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Project 52 Week 51: “Simplify”

It’s a wonderful, magical time of year!  I love everything about the holiday season: the lights, decorations,  cookie baking, chill in the air…. it all warms the heart!  Since Christmas is right around the corner, I wanted to focus on a “festive” photo that goes right along with this weeks 52 Week Pet Photography Project’s topic, “Simplify”.  We are combining several chapters this week from David Duchemin’s book, “The Visual Toolbox“.  Included are: “Use a Tripod”, “Understand Optical Filters” and “Simplify”.  I  like the sounds of “simplify” – I will put a strong emphasis on that!  I don’t work with filters and I rarely use a tripod.  I dusted off the tripod for this assignment and my super star model, Kota, will be working with me.  I rarely slow down my shutter speed enough when working with dogs since they are constantly moving.  Kota, on the other hand, has a wonderful “look” cue where she will lock eyes and hold still.  Let’s see how the tripod works and how slow an f-stop I can go!

The benefit of a tripod is a longer exposure.  A main point Duchemin  makes about the tripod is, “it has taught me to slow down”.  That worked for me since it took me several minutes to set up and get it at the right height I was looking for!  🙂  (wait, I think we recently posted about “patience” haha!)

My set up was quite simple – i placed Kota on an ottoman that was approximately 12 feet in front of the Christmas tree which is near our living room window.  My first thought was, “i should get out the Alien Bee flash”….No, setting up a flash unit would definitely not be “simplifying”.  The ottoman was in the kitchen and I kept the kitchen lights on.  I was determined to use my 135 mm lens.  This caused me to be back up right into the kitchen wall.  In order to place myself in the room walkway, I’d have to move the kitchen table… again, not a simple task and we aren’t supposed to make things complex!  The follow photos are very simple, close up shots taken from a tripod.


Christmas Lights
Magical Time of Year!


KotaHolidayLights 1 of 1
The wonder of it all!


KotaHolidayLights2 1 of 1
Do I hear reindeer?


Thanks for stopping by our 52 Week Pet Photography Blog Circle.  Next up is Cahlean,  About A Dog Photography St. Cloud MN dog photographer.  Follow each post in the circle to enjoy some beautiful Pet Potography work!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!





6 thoughts on “Project 52 Week 51: “Simplify””

  1. I love how Kota’s beautiful color matches the lights! What a good girl she is with that supermodel pose is your second image.

    Enjoy your holidays, and Merry Christmas!

  2. I’m so impressed that you got the tripod out! Love the Christmas tree lights in the background. I wish people kept their outside Christmas tree lights up year round. It makes my late night and early morning pet sitting visits much more pleasant seeing all the lights. 🙂 I thought you might agree! Have a very Merry Christmas. I hope you see snow.

    1. I can’t believe I dusted off the tripod myself – haha! I agree with people leaving the lights on all year – i hate when I go to a house and forget my trusty headlamp! Not everyone leaves a flashlight by the door! 🙂 Thank you!

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