Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nicole's Birthday/Puppy Time!

I took all of these pictures when we got home from PF Chang's because I forgot to take my camera there. And I totally meant to. But I was too busy wrapping Nicole's presents at the last minute (I know, I know), and trying to remember Billy's wallet, and I don't know, I just forgot, okay?

Anyway, here are Dan and Nicole with Otis, peeking over the back of my couch. You can see American Idol on the TV in the background. We sort of had a hard time ripping Dan away from it, but Nicole pulled the "It's my birthday" card and he had no choice but to go along with it.
Seriously, if you are ever on the fence about a picture, try it in black and white. It just has a way of making things look good (in this case, the picture was a little fuzzy). That's why everyone looks back fondly on the past--because everything in the past happens in black and white. Or at least that's my understanding, based on movies and TV.

Here's a color version, because I don't know, I just love my mantle and Billy's grandma's painting so much that I wanted everyone to be able to see the funhouse and I just went with it. And by the way, these pictures really do not do justice at all to how pissed Otie was at having to pose like this. He did a little better when we put a pillow under him and made Billy crouch down behind him and hold up his butt, but he wasn't thrilled about that either.

Neither was Billy.

It's the birthday girl and her puppy! And the cutest shoes ever, which you can't really make out. By the way, I don't do a ton of sepia because I never really know when to use it and I'm always worried it'll come out looking like those pictures where you go in a trailer and put on old Western wear and stare menacingly at the camera while holding your shotgun or something, but then whenever I do use it I end up liking it, so maybe I just need to get more courageous with it.

Ah, this. Remember how I said that one of my goals was to embrace the technically imperfect pictures? Prime example right here. One of Flash's most favorite games in the world is Pants, where he chases Billy down, grabs his pant leg with his teeth, and growls, tugs, and shakes it. This is more or less what that looks like--massively chaotic. I love it. I still can't figure out what the two circles are around Flash's butt, though. Lens flare wouldn't make sense, and I'm not sure what would make that kind of motion. Maybe it's orbs! Spoooooooky! (Not really.)

Here's Billy with Flash in a half nelson, which is one of their moves when they play. Oddly (or not, since nothing bothers him), Flash never really seems to mind. I think it gives him a chance to rest up. And also, I love how this totally captures the cuteness of Billy. Yay for cute boyfriends!

This is just cracks me up to no end.

This is a pretty similar picture but if you're looking closely, you can see that the focus is different--above, the focal point is the teeth, where here, it's the eyes. I'm kind of a fan of the first one, myself, but they're both cute and I like how the bottom one puts more emphasis (because of the focus) on his face wrinkles, because they're more noticeable in that one.

Not to be outdone, here's my gorgeous Ricker watching all the proceedings and actually allowing me to take her picture. People tell me sometimes that I don't take many pictures of her, and I think they think she's the redheaded stepchild at my house. It's really not true, though. She just doesn't like having her picture taken, or a lot of attention on her in general. Plus, she's skittish and the camera makes noises and she doesn't like having her space invaded unless it's in the bathroom. So I do have way more pictures of her than it seems, but many of them are of her turning her head so I can't take her picture, or of her with her ears flattened, or her just giving me that signature Ricker Look of Disgust.

Meanwhile, Flash LOVES getting his picture taken because it means that someone is paying attention to him. In addition, if I'm trying to take pictures of something else, he will get into the frame and not leave until I acknowledge him, so usually as long as he's there, I just take some shots. Plus, he likes to strike poses and I can occasionally get him to do what I tell him to, so he's kind of a good model.

Oh, my gosh. This picture. We tried SO HARD to get the dogs to pose together and they were not having it AT ALL. So finally, I gave two ice cubes to Nicole to tempt them with and we made them sit for as long as we could. Now, two things you should know: 1. Flash considers ice cubes treats, and therefore so does Otie. 2. Nicole is always freezing, so this was a major sacrifice on her part. But I think it turned out cute. For this one, I made all my adjustments to the original, and then I created a saturation layer, which I colorized with a blue tone and then I did an overlay. I don't know what you'd call the outcome, but I liked it and that's good enough for me.

Alright, that's all I've got. Happy birthday, Nicole! I hope you had as much fun as I did. :)


James M said...


Lots o' thoughts (I think?):

I love the half nelson pics for the reasons that you gave.

I love the "mean tooth" picture.

Ricker looks like she is thinking "What you talkin' bout Willis?"

Do you ever wonder if aspects of your personality are demonstrated (or projected) onto your pets? It's not a slam - just a wondering...

I had one of those western wear shots done when I was a sophomore in high school. I was supposed to be a gangster. What about taking sepia-toned pictures that have futuristic themes to them, like astronauts and aliens? That might buck the genre.

Last butt not least (haha, pun intended!) I think that your dog's butthole is haunted. That's what those lights are from...buttghosts! Or maybe that's what a fart lok like on camera?

Eric Clark said...

Hey SB, your pictures are awesome!! I stopped by your blog to see what's up and I'm really excited for you! Hope you're doing well!

nicole green said...

ok first, could we please take a moment and look at that hilarious face dan is making in the 2nd picture? HA! :) he is too much.

i cannot get over how pissed otis looks in the pictures on the couch. he literally looks like he wants new owners.

photo time was fun and definitely made my birthday even that much more amazing. you and billy are the greatest! :)