Oscar Dean Photography: Blog http://oscardean.com/blog en-us (C) Oscar Dean Photography oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:51:00 GMT Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:51:00 GMT http://oscardean.com/img/s/v-5/u647488663-o606693715-50.jpg Oscar Dean Photography: Blog http://oscardean.com/blog 120 120 Lizzie (R.I.P.) 3/18/08 - 4/4/18 http://oscardean.com/blog/2018/4/lizzie_in_memorium

3/18/08 - 4/4/18

Lizzie amongst the tulipsLizzie amongst the tulips

Lizzie Dean sadly passed away without pain surrounded by her devoted parents and doctor.  Lizzie possessed a tender sweet spirit and she touched the lives of many people she met personally or who viewed her stately and often humorous photos online.  In her ten years, Lizzie gave us fun, laughter and most of all her love, and our lives are blessed because she was an integral part of our world.  As we take comfort in knowing that Lizzie is amongst angels, her presence will forever be felt in the memories that we all have of her.  God Bless you Lizzie.  We love you with all of our heart!



Oscar and Heidi Dean

Thank you to Dr. Lynn Fortin for 10 years of
caring for Lizzie and being there for us!


Yes, it is true and it is with great sadness that I confirm that our beloved cocker spaniel has passed away.  My wife and I noticed lately that Lizzie seemed to continually tilt her head and she was very unbalanced when she walked.  It was confirmed by the vet that she had vestibular disease.  There is fluid deep within the ears that sloshes around when you move and the brain uses this to keep you balanced during any sort of activity.  When there is a disruption between this fluid and the brain, a dog may experience a sea-sickness type feeling, have difficulty going up or down stairs and in severe cases there may be extreme vomiting.  Lizzie had none of the vomiting but we always carried her up and down the stairs to prevent her from getting injured from a fall.  If she would get wet after being in the rain and she shook her body to dry off, she would fall over on her side because she was so dizzy from the shaking.  Vestibular disease has no cure and it is possible that it can disappear after a couple of weeks but it can also return as well.

Our vet had more to tell us.  While most dogs can live a moderately normal life with vestibular disease, she told us that there was cancer in Lizzie's brain.  She assured us that she was not in pain right now but that the cancer would continue to develop and become more aggressive over time.  All sorts of complications could arise such as dementia, blindness, excruciating pain and more.  My wife and I had a tough choice to make and it all revolved around logic and emotion.  The "logic" side says that putting her to sleep peacefully given the circumstances is the best and most humane thing to do.  The "emotion" side doesn't ever want Lizzie to leave our side and for her to continue to be our baby forever.  But alas we knew that "logic" had to win out in this case so Lizzie's final vet appointment was set for 2:00pm on 4/4/18.  My wife and I were with Lizzie during her last moments as she slowly drifted to sleep.  She knew we were there and we took comfort as we watched her acknowledge our voices softly calling her name and giving her kisses.  A few moments later, Lizzie was free....and at peace.

Lizzie was well known locally and globally.  Many of her photos are displayed at her vet's office, her groomer and also local TV stations. My blog post "Tips for Better Pet Photos" features images of Lizzie and has been viewed over 10,000 times!  Thousands of visitors from all over the world have viewed Lizzie's photo gallery and have left some very nice comments over the years and I appreciate them very much.  It warms my heart to know that she touched so many people from all over with her gentle spirit.  As we take time to let Lizzie's passing truly sink in, I'd like to pull back the curtain a bit and share with you some photos of her, most of which have never been posted online or seen by anyone.  These photos are not the glammed-up picture perfect portraits that are displayed in Lizzie's gallery.  Instead, the photos below are everyday casual photos...Lizzie being Lizzie around the house, in the yard or at the park.  She made my job of photographing her very easy because it was difficult to take a bad photo of her.  Thank you all for the kind words of support and following along Lizzie's journey through her photos for the 10 years she was with us.  Sincerely, Oscar Dean

Scroll Down to See the Photos!


"I'm your new puppy!"

My wife and I adopted Lizzie from a breeder in Pennsylvania.  It was a 6 hour drive one way but needless to say it was totally worth it!  Lizzie's long ride home proved to be a blessing because she became so accustomed to riding in a car that she loved to go for car rides and she never got sick!  The above photo was taken at a rest area in New York State on the way home from picking her up at the breeder.



"Oscar...proud papa!"

Another photo from the rest area in New York.  That's me proudly holding my new furry bundle of joy!



"First moments in her new home"

Introducing Lizzie to her new home brought feelings of anticipation, nervousness and happiness.  We weren't sure how she would react but in the end it turned out to be a funny experience that had us laughing as she proceeded to explore the house.  Lizzie was a bit unsteady on the hardwood floor and she got very excited when she saw another cocker spaniel in the mirror because she thought maybe it was one of her siblings.  After a few paw punches to the mirror, it didn't take her long to realize that those reflected objects are not part of the real world.  Here Lizzie takes a break after her very long and busy day.



