TopDog Photography: Blog en-us (C) TopDog Photography (TopDog Photography) Fri, 11 Nov 2016 04:17:00 GMT Fri, 11 Nov 2016 04:17:00 GMT TopDog Photography: Blog 120 112 Gundogs - and I'm finding my feet My second day at the NEC, and I'm beginning to feel a bit more comfortable navigating my way around the place. With no Papillon's to distract me I found myself exploring much more, and as a result I managed to get my bearings much better.

Another 8am arrival, but this time I knew where I was going and what I was doing, so it was a much more relaxed start to the day. I managed to venture to the Arena early in the day for the International Junior Handling, and with a different vantage point I was able to get much different photos compared to the first day. I even got to put my feet on the hallowed green carpet for the first time! Childish perhaps, but sometimes its the smaller things that help keep me amused.

The Breeders competition was something I'd never experienced before and made for interesting watching, as was the Gundog demonstration. Unfortunately I missed the Agility, and learned another valuable lesson there - plan ahead!

It's all a learning process though, and I was beginning to feel a bit more comfortable with the camera settings, with getting around the place. By the end of the day I knew I had to start Sunday with a plan in my head to avoid more disappointment.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Sat, 09 Mar 2013 20:45:00 GMT
Crufts 2013 - Into the fire Straight in at the deep-end, my first day at the show was quite an eye opener! Arriving at 8am, it was straight to the Press Area to pick up my photographers pass for the coming days. After a briefing from Caroline, and a couple of cups of tea to set me right, it was off to explore the hall's and arena and try to get my bearings.

I had been warned that the NEC was huge, but you really can't properly appreciate just how huge it is until you start to explore it for yourself. With 5 exhibition halls, each on its own bigger than the National Show Center in Cloghran where a great number if IKC shows are held, along with a Main Arena, it certainly took some getting used to. Even equipped with a map of the place it was still initially a bit daunting to try navigate through the place.

Of course being the Toy & Utility day, it meant I had quite the job to peel myself away from the Papillon ring. The obvious bias of Papillons in the final photos also demonstrates this. I'd wander off now and then, but kept coming back to Ring 29. I think it's allowed though given that it was my first ever visit to Crufts! Sitting ringside also allowed me the opportunity to try out various settings on the camera to get something that I was happy with. I'm sure there will be a great number of photos that are useless, but the lighting presented me with a new problem so I tweaked as much as I could in order to get somewhat reasonable results.

With the Group judging taking place later in the day it was after 8pm when I eventually made it back to the Shogun - the last vehicle in that particular section of the carpark! 12 hours, plenty of tea, hundreds of photos taken ... I'd consider my first day a relative success.


]]> (TopDog Photography) Fri, 08 Mar 2013 19:30:00 GMT
We're going to Crufts ... Or at least, Rob is.

Following a number of weeks of anxious waiting to see if he'd actually be free to go, the decision was finally made on the Friday before the show started that Rob would travel over without Beth, and make some use of the Photographer Pass that was so kindly organised through Show Dogs Ireland. The ferry wasn't booked until 3 days before the show!

No doubt the camera will be working overtime while there, so be sure to check back in the weeks after the show to see the photos!

]]> (TopDog Photography) Mon, 04 Mar 2013 18:15:00 GMT
Christmas Specials  


Christmas is coming and people are busy getting the shopping done!

To celebrate, and also reward all those who've visited the site or made purchases, we're offering a huge

20% off ALL items*

from now until Christmas Eve.


Just create your order and enter the voucher code tdp-2512-2012 at the end of the process for the discount to be applied.

If you have any trouble with the ordering process then please contact us as we'd be only too happy to help get things done.


We've been advised by our vendors that postage can take from 5-14 working days, so in order to have the best chance of your items arriving in time for Christmas orders need to be in by 7th December. Even then, we cannot guarantee that items will not be delayed due to the seasonal rush, so get your orders in early to avoid disappointment.

Digital downloads obviously don't have postage or lead times which is why we're leaving the voucher run until Christmas Eve.

20% off items - does not discount postage costs which we have no control over.

* Does not apply to client price-lists which are already heavily discounted

]]> (TopDog Photography) Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:10:15 GMT
Show Dogs Ireland Photographers! Having been listed as contributers for Show Dogs Ireland magazine, we are happy to announce that we've now progressed to the rank of fully-associated Photographers. We're delighted to be working closer with Caroline and the rest of the team as they continue to strive to provide the best press coverage for Irish dog show exhibitors.


