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Mad About Westies

West Highland White Terriers AKA Westies

The crazy cute Westie is one of the most popular small terriers among pet owners. Standing 10 to 11 inches at the shoulder, with dark piercing eyes, compact body, and an adorable carrot-shaped tail wagging with delight, the Westie’s looks are irresistible. Beneath the plush-toy exterior, though, beats the heart of true working terrier. Bred to hunt rats and other furry critters, Westies are surprisingly strong, brave and tough.  Look out chipmunks and squirrels!

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The West Highland White Terrier, commonly known as the Westie or Westy, is a Scottish breed of dog with a distinctive white coat. The modern breed is descended from a number of breeding programs of white terriers in Scotland prior to the 20th century.

West Highland White Terrier Dogs 101 Segment

The Westie is grouped with and probably closely related to the other terriers of Scotland, including the Cairn, the Dandie Dinmont, the Scottish and the Skye. It was bred to be a working terrier, going to ground to combat rats, rabbit, badger and fox. Legend has it that Colonel Malcolm was hunting with his small brown terriers and accidentally shot his favorite, mistaking it for a fox. Malcolm apparently set about developing a small white dog that could perform all the functions of a working terrier but would never be accidentally mistaken for prey. He selected the lightest puppies from litters of Cairn Terriers and bred them without crossing with any traditionally tan dogs. Eventually, he created pure white terriers that bred true to type, temperament, function and color.
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The white coat of the Westie or West Highland White Terrier should be hard to the touch, never soft and fluffy.  The westie breed has a two layer coats.  A soft under layer for warmth and a wirely outer coat for shedding dirt.

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The breed was listed officially as the West Highland White Terrier in 1907 at the Crufts dog show in England. The name was chosen for the rugged character of the dogs and the area of their development. The West Highland White Terrier Club of America was founded in 1909. It is a member club of the American Kennel Club. The Club’s annual meetings and specialty shows are held in conjunction with the Montgomery County Kennel Club Show at Ambler, Pennsylvania in October. In addition, the club holds a national Roving Specialty Show each year with one of the regional clubs acting as host.

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Most Westies will get dirty between baths no matter how often they are bathed. It is a Westie duty to see just how dirty it is possible to get before Mom or Dad catches them. If you are lucky, it is just plain mud or dirt and not something smelly!!

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BATHING PRODUCTS AND PROCEDURES:

  • DON’T use human shampoos unless “prescribed” by your vet. (Occasionally the vet may tell you to use a medicated human product for treatment of a medical condition. Of course, in this case, do as your vet tells you to do. ) Human products have a PH level set for human needs. A dog’s PH level requirement is quite different. Always use a product made specifically for dogs unless your vet specifically tells you to do otherwise.
  • Read the instructions on the shampoo. Many shampoos require that you leave them on the dog for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. This gives them time to work. If you do not follow the instructions, the product will not do its job.
  • Use a rinse that will re-moisturize the skin. Your vet can give advice on this subject but a very commonly used rinse is called HUMILAC. This product is a non-greasy skin conditioner that gets right through the hair and down to the skin without leaving any residue on the hair. It is like putting body lotion on your legs after you have bathed. It helps keep the skin from drying out even after more frequent baths. It can be sprayed on the dog and rubbed in. Possibly a more effective way to use it is to mix it with water and pour it over the dog in the final rinse. Instructions are on the bottle.
  • If your dog has dry, flaky skin (doggie dandruff) and you do not bath him frequently, use the HUMILAC as a spray between baths. If the dog is bathed more often, use it as a rinse (mixed with water) and follow up by using it as a spray between baths. NOTE: If the flaky skin continues, ask your vet to run a full Thyroid test. Low or low-normal thyroid can be a cause of skin problems and is easily corrected with medication.
  • Put a rubber mat on the floor of the tub or sink. This will give your dog a more secure footing.
  • Most important of all, when you shampoo your dog, you must do a thorough rinsing. Rinse your dog, rinse your dog again and rinse a third time. When you are SURE you have every bit of shampoo removed, rinse once more!! The residue left from the shampoo is often the CAUSE of itching.

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Photo Ideas

Time it well. If you’re looking for action shots, have your photo shoot before the daily three-mile run. If you want a serene portrait, make it after.

Let your dog get used to the camera. The click and flash of a camera can rattle dogs at first, says Rogers. Let your dog give the camera a good sniff, then start casually shooting the surroundings (if you’ve got a film camera, you can do this before you load the film). Once your dog’s gotten used to the camera and starts doing his own thing, begin taking pictures.