"Pooped Puppy!"

Lizzie was exhausted and her rest time turned into deep sleep time.



"Hey, what's for dinner?"

The picture above is one of my earliest "conceptual" photos of Lizzie.  I thought it would be funny to have her doing something that is typically a "human only" task so I attempted the crazy idea of having Lizzie peering into the refrigerator looking for food.  My camera was literally inside of the fridge facing out while I tried to get Lizzie to look in at the camera...this was the challenging part since I couldn't be behind the camera to direct her.  Persistence paid off and I was able to capture the pose that I wanted.



"First day at the park"

There is a park located a short walk from where we lived at the time this photo was taken.  My wife and I took Lizzie there and let her experience all there was to see, sniff and hear.  There was a children's playscape with a Jungle Jim, swings, sea-saw and other stuff so we "very carefully" posed Lizzie on some of them.  The above photo shows Lizzie at the top of a slide.



"Watching from the Sidelines"

Lizzie sits in the grass watching kids playing at the park



"I am still your precious little girl, right Daddy?"

We left Lizzie unattended for a little while and this is the sight that we came back to!  I wasn't mad, in fact, I thought it was hysterically funny especially to see the embarrassed look on her face!  Let me make something very clear.  This incident was the ONLY time she ever did anything destructive....well, except for the "fruit cup" episode!  As the years went by, Lizzie never ever chewed on the furniture, shredded clothing or dug holes in the ground.  The only thing she would ever do is nibble on her stuffed toys or play with her fetch ball but nothing like THIS ever happened again.



"Queen of the Hill!"

At the park, Lizzie has fun posing on top of the cannon monument



"Eagerly awaiting her next adventure!"

The above photo was taken at Walnut Hill Park and Lizzie is perched atop a very large and very tall rock.  Lizzie was fearless and was always willing to participate in whatever creative photo idea I dreamed up.  I picked her up and put her in position and reassured her by talking softly to her so she would feel safe.  Almost immediately she was totally comfortable and she began doing one of the things she does best....hamming it up for the camera!  I just love her playful and inquisitive expression in this photo.



"Are we there yet?"

A short trip or a long one, Lizzie loved to ride in the car!



"Hey, where ARE we?"

Lizzie always had to know what was going on.



"Vicious watch dog?....Yeah right!"

Lizzie liked to sit on the front porch to see what was happening in the neighborhood too!



"No one will EVER know!"

Sneaky Lizzie thinks she can steal some food without us knowing.  Little did she know that this was all a set up that I made with the hope of getting a funny photo.  After putting out the crate of dog food, I set up my camera in the room and then I left and hid where she wouldn't see me.  When she entered and climbed over the crate wall to eat, I used a wireless remote shutter release to take the picture.



"Lonely Lizzie"

Lizzie watches me from inside our house as I walk to my car.  She looks very sad and lonely.  I was not leaving her, I was actually getting something I had left in the car and after retrieving it, I went back inside of the house.  I entered this photo into an online contest where the theme was "Lonely" and Lizzie's photo won!



"The cat did it!"

I completely staged this photo, Lizzie never went near the laundry!
But her facial expression and the look in her eyes makes me wonder...



"Sweet Dreams"

On a hot summer day, Lizzie lays on our cool leather couch and falls asleep.



"Fruit Cup"

One day I was working at the desk in our home office and I heard this strange crunching sound.  I had no idea what it was or what was making that sound.  I called Lizzie's name and the sound stopped.  I called her again more sternly and when she came around the corner, this is what I saw!  Looks like she forgot to leave the "incriminating evidence" back in the other room!



"Best Friends Forever"

Lizzie hanging out with one of her best friends: "Lillian the Leopard."



"Sunning by the Fireplace"

Lizzie catches some rays on a winter's morning



"Lizzie in South Carolina 1 of 3"

My parents retired and moved down to South Carolina to live.  My wife, Lizzie and I visited them for the Christmas holidays.  They had seen photos of Lizzie but they had never seen her in person until this visit in 2008.  Here she is checking out the area from the front porch.



"Lizzie in South Carolina 2 of 3"

Lizzie looks on while our extended family was eating Christmas dinner.



"Lizzie in South Carolina 3 of 3"

Lizzie and I pose in front of the Christmas tree.



"Happy 1st Birthday!"

Yeah, I know.  I admit it.  I've been known to "spoil" Lizzie!



"Playful Pooch #1"

I submitted a photo of Lizzie into a contest and won this toy.
The toy makes a "Mooo" sound whenever she bites down on it.



