Monday, April 30, 2012
Hectic—the studio is in disarray, lights and grip equipment have not yet been unpacked from the last shoot, a client is bringing her husband and two dogs (one big and one small) over within the hour, and I am hungry. The show must go on—on time and without a hitch.
The phone rings. It's her husband. "Bob, we've had an accident. Our big dog injured his dewclaw. We need to take him to the vet. I am sorry. We're going to have to cancel the shoot."
"Well," I think to myself, "I might as well work with Jazz today." Jazz is our beloved pet dog. I eat lunch and solicit the help of my daughter, Helen, to help with handling Jazz in the studio. I want to test out a new lighting configuration.
Helen is gung ho, but the dog is restless. Helen tries to coax her with pistachios. Jazz generally salivates with the predictability of Pavlov's dogs the moment she hears the sound of us cracking open a pistachio shell. Today is different. She paces around the studio—oblivious.
Helen starts flicking nuts at the dog. I watch Jazz pace as I lie on my stomach. My bulging lumbar discs are not amused. My brain, however, becomes fixated on her legs.
The dog is not going to sit and pose. Her skinny legs are in perpetual motion. My back hurts and my brain begins to tease my imagination. My shutter finger is clicking away.
After about twenty minutes, I call it a wrap. Helen goes back to her computer, and the dog saunters out of the studio into her bed by the window. I retire to my office and begin fiddling around with pictures of skinny dog legs.
The dog did at least sit for one or two clicks. I acknowledge this nanosecond of canine repose by positioning mirror images of Jazz sitting in the center of the composition.
I end up printing up the photograph to around 20" X 20." I love it. Carried away, I begin to diddle around with the file some more. The result: wallpaper for doghouses.
Amazing what a restless dog with skinny legs is able to contribute to the disciplines of art, design, and photography. Thank you, Jazzy.
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