The idea is to keep things natural and relaxed. What not to do: Grab a ton of treats, abruptly shove the camera in your dog’s face, and repeat, “Mommy’s gonna take your picture!” at high pitch.

Take lots of pictures. This is the first rule of photography, no matter what the subject. The more you take, the better your chances of getting a few amazing shots. “Always bring an extra battery,” warns Rogers.

Turn off the flash. Most amateur photographers do best with warm, natural sunlight. To avoid washed-out pictures, shoot in the mornings or evenings, on slightly overcast days, or in the shade on a bright day.

For indoor shots, you’ll probably need a flash. You’ll get a more natural-looking shot if you use an off-camera flash and swivel it upward so the light’s bouncing off the ceiling.

Get down on your dog’s level. “If you stand over your dog and look down, every shot you take is going to look like everyone else’s,” says Rogers.

Pay attention to background. Simple backgrounds, like a white sandy beach or green trees, make your dog stand out. If you’ve got a point-and-shoot camera, have your dog at least a dozen feet in front of the background so he’ll be more in focus than whatever’s behind him, and of course, watch for the tree branches growing out of his head. Pay attention to color, too: No black backgrounds for black dogs, brown backgrounds for brown dogs, and so on.

Enlist help. A friend with a squeaky toy will come in handy if you want a head-on shot or a regal profile. However, keep your dog’s personality in mind with this tip. “Some dogs get amped up really fast when their toys are around, so it can have the opposite effect of what you intended,” says Rogers.

Get creative and playful. Lots of full-body shots taken from ten feet away can get mighty dull. Get up close so your dog fills the entire frame. Get even closer so you get the full effect of that long, wet nose. Photograph your dog head on, in profile, at 45-degree angles. And don’t get hung up on perfection; sometimes that shot with your dog’s tail out of the frame is the one you’ll have hanging on your wall for years. “With pet photography, serendipity is the name of the game,” says Rogers. “The best shots are often the spontaneous ones.”

Tips for Better Dog Photographs Featuring Tiki the Westie

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Vermont vs. New Hampshire – which is more photogenic?

I live in Hanover, New Hampshire but we’re only short drive from the Vermont boarder.  We’re so close to Vermont that kids from Norwich, Vermont attend our middle school and high school.  I probably spend as much time in Vermont as I do in New Hampshire, crossing over the Connecticut River on the various bridges – covered and otherwise that traverse the river back and forth between the two states.  Of course it should noted the all of the bridges are owned by New Hampshire as the NH state line extends to the opposite side of the Connecticut River.  This includes the longest covered bridge in the country – the Windsor-Cornish covered bridge.

Both states share a lot of things in common that make for great photo opportunities including:

New Hampshire tends to have a lot more trees.  Deer hunter friends of mine give Vermont a better rating because the state has more open areas for deer to flourish but both states have a healthy wildlife population of large mammals such as black bears, moose, deer as well as birds such as the ducks, turkeys, loons, eagles, hawks, owls, geese and song birds.

Both have mountains.  New Hampshire has the more dramatic White Mountains range with Mount Washington being the highest peak in the Northeast while Vermont has the Green Mountain range with Mt. Mansfield in Stowe being the highest peak.

Only New Hampshire has a sea coast.  Its tiny but its there and it manages to include the rather photogenic and historic city of Portsmouth.  Vermont doesn’t have the ocean but it has the impressively large Lake Champlain and the Burlington waterfront.  Then again New Hampshire has the lakes region with the very large Lake Winnipesaukee as a centerpiece.

I have to give Vermont the edge on having more scenic farm land.  New Hampshire tends to be more forested and hillier.  The farmland south of Burlington is flatter and easier to find compositions although if you look around enough there is plenty of great old red barns, cows, farm houses and old farm junk to photograph in both states.

As far as attractions go, New Hampshire has the edge on amusements.  Vermont’s attractions tend towards shopping and food.  Vermont has the Yankee Candle Company, Basketville, The Vermont Country Store, The Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Ben and Jerry’s, The Cider Mill as well as many beer breweries such as Harpoon in Windsor and a handful up in the Burlington Area like Magic Hat and Switchback. Meanwhile New Hampshire has Storyland, the Cog Railroad, Conway Scenic Railroad, Clark’s Trading Post and Canobie Lake Amusement Park.