"Playful Pooch #2"



"White Out!"

This photo was taken a few years ago after a really bad snowstorm had passed through.  Lizzie is always eager to go outside for a walk and this day was no exception.  It was very windy but we had lots of fun nonetheless.  I like this photo for a number of reasons.  It is very minimalistic, meaning that the picture is not cluttered with lots of subjects.  There is only one subject...Lizzie against a clean backdrop of snow.  I also love the contrast of the pure white snow and the color of her fur.  And lastly the vibrant red collar adds a nice pop of color to the image.



"Waiting to play fetch"

One of Lizzie's most treasured toys was this orange ball.



"Laser Focused!"

Photo taken moments before she jumped and caught her orange ball in mid air.




"Garden Headshot"

As Lizzie watched my wife work in the flower garden, I captured her in this introspective pose.



"Ready for Action!"

And not surprisingly, she is keeping close guard of her orange ball!



"High Five!"
While sitting out on the deck one hot summer afternoon, I captured this shot of Lizzie's paw.



"Not a Happy Camper!"

Lizzie has been dressed up in many different outfits and costumes over the years.  With that being said, I never wanted her to wear anything that would look silly or embarrassing.  For some reason (that I can't remember), we took Lizzie to be groomed to a new place that we had never tried before.  When we picked her up, we were very unhappy with her cut and they put these awful feathers in her ears!  I was embarrassed for her and from the look of Lizzie's expression, she didn't like them either!!!  We never returned to that groomer ever again!



"Not Impressed!"

I posed Lizzie together with her new toy but she never liked it and never played with it.  Very strange!



"Life is Good!"

Happy and content to be playing fetch in the yard with her orange ball!



"This is A-Maze-ing!"

After a blizzard I dug out a walkway from our house.  Lizzie came outside to see if I did a good job or not.
It was funny because you could not see her since the snow was 3ft high!



"Lizzie roasting by an open fire"

A peaceful Christmas at home warming herself by the fireplace.



"Waiting for the REAL Santa Claus!"

Lizzie planned to stay up late on Christmas Eve to get gifts from Santa Claus.



"Lizzie with Ally the Alligator"

This is the last toy we ever bought for Lizzie.



"The End!"
Sitting out on the deck, Lizzie faced away from me and I photographed her "rear end."




oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) cocker spaniel death dog lizzie memorium tribute http://oscardean.com/blog/2018/4/lizzie_in_memorium Fri, 06 Apr 2018 03:54:12 GMT
Happy Valentine's Day 2018 http://oscardean.com/blog/2018/2/happy-valentines-day-2018  

Valentine's Day 2018Valentine's Day 2018


Once again my dog Lizzie returns to wish everyone well on another holiday.  The funny thing about this photo is the story behind it.  As is the usual case, I had all elements of this photo shoot planned from the props, to Lizzie's pose and her clothing.  What I didn't plan for was that on this occaision, Lizzie was very unlike herself and wouldn't hold the pose I put her in.  She was very fidgety and finally she just shifted her entire body and plopped down by her own accord and ended up posing just as you see her in the photo.  At first I was a little frustrated that she wouldn't remain where I placed her but then I looked at how she placed herself and I realized she posed herself way better than I did!!!  I calmly told Lizzie to "stay" and she remained motionless until I got the shot.  Hmmm, I'm not sure who is in charge of our photo shoots anymore...

Happy Valentine's Day from Lizzie and Oscar Dean Photography!

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) 2018 balloon candy cocker spaniel cute dog february flower hat heart holiday love mug pink portrait red valentine woof http://oscardean.com/blog/2018/2/happy-valentines-day-2018 Mon, 12 Feb 2018 03:03:41 GMT
Happy New Year 2018! http://oscardean.com/blog/2018/1/happy-new-year-2018  

My wife and I and our cocker spaniel Lizzie wish you a Happy New Year 2018!

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) 2018 animal confetti cute dog festive happy new year hat holiday lizzie portrait http://oscardean.com/blog/2018/1/happy-new-year-2018 Mon, 01 Jan 2018 13:09:42 GMT
Christmas Ice http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-ice It's Christmas Day and New England was rewarded with a blanket of snow which fell overnight.  It has been quite a few years since we have had snow on December 25th so this was a welcome surprise.  Of course you must take the good with the bad and even though the pure white virgin snow looked postcard perfect, I had to get out there and shovel the snow to clear the driveway and the walkway leading to the porch.  Other than the shoveling, it was an enjoyable and relaxing day.

