Diego. To the point that it is a problem almost.  Dogs that Diego has issues with, when I am walking just with Choco he has issues with the same dogs.  He copies Diego.  Since I have had Choco and Blanca I have learned and been amazed by how much dogs learn by observation.  It is obvious once you see it, but otherwise not.

Finn Goes Bumm Up

Apologies Little Man for posting this, but it is funny.  I have no idea what happened to Finny to put him in such an embarrassing position.  He must have tripped over a limb.  In the next frame he is up and running after the pack.  Nothing keeps Little Big Man down for long.  Their favorite human Mike is throwing a stick.

December 11, 2012

Little Big Man

I was taking some photographs and Finnegan came around " Hey Little Man, sit on the cushion for me" He allowed me 5 frames.  Just enough.

December 7, 2012

Koda at Norm Schoenthal Island

I got some nice photographs of Koda at Norms on Wednesday. We spent a couple of hours and 500 frames trying, so we should have gotten something. She is a very photogenic dog. She moves alot, so that is a challenge.

Very similar photo.  She is looking at me rather sceptically here. It is a bit frustrating because she is a very small (for a Vishla), but that does not show up in the photographs.  Nor did I capture her boundless energy.  She twists this way and that all the time, jumping up and doing complete circles in the air, it is great to watch, and I wish it were easier to capture on film, but I have not achieved the results.  Film. It is digital. Wow, the cost of developing 500 frames of film!  I have done it. Glad those days are past.  Sorry Kodak.
I have quite a few pictures of her, these may not be the best, I just picked two quickly. She looks older in these photos, she is only seven months old.  Maybe I will get another chance, Karla?

Sticky Snow

It was a beautiful morning at Norms.  We walked with Mike and Diego, and got a visit from Kiva.  Mike was throwing the stick and I was trying to catch the action.  I got a few, but I still need to work on getting this better.
A great photo of Diego.

Here we have Chocolate with Kiva and Blanca in pursuit. An oversharpened Chocolate.  He is covered in snow.  I also need to learn how much sharpening works on the new camera.
I have more, but I have to run now. Art Walk.

December 5, 2012

Koda Visits The Studio

Koda and Karla came over to the shop today to see what we could do.  Koda felt that being at Norms Island, or as Karla calls it, Dog Island, was much more fun.  I did not get very many good takes, Koda was not so happy with being inside.
I have some great photos of Koda we took earlier in the day at Norms.  We need to sort them, so I had better get to it.

Finally, Something in Focus

December 4, 2012

Treats for the Kids

Laura, with treats, obviously.  So, let's see.  Blanca, Finnegan, Chocolate, Beau, Gracie, Neeky.  Laura is a regular at Norms, almost daily.  She is a colourful dresser, with a distinct preference for purple. Dog Lady.  I hope that is okay Laura, it is better than treat lady, though that may be the dogs preference.  This is actually quite rare, nobody is jumping. Usually it would be 6 dogs jumping.
Laura is a quite accomplished artist, a very precious and rare thing for Billings.  Laura's dogs are Gracie and Beau.

Two Kodas

Such a beautiful dog.  There is only one Koda, the other is a miracle of photoshop.  This was taken with my new Nikon 1 V1.  A good example of how quick it is. (once you figure it out)
Koda walks at Norms most days lately with her very dear to her friend Karla.  Koda is very shy, though she is beginning to feel at home with the dogs she generally meets in the mornings. I think she is seven months old.  I hope to have more photographs of her tomorrow, as she is getting an official portrait session.

December 2, 2012

Nina Blanca & Chocolate's Grandpapa

Not My Photograph, so, maybe I should not be posting this, as I have no idea who the photographer is so I cannot give credit, but I absolutely love this.  I do wish that the photographer was me.  Perhaps, and I am hoping this, since it is a magazine cover I am okay using it.
I post this because I love the photograph, and, because Winslow is my kids grandpa.  He was, I do believe, 4 times national champion, and as you can see was a Hall of Fame champion.  We are very proud of him.  Of course we never met him, and his son, Choco and Blanca's dad, never was able to compete, and after one generation I understand all is lost. Oh well.  I love my kids if they never herd anything. 
I love this photograph.  It gives me the chills, it is so cool. It inspires me to keep taking photos.

December 1, 2012

Day Two . . .

My second day out with my new Nikon V1.  I read the manual last evening ( I use an after market manual by Thom Hogan - Great ) The light was hard, and because it is December there were alot of shadows, so I had to work around all that, but still, I learned that once you figure it's quirks the little Nikon can stop action. Our friend Mike is throwing a stick here, and Choco and his good buddy Diego are all ready for that action.  I have great photos of them running back, but I only have a normal lens so they are too small in the frame.  But they are in focus, one frame after another. Great!  I need to get a longer lens. Ha! and a job.

