Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Icy Personality

Westwoods, one of our favorite local hiking spots, has an active adjacent granite quarry, and the hiking trails overlap some land that was quarried, or at least explored for quarrying, at some point in the past. The current quarry company mines several kinds of decorative rock from the area, including the pinkish granite that Stony Creek is famous for. Apparently, there's a huge stretch of it underground from Branford to Guilford, but in this section of the woods, the granite must not have been as desirable, and you can tell that it largely lacks the distinctive pink color. Oddly shaped boulders with drill marks dot the landscape, and large sections of the trail have terraced cliffs of exposed granite. These cliffs make for extraordinary icicle formations during the right parts of winter, as the thermal inertia of the granite sometimes melts the snow on a cold day or freezes the runoff on a warmer one.

The dogs love it because they love to crunch the icicles we break off for them. I love it from a photography perspective because it makes a neat backdrop or reflective light source. So today, I hiked up off the side of the trail to pose the dogs near a big ice shelf. The dogs weren't feeling cooperative, though. Comet wanted to keep grabbing snow and ice from between his paws so he could crunch on it, and Jax looked really impatient with holding his sit-stay while I fiddled with exposure settings.

This photo did not live up to my intentions as a beautiful picture of gorgeous dogs in the outdoors. The exposure values are really nice, but I didn't frame it with the right focal length (I had to stand too far back from the dogs), and the dogs simply didn't give me the windblown-in-the-great-outdoors look I wanted.

It does, however, capture the two dogs' personalities absolutely perfectly. Goofy Comet has his "what's next face" as I cue him to keep his head up. And serious Jax has the absolutely perfect "how much longer is this stay going to last?" face. In another context, Comet might be the serious one, and Jax the goofy, but when it comes to the daily stay, this photo is as true to life as it gets.

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