Star Burst Christmas Lights


Celebrating the one and only 12 (day), 12 (month) 12 (year)!
Over at "I Heart Faces" today was a tutorial on how to create a "Star Burst" effect with Christmas lights. Since I wanted to include a moving object in my version I had to make some adjustments.

First I set my camera up according to the instructions.

Settings: manual, 30 sec, ISO 100, F22, flash on Lens 50mm

This produces a great star burst effect. What happens though if your dog (or a person) decides to move during the 30 second exposure?! The result in a great star burst tree and a very blurry dog! Another little surprize, if your dog gets bored and decides to get up and leave before the 30 second exposure is up - well then this is what you get.

Kodee Ghost!
So to solve my problem, I took a photograph of just the tree using the above settings. Then I took a second photograph, focusing on Becky and changed my settings to ensure I would have a nice sharp image of her.

Settings: manual, 100 sec, ISO 100, F2.4, flash on Lens 50mm

To get my final photograph, I combined the star burst tree and the sharp focused photo of Becky together.


Did you know Kodee and Becky have their own blog? From December 1 - 24, I am creating my own"Dog Inspired Advent Calendar" and taking a photo a day of Kodee and Becky 

View my 2012 Advent Calendar Collection

* * * * * * * * *

Joining the fun at:

 then, she {snapped}  Camera Critters

Oh My! Boudoir Furtography

Studio 12 Cav November 

Well obviously the girls were just thrilled to "volunteer" to pose while I practiced with my flash and umbrella. NOT.

Lady in Waiting Miz Becky

Dad! Your supposed to be the SANE dog owner out of the two of you! What gives?!

Her Royal Highness Miss Kodee

Seriously Becky. I personally think I look charming and find the crown quite fitting.

Snuggle Up

I've made a promise to myself to not let this winter's cold weather and bleak skies get in the way of my photography. To help, I have come up with a personal challenge to keep me motivated. I've decided to seek out natural light in my house as well as devote some time to setting up a home studio.

Natural light can be a bit of a challenge in my house. I have 2 rooms with good natural light so on those bleak days, I am also going to get acquainted with my my flash, umbrella and reflector.

Kodee and Becky are at the top of my list of things I love to photograph but they will only tolerate a few quick shots with a flash before becoming agitated. To make it easier on them, I make use of stuffed toys till I am confident I have the right settings. Their contract demands high reward, quality treats as payment.

Participating in: Camera Critters & Daily Dog Challenge Flickr Group #394 Formal Portrait

Seeking Rainbows

Seek Rainbows

Music & Lyrics Charlie Chaplin 1968


Swing little girl
Swing high to the sky
And don’t ever look at the ground
If you’re looking for rainbows
 Look up to the sky
You’ll never find rainbows
If you’re looking down

Life may be dreary
But never the same
Some day it’s sunshine
Some day it’s rain

Swing little girl
Swing high to the sky
And don’t ever look to the ground
If you’re looking for rainbows
Look up to the sky
But never, no never, look down
©Copyright 1954 by Bourne Co. Copyright Renewed All Rights Reserved International Copyright Secured
Seeking Rainbows

A little different version where I also added a bokeh texture from Artful Life
Which do you like better - I'm not sure!


What's Cook'n Miss Kodee?

Kodee Roasts Becky OH MY!

Halloween is a family favourite - so much so, my 20 something girls are still busy each year sewing costumes. As children they told me if they could pick just one holiday, Halloween would win hands down.

I can't say this is my favourite photograph of the month but it is the one I enjoyed most; planning the scene, hunting down the props and finding the perfect $5 baby costumes which fit the dogs perfectly.

Becky for some reason loves this tub and once put in it, will never get out. Kodee on the other hand is like a child wound up on too much candy moving all over the place. The scene goes like this "sit, NO, stay, WAIT... arghhhh" for quite some time! But once I see my edited photo a big ol' smile comes across my face so it's all worth it! 

