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Photography Questions and Answers

May 9, 2010

A question was recently raised and many requests have been forwarded, so each month now the Bluedog photography Blog will change a little.

The question was, ‘if tutoring killed our creativity?’ It’s something we have been chatting about around the kennel and we unanimously agree that it actually fires our creativity! We are always getting out there and trying new techniques, testing products, pushing each other and also learning from each other.

As photographers the chance to get out and about for us here at Bluedog is critical, especially so for the tutors. So each month we will feature one of the Bluedog Photographers photography jobs with the challenges they were faced, tips etc.

The requests have been for more travel info due to some of the locations our tutors are travelling to for shoots. So yes we’ll tell you about where we went, where we stayed, what we liked and did not (some of us are very blunt), what we did, plus any photography relevant info along the way.

We hope you enjoy!

Travel – Elephant Nature Foundation Park in northern Thailand by Danielle Lancaster

This is one of the most memorable experiences out of ten, I have had travelling for work in the past 12 months – please it’s hard to nail one in particular!

It was a stay to the Elephant Nature Park Foundation north west of Chaiang Mai in Thailand with my wonderful friend Miss J. Here I got to spend some amazing time with Lek, a remarkable person, and her treasure, a growing herd of Asian elephants.

Since then the images I took during that visit and stories I have written have circulated the media worldwide. Yes that is an accomplishment, however the bigger accomplishment for me personally, was the experience. Being able to highlight this ladies dedication to an outstanding cause. And above and beyond all, being able to spend time with her, laugh with her, cry with her and hold each other as best of friends.  This is an experience I could never ever find the words to place in print and really do I want to?  There are not numerous places I say I will return to, but here I would.

One of my biggest challenges included actually picking up the camera. I know this may sound absurd but when you have the tiny Lek sitting beside you singing a 40 pound elephant baby to sleep on her lap and its mother standing above you – one swipe of the trunk or one step of a foot could have killed me instantly – and we are the only people around, it was too precious a moment but to record to my photographic memory.

Then there was a time Miss J and I fed two elephants we’d got to know by ourselves, their trunks wrapping lovingly around our arms and ever so gently taking the pieces of cane, fruit and vegetables that we had chopped up from our hands. An amazing experience with the largest land animal on earth and then there was being greeted to a new day by a huge Asian male elephant trumpeting to us one morning as he rambled past our bamboo hut next to the river. You could most probably guess now the list goes on and on……….

Photographically a challenge was exposure. Yes elephants are close to 18% grey but add to that glistening rivers, clouds that could easily blow out into irretrievable highlights forever lost no matter what processing you are using, people of varying skin tones from the milk white of England’s fairest to the dark brown of a hard working northern Thai and a range of exposure predicaments come forward. Not something in a shoot we desire for but yet are often faced with proving this whole shoot a challenge for many, many reasons on all: my own professional, personal and spiritual levels.


 Lek preparing to sing a  lullaby.
Photo by Danielle Lancaster

Photo by Danielle Lancaster

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