 I was impressed with this.  I was tracking Diego and Chocolate and Finnegan ran into the frame.  The camera did not lose focus on the two dogs, it ignored Finny.  That is cool.  Finny is out of focus more than it looks, I put some output sharpen on him.  The lens was wide open, so the camera has great depth of field, which of course is a mixed blessing.

November 30, 2012

New Camera - Nikon 1 V1

I did not get many good pictures, I should have read the instructions :-)  I like this though. Blanca and Rollo.
I bought the camera because of its speed. It focuses fast, it handles fast, but alas, one has to get all the settings correct first.  I like the colour it produces. 
Tip: if anyone is interested in this line of cameras, now is a good time to buy.  I would not have bought this camera except that I got a great price.  I paid $350, normally it was listed at $900.  They have introduced a new version, the V2, plus I do not think they have been flying off the shelf.  I have been looking at it since it was introduced, but the price was too high. It is a good deal at $350.  It is small enough to walk about with on a regular basis.

 I got some great still photos.  Kay's gang here, with my Nina Blanca.  That is Rollo on the left, Selkie with the exhausted look, Blanca, and Bally.  I like Bally.  She is very similar in personality to my boy Chocolate.  Actually, I like all of these dog A LOT.  Rollo is a mix.  Selkie and Bally are Aussies.

November 26, 2012

Wet Dogs

This was taken Sunday morning when the snow was really really wet.  It was like walking in the rain.  Me, my coat, my camera, and my dogs got soaked.  But it was fun.  They love the snow and the cold, at least until it gets so cold it sticks between their toes.  But that was not the case this day.

 Chocolate does not mind the wet at all.  Blanca does not like it, she will not go out of the house if it is raining.  Choco acts like he does not notice a thing.  Unfortunately I did not get any good photos of the little man Finnegan.  He never stops this long like these two do.  As soon as I point the camera at him he comes running to me.
We all had fun.

We Drank Too Much Coffee Ken

One of the advantages of a small compact camera, depth of field. Taken with a Canon S90. This is the best photograph I have ever gotten of Blanca's eyes.  Ha! her nose too, come to think of it.  This was about a week ago. Click on it, it will get bigger.

November 25, 2012

Big, Wet, Snow

We had a nice snow this morning. 
Blanca thinks we cannot see her, she is waiting to ambush Chocolate.
We met and walked with Kiva, Mimi and Paul.  I got some good pictures of Kiva, I will work on them now and try to get them up today.

A great photograph of Kiva.  Love it.  Kiva and Finnigan really hit it off today and played rambunctiously.  Thanks Kiva, we need to get Finn all the exercise we can.
I should point out that these are two different white Australian Shepherds. Notice the noses.  Blanca is on top, Kiva in the bottom photo.
I took my big camera out with me today because of the snow, so I was able to get some action photos.  I am glad that I did, even though me, my dogs and my camera got really really soaked.  It was really warm, and when the snow hit you it may as well have been rain.

I just lost an entire post, which I put up yesterday.  One must be careful.  I had in that post some links discussing white Australian Shepherds.  Here they are again.  I said a bunch of things in that post I would like to have back.  Oh well.
Link:  The White Aussie Project
Link:  Inheritance of Color in Australian Shepherds

November 21, 2012

Two White Dogs, Again

We were lucky today and were able to walk for a short way with Kiva.  She is a beautiful  (I am biased) white Spanish Shepherd (Aussie)  I love to see her, because she and Blanca are so similar.  The most obvious thing of course is their whiteness, but almost more important is the way they carry themselves, it is so similar.  Their bone structure is the same, long skinny legs, and they both have curious girl personalities. I like this picture.

I did not have a good camera with me so I had to work with what I had, a Canon S90, which is a nice compact camera, but its operation is SLOW.  So I did not get any great shots.

Kiva has more color on her than Blanca, and she is only deaf in one ear.  She is blessed with a black nose. For white dogs a pink nose is very easy to burn. Kiva does not have as pink eyelids as Blanca.

Chocolate finds Kiva to be very curious.  "Hey you look just like my sister"

November 19, 2012

We All Went to Missoula

Here Blanca poses in front of my friends Chuck and Beth Kaparich's new home in Missoula.  Chuck built the Carousel for Missoula, and his mind and immense energy is always looking for creative outlets, so he built this wonderful new home.  The right side is a 2700 square foot shop, and the left side and the silo is the living quarters.  Bedrooms are upstairs.  It is really beautiful.  Chuck built this himself with the help of one other person.  Chuck has more energy the first hour of each day than I have had in my whole life.  That is Linda's car in front of the stone silo. 
We had a wonderful time visiting my old friends.  I lived in Missoula from 1989 until 1997. 

