As I have described last week, Ninja and me were invited to a survival camp in the far North of Germany.
The trip was sponsored by @20thcenturystudiosde
and the training was conducted by @taffetoelen and the „Outdoor / Survival – Schule Malente“
Thank You for taking good care of us and teaching us the ways of nature.
I am so proud of Ninja as he had a few really tough days. We spent 17 hours travel time as well as having to face challenges that Night ja had not done before.
It was the first time Ninja had been on a boat and the first time he was carried on a stretcher. In the end he placed his trust in me and we got the pictures we needed.
When we were filming the hunting and trap section Ninja found some wild boar 🐗 and I was able to recall him when he was already dashing away. I am so proud of him. A less trained dog could have gotten hurt and angered the animals.
Also Ninja is not fond of water and I was so proud that he stuck his nose into the water to fetch the trout.
I think I may have smeared fish over Ninja when cuddling him, over the camera, my jacket and clothes which is probably the reason I was sick all weekend with an upset tummy. While not feeling good, I definitely feel better now and consulted a doctor to help improve further.
All in all it was an amazing experience and possibly one day I will be able to return to Malente for more lessons.
Until then I will watch Harrison Ford’s adventures with Buck in „Call of the Wild“ which starts this Thursday 20.02.2020 in Germany 😊
Thanks to You we had an amazing 2017.
Thank You very much for taking part in our daily life and adventures with Ninja, Smilla and Leotie ( @fox.leotie ). For 2018 I have some great ideas up my sleeve that will hopefully keep you entertained with this feed.
By far the biggest success was the video of Leotie pestering Ninja to play.
Leotie was seen as dominant and I do not think this is a correct assumption.
For this reason I thought it would be a good idea to show you all the stages of Leotie trying to get Ninja to play.
It usually starts with a bored Leotie trying to get Ninjas attention.
She starts by cleaning his feet, ears and sniffing him up, like a good Fox would do.
She is craving Ninja’s attention… But he continues to play dead… Eventually Leotie will climb on top of Ninja, jump or even try to hump him to provoke any kind of reaction… It is – in my eyes – a mixture of testing boundaries and getting his attention… As he reacts moving his head moves his head Leotie is encouraged and tries harder… Eventually he will give in and they will play for an hour, sometimes even longer.
I will upload a 5 minute video of them playing to our Youtube Channel. You can find the link in our story highlights. (Just need to render and upload it first)
With this video I wish you a happy, healthy and successful 2018. Pursue opportunities, follow your dreams, love and laugh.
Our canidae all love eggs. We boil them and give them as treats maybe bi-weekly.
One thing that I always find interesting are similarities and differences in behavior of dogs and I thought it would be a perfect example to demonstrate this with our pack.
At first, we have Ninja. He eats very slowly and carefully, it takes him almost a minute to eat the egg.
Secondly, we have Smilla. She has a different approach. You need to see this.
At last, we have Leotie. She started off, by securing the egg and looking for a place to hide it. After a bit she felt comfortable and realized her egg is secure. She started sniffing Ninja’s and Smilla’s eating spots to scan for leftovers. It takes her 50 seconds before she even starts eating the egg. As spoiled as she is, she splits the egg-white from the yolk. She eats the yolk and tries reluctantly again some egg-white. As surprise she left a little poop right there for me to clean up 😐
I find these variations in behavior very interesting, and always try to understand the behavior.
How do you interpret their behavior? Are such videos interesting to you?
Last night @mccoy_wolf complimented my last editing video. I thought I could create another one.
While there are a ton of people that edit far better than me (I’d recommend the tutorials of @phlearn @photosincolor ) I also think for a quick edit the outcome is quite decent.
You can save these edits as presets in @lightroom and apply them to other photos… then you just need to tweak some settings…
This is usually the workflow behind the photos you see here…
Some general adjustments… then I finetune things a bit…
Hope you like it 😊
The music is Sinner Piano by The3amAssociation.
