“The Mindful Eyes”

Canon Mark II 1DS f2.8 70-200mm IS Zoom @ 200mm ISO 400 f2.8@ 1/250th Handheld

Theme Year 2 Week 1 : Man’s Best Friend

This entry was written by Craig , posted on Friday October 24 2008at 03:10 am , filed under Launch . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

11 Responses to ““The Mindful Eyes””

  • Gordon says:

    looking forward to it. Good luck…

  • TedByrne says:

    Like the dogged tenacity here – the attention to detail this guy’s exuding. His muscles are on alert, but not yet bunched. He’s suspended between charm, defense, welcome, and attack. The perfectly neutral state is the most virgin Craig. The state upon which the viewer can impose anything… read anything… imagine anything. The neutral moment exists in a place called… ‘between’…. Your buddy up there is in that zone.. between. Between is a realm where expectancy lives… along with apprehension, dread, confidence, courage, and hope. The observer can find any of those in the neutral expression, or the neutral moment.

    I wonder if your friend here is watching a running guy in a red and blue caped suit race flinging himself outward and upward? Hmmmm…. and I wonder if we aren’t watching right along with him?


  • bgercken says:

    The eyes, the expression, the tranquil demeanor, this one is human. I look in those eyes and I feel a connection with something wonderful. It made me happy.

    Best Regards,

  • admin says:

    Hi Gordon and Ted,

    Gordon thank you so much for being here and for all the ways you have supported my photography and Radiant Vista!

    In all seriousness Ted I can’t think of a better gift than waking up this morning to your description of this picture! Thank you my friend for the gift of your words, your art, your vision, and your generosity in sharing it with the world…..Craig

  • mharris says:

    You said you were going to launch “The Mindful Eye” at the end of Oct, I just didn’t realize it would be so powerful. When those eyes lock onto yours they don’t let go, I imagine the website will be the same. Hope your doing well! Mike

  • admin says:

    Hi Bill and Mike,

    Thank you for being here today!!! I think he might be a cat.. he is on his third life… as a puppy he ran into a tree and had a near catastrophic back injury and about the time he got over that he was hit by two cars. That one broke and degloved his rear legs. We were told he would probably die… but he fully recovered. I think this look is a foreshadowing of who this guy was…. :).. he is affectionately called Miracle Miles by me…. Craig

  • aprilS says:

    I think Ted nailed the description/interpretation of this image. But I will add, that is one fully present dog! Totally aware of both himself and his surroundings. A surprisingly powerful portrait.

    Looking forward to the website launch, I also hope you’re having some fun in/with the process!

  • scott says:

    Well, as a fan of dog photography and author of a book on dog photography I find this image spectacular. Craig, could you let us know how you approached this image for its final rendering. Is it straight with a lens with shallow DOF or did you use some selctive blurring or sharpening to accentuate the focus in this image. I am just trying to get a handle on rendering possibilities in such a portrait. Again this is a wonderful soulful image.


  • patrish says:

    Stunning, What a fantastic dog and the photo ain’t so bad either. Like Ted he makes me happy too!


  • admin says:

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you for the kind words about this image. Its a straight shot with the exception of adding saturation, especially to the eyes. The eyes have also been considerably sharpened…. my focus was actually a little off here…closer to the nose than the eyes. I have added the meta data now to the image. There are three things in my own mind which make this a successful image. 1) The model 2) This was hours after Miles (the Labradoodle) came “home” from the breeder. I believe he was in shock from being removed from his litter. He was like a zombie (far from that now!!!!!). You could position him anywhere and he would just stay there until you moved him again…with the same unearthly blank stare that you see here. If you look at the “Come Back and Play” image here http://www.craigtannercreative.com/lightdiary/?p=337 image its the same story. After I realized he could be positioned anywhere and then he would just stay there I put the little girl’s dress in his mouth and then asked her to walk away and framed it so the emphasis was on his face. 3) The other thing that I think makes this image work is the rhythm between the background and Miles. That rhythm is happening on several different levels. There is an obvious color scheme that plays both complimentary and harmony of color pairs off of each other in a dynamic, ping pong rhythm. Then there is the quality of line and space shape pattern rhythm from Miles to the background. I found the background by prefocusing where I knew I would position him. Then with the lens out of focus I started to scan the background (that was 30 feet away or so) of a long line of bushes and summer foliage looking for an out of focus area that rhymed the colors and patterning on Miles face. I then put him into position relative to that found background – refocused and made the shot. If he had been running around like a normal puppy this kind of contemplative construction of this shot would have been impossible. I am going to be showing a few more dog portraits this week on Light Diary and recording a Light Diary episode about the images. Thank you again Scott for being here. Congratulations on the book!!!!!…..Craig

  • scott says:

    Such helpful comments! Thanks. Interesting distinction about hunting for a suitable background.

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