Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dog Fights & Dog Photos




I don't know why I torture myself, but I brought my Leica M8.2 with me to the Dog Park again. I figured I could practice my focusing, which isn't very fast with this camera. (It's not designed for fast, but I still try to practice focusing as fast as possible.)

Well, the dog park had a weird kind of vibe this particular day. Sure enough, a Pit Bull, which is normally very friendly, took a disliking to a woman's two Collies. She had her Collies on leashes and sitting quietly at the picnic bench. The Pit Bull came over and immediately attacked one of the Collies. Of course, Collies not being fighters, but herders, gave up and rolled over. It was then that the pit Bull got the Collie by the throat. Luckily, the woman who runs the park pulled the Pit Bull off this poor Collie. The Pit Bull owner was on the other side of the park yelling at her dog to stop. (Yeah, that helps!) Now, I know you're gonna say, "Why didn't you photograph that?" Well, I was trying to break the dogs apart. It didn't dawn on me until later that I could have photographed it. But then again, I wouldn't want to photograph it. But one does think of it for a split second, doesn't one?

The Pit Bull, not satisfied, circled and came back again, attacking the second Collie. Following another break-up, the owner of the Pit Bull finally leashes her dog and leaves. Funny thing is, she never apologized to the woman with the two Collies for her dog attacking them. She actually took the opposite attitude and felt attacked herself. She left feeling persecuted. Very childish, and potentially dangerous.

Then a woman came in with a Golden Retriever. You could already tell this dog wasn't trained, and was acting spastic. After rudely trying to jump on me, the dog immediately attacks another dog. Then it happened again. The Golden attacked a Boxer without provocation. The Boxer ran to it's owner in fright shrieking. The third time the Golden came around to attack from behind, I grabbed it and pulled it off the picnic table where the wounded Boxer was hiding in it's owner's arms. The owner of the Golden Retriever starting swearing at me, which prompted me to giver her a verbal smack down. She knew she wouldn't win with me, and wandered off mumbling. All the people around me were amazed at how rude this woman was, and was happy to see her go to the other side of the park. What is sad about these two incidents is that the owners did NOTHING to reprimand their dogs for fighting. The Golden actually learned that it was okay to fight, when the owner pet her dog as if t praise it, following these attacks. Morons shouldn't own dogs.

So, trying to photograph on this particular day was quite difficult. Bad vibes!

Eventually, I started taking a few shots, but I didn't photograph anything fantastic. I was too wound up, and not patient enough to wait for the action to happen in a particular area. I should have pre-focused on a spot and waited for the scene to unfold. Frankly, I was too irritated, and just shot a few pictures. The nice thing is, they all came out in focus. The bad thing is, I only liked two of them. (My ratio is getting better. I didn't take many photos, about ten, and most of them came out sharp.) Again, if I were more patient, I would have done better. I'm just happy the pictures didn't come out blurry.

All the time I'm thinking, "this would be so much easier with an AF Nikon D700 and a zoom lens! (Yes, I'd shoot manual, but at least I'd have the AF on my side. LOL!) But, this defeats the purpose of the rangefinder experience. Plus, the dog park really isn't for the Leica in the same way that the Nikon would be. The Leica would be great for the scenes that are less active, a behind the scenes look at the people and their dogs. The Nikon would be for the dogs in action. Different cameras for different purposes. Still, it was aggravating to be limited by the camera. I know I'm also limited in my expertise of the Leica. It's frustrating at times. There really is no one perfect camera, (or camera bag for that matter! that's a whole other story!)

I like these two photos that I did save. The first photo is of a boy playing soccer with my dog Ozzy. Ozzy really loves children, and when he saw this boy kicking the soccer ball around, well, he was all over that! At one point Ozzy picked up the soccer ball, (though I don't know how), and started to run off with it. I took maybe 3 shots, and deleted two of them. The second shot is of Ozzy's buddy Bumble who was sniffing Ozzy.

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