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I gave you a teaser last weekend of some new photographs of the latest litter of puppies that Celine (the momma dog) has given birth to. Like her previous litters, these are destined for training as service dogs with Canine Companion for Independence. I recently signed on with CCI to volunteer my time and talents as a photographer and attended an orientation last week at CCI’s headquarters in Santa Rosa, California. Canine Companions for Independence is the largest provider of service dogs and provides the dogs free of charge. It operates solely from private and corporate donations. Please visit the CCI website for more information about this fabulous organization, or to make a donation.

Enjoy the photographs and stay tuned for more of Canine Companions for Independence and the fabulous dogs in the future.

I’m So Stinkin’ Cute! – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @18mm – Exposure: 1/640 sec @ f/3.5 ISO 100 Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

I’m not sure what it is about the cinder blocks, but the puppies from all of Celine’s litters seems to love playing with them and crawling through the openings.

Looking for Shade – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @18mm – Exposure: 1/640 sec @ f/3.5 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

It was a very warm spring afternoon when I was taking these photographs and the puppies were most interested in spending as much time as they could in the shade. This is why it is always a good idea to use a flash to fill in the shadows when taking shots like this. In fact, unless I’m shooting landscape or architecture, I almost always use a flash to bring out detail in the shadows. This may sound counter-intuitive to most people, but give it a try and I think that you will be pleased with the results. If you can adjust the EV of your flash, you can experiment and see which results you like best. For outdoor portraits I usually use -1 EV or 0, but for a different look I will crank it up to as high as +2. If shooting with a lot of sunshine, you’ll need to set your camera and flash for high speed sync if you are shooting with large apertures to get the shallow depth of field that you see in most of these photographs.

Doin’ Me Some Explorin’! – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @50mm – Exposure: 1/400 sec @ f/5.0 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

New Heights! – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @50mm – Exposure: 1/640 sec @ f/5.0 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

Hangin’ in the Shade – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 70-200 f/4.0L @135mm – Exposure: 1/125 sec @ f/4.0 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

Here we see Hula, who is an older sibling to the puppies, and the puppies hanging out in the shade. The one puppy with the lighter coat and whose face you see is Stinson. Canine Companions for Independence volunteer puppy raiser Leigh Anne will be raising him from the age of eight weeks until he is about eighteen months old. You can read about her puppy raising experiences by checking out her blog.

Hi! – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @18mm – Exposure: 1/320 sec @ f/3.5 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

What’s In The Ball? – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @50mm – Exposure: 1/800 sec @ f/5.0 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

What’s Up There? – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 70-200 f/4.0L @172mm – Exposure: 1/125 sec @ f/5.0 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

Tango No.6 – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 – Exposure: 1/2500 sec @ f/2.5 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

Keeping a close eye on the puppies is Tango, a very photogenic and sometimes neurotic border collie. While she seems interested in the puppies and their antics, she would be much happier if they didn’t invade her personal space.

Will You Be My Friend? – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @33mm – Exposure: 1/640 sec @ f/5.0 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

Yummy! – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 70-200 f/4.0L @184mm – Exposure: 1/160 sec @ f/4.0 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

I’m not quite certain that they have much flavor to them, but all of the dogs seem to enjoy chewing on the hard plastic balls. This is Hula, a sibling of the small puppies from several litters ago. Not only is my friend a volunteer puppy breeder, but a volunteer puppy raiser as she (and her family) is raising Hula. The puppy raisers have them for approximately eighteen months and teach them basic commands and socialization skills prior to the puppies going into their formal training as service dogs.

Hula and her Siblings – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L Macro @118mm – Exposure: 1/100 sec @ f/5.0 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

After chewing on the ball for awhile, Hula decided to see if the toy bone was more suited to her discriminating palate!

Nap Time – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L @109mm – Exposure: 1/250 sec @ f/5.0 ISO 100 – Lighting: Canon 430EX camera mounted for fill

After a rough afternoon of playing and posing for pictures, the puppies have decided that it was nap time.

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