Candid Dogs

“You cannot be serious!” Surely, there are plenty of dog photos on the Internet. Why add to their number?

I confess, although I like most of the dogs I meet I’m not a dog lover, as such. I don’t enough rapport with them, and, big dogs in particular make me wary. I’ve read too many reports in the news about children and sheep being savaged and killed by them.

As a consequence dogs rarely feature in my street photography. The featured image, above, is an exception. It’s a street photo I was pleased to take.

Moriyama Dog
The other shots I’m showing here are not really serious, except for next one, which doesn’t fully live up to my technical expectations. I call this photo “Moriyama Dog,” because the subject reminds me of the famous shot by Daido Moriyama — the one with which he is forever identified.

Moriyama was the most prominent exponent of the photograpic style known as “areh-bureh-bokeh” (“grainy, blurry, out-of-focus”), so I guess I shouldn’t be too upset that my own shot is all of these things, and more.

stray dog, in headlamps

I love Moriyama’s work and regard him as one of the five (or so) greatest street photographers, but I’d never attempt to borrow his ideas. The picture above is just a one-off snap, taken in a traffic jam at night on the outskirts of Bangkok.

Art Dog
I found the Winged Dog (below) in a Bangkok art gallery, in a curious exhibition which resembled a storeroom of discarded works. The image you see is actually the official display, complete with stacked pictures and packing cases. Somehow, the dog ended up as “top dog,” as in “every dog has its day.”

dog with wings, amid other artworks

If you look up “winged dog” on Google Images you’ll find all manner of strange creatures, including many ancient and modern gargoyles such as those mythical beasts which grace gothic cathedrals.

On PicClick (“Search eBay Faster”) I discovered an entire industry devoted to winged dog gargoyles. Well, that was a surprise!

Dog with Hat
Intrigued by the PicClick result, I tried searching for “dog with hat” and was presented with “Dog Hat in dog supplies” (i.e., to be worn by a dog) or “dog hat in men’s accessories” (to be worn by men). I don’t think I’ll be getting either of those!

The best I can do is to lend my own silly hat to a dog, as below. He looks equally stupid in it.

artificial dog sculpture, wearing my hat

Two More Dogs
Sometimes I chance upon a dog that’s dressed outrageously and I ask the owner if I can take a shot. I found the splendid creature below in a trendy restaurant (The Commons, in Thonglor, Bangkok), dressed in a black suit with a red kerchief around its neck.

white dog in restaurant

Naturally, other elements sometimes appear in my infrequent pictures of dogs, such as the next one which I’ve called “Cute, and the Dog’s Nice Too.”

poodle being admired; young female owner in shorts

I still think two legs are better than four, George Orwell notwithstanding. (The sheep, in Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm,” are persuaded to bleat the opposite — “Four legs good, two legs bad” — in order to drown out dissenting opinion during the farm animal revolution.)

Pensive Dog
I’m not sure if the next animal is “owned” or “abandoned,” but it looks in reasonable shape, if not as pampered as the two creatures above. Behind it, someone (the owner?) is donning a motorcycle helmet. Maybe the dog knows it’ll be on its own for a while.

Dog looks forlorn as person behind him puts on a crash helmet

Poodle in a Bag
Finally, here’s the ultimate in man’s determination to remain united with his pet at all times: the doggy bag. Looking closely at the image I can see the poodle is clawing at the man’s back pocket. I hope his wallet wasn’t in there! Dogs can be VERY expensive, can’t they?

poodle carried as if it were a shoulder bag

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