We will be continuing to do our best to bring the most comprehensive cover from the various shows, and will be providing show reports which will appear in the printed issues.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Mon, 08 Oct 2012 21:31:04 GMT
Software Issues Just a quick note for any visitors who may have been having difficulty ordering products off the site recently.

Due to a recent software upgrade there have been some corrupt cookies generated which have caused havoc with the Shopping Cart portion of the website.

The way to resolve this is to clear the cookies and the cache in the browser that you're using to browse or order off the site.

If you have any subsequent issues please let us know as the first we heard about this was from a potential customer and sadly we didn't recieve any error reports to alert us to it.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:54:33 GMT
1000 Visitors - who wants a voucher? We've reached 1000 unique visitors to the site now, so to celebrate we've created a new voucher which entitles all visitors to 10% off ALL orders to the end of the week.

The voucher can be applied to prints, specialty and digital products but does not apply to postage where applicable.

To use the voucher simply make up your order and apply the discount code when prompted to at the Checkout stage.

The voucher code is tdp-1809-10v


Terms & Conditions;

Voucher is valid to midnight this Friday 21st September.

There is no limit to the amount of times it can be used.

Only applies to products and cannot be applied to postage.

Cannot be used in conjunction with other vouchers.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Tue, 18 Sep 2012 14:53:25 GMT
From Project to Print Or this post could also be captioned "why do you charge for your work?"


"Sure all you do is press a button, stick it on the net and wait - isn't it?"

Its a question I've been asked a few times of late, and always at the end of the conversation the person leaves me feeling they have a much better understanding of whats involved, and why it is we believe we can put a price on things. While the question itself sums up whats involved, it really doesn't cover what else is also involved and why photos don't appear online instantly after an event. While this blog post and explaination might appear to some to be a little simplistic, its only when you understand the full process that you can properly appreciate whats involved.


So lets begin at the very very start - you buy your equipment. For even the smallest list of necessary things you have your camera, a suitable lens, a laptop/pc, some suitable editing software and an internet connection. Most of these things won't factor into price consideration for a photographer as if you love taking photos you're going to have them anyway - but they're expenses all the same. If you hope to display your work, and possibly sell it, then you'll need to set up a website which adds the costs of hosting, software and domain registration. These are expenses that a hobby photographer will most likely never encounter, but they're costs that do have a bearing on product pricing. We'd all love to be in a position where we could offer everything for free, but sadly the reality is that its just not possible.


Once you have everything in place you're ready to go - except you need subjects for your work. This means travelling places and taking the time to get the photos you want. This is the easiest part of the process relatively speaking. What comes next is what really takes the time - post processing & product presentation.


When you get home after shooting your photos the really time-consuming work begins. Post-processing is the term given to what happens to get the photo from the camera to the public. Once you have the photos downloaded from the camera to your laptop/pc you can start the editing process. Without giving any secrets away, this is a very time consuming process but is needed to present the best quality photos that you can.

For some subjects, such as the dog shows, a considerable number of photos simply aren't useable. Its no exaggeration to say that for every useable photo there's at least one un-useable. Whether its random heads getting in the way, blurry due to the movement, the dogs legs being unflattering - there's a myriad of reasons why a great number of photos can't be used. As we show dogs ourselves we understand that people always want their dogs displayed in the best possible way, and that no-one likes an unflattering photo. We give careful consideration to every photo we use, as at the end of the day we wouldn't want bad photos or badly edited photos of our own dogs online, so we know others would be the same.

Once the photos have been selected and edited, they can be sorted, uploaded, titled, watermarked and displayed.

Final stage

Wait. And hope that someone likes your work enough to buy a print or other item with it.


If you've read this far then you now have a much better understanding of what goes into that nice photo you've seen online, and hopefully a better appreciation for the time & effort involved.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Mon, 17 Sep 2012 15:09:34 GMT
Its alive! Well here we go. Munster Circuit 2012 photos have all been edited and uploaded, so we're happy enough to go live with the site now. Over 800 photos published from the week which isn't bad. Sadly a lot were not the best due to stray body-parts, but thats the way it goes when trying to get pics with moving targets.

And now that its live we can concentrate on adding all the previous shows. We've thousands of photos to sort through stretching back to the Circuit 2010 (and possibly further) so it'll be a long time before we're actually done.