 Another view, this from the street looking northwest, I think.  The window on the end where the hay lifter upper (anyone know the real name, I am from Cleveland) usually would be is a bedroom.  Chuck tried to make it look as authentic barn looking as he could and still have it be a habitable home.  I think he did a great job.  Next he is going to build an old time looking farm house for his sister Donna to live in.

November 4, 2012

Wine & Whiskers

Last evening was the 3rd Rimrock Humane Societies Wine & Whiskers.  It a great time was had by all, seemed to me.  Linda and I certainly had a great great time.  Thank you Sandy Church and the Rimrock Humane Society board, you throw a heck of a party.
I took pictures, and handed out cards.  I have posted the result, a selection, on my website; kenjamesphotography
Take a look.  If anyone wants prints email me and I will get you details.  All proceeds from print sales of course would go to the Rimrock Humane Society.

October 27, 2012

First Snow and Finnegan

The Little Big Man, Finnegan.  This was Thursday, and we had a very nice snow fall while we were walking at Norm's.  Finny is curious why I am squatting down, and at first I thought that he was ruining my photo, but luckily I recovered and saw that he made the photograph. Good little man.

Love this.  Chocolate had went ahead to investigate a walker.  Usually it is Blanca that is the investigator, but she stuck with me this day.  They were tired at this point, we were on our third lap and they had done a lot of playing.  I Love my dogs.  Does it show?  I hope.

October 19, 2012

All My Friends

Enjoying a walk with all my favorite friends at Norm Schoenthal Island.   As you can tell by the green, it was taken a few weeks ago. Photograph by my good friend Michael E Garcia.

October 15, 2012

Walking With Our Friend Missy . . .

We were fortunate this morning to get to the Island at about the same time as our good friend Missy Seu.  We stopped at one of our favorite stick chasing spots and Finny, Chocolate and Emma chased sticks.  Emma is taking a turn out here.  So; Lucy, Missy holding my Nina Blanca, and Emma.
The weather was absolutely perfect.  One could not feel the air, the temperature was perfect. So wonderful.

Technocolour Chocolate.  As I am writing I am aware that I am always describing our times spent at Norm Schoenthal Island in very superlative terms. Well, that is the way it is.  Maybe I will do a post on politics.  Maybe not.

The Slough.  Had to look up the spelling on that one.  One just floats around the island in a sea of visual stimulation.  Was that too much?

October 13, 2012

Autumn Reflections

Blanca checking out her reflection.  Can dogs be narcissistic.
Norms is beautiful now.  I think it is beautiful always, but the fall, and seemingly this fall, is exceptional. 
I have been walking with a new friend, Kay, with her gorgeous Australian Shepherds Bally and Selkie, and their new friend Rolo.  I really like Bally, she is very similar in temperament to my boy Chocolate.  Selkie is more like Finnegan.  Always on the move. I will get some photos of them. Soon.

October 1, 2012


I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to start the month of October off on the correct foot and  . . .  Post.  I have been negligent.
This is one of Blanca's favorite friends, Bozzy.  He and Blanca are very similar, same build, same movements, same shape heads, the colour is the only difference. Oh yeah, the tail.  Bozzy has the most magnificent tail. It would be cool if Blanca had one, a tail. But then, as I think about how much work it is keeping her bum clean, maybe no tail is good.
I love this picture.  Bozzy is a beautiful boy. Of course you all know what I think of my Nina Blanca.

September 29, 2012

Cloudy Fall Day

Bunch of friends gather for a day of stick at our very favorite place.  Finnegan, Neeky, Chocolate, and in front our new friend Snickers. They are waiting for Snicker's peep Dean to throw the stick.  Neeky keeps an eye on Chocolate.
The Island has been absolutely gorgeous the last weeks,  though it is very dusty and dry because of the lack of rain.

Neeky and Finn are great friends.  The Little Big Man is not even slightly intimidated by difference in size, but he does not like to be ganged up on, which does happen because he is a popular fella.

Snickers is pretty comfortable with this group of dogs, and has even begun to play stick with them, though she still prefers her own game.

Karen, Neeky's peep, is in charge of the stick now.  I love the focus here.

Beautiful girl Neeky.  She is a Border Collie Mix, mixed with something big I do believe, maybe several things.  Nice dog.

Cameo of the girl. I like this.

 Ha! I do not believe this is directed at me, I think most likely Finnegan is on my lap or next to me.  Great Photo. 

Everybody got worn out this day, that is the object, no?