Peanut butter bliss

Cover of New dog photography
New dog photography

It's a superb time for books that fall under the subject heading "photography of dogs."

There are three excellent choices published in 2017 that provide the perfect distraction to any stress or strain you may be experiencing. They also make wonderful gifts for dog lovers, photography fans and for anyone who needs a bit of a lift.

  • Peanut Butter Dogs by Greg Murray. Pet photographer Murray collects portraits of dogs enjoying, consuming, and posing with peanut butter. This made my day. There is something so open and honest about dogs and the way they react to the world. My own dog loves peanut butter. So do I. I have peanut butter toast almost every morning and my dog gets a little swipe of peanut butter in the Kong, too. She will stand by my side until it's ready. Seeing other dogs consuming peanut butter in a similar fashion struck a chord with me. The artist also ties in animal rescuing and fostering in a nice way.

  • Treat! by Christian Vieler captures dogs excited for and catching treats.  German photographer Vieler accidentally noticed how throwing treats to test taking traditional animal portraits with a portable flash with battery produced some spectacularly crazy and magical pictures.  Working at up to 1/8000 of a second focuses on the dogs in a way that the author describes as soul healing and I agree.  Definitely good medicine.
  • William Wegman:  Being Human by William Wegman and William A. Ewing. This career-spanning collection of famed photography by the artist known for witty, whimsical Weimaraner portraits showcases more than 300 photographs. Many of the photographs were chosen from Wegman's personal archive and have never before been published. The photos span more than 30 years and feature the original subject, Man Ray, and later Fay Ray and several generations of her offspring. The portraits are divided into different themes like People We Like and People Like Us, Sit, Stay, Masquerade, Vogue, Cubists, Disguise and more. I gotta say I dig William Wegman and the way he has been unabashedly dressing up his beloved dogs in costumes all these years. William Wegman's Mother Goose was new in print when I first started my career as a children's librarian and it was great fun to share with the kiddos. The way he's captured his Weimaraner muses is genius and this book celebrates that.