Reflections

Reflections happen all around you, not just in mirrors. The story behind this image has to do with Jake and the backyard, or more specifically, the outside. I'm speaking in metaphors here.

Jake loves being outside. Even when the family is inside he will sit by the back door staring outside. Sometimes when you open the door to let him out he will just sit there, and won't move. I think he gets conflicted. He's a pack animal, so he wants to be with his pack, but he loves going outside, so he sits and stares out. He is happiest when we are outside with him... especially throwing the ball in a game of fetch.

I made this image inside by the backdoor with Jake looking upward towards it. It captures his personality well suggesting that Jake, when not outside, sits and dreams of times when he is playing a game of fetch, swimming in a lake (see below), or just lying in the sun.

To capture this image he had to sit still for me. Sometimes Jake is a bit rambunctious, so sitting still is difficult for him. He's a Labradoodle, so he has a lot of energy. I 'commanded' him to sit and stay, and lo and behold he sat still for a while. 

To make this picture I used a circa 1970's Tamron 300mm f/4-5.6 macro. It's an all manual lens, so unless you have perfect vision manual focussing is adequate at best.

That's one thing I love about mirrorless cameras with electronic viewfinders (EVF). They have a focus peaking feature, so when your image is in focus the EVF will highlight the part of the image that is in focus taking much of the guesswork out of the equation. 

Notice that I took this photo at 300mm with a shutter speed of 1/125. We have to also consider that the Nikon D7100, which I used for this shot, has a 1.5x crop factor. Ugh! there is that pesky math again. So this 300mm has an effective focal length of 450mm. The rule of thumb for setting your shutter speed while hand holding is that your shutter speed should not be less than the focal length of the lens. 

Keeping the shutter speed at or faster than than the focal length number will keep you from taking a blurry picture while hand holding due to the fact a telephoto reaches out so far exaggerating subtle movements. Knowing this, I placed the camera on a tripod to keep from camera shake.

So with Jake sitting still, and with the camera on the tripod, I composed the frame and took a couple of shots trying to get the perfect reflection. After a half dozen or more attempts I came away with the above image. I love how clean the Nikon D7100 handles ISO 3200. 

What I enjoy most of this image is the story behind it. Sometimes your favorite images have a great story behind them. I can only imagine Jake looking out the door dreaming about the fun he had swimming in Barney Lake after a long hike to get there. Once in the water it is hard to stop him. 

What I love most about the below image is when we arrived at the lake. There was a women's hiking club sitting on the beach taking a break. They were between 70 and 80 years old, and loved tossing sticks for Jake to retrieve. These women had a lot of energy, and had Jake in the lake for quite a while.

When we were finished at the lake we hit the trail back to camp. Jake has a lot of energy, to be sure. I can only imagine the things he thinks about while staring outside when sitting by our backdoor. His time at Barney Lake must be one of them.