Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 138

Challenge accepted and conquered!

Welcome to the 138th round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

This week provided a wonderful Challenge! Too much work and not enough time, but I will endeavor to persevere! Thank you for a tremendous array of inspiring posts. They were a joy to read and there were quite a few that made me laugh. I’m curious to find out about your reaction to these posts.

Thank you all for all the effort you put into your posts and the creative energy! It’s also great to see that neither surgery nor injury prevents you from blogging!

Here’s one way to overcome a challenge…

English Springer Spaniel

For a number of years, I photographed a significant number of agility trials, capturing action, such as this. It is truly amazing to see what kind of challenges these well-trained dogs can conquer!

The following were this week’s participants in the challenge with links to their posts:

  1. Sarah’s post in By Sarah demonstrates there can be a true challenge in putting on one’s socks… which is left again?
  2. In Nut House Central, Kammie encounters a variety of challenges that come with this season! Where’s that elf again?
  3. That’s a really cool post in MVObsession, which features a challenge that is enjoyed by many!
  4. Shelley’s post in Quaint Revival addresses a problem that the cat lovers among us face during the holiday season: protecting the tree!
  5. This week’s contribution in theonlyD800inthehameau shows a truly serious challenge; I hope it was not to the death!
  6. In this week’s entry from Don’t Hold Your Breath, we visit Guangzhou from high up in the sky!
  7. In this week’s post from MyTravelCSP, we go to a challenge course and then we do some real climbing!
  8. That’s a really interesting photo in Land of Images: do you accept the challenge?
  9. In another great post in WhippetWisdom, the challenge to leap across the water on the beach is happily accepted!  As we can see in Tranature, there are some challenges in photographing birds.
  10. In Life Amazing, there are some significant challenges; which ones will you try?
  11. In a truly interesting post in Fleeting Muse, we go to Guwahati and find out how challenging it can be to be a police officer…
  12. In a rather dangerous post in Junk Boat Travels, I encountered a challenge that I won’t undertake any time soon!
  13. The poem in Na’ama Yehuda‘s post really brings the sensation of the challenge that is being conquered in the photo: one mis-step…
  14. Anita’s post in for the Love of describes the challenge that she is facing, as she’s learning to walk again after corrective surgery on her feet. My best wishes and I hope you will be able to walk into church!
  15. Olga’s photo in her post in Stuff and what if… truly captures the idea of the challenge faced on her creative journey; beautifully done!
  16. Emily has a rather creative way of responding to challenges, as we can see in Zombie Flamingoes; I think I’ll take the same route!
  17. Jase’s post in Proscenium tells the story of how one might approach the challenge of the impending holidays…
  18. Danny’s photo in Danny James Photography provides a rather unusual challenge. Should we try to reproduce it?
  19. In Jordy’s Streamings we learn of the challenge of pulling away from a gas station, particularly, if the nozzle of the hose is still inserted 😦
  20. In another great post in her blog, This is Another Story, Yinglan takes us to a very challenging trail!
  21. In Heart to Heart‘s post, I’m glad that all those delicacies are just photos, as the temptation would be challenging!
  22. In Anita’s Images, there is the challenge of capturing people unawares, which certainly was successful!
  23. A great post in A Day in the Life showcases the challenges of capturing birds, as they don’t appear to have learned to pose for the camera!
  24. This week, pensivity101 brings back the water with a wonderful challenge: those locks!!
  25. In Photo Roberts Blog, the challenge is well-met with wonderful captures of challenging subjects!
  26. Some may say that Susan’s photo in Musin’ with Susan is not a challenge, as they have captured plenty of out-of-focus shots, but I agree that a good bokeh in this shot is the real challenge!
  27. Deb captures a view that is a challenge in Twenty Four, as it looks like the brush is outmatched, but it persists nonetheless!
  28. Marie takes us on a tour of some of the collection in the Museo Stibbert in Florence in her post in the New 3R’s: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect. I have to add it to my list of places to visit, as the photos are stunning!
  29. In this week’s post in To See a World in a Grain of Sand… Ann-Christine touches my heart, as I can relate to the challenges of raising a young dog; our Stuff is just over a year old and a little demon 🙂
  30. Ilka’s wonderful post in A Thousand Miles allows us to catch the Sun, which is a welcome sight during an ofttimes dreary autumn season.
  31. In a stunning bit of reportage in Ostendnomadography, we get to see some of the amazing sights of the Waterford Greenway.
  32. This week’s post in One letter UP – diary 2.0 made me laugh, as one sign told the entire story!
  33. Sonia is recapping her year in Sonia’s Musings, and this post shared some lovely challenges!
  34. Miriam’s post in her awesome blog, Out an’ About, details some of the challenges of single-handedness due to recovery from hand surgery; the resulting simplicity and appreciation for little things is uplifting!
  35. Woolly found a good challenge in his post in Woolly Muses, as the Memorial Tower looked less daunting to climb from ground level; there’s always one more level to ascend!
  36. Maria reports on the acceptance of a challenge in her post in KameraPromenader; it makes me wonder what the temperature of the water was….
  37. In a lovely post in Happy Time, we get the challenge of each brand new day, as it is created.
  38. Tatiana identified a challenge that draws many to Las Vegas in Vegas Great Attractions: Gambling!

