Monday, 24 August 2015
Tom Langlands - To the Rescue
Sometimes you get asked to put your skills to different uses. That was certainly the case for me recently when I was asked by Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre at Glencaple to judge the entries to their annual calendar and Christmas card dog photography competition. I have to say there were some very interesting and well caught images and it certainly wasn't an easy task to sort out the final winners.
Having met the various members of staff who worked there we got chatting about the challenges that wildlife photography poses. In a round about way they had also encountered the difficulties of photographing animals. They often had to take images for their publications and to advertise rescued dogs in order to seek new homes for them. They found the hardest part was making the dog look interesting and fun and capturing something of its personality that would endear it to those who may be able to offer it a new home.
I agreed to help them out and try to use the skills that I had learned over the years to hopefully create exciting images that said something about the animals involved. To be honest I also fancied the challenge of doing something different. So for a morning, I set myself up at the kennels and, ably assisted by Sarah and Zoe, attempted to get interesting domestic dog shots. I was particularly keen to get action shots as the Rescue Centre felt these were possibly the shots that they found the hardest to do themselves.
Sarah and Zoe brought out selected dogs one at a time and I gave them guidance on how I wanted them to get the dogs to run - sometimes head on and sometimes side on. It didn't take me long to discover that each different dog did indeed have a very different personality! What is it they say - never work with animals and children! All the dogs did amazingly well although some were more interested in exploring the newcomer - i.e. me!
As you might expect some ran much faster than others and some refused to run at all. However, for me it was a totally different application of my animal photography skills. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the dogs did too and by the end of it Sarah and Zoe deserved a well earned break as they had probably run around as much as the dogs!
It was also a great insight into the wonderful work that Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre does and also the hard work and enthusiasm that everyone involved puts into their work.