As far as National Parks –  Vermont has the Marsh – Billings – Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, VT with hiking, an historic mansion tour and a working farm to explore.  New Hampshire has the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, NH which is also in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Vermont Photo Spot Ideas

New Hampshire Photo Spot Ideas

Since both states are relatively small, you can travel around both in a small vacation schedule.  Each has a life times worth of places to explore, hike, ski, boat, hunt and photograph but you can also pick out some highlights in each state to visit and savor.

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Black and White Ink Jet Printing

One of the impressive things about the Epson P600 is its handling of black and white images. There are 4 different black links inside the printer. Three of these inks work in combination to print over a wider dynamic range than just using one ink. There are two different blacks that are selectable depending on the paper you are using (1 for photo-gloss and 1 for matte finish). Note that switching between the blacks will use up a little bit of ink, but Epson has minimized this considerably.

In the excellent series of video blogs, “The Art of Photography” by Ted Forbes, Ted talks about black and white photography printing using the Epson P600.

From the manufacturer:  The all-new Epson SureColor P600 features Epson UltraChrome HD Ink for extraordinary exhibition-quality prints. With unprecedented black density and breakthrough Resin Encapsulation Technology, the P600 delivers the richest blacks with an incredible level of sharpness. Three-level Black Ink technology delivers smooth tonal transitions for the finest black-and-white prints. High-capacity, individual ink cartridges improve your productivity with fewer user interventions. Advanced media handling allows you to easily print with a wide variety of fine art and roll papers. Create borderless 13″ x 19″ prints and panoramas over 10 feet long. Whatever you print, the SureColor P600 delivers such dramatically bold images, it sets a groundbreaking new benchmark in photographic quality.

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Still Life with Pears

Still Life with Pears

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Monochromatic still life with three pear fruit in a wooden bowl. Fine art photography by Edward M. Fielding – www.edwardfielding.com

This still life image of fruit in bowl came about with the exploration of texture in black and white photography. It came about over a few years of collecting objects with deep texture, the old worn wooden planks are actually “raccoon” stretchers – a simple plank of wood used in the skinning of raccoon. I found a bunch of them in an old barn reclaiming business in Windsor, Vermont.

The wooden bowl is a family heirloom past down through the generations. It was probably hand turned by a family member or family friend. Finishing off the composition is a trio of ripe pears with a beautiful textured skin and gorgeous lighting that has been dodged and burned to bring out the highlights.

The conceptual idea of modernist photography is a looj at how photography interprets the world: through light, lens, glass, film, paper, brain and eye.  Still life photography allows one to stop and examine all of the fine detail and texture in the world around us.

Still life photography is a genre of photography used for the depiction of inanimate subject matter, typically a small group of objects. It is the application of photography to the still life artistic style. An example is food photography.

Black and white photography strips away the distraction of color and allows the view to see the composition, lines, texture, tonal range and shapes that build the image.

More still life photography by Edward M. Fielding – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/still+life

Prints Available

Still life with pears and other fine art photography by Edward M. Fielding is available for purchase as prints rolled in a tube, canvas prints, metal prints, framed and matted prints, cards, and more.

 

Fine art photography and digital art by artist Edward M. Fielding. Fielding is an artist working in the photography and digital media. As a freelance artist my work is currently represented by several leading stock agencies.

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Morant’s Curve Bow Valley Banff

Recently Sold: Morant’s Curve Bow Valley Banff

A recently sold copy of “Morant’s Curve Bow Valley Banff National Park Canada” by Edward M. Fielding is heading to a collector’s home in Buffalo, NY.  The buyer choose a classic black frame and white mat with the image printed on Luster Photo Paper and covered with unbreakable clear acrylic.

 

Morant's Curve Bow Valley Banff National Park Canada
Morant’s Curve Bow Valley Banff National Park Canada
  • Morant’s Curve Bow Valley Banff National Park Canada
  • Image Size:36.000″ x 20.250″
  • ‘Total Size:42.75″ x 27″
  • Print Material:Luster Photo Paper
  • Frame: 710BLK – Modern Classics – Black – 710 Profile (710BLK)
  • Top Mat:Arctic White
  • Finishing:1/8″ Clear Acrylic – Foam Core Mounting

This version of Morant’s curve is special because it includes a freight train rambling through the Bow Valley and through Banff National Park outside of Calgary, Canada.  We had a week in the Banff area and just happened upon this spot while driving around and exploring.  As luck would have it, there was a break in the overcast skies and a train chugging up the valley as we scrambled up a hill to get a view.  The train in the photograph was actually the second train spotted.  The first pasted us in the woods as we drove along to the look put point.  Luckily we stuck around long enough to see the second train.

