Therapy Dog and Photographic Muse

Minnie came from a litter of 10 puppies born a few blocks away from the Historic Hyde House in Lee, Ma.. Originally acquired as a “must have” pet by my daughter, Julie, Minnie has blossomed over the last several years into both a wonderful therapy dog for my son, Matthew, who has Down Syndrome, and a photographic muse for me.  She came prenamed “Minnie Mouse” by the couple who owned Minnie’s mother because Minnie’s big brown patches reminded them of the Disney cartoon character’s mouse ears.  Julie kept the name.  I just call her Minnie, sometimes “Minnie Me.”

Minnie in the Middle

Minnie is Chosen

Her Master’s Voice

Art Appreciation Day

Ready for Bed?

May I Come In?

Matthew’s Best Friend

I have owned a few wonderful dogs over the years, but never a Springer Spaniel and never one who is a compulsive light and shadow chaser. What better trait to have when her master’s photographic passion means chasing light and shadows as well?

Except for the photos of Minnie taken as a puppy on the day Julie chose her and the iPhone6 captured video, all the illustrations in this article were taken with Nikon F-mount glass and a Fuji S3, Nikon D800E, or Nikon Df dSLR camera.  My first serious camera was a used Nikkorex F given to me by my father in 1967, and there has never been a time since then when I didn’t own a few Nikon camera bodies and some Nikon glass. When I bought a Nikon D800E in 2012, it reawakened my interest in manual focus prime lenses, and I have begun to once again collect F-mount glass, mainly Nikkor AiS and Zeiss lenses, but anything in the classic F mount is now fair game. Manual focus primes are a joy to work with but also a challenge for my aging eyes to hit the critical focus that demanding high resolution cameras like the Nikon D800E and D810 beg for in every shot. Much of my personal work is landscape photography where manual focus lenses are well-suited, but I also try to keep my manual focusing skills honed for those moments when I stumble across scenes that are best shot hand-held. With her big saucer-shaped eyes, brown and white “skin tones”, spontaneous expressions, and attentive behavior Miinnie is this photographer’s favorite model.

Mark H. McCormick-Goodhart
Director, Aardenburg Imaging and Archives