On vacation in California, the camera goes to the dogs

Go Dog, Go!

Go Dog, Go!

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — It takes about a week in Northern California to give up trying to capture the beautiful scenery with a phone camera, so you do the next best thing — take pictures of dogs.

That’s easy to do here.

Shyla, on top of the world.

Shyla, on top of the world.

At beaches, in parks, on trails — even in a brew pub in a city called Petaluma — dogs rule. Pretty much anywhere you go, it borders on a live version of the P.D. Eastman kids’ book, “Go Dog, Go!”

I’m a quasi dog person, meaning I used to own two mutts, but now am quite content to enjoy other people’s dogs.

That’s easy to do here. The abundance of canines also convinced me to go with Photography Plan B, and if there’s ever a time to go with the flow, it’s on vacation 3,000 miles from home.

Plan A was to capture images of mountain ranges and other stunningly beautiful topographic evidence of what must have been incredibly violent shifts in the earth’s crust eons ago.

A sign at the Lagunitas brew pub outdoor cafe reads, "All leashes must be dogged."

A sign at the Lagunitas brew pub outdoor cafe reads, “All leashes must be dogged.”

But my photos just weren’t cutting it.

Finally it dawned on me that my nature photography skills seemed to improve when a four-legged subject was in the frame.

It was clearly time to let vacation go to the dogs, which is not a bad way to go.

For the record, I did attempt to snap a photo of a harbor seal surfacing in the ocean at Point Reyes National Seashore (below) but it failed, for two reasons — a shy, uncooperative seal and the fact that all the nearby dogs were chasing each other on the sand, well out of the frame.

Looking out over the Pacific Ocean, Point Reyes National Seashore.

Looking out over the Pacific Ocean, Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, Calif.

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About Jim McKeever

Observer, writer, father, runner based in Central New York.
This entry was posted in family, Irish Investigations, photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to On vacation in California, the camera goes to the dogs

  1. Jim I love the one of the dog with the mountains in the back drop its beautiful. Happy holidays, Kath.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. markbialczak says:

    Your camera/phone camera does seem to focus more clearly when the f-stop is set at K-9, Jim.

    Happy vacation, indeed. I love the leash rule at the tavern. Nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that one with the dog and mountain as well! Hope you are having a most enjoyable vacation Jim! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim McKeever says:

    Don’t want it to end, believe me!

    Like

  5. chmjr2 says:

    Looks like you are having a great time. Your story about the seal gave me a little laugh. This summer my wife and I took the ferry to Nova Scotia and whales were popping up all around the boat. I gave it my best effort but was unable to capture any in a photograph. All I got were pictures of ripples on the water. My advice is if you can stay on vacation a little longer do so as it is COLD here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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