As if the morning snow wasn't enough, at night I was presented with another "gift" in the form of ice that had collected on some trees behind my house.  Some nearby street lights lit up the ice from behind the trees and created such a dramatic effect that I had to take a photo of it.  The scene was actually VERY dark so it required me to use my tripod and an exposure time of 1 minute and 10 seconds!  The long exposure caused the stars in the sky to appear as little streaks in the night sky.

Happy Holidays to all!


oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-ice Tue, 26 Dec 2017 01:52:01 GMT
Saville Dam - Barkhamsted, CT. http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/7/saville-dam---barkhamsted-ct


The photo above was taken at the Saville Dam which contains the water that makes up the Barkhamsted Reservoir.  I've driven by this stone structure a few times and wanted to photograph it but it never worked out for various reasons:  the lighting was bad, it was raining or snowing or I didn't have my camera with me at the time.  I made a few attempts at sunrise and sunset but the skies were always bland and unspectacular...but I never gave up! 


One late afternoon, the weatherman reported that several clusters of unsettled weather from different directions were expected to converge and I figured this might be the perfect time to revisit the dam again.  As I set up my camera equipment, the wind picked up and all sorts of clouds formed in the sky creating a turbulent and surreal backdrop that kept changing by the minute.  I began to hear rumbles of thunder in the distance so that was my cue to get the shot and get out of there...pronto!


I knew literally nothing about the dam or reservoir but after some quick research here are a few fun and interesting facts.  Named after its chief engineer Caleb Mills Saville, construction of the dam began in 1936 and was completed in 1940 at a total cost of $10M.  It wasn't until 1948 that the reservoir was filled to capacity, a whopping 36.8 billion gallons of water!  The dam has a total height of 135ft a length of 1950ft and is the primary water source for Hartford, Connecticut.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To buy photo, click HERE




oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) architecture barkhamsted clouds ct. dam reservoir saville sky stone http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/7/saville-dam---barkhamsted-ct Sun, 30 Jul 2017 17:10:59 GMT
Psychedelic Moon http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/5/psychedelic-moon While sitting on the deck behind my house deciding whether to weed the flower garden or just take it easy, I chose to continue to kick back and relax.  I'm glad I did because when I sat back in my chair and looked up, there was the moon peeking through a space in the leaves and branches of the trees.  The sky was a beautiful blue and provided a nice contrast to the moon.  While taking the photo, I purposely put the foliage severely out of focus so that it would draw the viewer's eye to the moon which is the main subject.  So what happened with the flower garden?  Well, I did eventually work in the garden after about 30 minutes of chill time.


oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) blue bokeh branches green leaves moon sky tree white http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/5/psychedelic-moon Fri, 19 May 2017 12:51:41 GMT
Happy Easter 2017 http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/4/happy-easter-2017 Spring has finally arrived and with it comes blooming flowers, green grass, leaves budding on trees and of course....Easter!  And so, as is customary here at Oscar Dean Photography, I have to get my dog Lizzie involved in celebrating the holiday by taking a formal portrait of her!  She's used to it of course and poses for me like a pro.  I think some day soon Lizzie will a hire a manager, a booking agent and a publicist, but for now she is content with being "paid" with dog treats.  She hasn't turned into a diva yet but I must confess that she is spoiled beyond measure.


Happy Easter from Lizzie!


There are a number of different components that go into a photo shoot like this.  I have to pick out a costume, decide on props to include in the photo, choose a background etc while my wife helps to direct Lizzie's attention during the actual shoot.  But there is another part of the preparation that is extremely important which many people may not think about.  Grooming the subject!  Preparing Lizzie's luxurious coat for her photo sessions is well beyond my skill set so I leave that to the capable hands of Kelly at Petsmart.


Lizzie with her stylist Kelly



Kelly does a great job grooming Lizzie and this of course plays a major part in the final look of the images that I take.  Kelly and Lizzie have truly bonded over time and this is very evident as you can see from these pictures.  So a big "Thank You" to Kelly  for being so good to Lizzie and treating her as if she were her own, and also for making her look so "chic."  Lizzie's fur grows fast so we will see you again soon...



"Grooming is done, how do I look?"




Two divas in the making...




Kelly (stylist) and Lizzie (dog) cuddle together after the grooming session




Lizzie waits with Kelly to be picked up by Mommy and Daddy



oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) 2017 Cocker Spaniel Easter Kelly Lizzie Petsmart dog ears egg groomer holiday rabbit http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/4/happy-easter-2017 Sat, 15 Apr 2017 00:21:16 GMT
After the Rain... http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/3/after-the-rain Dreary.  Gloomy.  Grey.  Wet!  These words perfectly describe the kind of weather we've had here in New England over the past couple of days.  Lots of overcast skies, cold temperatures and heavy downpours of rain.  Conditions like that are certainly challenging from a photographic perspective unless you have a waterproof camera...which I don't have unfortunately!  The rain finally stopped and I noticed the trees in my backyard while looking out of my kitchen window.  It was quite a sight to see the drops of water that were clinging to the branches and leaves.  I took advantage of this break in the weather and ran outside to capture a few shots.  Here are a few of them.







