Winner winner chicken dinner (or so they say in the South)

A few weeks ago I was asked to photograph the winner of an essay contest held by the Charleston Parks Conservancy. The winner’s essay, and photos of the winner and her dog, appear in the August/September issue of Lowcountry Dog magazine. The magazine can be read online www.lowcountrydog.com, just click on the magazine to view it. The winning essay starts on page 6, and continues on page 11, where 2 of the 3 photos I submitted for the story also appear.

Here are some of my faves of the short session of Les, Sera and Jetta at Hampton Park in Charleston, starting with the three images I submitted for publication:

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Thanks Les, Sera and Jetta for a wonderful afternoon in Hampton Park, and congrats on being named the essay winner!

August 3, 2009 - 1:48 pm

Stephanie - The last one is my favorite shot! Love the expression :) Nice job

Testing 1..2..3..

I’ve received report that my blog is misbehaving in that it is “squishing” (yes, that is the technical term) my images. Bad blog! So, in the interest of a little experiment, i’ve enlisted the help of these two sweet cocker spaniels from my last shoot. Everybody seeing this image ok? Or, are things distorted? Please report either way in the comments section. You’ll really be helping me out, and, good karma will definitely come your way from participating in this little experiment. Thanks!:)Oh, and special thanks and good karma to Jennie Sloan, for alerting me to the problem.

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July 27, 2009 - 4:56 pm

Jennie - Looks SLAMMIN!!!!!

August 4, 2009 - 9:20 am

Michelle - excellent! It focuses beautifully on the sweethearts and then blurrs on the back ground!!!!

September 4, 2009 - 5:06 pm

Cathy - I just wandered over here from the pixelated image blog, and saw this post. Your images ARE squishing from where I’m standing – a PC on internet explorer (if that helps!)

Ooh, hang on, when I’m in this view writing the comment it is
un-squishing again. I’m going back to the main page, and I’ll let you know if the problem is still out there…

September 4, 2009 - 5:08 pm

Cathy - Yeah, there’s still some funky stuff going on. Some are OK, some are ‘squished’ and some have a grey box. Hope that helps, and hope you get to the bottom of the problem :)

Hampton Park

Last night i went on a short photo shoot in Hampton Park, a beautiful park in downtown Charleston near the Citadel. While i can’t reveal the exact details of the shoot until after next week, i sure ran into some cute dogs while at the park.

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When i got home, i ran into this handsome fella, who wants to share with the world his ability to let his tongue hang out the side of his mouth!

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Cooper’s favorite new toy

Over the years we’ve gotten Cooper quite a few toys, all of which he somehow still knows by name (though he is a bit rusty on some he hasn’t played with in a while—mainly ones we have forgotten about and never ask him to fetch anymore.) Recently, Cooper has become fixated on a whole new “toy.” Namely, my plastic Perrier water bottles.

When we lived in San Diego, on walks, Cooper would actually carry his own (full) plastic water bottle, carrying it proudly like a big fat stick in his mouth. Along the way he would want a drink, and then would carry on with the bottle until it was empty by the time we got back home. Here in Charleston it’s a little too warm for him to carry it in his mouth (he can’t pant enough.)

Anyway, ever since i made the mistake of giving him one of my empties, he has discovered the joys of chewing/biting/tossing the bottles, and, he will sit beside me and actually stare me down to my last sip of the bottle, at which point he gets impatient for me to screw the cap back on so he can have his toy.

Here he is in action after already playing with it a while. Video taken with my iPhone.

Untitled from Els Sipkes on Vimeo.

July 29, 2009 - 8:26 pm

Meredith Perdue - Super cute! My lab has an obsession with bottles too!

Blog neglect…

Without further ado (or any lame excuses) finally another blog post! Despite it being insanely hot and humid here the past month, we’ve found a few nice days to get out and discover our “new” hometown and surroundings.

First up: downtown Charleston.

While i do think it would be neat to see Charleston by way of horse-drawn carriage, i just can’t get beyond the fact that these poor horses (and donkeys in some instances) are subjected to 95+ humid degrees (real feel temperature of 115+ degrees — that’s 46+ degrees for you centigrade lovers.) Let’s just say i will never be supporting these horse-drawn carriages with my money for a ticket.

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Just around the corner from State Street, where the above image was taken, are the German Fire Department and the Old Slave Mart Museum on Chalmers Street. Slave auctions at this site ended in 1863. The cobblestones in the street originated in England, and were once used as ballast for trade ships coming over the Atlantic. The cobblestones were dumped in Charleston, and, were replaced on the return voyage with goods obtained here. The clever Charlestonians started using the cobblestones to pave the streets. The even-more clever British realized this, and, started charging for the cobblestones.

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While not the famous “rainbow row,” Queen street also boasts plenty of homes painted in pastel colors. At the end of this street, toward the harbor, is an awesome fountain, and a pier overlooking the Ravenel bridge and the decomissioned aircraft carrier Yorktown, located across the harbor in Mount Pleasant.

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Up next: Sullivan’s Island.

Poor Cooper had to stay home because of his ear infection, but we decided to see what we could find one evening this week around sunset. We found tons of parachute surfers and came across this super-excited kid who couldn’t get enough of watching the guys perform their tricks. Here he is calling one over to ask him to perform a specific trick . . .

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. . . which he performed to perfection. The kid was really trying to get his fishing buddy’s attention to check out the trick.

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The kid was so excited. Great to see. I’m sure we’ll be spotting him out there in another few years on his own board and parachute.

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Meanwhile, the kid’s fishing buddy was busy reeling in fish after fish, and, was so focused on catching more that he completely missed the bird who kept stealing his catch. I’m sure he must have wondered why he kept catching fish, but, his tally on the shore wasn’t increasing. The guy on the windsurfer had the whole thing down pretty well, with the exception of turns, which he made by jumping off the board into the water, then climbing back onto the board and heading off into the other direction.

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What would a pet photograpy blog post be without an actual pet photo? So, in closing, a somewhat “test” photo of Cooper taken only to check the settings on my camera. For whatever reason, i kind of like the end result. Probably because this is a pretty common view i have of Cooper when i am just settling down onto the couch for some relaxation, and he arrives with his nonchalant “hey-i’m-just-sitting-here-next-to-you-so-in-case-you-are-ready-for-a-walk-i-am-TOTALLY-ready-to-go” look on his face.

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July 6, 2009 - 5:57 pm

Jennie - I love that first pic! And of course I love the pic of Cooper. What a cookie face :)

July 6, 2009 - 6:51 pm

Stephanie - I Heart Cooper….and Charleston. You’ve convinced me I need to make a trip there :)

July 6, 2009 - 8:08 pm

Nicole - Wow– what an awesome beach series! So much going on out there! And Cooper is gorgeous as always.

July 6, 2009 - 10:07 pm

Claire - i TOTALLY know what you mean about the horse drawn carriages. i always feel terrible for them, too. especially in the heat!

July 7, 2009 - 8:58 am

johnwaire | photo - blog neglect no more. good to see a new post. hot and humid conditions would suck the life out of me :) your new surroundings look like they’ll provide the perfect backdrop for some spectacular imaging.

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