Fergie: a personal project: part II (Fergie plays)

This is the second post in the ongoing Fergie series. This one is aptly named ‘Fergie plays’. Our shoot was on a recent chilly but gorgeous winter afternoon in the most beautiful golden sunset I have ever photographed in. To say I love these shots of my girl would be an understatement. I cried when I processed them. If I had been my own client, these shots would have been exactly what I was hoping for. Being my own worst critic, especially when photographing my own girl, this is saying a lot. I will cherish these photos for a lifetime. 🙂


On the left she is wearing her Chilli Dogs sweater. I quickly learned that it’s awfully hard for an athlete to jump in a sweater, so I took it off her. The shot on the right was the result of taking it off. It’s titled ‘Fergie Flies’.



‘Fergie Flies’ 2, 3, 4 and 5.






‘Fergie Flies’ 6, 7, 8 and 9


2 very different sides to my girl below.



The wild beast lies in wait for prey in the Urban Savannah.


For my photog friends, I was shooting between 3:30-4:30pm, in manual mode, between 400-640ISO, between f/2.8-f/4.0, with shutter speeds between 1/500 sec -1/1250 sec, using my 20mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8 L, and 70-200mm 4.0 IS L. All evaluative metering, auto white balance (Canon 5D). Processing: increased blacks, lightened shadows, +10 in brightness, skosh of contrast, sharpened and added varying vignettes in LR2 on the shots that *weren’t* taken with the 20mm (the 20mm creates nice vignettes straight out of the camera). Also fixed white balance on the shots where Fergie’s fur turned bright red from the bright orange sunset. Oh, and my camera wouldn’t focus because it was so incredibly cold outside. (And yes my first battery died after 15 minutes).




I couldn’t possibly love this girl more than I do.

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16 thoughts on “Fergie: a personal project: part II (Fergie plays)

  1. jamie — thanks for the response! i am impressed that you are a crazy photoshop wizard with the leashes and that makes me a lot more comfortable. when i checked the FAQs previously, it didn’t link me to the same page that you posted above so perhaps i read an older version or my computer is crazy.

    it might be worth mentioning in individual posts that these images have been digitally enhanced to remove the leash — a picture is worth more words than people will usually read and i think that most people probably look at the pictures without even checking out the FAQs. (obviously, even though i was checking nearly the whole site to check for further info…i still managed to miss it…ack!!). in our precious local parks where wildlife is a concern, it might be worth putting that extra note out there to encourage people to bring their dogs to the parks, but to continue being stewards of this amazing properties.

    it is great that you have made adjustments to your services and locations in order to accommodate for these things. i really appreciate you letting me know — it was just a personal concern of mine, as i really care about these parks and have seen too much wildlife harmed directly or indirectly by off-leash and off-trail pooches.

  2. Here in Dallas we have some wild grass areas like this next to White Rock Lake. They seem to bounce back quickly from the playful romping of a canine. They do not do as well with styrofoam cups though and other trash that occur due to thoughtless humans romping around. It seems that if you wanted to do some quick off-leash shots being off the beaten path away from other pets & people is an ideal situation. Is going “off trail” really unethical or illegal? In our city lake area we do not have any signs discouraging it and birders are always off trail behind the scenes. I would rather see an off leash dog under voice control in our parks than one baby diaper on the ground. The parks are for everyone, and I know that not everyone with babies throw their diapers on the ground, just like all dog people are not abusive either.

  3. KL (babymeerkat@gmail.com)- I remove leashes from almost all of the images that go on my blog (with the exception of a few I’ve been too busy to do). You can read more about this here: http://www.cowbelly.com/faq.html, and see samples here: http://www.cowbellyproofs.com/Pets/Leashes-before-and-after/3935252_L82Aa#228497551_tsmqV). I do not condone letting dogs off leash because I respect that not all people want an off-leash dog running up to them and their kids, MOST people don’t have recall over their dogs, dog waste is a huge problem, and there are also hefty fines involved, which I don’t want to incur nor do I want my clients to incur them ($500 in Washington!!!).

    In terms of beaches, for the longest time I didn’t know it’s ILLEGAL for a canine family member to step foot on a Washington beach (except the obvious beaches at off-leash parks) so now if a client wants a beach/water shoot, we go to Magnuson or Marymoore or Double Bluff, or the Washington Coast where their furkids are allowed. Can you give me other specific examples of which parks I am doing bad things at? (leash issue aside as I’ve already answered that part). I’m happy to answer any other questions you have, provided they are not stemming from assumptions about what I’m doing. But if it’s based on real substantive information, or you need clarification on anything I’m happy to reply! I’ll answer any question. 🙂

    I should also mention I’m not excusing my behavior with this shoot with Fergie, which was a personal shoot that I made no money on (as opposed to a commercial shoot where money is exchanged). Yes, I took her off leash, and yes we were off trail, but this was the only time I’ve done this in years (and the only time I plan to do it). I am always very sensitive to wildlife around me, we stayed within feet of clearly beaten trails, and it was on a 25 degree weekday when not a soul was there. I am totally guilty of that, I completely admit it! I promise I’ll never do it again.

  4. jamie — came across your website and i think your photos are beautiful, but i have a question. do you worry about the fact that you’re setting a poor example for fellow pet owners and photographers by taking dogs to parks like discovery park and beaches in seattle…where it is illegal to have dogs off-leash as well as on the beach? i’m just wondering how you justify breaking these rules that are there to protect the beautiful land we are so lucky to have here in seattle. the presence of your dog in that tall grass meadow above certainly affects the animals (both predators and prey) in the park…and going off-trail to take pictures doesn’t seem very ethical either.

    as i said above, i think your pictures are absolutely stunning. i mean this as a serious question because i DO think that you set an example for your clients and people reading your blog.

  5. BEAUTIFUL!!! She is. And so are your photos. And so is all the love between you two. These are amazing!! I think you guys are lucky to have each other. 😉

  6. There are so many I like …. hard to choose my favorites as I am sure it was for you. In the last three shots you captured her spirit in two different shots so uniquely and I loved the silhouette. Also thanks for sharing the info for us photogs. Much appreciated.

  7. WOW WOW WOW! Happy dog alert!!! These are amazing photos, i love them all. I dont know Fergie, but from these photos i can pick up what sort of doggie she is, they capture her personality so well 🙂 The light is amazing! Im totally inspired and am going to drag my excitable staffy bull terrier out tomorrow to take some shots of him! 🙂

  8. Beautiful images, she looks so unbelievabley happy. Beautiful colors. This reminds me to remember to take time photographing my girl at play, Thank You for sharing!

  9. I ALWAYS love your pictures but these are definitely special of your girl! There’s nothing better than downloading those photos and finding good ones of your sweetie pie. I love the silhouettes and her expression in the first one with the sweater. 🙂

  10. Just too beautiful for words. Thank you for sharing–and for the info about the settings and processing! (I was wondering a couple shots into the post >_>)

  11. Gorgeous Jamie! And funny enough, as I was scrolling down wondering “hmm, I wonder what her settings were”, the answers appeared! Thanks for sharing!

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