Daily Inspiration #333 by Bob Patefield

Hi Steve.

Been lurking here for a while now, enjoying the ‘Daily Inspiration’, so I though I’d send you a few of my favourite pics. I mainly shoot dogs (that sounds bad) and street/documentary.
I shoot dog action with a Nikon D3 and Street mainly with my trusty Lumix GF1. I had an M9 for a short while, but let’s just say we didn’t get on. (Wash my mouth out ;^)

On to the pics…….

I call this one ‘We Come In Peace’. This is one of my whippets (Molly) who likes sitting on the stairs so she can keep an eye on everything that’s going on.
To me she looks like an almond-eyed, grey alien, descending from its craft. It was taken with a Leica M9 with a 50mm @ 1.4

I call this one ‘You’re Mine’. Whippets are small and very fast (up to 35 miles per hour) so they can be difficult to catch. Luckily, I have Molly & Fudge who are happy to model for me whenever necessary. Ball throwers are often not as enthusiastic to help out, but a few Scooby Snacks usually works a treat. On this shot, the grass was wet which made the ball give off spray as it bounced and spun.
Sorry, but I can’t find the exif data for this one. It was shot on the Nikon D3 with the 70-200 VRII.
And finally, staying with the dog theme, here’s a cross-over shot to one of my documentary images, taken in Birkenhead (Near Liverpool, UK) last year.
A police officer uses a dog to move peaceful protestors from the road. It was taken with the Nikon D3 with a 20mm Prime. Again, sorry, no exif data.


  1. Bob, really great picture of Molly on the stairs. Also like the ball in action . I’m a great fan of dog action shots myself. Hours of fun for both parties,two legged and four.

    • Many, many hours of my life have been spent as an organic ball launcher. Great to see their joy though when playing ball. Cheers for the lovely comments.

      • I have found over the years that I have much less shoulder pain if I get between two to four hounds in the same place and let them all have a go at it. Then all I have to do is press the shutter button. Easier to live with a sore finger than a sore shoulder. 🙂 Keep up the good work.

  2. Sorry to hear about your negative experiences while out shooting .You are shooting with a camera not with a machine gun so people really need to loose the hysteria and deal with this in a sane manner. We photographers need to defend our right to photograph in public places that is for sure!
    Love your photos in particular the one of Molly -it has to be one of the best dog photos I have ever seen and I remember it from when it featured in Black and White Photography Magazine. Nice to see it again thanks for posting.
    Best Wishes

  3. I love all of these dog photos. The first one is great deign and funny. Love the other two also. Great action!

  4. Thanks for sharing! Dogs can indeed be difficult to shoot well, so I really appreciate your images. We have mutts and Boston Terrorists. (OK, some people call them Boston Terriers.)

  5. I am no legal expert, but I believe the Home Office has sent the police new guidelines regarding stopping photographers taking pictures in the public domain, as the Anti Terrorism Act was being abused by some police officers and over officious security guards – but I am sure you are aware of this after your disturbing experience. Well done to you, Bob, for sticking up for your rights.

    I love taking pictures of our dogs (3 Jack Russell Terriers) being a big dog lover, but they can be very difficult subjects to photograph well.

    Love your dog pictures, and as a previous poster remarked the photo of the Whippet has a touch of Elliott Erwitt about it – very nice.

    Best wishes,


  6. Bob – Awesome pics mate. As an ex – Police Dog Handler I Iove these images. I have to say though it is not a real glamorous job when you are being spat on and objects thrown at you.

    I have a collection of dog pics taken with my trusty Nikon F4 and Pentax K1000. Still saving for my leica.

    Well Done.

    • Thanks Mick. I worked alongside PCs for 14 years when I was on the ambos. It’s not a job I’d be keen to do. Seems like the job has changed a lot from keeping the peace to policy enforcement. I’m sure like me you are happy to be out of it. In the instance above the PC was using the dog as a weapon against peaceful people and he did allow it to bite a man on the hand. It was an interesting day. I was there to document what happened.
      Would love to see your dog pics if there’s any way you can link to them.
      Best wishes.

  7. Great photos Bob. Not sure but have I seen the first one in the UK version of Black + White magazine.
    Sorry to hear you got yourself in a situation a while back. I find that in general people have become very negative towards cameras here in the UK, but well done for persisting with your social documentary.

    • Hi Peter. Yes, it was it was B&W Mag.
      Thanks for your support. It was an interesting experience, but I got my remedy in the end.

  8. Bob – glad to see you here! At last some actual daily inspirations and not daily – I’m still on my first 10,000 shots and 5 years – inspiration… :-S

  9. I really like your photographs the 3rd one with the cop smiling and the dog in beast mode is awesome
    Did you keep your Leica lenses?

  10. The first shot is a classic, simply perfect. You’ve got me really curious now about what happened on that first trip out with the M9… Go on finish the story!

    • I would add : and if this was shot with a Leica, people would have yield : Oh my God ! This is a masterpiece !!!

      Another example of the Leica snobbery…

      Your photos are really good, you have “an eye” that THE only thing one’s need in photography, gear is futile.
      Keep it up Bob 😉

  11. “I mainly shoot dogs” Eeek I thought…..how wrong was I. You really captured a moment here with all these shots, I could not pick a favorite as I enjoyed them all. Refreshing post. Cheers Jason

  12. great shots bob!

    i love my dog as much as my leica (if not more), and i truly enjoy your pictures.
    both #2 and #3 has a dog half way jumping while showing its teeth, but they present complete different emotions and purposes.

    and i just adore the first photo.

    Dogs are awesome.

  13. Brilliant photos Bob, love the graphical composition in the first image and what a great street image in the third, full of impact! Curious as to why the M9 didn’t stay, was it the rangefinder focusing by any chance?

    • Hi Gary. I’d only had 2 cameras before the M9. A Nikon D80 and then the D3. I sold everything in the house that wasn’t nailed down (including the D3 and lenses) to buy the M9 and 3 lenses. I got the M9 especially to shoot street, but on my first trip out I was involved in an incident that put me off photography for about a year. I was fairly sure I wouldn’t be doing any street again and so I sold it and bought all the Nikon gear so I could shoot the dogs in action once more. I slowly got my confidence back and got back on the horse (so to speak). I found the M9 to be flawed in many ways, but with hindsight I should have stuck with it for longer. I think it would have made me a much better photographer, but, like most people, it’s now beyond my reach. At least I was lucky enough to have one for a while.
      Many thanks for your really kind words.

  14. These are all wonderful photos, especially the first one. Reminds me of Elliott Erwitt somewhat.

  15. I love them! the nr3 it’s priceless! the barking dog…the policeman’s arrogant face…great picture!

    • Many thanks Rudolph. The dog was taking a bite at the protester. He got bit on the hand just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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