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Photography

Dog snaps photos with heartbeat-triggered Nikon camera

Grizzler the dog may not be Ansel Adams, but he captured some charming photos with a chest-mounted Nikon that takes a picture whenever he's excited.

Grizzler the dog
Grizzler wants to be the Robert Frank of the dog world. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Watch out, cat photographers, you have some competition from the canine world. A black-and-white dog named Grizzler is capturing arty images using a new system from Nikon Asia. Heartography consists of a heartbeat monitor, a camera and a special housing that includes a shutter trigger activated when the dog's heart rate rises.

The proof-of-concept system seems to mainly be a publicity stunt for the Nikon Coolpix L31. The camera and 3D-printed case together are bulky, making the package an unlikely candidate for commercial production. It does give us a set of amusing images showing off all the things that get a dog excited, like people, upset cats and other dogs.

Grizzler won't likely be hailed as a genius photographer. The camera is mounted on his chest, so all the images are taken at about a person's knee level. There are a few surprises in the photo collection. Grizzler seems to be a fan of wild mushrooms, probably because he's excited about the prospect of eating them. He has a couple photos of a van filled with canola oil and Heinz Beans, so he's a bit of a foodie.

Grizzler does have a special touch with animal portraits. His work really captures the angst of a cat faced with a primal enemy and the curiosity of other dogs when meeting another of their kind. These are images human photographers can't easily capture.

This publicity move wouldn't be complete without a cutesy name. Nikon has dubbed the picture-taking pup a "pho-dog-rapher."