I hope that you enjoy these posts and let the authors know!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Contact

Making contact…

Welcome to Week 136 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

As I was caught repeating a theme last week (great attention to detail!), I made doubly sure that this week’s theme was not used for a previous TPC. Also, I want to thank Na’ama for contributing the theme of Contact.  When I saw this theme in her list, I was at once intrigued, as Contact can be taken in multiple directions.  First contact with aliens might be far-fetched, but making contact can range from a fender bender to a phone call…

I hope that you will let your creative huices flow for this week’s theme and have some fun with it! There were some great whimsical entries last week and I certainly look forward to your flights of whimsy!

Here’s an interpretation to get you going…


In the dogsport of agility, there are certain obstacles, such as this see-saw that require the dog to touch a certain area before dismounting.  This area of the obstacle is called the contact area.  As you can see in this photo, there are very fast dogs that get to the end of the see-saw and then have to ride it down.

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Looking forward to the contacts that you create  this week!

DogStar Thursday – vol. 16

English Springer Spaniel

As I have begun my side project of looking through the 300K+ dog images that I have captured over the years, I started picking some representative images of various dog breeds, so that I can start using them as a series.  As most of my photography is from agility competitions, you may be amazed at the enormous variety of breeds that I have captured over the years, ranging from the ultra-rare to common breeds, and the smallest toy breeds to an enormous Great Dane.

English Springer Spaniel


The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized compact dog. Its coat is moderately long with feathering on the legs and tail. It is a well proportioned, balanced dog with a gentle expression and a friendly wagging tail.  This breed represents perhaps the greatest divergence between working and show lines of any breed of dog. A field-bred dog and a show-bred dog appear to be different breeds, but are registered together. In fact, the gene pools are almost completely segregated and have been for at least 70 years.  A field-bred dog would not be competitive in a modern dog show, while a show dog would not have the speed or stamina to succeed in a field trial.

The English Springer Spaniel field-bred dogs tend to have shorter, coarser coats than show-bred dogs. The ears are less pendulous. Field-bred dogs are wiry and have more of a feral look than those bred for showing. The tail of the field-bred dog may be docked a few inches in comparison to the show dog. Field-bred dogs are selected for sense of smell, hunting ability, and response to training rather than appearance.

Show dogs have longer fur and more pendant ears, dewlaps and dangling flews. The tail is docked to a short stub in those countries that permit docking. They are generally more thickly boned and heavier than field-bred springers.

The English Springer Spaniel is similar to the English Cocker Spaniel and at first glance the only major difference is the latter’s smaller size. However English Springers also tend to have shorter, and higher-set ears than English Cockers. In addition Springers also tend to have a longer muzzle; their eyes are not as prominent, and the coat is less abundant.  The major differences between the Welsh Springer and the English Springer are that the Welsh have more limited colours and tend to be slightly smaller.

Coat and colors

Field-bred dogs tend to have shorter, coarser coats than the longer furred show-bred dogs. They normally only shed in summer and spring months but shed occasionally in the autumn.  The coat comes in black or liver (dark brown) with white markings or predominantly white with black or liver markings; Tricolour: black and white or liver and white with tan markings, usually found on eyebrows, cheeks, inside of ears and under the tail. Any white portion of the coat may be flecked with ticking.


Males in the show dog line are typically approximately 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 cm) at the withers and weigh 50 to 55 lb (23 to 25 kg). According to the UK Breed Standard, the English Springer Spaniel should be 20 inches (51 cm) at the withers. The females should be 17 to 19 inches (43 to 48 cm) and usually 35 to 45 lb (16 to 20 kg). Working types can be lighter in weight and finer in bone.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens with 1.4x Extender.  Exposure settings were at 1/500 second at f/6.3 and 400 ISO.

Dogstar Thursday – vol 14

So close…

One of the dog activities that I very much enjoy photographing is the sport of agility.  The simple reason is that it’s great to see dogs and their handlers having fun, as they work together as a team to navigate the courses that may have lots of tricky sequences and even some traps to lure the team into making a mistake.

Of course, the goal is to run the course without any mistakes, which is known as running clean, but that doesn’t always happen.  If the run isn’t clean, it’s always human error, as we simply didn’t give the right instructions at the right time.

