Thursday, February 23, 2012

The evolution of a header photo

Step One: Get tired of looking at the old header photo.

Step Two: Go through the 1000's of pictures on your computer and decide that none of them are suitable.

Step Three: Contemplate doing a photo shoot with the dogs outside.

Step Four: Decide its way too cold out for that!

Step Five: Convince the dogs to look cute inside with the help of treats.

Step Six: Spend too much time trying to figure out new camera settings and get frustrated. The girls are frustrated too as they haven't had any treats yet!

Step Seven: Start taking 100's of pictures with different settings and hope for the best.

Step Eight: Admire all the horrible shots you took just to get a few good ones.

I love digital photography.

We started on the couch with purple pillows... both Mylee and Molly are blurry and out of focus.

Cute but definitely out of focus
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I managed to get this cute picture of Mylee before abandoning trying to get a shot of them on the couch. Even though its cute my focus is still off on her one eye.

Mylee loves having her picture taken
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I decided to move our ottoman against the light grey wall of our living room.

Making progress... Molly looks adorable here but unfortunately its out of focus too.

Princess Molly
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Finally getting somewhere!

Mylee and Molly pose for cookies
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This next shot is easily the best picture i've ever gotten of three together at once.. now to try and replicate with four. (so not happening) I almost chose this picture for my new header. It may make an appearance later on!

Even Zoey has her tongue in!
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At this point Mylee and Zoey abandon staying on the ottoman for harassing me up close and personal for their cookies. Molly became the star of the show.

I'll pose for you
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I've had enough are you done yet? Looking cute though.
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And in our very last few shots... it happened. I captured this beautiful shot that captures exactly the personality of our princess. I knew it'd be perfect.

Original unedited off of the camera. A good photographer is only as good as his/her post production work. Mine is slowly getting better.
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I'm so thrilled with our new header that I think it will be sticking around for a bit!

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I'd also like to share an important education initiative that I have been working hard on for the Cavalier Fanciers of Southern Ontario. Our printed versions are being dropped off today and distributed at our meeting on Saturday. The hard copy version is a three panel brochure to be handed out everywhere we can think of: dog events, vet clinics, pet supply stores..etc. The online version reads more like a little booklet but the content is the same.

This educational initiative stemmed entirely from my experience at this past years summer Woofstock. You can read the entire story in this blog post. I am so excited for them to arrive. There is so much to be said on a little brochure like this so we chose to stick to the very basics. We hope that it will prompt people to do more research before buying their first Cavalier.

You can have a sneak peak at the online version by clicking the following link: Cavalier Fanciers of Southern Ontario - Buy from a Responsible Breeder

Feel free to share and cross post wherever you see fit! The more education we can offer about this breed and the importance about buying from a responsible breeder, the better.





Sunday, February 12, 2012

Aloha oukou (Aloha to all of you)

12 days..

12 days away from these beautiful faces.

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Don't worry though, they were spoiled rotten while we were away thanks to my sister. Having a sister who is able to come and stay in your home while you are vacationing in Maui is wonderful. I came home to a house the way I left it, and very clean doggies (I left her with dirty ones). It made it very easy to go away and not be worried..almost too easy.

Mylee would like for it to be public knowledge that Zoey and Molly had a tiki toy brought back for them, and all she got was ear wipes. My poor little red dog.

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(the little red dog rarely plays with dog toys)

Maui was incredible. Anyone who loves beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, snorkeling, hiking, and wildlife everywhere would enjoy Maui. We spent a lot of time on the beach, walking the streets of Lahaina, whale watching, touring gorgeous scenery, and getting carsick on the road to Hana and up to Haleakala's summit. (that last part meaning ME)

17 hours of travel on the way, 20 hours travel home, totaling 14900km or 9210 miles.. worth every one of them.

A taste of Maui, Hawaii through pictures:

Incredible scenery
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Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa - taken from the top of Black Rock, facing the Westin
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Beautiful ocean waters - still trying to figure out who took this amazing shot, I definitely took the picture after it and Mr. Embee took the picture before it.. bragging rights to be determined :)
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As an animal lover I'm always on the lookout for wildlife. I could watch animal behaviour for hours and any trip we take its a very important element for me. Maui was a perfect choice. There was wildlife everywhere! From the cutest little lizards in the hotel flowerbeds, to Humpback whales vacationing in Hawaiian waters, Maui exceeded my expectations.

Humpback whales everywhere
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You just had to look at the ocean and you could spot them. I saw them in the car, from the hotel, eating lunch, sightseeing... you get the picture. On our snorkeling trip our boat captain said that the Humpback whale population numbers have definitely enjoyed a huge increase - an increase reflecting protection efforts.

Turtles!
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We spotted this guy on our snorkeling trip. We also snorkeled with one at Black Rock (Sharaton Maui, our hotel) and spotted one from the shore.

Hawaiian roosters.. not sure why these guys were everywhere but they were
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One of my major highlights, a Hawaiian Monk Seal sunbathing on the beach.
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Hawaiian Monk Seal's are very endangered with estimates of only 1100 seals left in Hawaii. Approximately 100 of those are located near Maui. I was not expecting to see one of these while we were visiting.

This girl decided to rest on the very public and busy Kaanapali Beach. She has great taste in a beach but not so much in privacy!

What really impressed me was the response from both visitors and volunteers. These seal's have an entire team of dedicated volunteers for them. As soon as one is spotted on a beach, a team is dispatched to keep a watchful eye and setup an enclosure around them. This ensures that they have plenty of time and space to get all the rest they need. It is not unusual for them to spend between 24 and 48 hours resting on a beach. We found out from the volunteer that this gal had been resting since early in the morning. She ended up staying on the beach for about 33 hours.

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Hopefully with continued protection, and the help of hard working volunteers, these seals will enjoy a healthier future. Unfortunately success has been limited so far.

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Berries. We ate a ton of island fruit.
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I contemplated sneaking home some Okinawan Sweet Potatoes (they were delicious) but thought better of it. Almost all fruits and vegetables are not allowed to leave Hawaii. They are very strict about it at the airports!

A hui kaua Maui, until we meet again.