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Posts Tagged ‘Russ Dodd photography’

Carlin in the snow along the Payette River, Idaho, December 2018 — photo by Russ Dodd

Carlin is not a natural model like Cooper was. He doesn’t settle himself in front of a camera every time someone pulls one out, like Cooper did.

But Carlin isn’t shy, either. If a camera appears, he doesn’t hide.

He pretty much ignores the camera. And that means that there are quite a few pictures of Carlin, looking like his effortlessly handsome self.

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What a pleasure to discover that the AKC used a photo of Cooper, taken by Russ, to illustrate an article re-published on the AKC website on June 25, 2015. (The original article was published without photos in the July 2014 AKC Gazette.)

They used a cropped version of the photo in the header of the web page, and the full photo farther down in the article. If the link doesn’t work, you can click the image to visit a PDF of the article.

Cooper_Gazette_snapshot

Russ had taken that shot, plus others that I personally like better, back in 2011. He had just made some portraits of Tammy’s three dogs: Mowlgi (Cooper’s litter brother), Cameo, and Gosling*, and was editing those photos.

Cooper obviously felt that his input was needed. He loved the camera, and I guess that extended to the computer from time to time.

So, in a way, Russ had actually taken Cooper to work that day. Or maybe it was Cooper who invited Russ to work with him. Either way, they made a team.

In a way, I guess, they still do — virtually — through the magic of publishing.

* The three dogs:

  • Mowgli — CH Realta’s Bear Necessesities of Yo-Yo CD RE JH JHU CGC WD
  • Cameo — Yo-Yo’s Cameo Moment CD RA CGC
  • Gosling — Yo-Yo’s Not What You Think RN

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Cooper is dog with tenacious drive mixed with the perpetual motion of a compulsive retriever. But he will always sit calmly in front of my camera and pose with the sparkling demeanor of a show dog at Westminster. It is one of his many charming virtues.

So once again I asked the boy to step in front of the lights for a few shots. But before he jumped up on the table, he snagged his photo buddy, a.k.a. “Rubber Duck”. The duck has been his companion since August of 2007 when he was awarded it as a participant in a Bird Dog Match as a 6-month-old adolescent. (This specific duck is actually the second generation duck, thanks to Ms Tooey.)

Cooper and dear duck friend

Cooper and dear duck friend

Now Ms Tooey doesn’t like to left out of anything. It doesn’t matter if Cooper has to go to the vet, she wants to go first. It is her nature as HBIC (Head Bitch in Charge). And so when Cooper stepped down, Tooey jumped up to stare into lens as well. If Cooper gets this much attention, she wants more.

Ms Tooey

Ms Tooey

The reason for the photo event was quite benign. I was testing a new camera and wanted have some familiar subjects to compare to photos taken with other equipment I use. As both pups had just finished getting a bath and some grooming for the recent dog here in Portland, this shoot was the convergence of having the studio set up and two clean dogs.

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Cooper is a versatile boy. I have tried teach him how to make espresso coffee, but he is limited to drip only. Cinematography might be a new venue for his talents. I recently built a new collar out of steel and neoprene that is a camera mount for the GoProHD video camera.

In the video that follows, I felt it necessary to slow it down to half speed because Cooper’s motion is so quick, that the visual shakes would be too disturbing to watch at regular speed. Even then, when he shakes off the water, be prepared for some visual disturbances.

Cooper wearing his stylish GoProHD video camera

We spent this morning at St. Louis Ponds with the Northwest English Springer Spaniel Club at their monthly club training day. After a few drills, I stepped over to one of the ponds with Cooper and his new camera to record a bit of video. In fact, it is the very same pond that is in the photo at the top of blog, the one with Cooper leaping into the water.

Patrice and Tooey are away this weekend in Canada at a Retriever workshop on Vancouver Island, so us boys are staying home and doing boy things with our toys. Over time I will adjust or modify the collar to help stabilize the image a bit. But I think Cooper has a future in producing some bird hunting videos.