Quite happy with it now though, and initial feedback has been positive so hopefully it'll all work out.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Mon, 27 Aug 2012 20:36:39 GMT
The week in numbers 6 days (7 for some)

4 shows (more for others with group and breed shows)

4am alarm calls

3 girls entered, 2 girls shown (for us)

564 miles travelled

1.5 tanks of fuel

4 bags of mini-donuts consumed (by Rob alone)

Countless cups of tea & coffee

More cigarettes than I'd like to admit

Photos shot - 2567

Clonmel - 472

Killarney - 785

Limerick - 556

Tralee - 754

And that, dear folks, sums up the Munster Circuit 2012!

]]> (TopDog Photography) Sun, 26 Aug 2012 14:27:30 GMT
We survived! Well there we have it - the Munster Circuit 2012 has drawn to a close and no doubt there are many tired people trekking home tonight, some happy some disappointed, but such is dog showing.

Personally I'm too tired this evening to try calculate the various different aspects, I think I'll save that for another blog post when I have a bit more energy.

As it is, once again I'm twiddling my fingers while another bunch of image files uploads to the site. Clonmel is completed, Killarney too. Limerick is a bit over half way done, and Tralee hasn't been taken off the camera yet. I don't know if I want to know how many photos in total were taken by us this week, but I'm reasonably sure that its past the 2000 mark anyway. And the new memory card I ordered never arrived so I was actually being careful as each day drew to a close. Wonder if I'll pass 3000 shots next year? Oh dear - I'm thinking about Circuit 2013 already so I must be tired!

]]> (TopDog Photography) Sat, 25 Aug 2012 20:09:15 GMT
2 Down 2 To Go Editing, uploading & adding relevant information has now been completed for the Clonmel Championship show. If nothing else I'm slowly realising that the taking of the photos is the easy part!

Poor Beth has had a serious workload thrust upon her with over 300 photos taken at the Clonmel show to sift through. We've only uploaded those that we were happy with. Total came to 156 photos so pretty happy with that. Still re-learning how to use the camera after its absense while being repaired, but I'm getting there.

Photos from Killarney & District Championship show have also been edited & uploaded. Nearly there with the adding of the relevant information so hopefully that will be completed soon too. Took over 600 shots on the day, but many were ruined by heads & shoulders edging into frame. Oh well, maybe I need to invest in a step for myself!

Also, while waiting patiently for photos to upload to the site, I've been doing some browsing of the features within it and have realised that a guide on how to get the most of the site might be necessary. Looks like my fingers will be busy doing more dancing on the keyboard to complete that.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:19:40 GMT
Now for the real work to begin ... Having spent the past few days organising the layout and structure of the site, setting images sizes and trying to decide on Categories, now the fun of uploading proper hi-resolution images starts. So while Cordelia is busy with the post-editing, its left to me to do the uploading, tagging, descriptions (where needed). Gonna be a late one tonight - but at least we're starting and I'm feeling somewhat positive about the whole thing.

So first up tonight we have new photos in our "The World Around Us" section. This will hopefully be followed by a proper start in the Dog Show section. Having given this some thought we're going to start uploading the most recent shows first and then work backwards. With the Munster Circuit about to kick off we'll no doubt be busy like all exhibitors so hopefully we can fit in some updates on the off days.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Thu, 16 Aug 2012 22:08:00 GMT
Choices! Choices! Do I want big thumbnails? Medium? Maybe I want small?

So what fits what section? And ummm ... whats that word I'm looking for?!

Ah the joys of building a new site and testing the layout, functionality and how to navigate. Can't honestly say I've missed it (Beth does most of the site design work these days) but one of us has to do it and since it was my brainwave ... its been left to me on this occasion.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Tue, 14 Aug 2012 22:15:00 GMT
Testing image inclusion Will it allow me to include images?

]]> (TopDog Photography) Sun, 12 Aug 2012 22:42:31 GMT
And so it begins ... With a week to go to the 2012 Munster Circuit of dog shows, its time to finally put the wheels in motion on a little project we've been considering for some time (ok, Rob's been considering it while *Beth has been humoring him). So now we've signed up for the free 2 week trial, we'll see what interest we can generate and whether or not its actually worth our time & effort to persue this idea.

Hopefully we'll be able to figure it out fairly fast and have all the functions we'd wish to have working.

Wish us luck!

* I may as well mention now that I (Rob) tend to refer to my wonderful wife as both Beth & Cordelia. Just to avoid confusion I may as well make a point of that from the very beginning.

]]> (TopDog Photography) Sun, 12 Aug 2012 15:25:20 GMT