Dog (sports) Photography: focus question

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by Desi, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi all,

    I've been taking some photos of my dog at the beach. I'm pretty new to this sports type of photography, so I have a question about focus modes.

    I'm trying to get a good shot of my dog creating a whole mess of sand exploding as she gets the ball. To this end, I have someone throw the ball at me and I shoot the dog as she runs at me. I shoot a nikon d800 with a 70-200 lens. Single focus point. continuous focus mode keeping my finger depressing the button as I track the dog. I've noticed that most of my shots have the dogs mid-section in focus with her face slightly out of the focal plane.

    Any thoughts on getting improved focus? Again, the dog is running right at me and fairly close (15-20 feet).

    Here's an example

    [​IMG]Exploding Sand by Desi595, on Flickr

    Thanks,

    Desi


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I couldn't read the EXIF or see the point of focus, so I'm only guessing.

    Could be the DOF is too thin.

    What we know: The distance is pegged at 8 feet from the camera. We know the camera and the lens, but we would need to know the aperture when you shot. We would also need to know the focal length of the shot.
     
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  3. JacaRanda

    JacaRanda Hobbyist Birdographer

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    Hi Desi,

    More depth of field would/should help (F8 maybe), and also you may try using more focus points to help as opposed to just one. Not familiar with Nikon, but maybe this video at about the 2:35 mark will help.
     
  4. JacaRanda

    JacaRanda Hobbyist Birdographer

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    Went to the Flickr link - shot at F6.3 @ 200mm
     
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  5. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    200mm at f6.3. Not sure about the distance in this particular shot. f6.3 because I wanted to get the shutter speed to 1/1000. The focus point is central, the photo is cropped.
     
  6. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    ^^ as Designer said.
    But when I look at it your shutter could be slightly too slow for the flying dirt too

    We need to see your EXIF or you can tell us your Shutter,Aperture and ISO

    With DOF if your aperture is wide open such as f/2.8 your DOF could be too shallow to get everything in focus. A way to understand this better is to use a DOF Calculator and on a fixed object get a measuring tape out and test your understanding.

    DOF ==> Understanding Depth of Field in Photography
    calculator ==> A Flexible Depth of Field Calculator


    Edit - you guys are fast .... before I hit Reply lol
     
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  7. JacaRanda

    JacaRanda Hobbyist Birdographer

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    Because her head is whipping around, I would kick it up a notch and go with 1250 or 1600 shutter speed. Go with F8 and set auto iso.
     
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  8. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    I noticed the tail was blurry at the tip .. so I was thinking shutter


    using the DOF calculator
    Nearest Acceptable Sharpness: 5.85 meters
    Furthest Acceptable Sharpness: 6.12 meters
    Total Depth of Field: 0.31 meter = 1.1 foot
     
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  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    O.K., I plugged in your numbers and got this:

    Subject distance 8 ft

    Depth of field
    Near limit 7.92 ft
    Far limit 8.09 ft
    Total 0.17 ft

    In front of subject 0.08 ft (49%)
    Behind subject 0.09 ft (51%)

    Hyperfocal distance 689.6 ft
    Circle of confusion 0.03 mm

    So the DOF being 0.17 ft. means it is only 2.04 inches. TOTAL!!!!

    So if the point of focus was the dog's mid-section, then the muzzle will not be in focus. Nor the tail.

    Boost your ISO and stop down a bit.
     
  10. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    his first post stated 15-20 feet distance from subject
     
  11. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Oh, I forgot to say:

    GREAT SHOT!
     
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  12. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, he did, but I got the distance while trying to view the EXIF.
     

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