It seems like it has been a long winter here in New England since we've endured multiple snow storms including a blizzard that delivered 2 feet of snow!  These photos give me hope that the warmth and colors of Spring is not too far off in the future.

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) Spruce branches drops macro tree water drops http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/3/after-the-rain Mon, 27 Mar 2017 22:11:27 GMT
The Wrath of Sandy http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/2/the-wrath-of-sandy On a drive along the southern coast in Connecticut, I stumbled upon Fort Nathan Hale Park, a place that I had never visited before.  It is a 20-acre historical park located on the east shore of New Haven Harbor in the city of New Haven.  The park was built in honor of Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776), an American soldier and spy for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City but was captured by the British and executed. His last words before being hanged were reported to be, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Hale has long been considered an American hero and, in 1985, he was officially designated the state hero of Connecticut.


The waterfront park offers a harbor setting, a sandy beach, hiking trails, fishing and birdwatching, a pavillion and a statue of Nathan Hale depicting him moments before he was executed.  Another impressive sight at the park is the long wooden pier that stretches out into New Haven Harbor....impressive that is until the pier met its match a few years ago.


The rickety remains of Fort Hale Pier after being battered by Superstorm Sandy


The Fort Hale Pier was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy when it hit the Northeast in October 2012.  The massive storm surge from Sandy claimed more than 186 lives and caused $65 billion in damage along the East Coast from Maine to North Carolina.  The good news is that the Connecticut State Bonding Commission has approved $1.8 million to repair the pier.  I don't know when the restoration is scheduled to begin but it will be great to see it resurrected to its former glory.

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) CT Nathan Hale New Haven State Park Superstorm Sandy beach harbor hurricaine park pier rocks seascape seaweed water wood http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/2/the-wrath-of-sandy Fri, 03 Feb 2017 18:30:00 GMT
A near miss! http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/1/a-near-miss No matter where you are or what time of day or night, you may be presented with all sorts of photo opportunities. Recently I was in the area of our local airport taking care of some errands when it appeared to me that something was about to happen.  A Delta jet airliner was making its approach to the runway and all seemed normal until I noticed another element in this unfolding story.



Just ahead of the plane I saw a flock of black crows flying directly in the jet's path!  This was no joke!  I was literally expecting to see these birds get sucked into the engines and feathers being blasted out of the exhaust.  Faster than you can say "crow soup" I grabbed my camera and made a feeble attempt to capture what was about to happen.  The birds and the plane looked like they were playing a game of chicken, each holding their position and waiting for the other challenger to fold and turn away.  And then with extreme control and precision, the birds quickly sprayed out in different directions as the Delta jet roared through the sky into the path of where the birds had been just seconds before.  It was a very close call but not one bird was harmed during this crazy ordeal and the plane landed safely with the passengers that were most likely unaware of the drama that took place outside their windows.


After this was over I took a few moments to collect my thoughts and process what I had just witnessed.  It was kinda scary to even consider the tragedy that could have taken place had those birds caused an engine failure.  Here's hoping that the next spontaneous event that I photograph will be less intense than this one...


oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) CT Delta airplane airport birds blue crows flock jet plane sky http://oscardean.com/blog/2017/1/a-near-miss Sun, 29 Jan 2017 13:43:12 GMT
Happy Holidays 2016 http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/12/happy-holidays-2016

The December holiday season is here again and along with the usual festivities the time has come for me to take my dog's annual Christmas photo.  Trust me, Lizzie is a seasoned pro when it comes to dog portraiture, after all, I've been photographing her since she was 3 months old and she's 8 years old now.  This year I went with a "reindeer" theme and dressed her up with antlers, Christmas socks and a "slightly" gaudy reindeer sweater.  OK, ok, it's a very gaudy sweater but I don't think she minded wearing it too much.  Lizzie seemed more interested in the contents of those wrapped gifts than what she looked like during the photo shoot.  On behalf of Oscar Dean Photography and of course "Lizzie," we wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season!

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) Christmas Lizzie antlers dog gift happy holiday portrait reindeer socks sweater http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/12/happy-holidays-2016 Mon, 12 Dec 2016 00:27:06 GMT
Happy Thanksgiving 2016! http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/11/happy-thanksgiving-2016


Thanksgiving is a holiday that is loved by many, well.....maybe not by THIS guy!  Just the mention of the word and he will run for the hills.  I guess I can't blame him.  I photographed Mr. Turkey here when he and a flock of about 6 or 7 of his friends wandered around the houses in my neighborhood.  Pretty daring I would say given the season that we're in!  After I captured a nice profile picture of this handsome fella, he and his buddies disappeared into the nearby woods never to be seen again.


