Minor and major creeps from 2015

A rather common butterfly sitting on the flower of a thistle. An everyday sight in the summer but I made the photo a bit unusual by maneuvering the camera in a low position so that the light from the sun shone through the wings of the butterfly.

The same species of butterfly as above are reproducing. They moved around from a bush to another, as I tried to close the distance between them and the camera lens. I was too concentrated by the photography to notice their technique of tandem flying, but now afterwards I am tempted to think that only one of them flew and carried the other one with it. One of them is a male and the other one is the female. If the sperms are gravity fed from the male to the female, then the upper one is the male since this is the position they held on every place the landed on. If not, then I am lost in guessing the sex of them.

Sometimes, perhaps even much more often than I normally care to try, it pays to convert a color photo into a black and white one. I really do not know how to comment this unpretentious photo that I experimentally turned into B/W. I just like it!

The ES bitch "Snowflake" visited us during the midsummer celebration. She was not used to large cameras, but after some accustoming work she started to feel rather secure with it, and with a woodcock-calling whistle in my mouth I directed her curious attention directly into the camera. She is not only very beautifu,l but also a very playful and social dog. As she is also a good Open Stake dog you could not ask for much more in a working gundog.

Synchronous running for any length of time may not be possible for any animal... I do not know? It was by mere chance that I got this photo at the precise moment when it happened.

This photo is just a stupid result that I got after having crawled around in tall fern for quite some time with the camera, with the aim to find a new, exciting angle of photography of the dog I had with me. It never happened, I only got crap photos in the dense fern, and ended the session with this photo that in fact could be used in some context in some text about dogs or their olfactory organ. However, so far that has neither happened!

After the WW2, when the entire Scandinavia was still soaked in socialism and communism, the public service radio programs were strictly censored. The only relief and gateway to modern music was radio Luxemburg transmitting on medium wavelength and they could be heard at least to around latitude 60 North, particularly after sunset. However, this beetle is more likely scouting the air for scent from females than scanning radio stations!

This could do as a selfie, particularly the day after the night before... The truth is that I have had some really awful hang-overs in my life but... No, not this bad! The summertime offers the opportunity to take at least one, sometimes many, interesting photos every time you go out into the nature for a moment or two. I leave it to you to figure out what kind of creature this is. If you do and in addition know what the two yellow "bubbles" are between the creeps eyes, let us know because we do not have a clue about their function!

There are reasons why working gundogs do not fit into the fashion business. The basically very good looking Rospiga most often still looks like she had just fallen into the water from a poolside catwalk. That's the life of a gundog and she could not think less of it. Neither do we!

Choosing one or two action photos from a series of say 20 photos in a row is probably a matter of taste. I like it when the expression of the entire dog is stylish and that happens only during a few fractions of a second in every leap. Most of the time, during one leap, G-forces are tearing on the tissues of the dog, in its face and body, and the appearance of it is less pleasing to the eye. A fast SLR camera, like my Nikon D3s, can divide every single leap into maybe 5 - 6 photos and out of them one, or with some luck two, photos are perhaps satisfying to the eye and out of a burst of 20 - 30 photos maybe one or two are worth to save. It all depends of other circumstances also, like if the dog is dirty or clean. If the dog is very dirty, then its body expression has to be very exciting in the photo before I save it. One treat compensates for the lack of another, so to say.

I rarely direct my camera towards people. People are the most photographed objects in the Universe anyway so my contribution would hardly be noticed in the enormous mass of photos. This photo was actually ordered by a Swedish hunting magazine. You see, Maud has a great interest in photographing the mysterious Woodcock and has shot a number of really remarkable photos of that bird. The magazine wanted to present her and her photos to the readers, and needed a portrait of her and her dogs that actually find the birds. We had a photo session and I found this photo to be "fantastic" and so did Maud. We sent it in and it was refused because the dog was not showing its face! I was disappointed of course and dropped the case since I only show what I like from my production.

Now, while we are in the photography of people, have a look at this "portrait" of Maud and the dogs, which I took the other day! Maud wanted a new photo of herself together with the dogs, for the use on the web I presume. This is one of many I took and although it may not be the most formally representative, it is the one I like most! A sweet and cozy moment that does not lack a humorous touch!

I took this photo of Rospiga the day after she got her second certificate at a dog show. One more and she is a show champion! If you, in this photo, find anything that discloses, or at least gives a hint towards that fact... please let us know!

Contrary to the ordinary grasshopper the cricket is easily tamed and can late in the summer be found in the kitchen, bedroom or any other place in the house. If irritated they can bite, but are otherwise rather calm and social. They are very inexpensive to feed and can be cricket-... sorry, clicker-trained to jump on command!

This young buzzard flew from bush to bush, in the shadow of tall forest, when I hunted it with the camera. Then, after a few such jumps trying to escape me, it left the entire county. Later, when editing the photo, I found that a black silhouette against the dark-blue sky would make the difference to a basically rather boring photo.

If you have an abundance of dragonflies... I mean you have found a real hot spot where they really thrive... then taking a random photo of a dragonfly may not be that difficult. I have been searching for them in our neighborhood for several years, just to get a photo of a hovering one. Today, over a small pond, I found two that were hunting. They both considered the pond as their own territory and chased each other from time to time like fighter jets. However, at a few occasions everything was right for a photo: The distance to the dragonfly, the direction to the fly in relation to the sun, that it was hovering for long enough so that the camera could find focus on it, its angle to the photographic plane (is there such a term?)... Anyway, in an hour I had got maybe 10 acceptable photos out of which this seemed to be the best one. I am tempted to greet myself with a well-deserved: "Waidmansheil!"
Some technical particulars: Nikon D800, Nikon70 - 200mm + Nikon 2X extender=140 - 400mm. ISO 2000, 360mm, F7.1, 1/3200s.

The portrait of a calm and peaceful, yet alert gundog, is my self-imposed challenge. I can not say that I am a very fast developer with my skill. This photo, taken today, is in my own opinion my best one so far. I believe I started on dogs with the camera around 1995 so it took 20 years of training to get this far.
This is our own ES bitch Rospiga, a Winners Stake dog and the cutest girl one can hunt with... beside of two-legged girls :-))

© Text & photo: Torsti Mäkinen. www.rospigan.se