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Saturday, February 14, 2015

How to shoot Candid Photo of Stray and Wandering Dogs, Mendoza Argentina

To take that photo, I sat on the sidewalk, no noise very quiet,  the 2 dogs were sleeping, but my camera couldn't focus, not sure what happened I was working with my small Lumix, I had to shut it down and when I restarted the noise from the camera was high enough to disturb the dogs, and they were not happy as you can see looking at this shot, I took this  as they were waking up and 5sec after they were gone. My next small street camera will have silent shooting mode!!!
Taking picture of dogs or any animals that can arm you comes with a warning, don’t get too close, be very careful, make sure you can defend yourself if something go wrong, respect their space, try not too make noise, or brusque movement, and the most important don't stare, no eyes to eyes intimidation. 

This old woman take care of about 5 homeless dogs, they are part of her family, every time I see her I take the time to speak with her, story teller street shots are my favorite.

I love dogs, always did, they are our loyal and best friend, not only a pet but part of our family. In Mendoza dogs are part of the landscape, a vast majority of people will at some point of their life own one. 

Not sure if that dog is a stray dog or just an opportunist walking the street of his little town core to get some treats from tourist like myself, but it worked for me and I gave him cookies and he was very excited. I wanted to shot him from an angle and find a way to tell a story about him, when I saw that little wall/bench I managed to have him standing over it to beg for the cookies, I had to act fast to get the shot he was to excited, I used my Canon 5D Markiii, and a wide angle to get his full body, as you can see a lot of distortion cause by the wide angle and being that close to him, that what make that shot so interesting as the focus is on him begging and for the story to work I had to include his full body and the environment.

In Mendoza It’s easy to be unable to make the difference between an abandoned or stray dog and a family dog simply because family dogs often go out for a walk by themselves.
I even heard that some dogs are so well trained that they go far away from their home to run and come back.

Not a stray dog for sure, I couldn't resist I had to take a shot, boxers are my favorite dogs, sweet dreams.

Dogs even stray dogs here seems to trust human, often using them to cross busy streets, they are very smart and a lot of people feed stray dogs around here, but often if the garbage are not store correctly the dogs will feed themselves.

 Working together to get food

Two bad kids!

To take this shot, I sat down to be at the dog level, and wait quietly that something interesting happened, when he looked at me licking his muzzle that was it, I had it, licking good pizza!

When I have the chance I shoot them, getting lower and closer, some don’t mind and some don’t like it, it’s kind of funny that a dog will be upset by a candid photo but it happened to me more than once, especially when they are relaxing, I learned to respect their space and always tried to be careful and quiet when getting close to a sleepy dog and never stared at them as they really don’t like it.

I love this shot, this time again I sat down to be at the same level, he was sleeping and I decided to wait till something interesting happened, and when he lifted his head and looked at me, so handsome with his hears in different positions I took the shot.

An other handsome dog, he was very quiet, and I had the time to sat down and frame his head.

 Full body angle shot.

This dog was so cute, that I couldn't resist, I was wearing a beautiful dress and wasn't able to sit down but I got on my knees and get his full body.

On of my favorite, I sat and manage to be almost under his muzzle, I wanted a sleeping dog photo, and I was very quiet not to waked him up, few minutes after he was gone, but I got the shot.

Playing in water.
Head shot with reflection.
Good Bye, love the angle and the shadows of this one.

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