This past week I have spent completely immersed in the world of things visual. First off, of course I have been trying to stay afloat with keeping my eye on (pardon the pun) regular class work, registrations and reading and responding to the many emails that land in my inbox every day. 

But beyond that, I’ve been hard at work editing all the fun images we shot of Elroy the week before. 

AND; here’s the really visual:  I took part in a training course – all about Photoshop. My brain is actually about to burst – information overload is a huge understatement…I’ve been staring at images and learning and absorbing all week long – and there’s no denying it: I am super excited about new ideas, new knowledge and tools discovered!  (It’s been a long time since I formally updated my knowledge about this tool).

What really struck me, though is just HOW closely related the two loves of my life are (well, there’s Hubby too – so that would make it three loves, but you get the idea!?) Dogs and Photography – and to make it clear: the Man, of course (maybe not in that order?)

One of the instructors in the Photoshop course was explaining to the group about the importance of REALLY SEEING – not just looking, but actually trying to see and understand. The specific discussion was regarding composites and how to combine images, layers and effect so it looks natural and the instructor was giving tips for how to achieve good end results – urging the students to Really LOOK. If you can’t identify it – you can’t reproduce it. In order to know how to make something – you have to understand what it needs to look like in the end to get to the end result. 

Wow! It’s exactly the same as in dog training! Isn’t it? If you can’t paint a visual picture of where you want to go – how can you describe steps to get there? or identify gaps when you get stuck?

When wanting to achieve something specific with your dog – whether teaching a performance behaviour or working on fixing a problem –  I think this is so valuable (maybe so obvious but easily forgotten!) — what we can all benefit from is to slow down for a moment and think in reverse and describe, in great detail, what you see (where do you want to go?) and what that particular behavior looks like – and then start adding the layers – just like in Photoshop!

There’s a fantastic great quote that I absolutely love (and I am very sorry I don;t remember who said this?) but it rings so very true and I will leave you with this thought to ponder:

“If you don’t know where you’re going ~ Any road will take you there” 

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