I was lucky enough to spend the last two weeks of February in St. Augustine, Florida, where I had a great time sitting on the porch watching a gorgeous dog leap into the ocean, swim over booming waves, grab her big orange floating toy and swim back to shore where her owner was waiting to do it all over again.
Late one afternoon, when the lighting was particularly nice, I took my camera down to the beach and asked James, the owner, if I could take some pictures. He introduced me to Kona, a beautiful chocolate labrador retriever - and when I said how much I had enjoyed watching her, James told me that Kona was the definition of water. After photographing her for a while, I completely understood what he meant. I know most dogs like water, but I have never seen a dog who seemed to live for it.
To take the best shots of dogs in action, I put my camera on continuous mode, so I can hold down the shutter and shoot several images without having to refocus the lens. I also use the fastest shutter speed possible with a wide open f-stop to so Kona’s dark coat doesn’t get muddy against the light reflections in the water.
No matter how many times James threw the orange toy, Kona flew into the water after it. Just watching her swim against the waves made me tired, but she never seemed to want to stop.
She’s a lucky girl to have a place to stay across the street from the ocean. I, on the other hand, had to head back to New York City, where the closest beach is an hour’s drive away. But I’ll always have my photos of Kona to instantly bring back the sight, smell and sound of the magnificent Atlantic Ocean.