Thought it was fitting at 4:30 am 😀😀😀
You are probably asking, “where is the sun Ninja talked about in his last post?!?!”
My process on choosing a picture is usually really weird… On the morning walk in the forest, I have a gazillion amazing ideas and think of pictures, I could use along… but then I sit down and start to edit and all things change…
Here is the workflow that was behind the previous shot… As you can see… I start editing an easy to edit picture and got the idea that I could post a picture together with Hadez as I had not done that in a while…
I saved the settings of the first picture, used and fine-tuned them on the second… I did not find a crop (cutting the picture) that I was satisfied with… so I moved to the next picture using the updated settings…
The results did not make me happy (I use @media.storage for pictures that do not fit here) and before fine-tuning colors, which is the last thing I do, I switched to head shots and was happy with it.
As explained in the previous post. RAW files are meant to be edited.
Here is what I do… I like to spread out the Histogram a bit… raising exposure, lowering lights, raising shadows… but not too much, I do not want HDR 😁
Then I do a quickfix to get off the coat color cast by reducing vibrance and giving back some saturation… in the end I also turn dowsn saturation of orange, yellow and green and raise their lightness…
I reduce clarity (brining it back later with radial mask) and work the tone curves to give contrast.
Then go to HSL and turn orange and yellow to red and green to green to tone the weird brown head colors. They’d look greenish otherwise.
Then I add a slight vignette in color priority mode.
Under camera calibration I do some changes that fit my a6000 + SEL50F18 (slightly red cast) and tone hues + whitebalance
The mist important step are radial filters to lead the eye to Ninja.. slightly increased saturation, clarity, sharpness on Ninja and reverse outside of him… these are slight changes but the brain notices it.
That is it… takes 2 min to adjust if you use a preset. Here I spent 10… but did a sloppy job on chromatic abberation
You have probably seen videos of Huskies talking. They are communicative and likes to talk. Akiak, my previous Husky, loved it… we could talk for minutes and he seemed to enjoy it.
Ninja however was completely silent during the first 2 years. No barking, no howling, no talking… Eventually I noticed when I tease him with commands, that he would make a very decent “growling” sound… I used rewards to make him bark on command.
I recall how difficult it was… his “growling complaint” when I was teasing him happened once maybe every couple of days and it was difficult to properly reward him for it.
Once Ninja realized that I was not mad at him got “talking back”, I was able to teach a “friendly growl” on command. I am not sure if it serves a purpose or not… initially, he would not bark or growl and I think this is a matter of respect… Even now, I need to encourage Ninja a few times, before he starts to growl/bark.
You can see that he often licks his snout, it is to appease me “This is not serious; we are just having fun… right?”
On a side note:
We lost our collar at our last stay in Switzerland. Can anyone recommend a good manufacture? We usually have some custom made collar made of soft leather that can easily be pulled over his head. The one used in the video is a bit too long and can hit Ninjas teeth. We need a new one!
As I was sitting at the riverside, taking pictures of Ninja he laid down a few steps away… He looked at me… so regal, so sovereign and I felt like having the most beautiful companion in the world… isn’t he amazing? He stood up and was eagerly awaiting a command.
You know how it is.. you move a bit here and there… always trying to get the best composition for your picture and when you are done you are no longer certain it was a good idea to put leash and harness aside. Especially for these cases I taught him to find the leash, since I often put his harness and leash aside so they won’t disturb the pictures. Was not so easy to teach Ninja how to look for the leash, because he did not understand the „point“ of it…
At first I put the leash next to him… and as soon as he looked into the direction I gave him a reward…
After a bit he understood, that I meant the leash… and not just turn your head left or right… (this is important)
I moved the leash around and only rewarded him when he moved towards the leash…
Finally I only rewarded, when his muzzle touched the leash…
To turn this into a „fun“ task I always let him search for the leash before going outside…
This is why he still enjoys looking for the „boring“ leash, it is simply conditioned very positively…