Now if I can get him to perfect those espressos . . . .

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It’s a rare day when both dogs are all groomed up at the same time. Tooey’s been going into the show ring pretty regularly over the past several months, but Cooper has been too busy working in the field. But today is that day, so Russ got a great picture to mark the event.

Cooper and Tooey, all dressed up and going tomorrow

This weekend, the Stumptown Cluster of dog shows is located in my home town. No traveling, no motels, no excuse not to show both dogs at least one of the days. Though I might have found an excuse if I’d wanted to, if I were basing my decision logically on the order of events:

  • Tuesday evening, Cooper was at flyball practice.
  • Wednesday, Cooper was in the field, retrieving in ponds.
  • Wednesday evening, Cooper got a brush-out and bath. We got a pile of seeds, twigs, burrs, and what have you.
  • Thursday morning, Colleen did some beautiful scissoring to trim him up to show standards.
  • Thursday evening, Tooey went to Rally class.
  • Friday evening, Tooey got her brush-out, bath, and trim. (Colleen had already done the scissoring on Tooey last week.)
  • This morning early, Cooper was back out in the field.
  • This afternoon, Tooey was in the show ring.
  • This evening, Cooper got another brush-out and bath, and another pile of seeds and twigs.
  • Tomorrow morning, before the show, both Cooper and Tooey will most likely get a very slight trim to take off the “sticky-outies” — any wayward hair that is sticking out from their curls.
  • Tomorrow afternoon, both dogs are going into the show ring. (If the judge has any trouble choosing, perhaps she will be beguiled by the sweet scent of Cooper’s duck breath. Or maybe not.)

Later tomorrow afternoon, after the show ring, both dogs are going back to the ponds. Finally — they’ll each be doing what they love best in life: to swim (Tooey) and practice retrieves (Cooper).

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Russ and I spent the holiday weekend with Jack and Colleen. One of the highlights of the weekend was being able to give them a gift that can only partially repay the many kindnesses they have extended to us.

Russ does beautiful work, and I am particularly proud that I can be even slightly associated with this oil portrait he did of one of Colleen’s dogs — Mabel, Cooper’s grandmother.

oil painting and image © 2010 Russ Dodd
Am Ch Hooligan's Fair Hibernia "Mabel" CD, RN, SH, WCX

Russ started this project several months ago by taking more than a hundred photographs of Mabel in Colleen and Jack’s yard. You can see one of the photographs in an earlier blog post.

The finished size of the portrait is 22″ x 30″ before being placed in a handmade mahogany frame.

Russ has created several other paintings of dogs, starting with a watercolor of our first dog, Kayak, the malamute-mix. Now he’s focusing on oil portraits of sporting dogs, including Irish Water Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, and soon, Boykin Spaniels.

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In the last 3 years, I have taken and archived over 5000 photographs of Irish Water Spaniels. Mostly of Cooper, quite a few of Tooey, but also hundreds more at dog shows, hunt trials, and dock diving events. This archive is now sufficiently large that I can find enough good selections to build a mosaic image from just my own IWS images.

I selected an image of Cooper with a duck (you can see the original in a past entry), crunched through the files, and this photo mosaic is the result. It is made up of 4,356 separate tiles, and about 3000 unique images. (Actual size is 24 x 36 inches.) The pictures include many of the people mentioned in this blog, usually at a dog show, at a grooming table, or having fun with their IWS.

(c) 2010 Russ Dodd

The detail below makes up a section around the right eye.

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Following family tradition, here’s this year’s New Year portait of Cooper.

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The real joy about being associated with Irish Water Spaniels is the like-minded people and their dogs. When we first got started in the beginning of 2007, the people who mentored us (and continue to do so) made this breed really enjoyable. Cooper’s sire, Balloo, belonged to Tammy. Both are mentioned and pictured on various blog posts going back nearly three years. Tammy introduced us to grooming, dock diving, real dog training, and dog shows. Cooper’s first dog shows where done under her close supervision at the other end of the leash.