Do you have special plans for Thanksgiving?  Perhaps you are traveling to visit family or they are coming to see you at your house.  Some of you have jobs where you will be working and of course there are those who for various reasons may be in a less fortunate situation.  Whatever plans you have, be safe as you go about your travels and offer a kind holiday wish to strangers you encounter along the way.  And as you gaze into the sad dark eyes of Mr. Turkey pictured above, try not to feel TOO guilty as you sit down to the Thanksgiving dinner with the turkey as the main course.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from Oscar Dean Photography!


oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) 2016 November Thanksgiving bird holiday turkey http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/11/happy-thanksgiving-2016 Thu, 24 Nov 2016 01:38:08 GMT
Super Moon - Nov. 13, 2016 http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/11/super-moon---nov-13-2016


The news is abuzz with lots of talk about the "super moon" which can be viewed on the evening of 11/13/16.  We've all seen the moon many times before but what's so special about it this time?  Well, two things actually make this something you won't want to miss.  First, the moon will be closest to the earth in its orbit since 1948.  Second, the moon's phase just happens to be a full moon and according to scientists will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than a normal full moon.  In this photo, I captured the super moon as it rose above the trees in this residential neighborhood.  If you missed tonight's super moon, no worries, if you've got a lot of patience you can catch the next one in 18 years on November 25, 2034.

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) astronomy dark full house light moon night sky star street super moon http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/11/super-moon---nov-13-2016 Mon, 14 Nov 2016 01:41:27 GMT
Church of the Assumption - Ansonia, CT. http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/10/church-of-the-assumption---ansonia-ct Church of the Assumption - Ansonia, CTChurch of the Assumption - Ansonia, CT

This beautiful stone church is located in the town of Ansonia, CT.  The church is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and they contacted me because they need photos to be used in Newsletters, brochures and online to help spread the news about this special occasion.  I love church architecture, especially the traditional gothic cathedral churches that were built centuries ago.  I had previously seen this church from the outside but never inside so I was very excited to see what I would find on the other side of those vivid blue doors...





A banner in front of the church announcing its 125th anniversary



Upon entering, you are treated to an amazing view of the church's majestic sanctuary.
An artist can be seen on the left painting "The Stations of the Cross."


This view looks towards the entrance doors with the golden organ pipes above them.


A statue of Mary at the front of the church


No church is complete without stained glass windows!


Such beautiful and rich colors in this detail photo of the church's stained glass windows


A side view of the altar with a sign announcing the church's 125th anniversary


Looking down at the altar from a higher vantage point




More examples of the phenomenal artwork in the stained glass windows.


Looking down at the pews on the right side of the church from the upper level


A statue of Jesus in the back corner of the church


You will appreciate the painter's talent when you realize that this entire statue was completely white before he started!!!


I am 6'3" but I felt dwarfed by the gigantic pipes of the organ!


Even this unused upper level hallway looks great with its ornate architectural style


This huge church was so quiet while I was there, it was just me and the painter and he left shortly after I arrived so I was truly able to take in the ambiance of this place of worship with no one else around.  This church was a challenge in the sense that it is so big and there are so many beautiful things everywhere you look that I could have spent a couple of days here before I'd feel satisfied that I captured all that I wanted.  So there you have it, a mini tour of this quaint "little" church in Ansonia, CT.  Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the photos.  Is there a church in CT that you know of that is stunningly beautiful?  Share its name and location in the comments, I would love to pay it a visit!  Thanks.


oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) Ansonia CT Church of the Assumption Jesus Mary altar anniversary architecture blue cathedral celebrate celebration church door gothic organ pipe organ religious stained glass window statue stone http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/10/church-of-the-assumption---ansonia-ct Thu, 20 Oct 2016 04:35:20 GMT
Roadside vegetable stand http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/10/roadside-vegetable-stand

Whether I am driving on country back roads or modern highways, I always have my photographic eye on the lookout for interesting photo opportunities.  I am usually prepared by having my camera ready to go on the passenger seat next to me in case I do see something that catches my fancy.  For quite a few years I have driven by this small barn-like structure whose doors will open for several months of the year and the owners will sell fresh fruits and vegetables from this location.  They were not open for business on this particular drive-by but for some reason I was drawn to the scene and pulled over to explore some possibilities to take a nice photograph.


