As a photographer I believe it is important to be aware of dogs. I happened to pass by this one yesterday, in my neighbourhood. Although I spend more time with horses, I have put a few pictures with dogs on the blog over time; like here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
Dogs have always been important objects of art, often assumed to convey specific symbolic values, such as fidelity; trust. Or like this one by Goya. A photography, I think, always adds an additional level of ambiguity, due to its documentary nature. If there is a dog in a painting, you can be pretty sure that the painter made a conscious decision to put it there, the dog, looking the way it looks for a specific reason. A dog in a photographic picture could be something else; something that caught the eye of the photographer in the shere moment, or something that just happened to be in that particular spot within the framing. The dog has the look it happened to have in real life, any acting is unlikely.
It is said that Daido Moriyama’s rise to international fame can be attributed to one of his iconic pictures of a Stray Dog. And consider Roger Ballen’s Puppy between feet. We all probably have numerous pictures of dogs by numerous photographers in our conscious or unconscious minds. Which images are stuck in your memory?
And why did I capture this particular dog? It seemed like a good thing to do. There is no message intended. There is just something about these animals. It is a big dog – a bitch. Black, alone and leached. Sitting beside a closed door. Whatever you see in this picture, if anything, is really all about yourself. And that can be worth spending some time thinking about.