Tammy’s current female IWS is Cameo. She is about as close to the ideal package of energy, personality, humor, and cuteness as I have ever seen in one creature. At the most recent dog show at Clark County, Washington, Cameo was in perfect form and spark. It is that combination of qualities that I wanted to capture in an illustration of Cameo. Here’s my interpretation:

(c) 2009 Russ Dodd

Commercial photography and illustration are my “day job”, and it is nice to be able to transfer those skills to a subject that so many of us enjoy, dogs and IWS in particular. Dog art is so rewarding, not just for the subject matter, but the great people associated with the breed.

From time to time, I will post images of other great IWS that are a part of Cooper and Tooey’s extended family. There are so many that I hope to have enough examples so that our blog readers don’t think we obsess only about our own dogs. We love them all and the variety of personalities. And the people that go with them.

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Today, Renae sent me some pictures of Tooey, taken on March 8th, when Tooey was 12 weeks old. In several of these pictures, she’s playing with Rod and Renae’s Rio, Cooper’s cousin.

Waiting to play

Waiting to play

Please play

Please play

Attack of the Clone

Attack of the clone

Yes sir

Yes, sir!

Charge!

Charge!

Smells like chicken

Mmm... smells like puppy

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102409_0129

Tooey at 10 months in the Vancouver Kennel Club show

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Sometimes you first need the punchline, and then the full story:
092009_Life is Good

I’m sure you’ve had those weeks: everyone wanting something, some not coming through with commitments, others passing blame on to you, still others asking for what you can’t give. The whole “life isn’t fair” routine.

After one of those weeks, I think to myself — I have to do something fun. If I can find the time. There’s work. Then there’s all the household responsibilities: laundry, shopping, vacuuming, blah, blah, blah. But this morning, I decided that all that can wait.

But what to do? Well… Water has to be involved. Tooey has been to the river once, but not to the beach (as far as we know), and she’s never actually done more than jump in and wade. Cannon Beach, about 1-1/2 hours from Portland, has a wonderful policy — well-behaved dogs can run off leash. And it’s forecasted to be sunny and warm. And we have gas in the car. So off to the beach it is.

Here’s a taste of our day. First, the ocean:

Tooey, Haystack Rock, and Trice

Tooey, Haystack Rock, and Trice

Tooey running in the surf

Tooey running in the surf

Mmmm... kelp. Yummy

Mmmm... kelp. Yummy

Running, running

Running, running

Then, after a sandwich and ice cream cones, we moved on to Ecola Creek, a river that runs into the Pacific, just north of the town of Cannon Beach.

Hey! What kind of ducks are those?

Hey! What kind of ducks are those?

First actual swim (note those rear hips up and out at full extension -- so IWS-like)

First actual swim (note those rear hips up and out at full extension -- so IWS-like)

Looking for the frisbee under water

Looking for the frisbee under water -- it's down there somewhere

Once she got the hang of it, Tooey swam. We threw sticks, and then a found frisbee. The stick was easy to grab, but the frisbee was a bit more elusive. Even so, she swam out and searched, found the frisbee, and brought it in, just the way you saw it in the first picture. Life is good indeed.

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Sometimes all you need is one picture:

Tooey and Trice on the beach

Tooey and Trice on the beach

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When we were out in the field earlier this week, we noticed that Cooper is bigger — he seems broader in the chest and bigger of bone. He just looks more mature to us (at least physically). Compare the width of his chest here to a picture taken at 1 year.

Cooper_082109When you see someone every day, it’s hard to see the changes. But when you see them only every once in awhile, the differences seem so obvious.

Cooper has always loved getting his picture taken. That direct stare right into he camera, those almost orange eyes, that focus, the drive to do what he’s meant to do — all come into focus so clearly! I think he’s stunningly handsome, and I miss him so much!

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