Pup Pix Picks


SWMBO has spoken: we’re going to get Gretchen to paint a portrait of the dog and today is the day to get the picture to paint from, and you’re only doing six other things right now, so this is the chosen moment. Move it!

No photographic rationale would dissuade her, so even though it was the middle of the day and the light from a cloudless sky was way to contrasty and coming directly from overhead, and since we just work here, the five minute portrait session was convened across the creek from the house. And now we have to chose.

I’ve narrowed it down to the three you see here. Any preference? Might want to see larger images in this SmugMug gallery. Please leave your choice here, or comment on the gallery page. It always helps to have other heads/eyes/taste involved.

You can see other dog portraits Gretchen St. Lawrence has done (and other art subjects as well) on her web page.

We will, of course, have a photo of the finished painting here when it is completed.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Golly, Fred, I am overwhelmed by your tribute and thank you for your kind words. My preference is #1 but they all are fabulous pictures of “The King of Dogs”.

  2. #3, no question. I like the way the sun shines on the dog. I also like the regal line that flows from her head down to her chest. She looks strong, alert and ready to go in that photo.

  3. I also like #3 the best. What a great looking dog!
    I can’t wait to see the finished portrait, Gretchen does such a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the animals spirit!!

  4. They are all three nice shots. I did like the forth one with his mouth wide open in obvious boredom. In my opinion #3 is the better of the ones you have listed. #1 makes him look old and I don’t like the color in #2. The pose in #3 is that of a young adult with something of interest in his sight.

    A quick note on your book, it is an enjoyable read and I keep it where folks can leaf through it (no not in the bathroom). I look forward to your next work be it a book on photography or one of stories

  5. Oh my, I always seem to be the odd one out. Sorry, but I like #1 the best. In that one, Tsuga has that intense focus in his eyes that dogs get when they have espied a rabbit or a deer or another dog. I love that.