Bow Valley is a valley located along the upper Bow River in Alberta, Canada.  The name “Bow” refers to the reeds that grew along its banks and which were used by the local First Nations peoples to make bows; the Peigan name for the river is “Makhabn”, meaning “river where bow weeds grow”.

Nicholas Morant was a photographer for the Canadian Pacific Railway.  This particular point on the mainline became known as “Morant’s Curve” as it was one of his favorite photo spots.

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Morant’s Curve is named for Nicholas Morant, a staff photographer for the Canadian Pacific Railway. For 44 years, he crisscrossed the country on passenger trains. He photographed hotels, steamships, trucks, airplanes, oil wells, and mines, for the CPR. He chronicled the times, writing for the company magazine as well as photographing developments on the railway. His photos have been used on the backs of $10, $50 and $100 Canadian bills. Morant and Yousuf Karsh are the only photographers named to the Order of Canada. More than 12 000 of his images can be found in the CPR archives. http://blog.buzzbishop.com/travel/alberta-2/banff/morants-curve/

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French River Prince Edward Island

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Photographing French River

Early one morning on our photographic exploration trip on Prince Edward Island, I woke up early, shrugged off coffee, grabbed my camera and went out to take photographs when the cottage full of sleepy teenagers slept in.

We were staying in the New London area around the New London light and the French River. French River is a long inlet from the sea and sports several marina as well as mussel farming in its shelter harbor of calm water.

One of the most photographed spots is of French River marina from the scenic lookout point but I want to venture further and find the second marina. I found the right road and ventured down the hill to find the beautiful little harbor full of lobster boats and fishing shacks. Many of the boats were still in the harbor as the lobster fishing season was between the Spring and Fall seasons. Often many of these boats take tourists out on deep sea fishing charters during the summer season, often at sunset when the island shines like a jewel with its red cliffs and many lighthouses.

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Photographing Prince Edward Island especially early in the morning before any tourists are up and about is a treat.  Besides most areas just outside of the tourist spots are quiet most of the day anyway.  You will see a steady stream of people stopping by the lighthouses on their quest to see as many as they can on their vacation but there is no spot on the island that compares to a big city.  The vibe is laid back, country, rural and relaxing.

One of the most painted panoramas on Prince Edward Island, the tiny fishing village of French River exudes the rural charm and timeless beauty so desired by many of our Island`s guests. The surrounding hills provide a breathtaking view of New London Bay while the secluded beach is one of the Island`s most delightful locations. The nearby Cape Tryon Lighthouse, perched on the tip of spectacular sandstone cliffs, offers a mesmerizing seascape and accompanying view of the rolling farmlands that dominates the surrounding landscape.

 

French River, Prince Edward Island
French River, Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Photography Prints
More French River and Prince Edward Island photographs and artwork here: http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/collections/places+canada+and+prince+edward+island+series

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Fine Art America Prints

Fine Art America Prints – When I decided to offer my photography and artwork to the general public as reproductions or prints I looked around at various vendors and settled on Fine Art America.  I’ve ordered prints to display at gallery shows and to display in my own home.

My Experiences with Fine Art America Prints

I’ve ordered framed and matted prints.  Prints rolled in a tube on rag paper as well as large metal prints.  The quality has always been excellent and if there ever is problem, the 30 day money back guarantee is outstanding.  Fine Art America will replace any problems.

With Fine Art America I can offer prints of any size including non-standard sizes.  If you wish to have these matted and framed locally to save on shipping you can do this, although the matting and framing can get expensive and the options through Fine Art America are very reasonable for a custom framing job.

Standard Sized Prints On Fine Art America

In the past you could often only find non-standard print sizes on Fine Art America.  Recently Fine Art America has added an option of choosing a standard size print from any of the images.  8×10, 11×14 etc.  You can even get a vertical print from an horizontal print or visa versa.  If you want to crop the image differently than the artist offers, you can now do this.

Very Large Prints from Fine Art America

I’ve sold a number of very, very large prints on Fine Art America.  These two image in particular have been ordered at the maximum size of 40 x 60 inches.  That is a huge print!

For some reason the largest prints purchase from my portfolio of fine art photography and artwork always seem to involve guns.

Art Prints

Art Prints

 

Metal Prints from Fine Art America

If you want a large, modern print, one of the least expensive prints you can get are the metal prints.  With a traditional framed and matted print you are paying for a lot of custom work, a lot of labor.  Metal prints are a simpler production, basically printed, trimmed and then a hanging part is added to the back. Less labor intensive so you save money.

