City Lights and Stars...of the Canine Variety

I wanted a dog to be a figure of stillness, calm and confident in a night time urban scene.

When photographing night/low-light scenes, the shutter, or eye, of the camera has to be open longer in order for enough light to reach the image sensor to capture the scene.

So, my canine star would need to be still for a while in order to be sharp while the moving lights, cars, people nearby would be blurred in impressionistic brushstrokes of deeply saturated colors.

Sounds exciting, but challenging right?

Fearless & Beautiful Miya - About the Model
I selected Miya specially for this night time shoot because I anticipated it would be exceptionally challenging. Miya's Mom, Margo explained in the model application how Miya was endlessly patient, loved everyone she met, and excelled in busy, noisy, and ever-changing-environments. She was pulled from Manatee County Animal Services by Animal Network in order to have major surgery on her femur and endure heart-worm treatment. Miya stayed with two foster families while undergoing treatment, and when she was available for adoption she and Margo were introduced and has been with Margo's family now for two years. Miya also helps socialize feral foster kittens, ensuring a new generation of dog-loving kitties joins the Manatee County community.

Perfect! I was confident Miya would excel in this role, and was eager to meet her.

The evening we chose all four of my weather apps on my phone foretold eminent rain, and not just any rain, but likely a thunderstorm. Eighty to ninety-five percent likely.Most Florida residents are now rolling their eyes or arching an eyebrow. I know, I know. Of course it never rained! It politely waited until after the photoshoot was done. Lucky for us.

The first location I picked worked well. It feels peaceful while still being an urban scene. I may have scheduled the start time a little bit too early. The sun was still meandering its way down.

Downtown Bradenton Is Dog Friendly, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

We moved to a second location, just on the other side of the street, and was able to get a whole different ‘look’. No, those aren’t ghosts! I know, it’s October, but see this is what I mean that the camera has to be open much longer to capture all the light and record the scene. What ever ‘stays’ in place for more than a few seconds is visually recorded.

Downtown Bradenton Is Dog Friendly, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

In case you’re wondering what that red metal thing is in the bottom right of the image: it’s a bike rack in the shape of a coffee cup! Pretty cool, and there’s a few others on Main Street too, a flip flop, a beer stein, and maybe more than that. I love functional public displays of art!

Miya was a star. She knew it too, but she was very humble. When we were done, she gave me a lick/kiss on my cheek and I melted. 

Downtown Bradenton is dog friendly, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

Thank you Margo, Jim, and of course Miya! 


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