Then again…


As you can see from this shot, sometimes even the fastest dog can end up cutting a turn a little too tight and by rubbing the upright cause the bars to start falling (the bars are just leaving the cups in this capture).  Definitely, there was no lack of focus, or lack of trying to bend around the jump, but the sense of Oops was present!

Hope you enjoy this image.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens and an EF 1.4x II extender.  Exposure settings were at 1/320 second at f/6.3 and 640 ISO.

Dogstar Thursday – vol 10

An evolved dog!

Today, I’m posting a memory tht is close to my heart, as it is our ‘Old Man’ Darwin from 5 years ago, when he was just in his 10th year…

Focusing on the Target

Darwin clearly focuses with great intensity on the end of the see-saw, as he knows he wants to keep going as fast as possible to the next obstacle!

Happy Poles!

And he is a master of the weave-poles, which he knows how to enjoy!

Darwin maybe in his 15th year now, but he still runs around like the crazy puppy that he thinks he is, and then sleeps a lot longer than he used to do.

Hope you enjoy this glimpse of our Theory of Evolution!

Dogstar Thursday – Vol 9

A dog of kings

One of the really fun things about photographing agility, is that I have had the opportunity to capture a large variety of breeds over the years.

Stepping Saluki

This wonderful saluki strides across the dogwalk with the great elegance that is inherent in the breed.  These hounds are built for speed and run with a grace that is amazing to behold.

Saluki are a breed that you don’t see that often, even though it is a very old breed.  The breed dates back about 6,000 years from the Fertile Crescent.  Salukis and greyhounds can be seen depicted on the walls of the tombs of ancient Egypt.  According to legend, the saluki was introduced to Europe by returning crusaders.

This dog was the favorite of kings across the ages, showing up in portraits over more 1,000s of years.

Hope you enjoy this image of a wonderful dog!

Technical Details

Shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/400 second at f/6.3 and 400 ISO.

Dogstar Thursday – vol. 4

Faster, higher, stronger!

This week, I am going back to one of my many agility photos and am picking one of my favorite obstacles to photograph, the A-frame.


This image was taken in October, 2010, at the Cape Cod Kennel Club AKC agility trial in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  It was a beautiful day with great light and a pretty good breeze, so the dogs were ready to run!

Clearly, this pug had a good head of steam, when cresting the A-frame, which, for this jump height, stands at 5’0″ (apps. 1.52 m).  For a small dog, that is quite a height; if we’d scale this for the average human, it would be 4-5 times as high!  Luckily, these dogs are well-trained and quite used to it, but it is still a feat of courage for them to fly over this A-frame at speed.

Out of curiosity, have any of you run your dogs in agility or other competitions?

Dogstar Thursday – vol. 2

Water, water everywhere!!

Last week’s image was of a Golden Retriever clearing a jump on a nice, sunny day.  Today’s photo shows you that agility competitions are not always blessed with wonderful weather, but the contest continues!

Exploding Rain!

This shot came from a competition in Broomfield, Massachusetts, held in October of 2006.  The morning conditions were abysmal with rain and wind sending everyone looking for a place to stay dry and warm.

None of the weather could hold back this Border Collie blasting through the chute and sending water flying everywhere!!

Technical Details

This shot was taken with a Canon EOS 1D MkII, using a 70-200 F2.8L lens.  Due to the weather, I had to push the ISO up to 1600, so that I could get this shot at 1/400 second at f/4.5.  Clearly, it’s not a perfect image, but it got the sense of the day across rather effectively.

Dogstar Thursday

Should we let Thursday go to the dogs? Let me know…

High Flying Golden

Agility Competitions

As frequent readers of my posts might be aware, I spent a number of years photographing dog agility competitions (How did you learn photography? (part 2) talked about it a bit).  One of the great comments I received included a request to share some more of my dog photography, so here’s a start…

My assumption is that most of you are somewhat familiar with dog agility competitions, where dogs, with the help of their handler, compete against each other over jumps, through tunnels, across see-saws (teeters) and other obstacles to run without mistakes and as fast as possible.  These competitions are a lot of fun for the dogs, as most of them love running around and doing challenging things for a reward; just like people, different dogs like different rewards ranging from food to tugging with their handler.

About the Photo

This photo is from about 5 years ago on a beautiful day in early May.  Note that this Golden Retriever is jumping rather high; the top bar is set at 24″ (appr. 60 cm) and is being cleared by quite a bit.

As my practice is to set up for shooting the action at certain obstacles, I made sure that for this jump the dog would be backlit to get some nice edge lighting on the ears and hair; it’s not often that this shot opportunity presented itself, which made for a fun shot.

Photo Geek Information

As some of you have asked for shot data and I had it readily available:

– shot with a Canon EOS-1D Mark III using a 70-200mm F2.8 lens and 1.4x extender at 1/1250s/F6.3

Hope you enjoy this, as I am thinking about making this a regular Thursday feature.

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