The metal prints from Fine Art America are very competitively priced especially since everything needed to hand the prints is included.  Some other places add on hanging accessories to the price.  With Fine Art America its included.  Metal prints offer a clean modern look with the artwork floating on the wall.

office-artwork-7

Shipping metal prints is also less expensive because they don’t weigh as much as a framed image. Any very large print going through the mail will be expensive to ship but you save on weight and metal prints are unlikely to be damaged in shipping.

Fine Art America Prints Quality

I’ve sold over 1,500 pieces of artwork through Fine Art America and have only had an handful of returns for some reason or another (people changed their minds or didn’t like it for some reason or another).  That’s less than 1 percent of returns and the buyers got their money back.  I think that says a lot about the printer that Fine Art America uses.

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Selling art: Should I specialize? Or generalize?

A recent question came up on the Fine Art America forum asking if “specializing” is better for selling artwork vs. generalizing.  First off the question confused the idea of style and a niche.

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A niche and style are two different things. One is based on subject, the other is a look.

A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines as the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact. It is also a small market segment.

A niche give you something to promote. Its easier to find a group to market the niche. The problem comes if your niche is too small. Like all the people who buy a macro lens and start taking bug pictures. Turns out only 10 people in the world want a bug picture in their living room and 9 out of 10 of those already have a macro lens.

While a niche is focusing on a particular subject or theme, style is the aesthetic or a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement.  You style might be documentary, it might be black and white with deep depth of field, it might be bold, colorful and graphic, it might dark, somber, and moody.   It might be crowded with lots of detail or minimalist with simple shapes.

In the visual arts, style is a “…distinctive manner which permits the grouping of works into related categories.” or “…any distinctive, and therefore recognizable, way in which an act is performed or an artifact made or ought to be performed and made.”

In the end you want to focus your work on your interests.  Subjects and themes that your personal vision of the world draws you too.  From working on capturing your interests, your style will emerge. In the beginning you might try copying past great photographers that you admire but eventually you will stop looking at others work and start producing something uniquely yours.

This video blog from The Art of Photography covers this topic by describing “interpretations” by various photographers.

Work in Series

Anyone serious about a career in the artwork should be thinking in terms of series or in developing a body of work that could fit in a gallery show or book under a specific theme.

If you just want to sell random things then be all over the place. Shotgun approach. Just have lots and lots of images.

Consider that when you look at the recently sold page on Fine Art America it might seem as if buyers are choosing artwork at random but the individual buyer does not pick something at random. They have a deep affinity to the artwork they choose to spend their hard earned money on. The recently sold page shows the results of thousands of individual purchases, not some collective hive mind. The images might appear all over the place because the buyer’s interests are all over the place. You only have to satisfy the need of a single buyer, not all of them.

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Ideas for better dog photos

Dog Photography Ideas

A few ideas to spark some creativity in your dog photography. A few years back when I was looking for willing subjects to model for me, my cute little rescue westie was constantly looking for some attention, so I figured why not use him as a model? He liked the attention as well as the treats and we started on a journey that eventually lead to the book “the Quotable Westie” which as become popular among dog lovers and as a gift item.

Dog Photo Books

Its just a little book but its full of great concepts and ideas the two of us explored. This series lead to photographing some of his friends. Eventually a second book of pug photos was released as well as an ever expanding collection of fine art photographs and other artwork on my Fine Art America portfolio. The black and white “Portrait of a Westie” even landed on the home page of Fine Art America for about six months and has been purchase as prints as well as on products such as cell phone cases and throw pillows via Fine Art America’s sister site – Pixels.com.

This photograph of Tiki the Westie wrapped in a towel looking rather regal is one of my bestselling dog photographs in my portfolio.

dog Art Prints

Meanwhile this image of Tiki the Westie is probably the most widely seen since it ended up on a nationally distributed Halloween card.  You might spot it this season as it often makes a return to the card shelves this time of year.  Last time Halloween season I spotted it at Target.
dog Photography Prints

My dog Tiki loves to model. He sees the studio lights as a way to get treats. With other dogs its not so easy. Usually I try to clear the room of distractions so the dogs aren’t looking for their masters, use lots of treats and have a squeaky to handy for getting those priceless expressions.
dog Art Online

See more dog photographs at: http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/dog

Little gift book of cute pug photographs
Pugs by Edward M. Fielding

Pugs book