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Doggone Sunset

Sunsets aren’t just for humans anymore. Cue Belle and the canine variety:


I was inspired by a guest blog on Scott Kelby’s site by pet photographer Kaylee Greer. I used an unusual lens for a portrait – a 16mm fisheye, with its perspective distortion corrected in Lightroom. Wide angle lenses exaggerate that which is close to camera, so this very wide angle lens enlarges the paws and adds interest, I think, to the image. When you use a wide angle lens, you need to get close to your foreground subject, and you have to be careful of how you control distortion (things close to the lens become larger, while those further away are pushed back visually).

And Belle was not the most cooperative of subjects (gasp in mock disbelief if you know her), and I don’t have a lot of experience shooting animals, but I was happy with the image.

No clouds, so the sunset is basically horizontal gradients of color, but for this pic I think it appropriate. The goofy look is all Belle (and every other Wheaton I’ve seen).

There’s another reason I like this image. Compositionally, I think it works on many levels. First of all, I’m basically a rule of thirds guy. Notice Belle’s positioning within the frame. Second, there are triangles in the composition, with Belle at one of the points. Since she is near camera, there are leading lines created by the triangle to her, a third compositional element. This is why both the runner to the left and the building to the right are in the image (and serve key functions).


Shot on the beach outside Destin, Florida.

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