Although it was late in the afternoon but too early for the proper sunset, there was a pleasing sky and the rich greens of the grass and trees were a nice complement to the blue sky.  The red and white barn added another pop of color while the two boulders served as anchor points and additional items of interest.  Normally this place is bustling with people but without them in the photo I feel the image has an almost pastoral dreamlike quality.  Perhaps one day I will drive by this place again and they will be open and serving their customers and I will stop and capture another photo.....but this time with a completely different mood.


oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) Fruit barn blue grass gravel green market red rocks sky trees vegetable white http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/10/roadside-vegetable-stand Sun, 09 Oct 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Ring-necked Pheasant http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/10/ring-necked-pheasant  

Over the years I have seen and captured photographs of many "backyard birds" but today was a little unusual.  Instead of the typical robins, blue jays and sparrows, there was a Ring-necked Pheasant right on my front lawn.  This species generally lives in wooded areas where it can use the many trees as places to hide from predators so it was quite a surprise to see one in the open in a suburban neighborhood.

A particularly shy bird, the pheasant is easily spooked so I had to be extra quiet and careful in order to grab a photo without scaring him off.  Fortunately I was using my 70-200mm zoom lens at the long end which enabled me to get in for a tighter shot but not taking any chances, he flew away the moment he heard the click of my camera.


Equipment and Settings

Canon 40D
1/125 sec at f4.0, ISO 400
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS USM lens set at 200mm

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) Ring-Necked Pheasant animal beak bird eyes feathers grass green lawn red tail white http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/10/ring-necked-pheasant Sat, 08 Oct 2016 22:58:51 GMT
A Very Dry Summer http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/8/a-very-dry-summer


"Summertime, and the livin' is easy..."    Many of you may recognize this as the opening line to the classic song "Summertime" by Ella Fitzgerald.  The song's slow and languid tempo perfectly depicts the mood of those hot lazy days of summer but living isn't always easy.  Here in Connecticut we've experienced a brutal heatwave that has made living anything BUT easy!  The local new stations are reporting that although it is not mandatory, we should conserve our water usage due to the lack of rain and dry conditions.

So as I keep cool by staying indoors, I have to be extra creative to come up with some new photos.  I decided to dabble with the theme of the heat, water conservation and keeping cool during this heatwave.  After looking around the house for some ideas and coming up empty, I suddenly thought of using a water faucet and a drop of water.  Photographers and other creative artists will often have a fully realized vision in their mind as to what they want their finished project to look like and this was no different.  Once you have your final vision in your mind, the hard part is over, now all you have to do is take the necessary steps to make that vision a reality.

The faucet you see here is in the kitchen and for the blue background  I used a hard plastic lid that fits on top of a storage box.  The cool blue color is a stark contrast to the warm weather we are experiencing but it also makes the stainless steel and the water drop stand out in the photo.  To capture the water drop, I turned on the faucet slightly and had to be perfectly timed to capture the drop at the right moment.  An off-camera flash created a beautiful star highlight on the water drop that helps to add some visual interest.  Water is essential to us, we need it for our survival.  As we are in the midst of conserving our water resources, I hope that this single water drop will remind us of the delicate balance we have with nature and how we must preserve water now and for future generations.

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) blue curve drop faucet kitchen silver smooth stainless steel water http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/8/a-very-dry-summer Fri, 05 Aug 2016 15:23:13 GMT
The Sparrows of Spring http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/5/the-sparrows-of-spring Warm temperatures, green grass, colorful flowers and leaves covering bare trees.  Yes, Spring has finally arrived in all of its glory.  For many of us, it may also mean cleaning up the yard from the ravages of the rough winter that much of our country endured.  As busy as we think we are, mankind is no match for Mother Nature's animals.  I have been lucky enough to witness several species of birds building nests, incubating their eggs, feeding their young and raising them until their juveniles were able to go out on their own.  To be able to see this process unfold before you is very fascinating and I did my best to document some of it for you in the photos that follow.  Enjoy, Oscar.



Male House Sparrow


I love nature and I try to do my part to preserve and protect it in any way I can.  To help give the birds a "leg up" In late March, I affixed a wooden birdhouse about 30ft high in a pine tree in my yard.  After a couple of weeks, I saw a male and female House Sparrow inspecting the birdhouse and soon after they were bringing grass, straw, cotton and other materials into the birdhouse in order to build their nest.  They packed the birdhouse so full of stuff that it began to protrude through some small seams under the roof!



Female House Sparrow returning to her birdhouse




Female House Sparrow peeping outside



Female House Sparrow with hungry baby!


The fun really begins after the eggs have hatched.  The new baby birds chirped so loudly that their cries could be heard from inside of my own house!  Both parents tirelessly took an active part in bringing back food to their hungry chicks.  "How many baby chicks are in the birdhouse?" was my burning question but with the house hanging 30ft in the air, there was no way to tell.  As the babies grew in size, they now began to appear in the doorway, mouths wide open whenever mom or dad returned with food.  At first one chick was visible, then two and then......four!  To help facilitate the feeding process, Mother Nature painted the baby's mouths bright red and yellow to create a perfect visual target for the parents.


