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?
Today, a departure from the past couple of Wednesday Wonderment posts; this time, the amazing subject are two feats of human engineering near the town of Falkirk in Scotland.
The first is the Falkirk Wheel, which is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, which have an elevation difference of 35 meters (appr. 115 feet). Prior to the construction of this marvel, ships were required to go through a system of 11 locks, which could take as much as a day to traverse.
The wheel raises boats by 24 meters, after which they still need to go through 2 locks for the remaining 11 meters. The lock operates on Archimedes’ principle, which states that the upward buoyant force on an object (i.e. boat) equals the mass of the water that is displaced. This means that when a boat enters the moving part of the lock, its mass plus the mass of the water is equal to the mass of the when the boat was not in the lock. In a nutshell both sides of the arm are always balanced.
The Falkirk Wheel is the only lock of its kind in the world; it was opened in 2002.
The other engineering marvel is ancient! It is the Antonine Wall, a turf fortification on stone foundations across the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde.
Unlike the Falkirk Wheel, it doesn’t stand out in the landscape, but rather blends in pretty well due to its weather state. This lesser known of the two great walls in Great Britain was started at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius in CE 142, and took around 12 years to complete. Its key function was to provide a fortification to help repel the Caledonians.
The wall had 16 forts with smaller fortlets between them; the soldiers who built the wall placed slabs to commemorate the construction and their struggles with the Caledonians, twenty of which still survive.
The section of the wall in this photo is in walking distance from the Falkirk Wheel. I hope you enjoy these travel photos!
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!
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!!
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.
The Wednesday Wonderment series examines some of the things that amaze and inspire me; lots will be in nature, but there may be some surprises.
“What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.”
― Albert Einstein
Today’s image is all about structure. Nature provides us with a dazzling array of structures that are optimized for the function that they perform. Such is the case here with this palm leaf, which is perfectly folded to provide the strength needed to support its size, which allows it to capture as many of the sun’s vital rays as possible.
Structure that lends strength is seen in many places in nature, maybe none more dramatic than the giant sequoias.
There is also beauty in these forms beyond just the functional aspect; this beauty has us coming back time and again to appreciate a level of perfection that is rarely achieved in human endeavors.
What structure in nature is your favorite? What draws you in when you look at it?
Thank you for reading this post; I hope you enjoyed it!
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII with a 17-40mm F4 lens. F-stop used was f/8 at 1/25 second, ISO 640.
Should we let Thursday go to the dogs? Let me know…
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.