Fact 20 About Me
[Part of the "30 Things About Me" Series]

I used to sew all my girls all their Halloween costumes. I've long since stowed away my sewing machine and must say I do not miss the costume making days! However, not wanting to disappoint the neighbourhood children I source out ready made props and gear now for the dogs. I can't resist their squeals in delight when the dogs trample down the hallway to greet them
Participating in Click It Up A Notch Monthly Photo Contest and the Daily Dog Challenge "Trick or Treat"

Click It Up A Notch

Meet Sam ~ An Unusual Chausie Cat

Sam lives next door and is a hybrid cat; a mixture of Jungle Cat x Abyssinian (Domestic Cat) called a Chausie. He is a bit skittish, very curious and is a high energy soul that rarely sleeps I'm told.

2012-08 Sammie He belongs to my neighbour and has a fascination and no fear of my dogs. If Sam is outside he is often peering through the fence watching them. Kodee and Becky will go over to say Hello and he stands firm.

With people though, Sam is not as trusting, so a slow hand is needed to gain his friendship.

But it can be done!

Fact 19 About Me
[Part of the "30 Things About Me" Series]

I'm definitely not a cat person. However, I am intrigued by them and love to watch them move. There is just something about how a cat is a bit aloof that doesn't grab me enough to want to own one, but I admit, I admire them from a far.
Participating in: Camera Critters, and Your Sunday Best

Autumn Treasures

Who doesn't love fall with it's spectacular splashes of brilliant reds, glowing orange, and shining yellows.

Fall harvests of apples, squash, zucchini, pumpkins and cabbage.

Cooler weather demanding cozy sweaters, sweet teas, and warming fires.

Thanksgiving bringing family back into the fold.

Reflecting on things past and those to come.

Wind blowing through leaves. Seeking warms socks, crackling fires, and comforting stews.

However, I could pass on Autumn's winds summoning winter to our door.

Fact 18 About Me
[Part of the "30 Things About Me" Series]

Fall! LOVE it. My all time absolutely, favourite season!
Participating in: 
Your Sunday's Best, Scenic Sunday, Sunday in My City and Weekend Reflections

Hanging With the Wild Ones

Cheetahs have sharp, keen eyesight searching the grass for prey.

A Cheetah can run 100 meters in 4.59 minutes - that is about 40% faster than the Olympic record.

There are only about 7,000 - 10,000 of these beautiful cats left.

The Toronto Zoo has 3 new, young White Lion cubs. The male is called Fintan, which means “little fair one,”. The two females are called Lemon and Makali, which means “daring.”

White Lions are very rare and none are living in the wild.

The rare genetic marker that makes the White Lion unique has yet to be identified.
We splurged for an Annual Pass to the Toronto Zoo. I love how we now can go on a moments notice and not feel pressured to stay a long time to get our monies worth. The hope is to collect our own photographs of our favorite animals and create our own coffee table book. I am looking forward to seeing the Toronto Zoo in all four seasons as we usually just go in the summer.

Today I am participating at: Outdoor Wednesday, and Camera Critters

Wordless Wednesday: Post Bath Sleepy Head

Living the Life

Participating in: Camera Critters

Call Me Kismet

Kismet's Adventure

Call Me

The super powerful Kismet has just sprouted these past few weeks! Kismet may be tiny but she is a very vocal, demanding Princess that makes sure her court pays heed!
The name Kismet comes from a character that appeared in DC Superman Comics. Kismet existed between dark and light, illuminating the pathways. Kismet offers people the choice between good and evil in the Superman story line, so listen up when she barks.
On that note, I'd say this little spitball hunter life will be quite an adventure.
I am participating in the FlickR base group
With a spunky attitude, named after a Super Hero I think Kismet grasp onto all the adventures she can.

Also joining in at: Sweet Shot Tuesday



A Real Friend
Is One Who Walks In
When the Rest of the World
Walks Out
The Scene:
Lying on my back to capture an upward, wide angle perspective of Becky.

The Plot:
In true Cavalier fashion, Becky calculates the best strategy to move in, take position on my chest and skillfully execute a Cavalier Hug. Better known as "smother thy person with my snout".

Mission accomplished. No persons were harmed in this exercise. Can't say the same for the smudged lens.

Photo Challenge Submission

I am truly inspired by so many pet photographs in this weeks photo challenge at I Heart Faces. Our judge is none other than Seth Casteel of Little Friends Photo who is known for his amazing Underwater Dog photography.  

