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Project 52 : Week 12 - Animals

Once upon a time we took our dogs to the dog park once a week. But now, two kids later, our dogs are lucky if they get to go once a month.

I am sure {and hope that we aren't the only ones} others can relate to dogs kind of taking a backseat while raising young kids. They become just another "to-do" item on the long list. Wake up, get myself and the kids ready for school, let the dogs out, feed the kids...and the dogs, let dogs out again. Get kids and all their stuff loaded into the car - don't forget to close all the doors so the dogs don't get in the bedrooms. Drive kids to school - hoping it's a good, easy drop off today. Get to work and take a few moments to breathe...finally. But not too long - there are things to get done there too. Meetings to go to, questions to answer, code to write and test and fix again. Maybe take an hour lunch break {and maybe a quick walk outside to enjoy the sunshine of the spring - finally}. 9 hours later leave and get the kids - did they have a good report today?...hopefully. 20 minutes later finally make it to the car - maybe dragging {sometimes figuratively, often literally} them into their car seats. Try to ask them about their day but often that's just more yelling {sometimes singing} - definitely no quiet. Get home 20 minutes later if the traffic isn't too bad. Dogs are barking, they need out. But the kids want out of their seats - don't forget to grab all your stuff. Ok, dogs are let out - now fill their water and food. Let them in {hopefully their paws aren't muddy from the recent rain}. Now what's for dinner? Dogs need to go out again. Kids are hungry - or maybe they don't want to eat at all tonight. Ok, dinner is done. Now what? Take the dogs on a walk or to the park? That's a lot of work - let's just go play downstairs. Ok, an hour later, time for baths, bedtime routine {fingers crossed for no tantrums tonight}. Kids are in bed - finally. It's 8:30pm. Time to sit down for a minute - nope now the dogs are whining - they want out again. No, let them back in - they are barking at everything and are going to wake the kids. can I have an hour or two to do something for me? Deep breath...wait, it's already midnight {how'd that happen?}!

So that's why the dogs don't get to go to the dog park very That was a brain dump of my life lately. Sorry about that. :)

But last Friday, we did decide to take the kids {all 4 of them} to the dog park. We are all so happy it's Spring finally and enjoyed a walk around Heritage Dog Park at sunset. The kids did pretty well this time - we still bring the little stroller for Landon when he doesn't want to walk anymore - a 33 pound toddler isn't easy to carry anymore. Bryce loves throwing rocks in the water, climbing the tree like a ninja and chasing the dogs. Butler (age 8) and Sapphire (age 7) aren't as quick and energetic as they used to be but they are still in heaven smelling all the smells and meeting all the dogs {can I smell your butt?}. Butler, in true beagle form, always has his nose on the ground. He's a very handsome beagle - though some people ask if he's part basset hound - nope pure standard beagle. His coloring is fading, especially in his face, and making way for the more "mature" gray hairs. He's needy and full of energy and probably mad at us for the lack of attention as of late. Sorry doggies - mama and dada are tired.

A note about my settings and setup (shot in manual mode).

  1. I brought my 70-200mm lens on this night because I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with the dogs and I would need the ability to zoom in quickly and also this lens creates beautiful bokeh.

  2. It was about an hour before sunset - the golden hour - so the light was fading throughout the time. I had to adjust settings often - I started with the ISO at 200 and had changed to to 400 for this photo.

  3. I had to keep the shutter speed fast because the dogs are quick. I couldn't make it too fast though because I needed to let in more light so I settled on 1/500 - still plenty fast to freeze the motion.

  4. This lens can go down to 2.8 but isn't super sharp at that f-stop so I kept it right around f/3.5 on this night.

  5. In editing, I had to adjust the white balance to warm it up and bring out the greens and yellows in the grass. It's slowly greening up around here so I wanted to be sure to get those colors true to life.

  6. When composing this shot, I used the fence to create a leading line and also add a layer in the foreground - which created cool bokeh too.

If you would like to join me this year and complete your own Project 52, download my prompt guide and follow along.



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