Female House Sparrow feeding young



Female House Sparrow with two of her young chicks



Four hungry House Sparrow chicks cry out to their father



A chick nearly old enough to leave the nest


Everything I could have hoped for with regards to this sparrow family seemed to be going according to plan.  They have a safe dwelling to protect them from predators and the weather.  There was an adequate food supply due to the bird feeders, bird bath and bread that I made available to them.  Despite all of these advantages stacked in the bird's favor, nature's game of "Survival of the Fittest" may have other ideas.  One day, as I went outside to see what was happening at the birdhouse, I noticed some sort of object on the ground near the base of the pine tree.  I walked closer to it and saw that it was one of the baby sparrows...and it was dead.  Whether it tried to fly and failed or it accidentally fell out of the birdhouse I'll never know for sure but the sight of this little guy was truly saddening.


A baby House Sparrow, deceased after a fatal fall from the birdhouse


Rather than dwelling on this tragedy, I remind myself that this type of thing happens in nature all the time whether there is human intervention or not.  Birds fall out of nests, snakes and other predators invade nests to eat eggs or young birds and a myriad of other natural events occur that can take the lives of many young animals.  On a happier note, the remaining sparrow babies have grown up and left the nest and will hopefully continue the cycle of life for their species, perhaps in the house that they were raised or in the nearby woods.  Below is a photo of mom feeding on of the juvenile sparrows.  Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I did.


Adult female House Sparrow feeding juvenile


oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) bird birdhouse chick house sparrow, nature sparrow young http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/5/the-sparrows-of-spring Sat, 28 May 2016 21:13:01 GMT
A sign of Spring http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/4/a-sign-of-spring Is it safe to say that the Spring weather is finally here to stay?  I don't want to jinx it because it wasn't that long ago that the Northeastern United States had cold temperatures and snow blanketing the ground.  At first the leaves began to bud on the trees but were halted by the snowstorm  Now the leaves and flowers are sprouting again but at a much slower and tentative pace as if fearful of another blast of winter cold.  A sure sign that Spring is here to stay is the return of the grackle.  These medium sized iridescent black birds migrate south to warmer temperatures in late Fall and returns to New England in early Spring.  The insects of course are starting to appear in droves as well.  It won't be long until we will be bothered by pesky flies, wasps and mosquitoes but also we can enjoy the beautiful colors of the butterflies as they do their part to maintain the flowers in our gardens.  You must take the good with the bad as they say!



This morning as I opened the front door to go outside, a dark object suddenly flew right past my face!  I wasn't expecting it and it really startled me to be quite honest.  As I looked around I spotted the mysterious culprit and saw that it was a moth just as he landed on the floorboards of the front porch.  The moth was very small and would have gone unnoticed had I not seen it land where it did with my own two eyes.  How fortunate was I that I had my camera and macro lens with me!  After grabbing this photo, I "shooed" the moth away for fear that he'd get stepped on or worse.....a sloppy wet tongue licking from my dog!  Here's hoping that there will be lots more colorful "creepy crawlies" that will await me for the upcoming warm weather season.

Click HERE to buy this image

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) 2016 April CT animal black brown bug eyes insect moth nail porch scales silver texture winds wood http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/4/a-sign-of-spring Mon, 25 Apr 2016 21:37:26 GMT
Happy Valentine's Day! http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/2/happy-valentines-day Yes that's right, it's another holiday and you know what THAT means don't you?  Time to grab Lizzie my cocker spaniel and appropriately dress her up for this month's theme.  Now if you follow my blog or website, you already know that Lizzie is a veteran when it comes to dressing up and posing during my photo sessions.  She has been doing this for nearly 8 years and is always up for my latest and craziest costume ideas....well, at least that is what I tell myself!

Lizzie was very laid back and cooperative today which made the photo shoot go without a hitch except for keeping the rose in place in her mouth.  That took a few tries for her to get used to it.  Don't fret, I did remove the thorns before putting the rose in Lizzie's mouth!  Now that the Valentine photo session is over, I can begin my plans for the next holiday photo shoot with Lizzie!  Lizzie?  Lizzie?  Hey, where did she go?????


Happy Valentine's Day from Lizzie!

oscar@oscardean.com (Oscar Dean Photography) 2016 Februrary Lizzie Valentine's Day bow dog flower green hearts holiday leaves necklace petals pink red rose http://oscardean.com/blog/2016/2/happy-valentines-day Sun, 14 Feb 2016 21:27:46 GMT