Also Linking Up With: Quotography

Backyard Friends


All week butterflies have been gracing my backyard. I'd no sooner grab my camera and they'd be gone. Today, this lazy fellow was most co-operative! I love how sharp his/her antennas are and how it appears to almost have tail feathers. I think this Monarch Butterfly qualifies as my entry into this weeks 
"Your Sunday Best Photo Challenge"
Follow this link to view other photographers best photo submissions for this week.


Usually things are pretty quiet in our backyard - well unless Kodee is sounding off at a squirrel or raccoon. This poor Mom made a huge mistake this spring and chose to have her babies in a neighbours garage. They tried to capture Mom and babies together but the Mom escaped. The babies were old enough to be set loose in the country. I can't say I miss the line of baby raccoons following Mom along my fence line as in previous years, but I do feel sorry for her. She was frantically searching for them for a long time.


Wildlife seems to be having a rough time around our house this year. On our front lawn we have a huge Manitoba Maple tree. When my daughter was young she found the beginnings of a tree - all 2 inches of it at my parent's farm. She planted it in a margarine container to bring home. My Dad warned me you couldn't kill   them and one day it would be huge - not to plant it. Did I listen - no and now 20 year later it takes up 3/4 of my front lawn! The quote to have it removed was well over $800 - yes Father did know best. This robin took up residence in it this spring. Good spot I thought - it sure beat the nest it tried to build over my patio door last spring or so we thought. The nest had a few babies in it but the next morning we found the nest on the ground and one baby bird dead.


I having a lot of fun with my two new lenses; the 15-85mm and 85mm. The more I shoot close ups the more I want a true macro 100mm lens! If you enjoy macro photography, I know the flowers and vegetables by Barbara Leven will inspire you. Also watch this video produced by B&H Photo Video.  During the filmed seminar, Barbara not only shows her artwork but she also discusses what lenses she uses and what steps she takes in post production  using photoshop.

Participating in Macro Monday, I Love MacroYour Sunday's Best

Trouble's Calling




Becky girl! Get with the game - you chew a stick - poof! It's gone. Now balls, they last forever!
[I know! Another ball photo but you try getting Kodee to drop it during summer! Not happening.]
Linking up with; Camera Critters

Puppy Breath


In Your Bag
[Photo A Day June Prompt For "30 Things About Me" Series]

I promise!! I didn't put the puppy in my bag - although the thought did occur to me! My camera was in my bag - for a very important photo shoot.

Fact 17 About Me
I have never seen a newborn puppy. I am really thrilled that the first new born puppies I got to see were also very special to me. These puppies belong to Becky's litter mate. Meet Lil' Girl; the lone female with 4 brothers. She may be the tiniest but I am betting she is first to crawl out of the litter box!


Sharing with: 
Photo A Day June



Out and About
[Photo A Day June Prompt For "30 Things About Me" Series]

Way behind here on my photo a day - but I will catch up! Day 16 was on the weekend and we had a bit of excitement happening! A very special litter of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies that are quite dear to my heart, were born. You can count on me to be posting a few puppy photos in the future!

Fact 16 About Me
Sad as it is, "procrastination" is a word I am chummy with. However I am also good friends with "stubborn", so my 30 photos will be posted eventually!

Blooper Photo ~ Where'd Da Ball Go?!
Sharing with: 
Photo A Day June

Polo For Heart 2012


[Photo A Day June Prompt For "30 Things About Me" Series]

It appears to be my month for horses - fine by me! This weekend I attended the annual fundraising event "Polo For Hearts" with a local group of 20 photographers. A great event for a great cause.  Everyone was dressed up (well except rebel me), there was a hat contest complete with the background music from "Pretty Woman", loads of shopping (score a new purse!) and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

Fact 15 About Me
I was a little pressed to keep focused on the game or the task of photographing at this event! Reason being - it was such a fun event to just sit back and watch the game, enjoy the skydivers, and well SHOP. Why yes I did score a new purse! Shopping and horses and cameras - my kind of day!
All Eight Hooves In Flight!
Always Keep Your Eye On the Sky

EEKS! Watch Out For the Other Horse!


My husband rolled his eyes and stared at me when he saw this. Not a clue what he is thinking...
Sharing with: 
Photo A Day June, and Your Sunday Best


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