Dog (Sports) Photography: Update

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by Desi, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks to all of you who helped with my focus problem in the last thread:Dog (sports) Photography: focus question | Photography Forum

    I had a chance to go back to the beach this weekend and tried again. This time, I shot at ISO 640, f9 and 1/1600 second. I stepped further back to give the dog more room. I focused on the dog, but when she got close to the ball, I focused on the still ball and waited for her to arrive. I kept in in single focus point but I used back-button focus, which turned out to be very helpful. AF-C. I had intended to try out the dynamic focus modes but my wife's throwing arm pooped out.

    I didn't get a shot as good as the ones that I'd previously missed focus on.....but overall, they were far fewer disappointments.

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  2. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    First of all, thanks for a follow-up thread. So many people post "help" or suggestions and then the OP never comes back to say "here's what worked" or "see how I learned". So kudos to you for following up with some application.

    Second, I particularly like #2 and #4. To me, your dog looks like an athlete in both of those shots. #1 and #3 are remarkable stop-actions. But to me, they're great testaments to your camera ("look at how sharp my picture is despite the movement--see all the water drops!"). But in #2 you capture your dog's drive and focus. Everyone who looks at that photo sees a dog that will run through a fricking wall to get that ball. Everyone who has ever owned a dog with high prey or toy drive looks at that photo and they instantly remember or recall their dog. That makes it a damn successful photo--when it goes beyond just freezing a moment and instead can transform the event in to something bigger. And for #4, I'd remove the people in the background. But between the angle (so your dog looks like he's going to jump a tall building), the shadow, the grace and power from the jump--to me, that's a winner.

    Well done!
     
  4. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks Joe!

    Looking forward to the next time. Practice, practice, practice.
     
  5. Dillard

    Dillard No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Something I've found that makes a big difference when shooting my dog is the level that I shoot at. Try getting down on her level for a different look. Here's one I took a while back

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  6. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks, Dillard. That's darned cute.

    I was kneeling for my shots. I tried getting really low but found that I couldn't quite follow the dog well, she was just too fast for me. More practice needed.
     
  7. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Regarding back-button focus.....aside from too large an aperture, I think the back button focus was the biggest improvement.

    Now that I've thought about it for a while: When the dog was running right at me, trying to focus with the shutter button half depressed only worked with the dog farther away. As the dog came closer and the frequency of my shooting increased, there were lag periods where the camera autofocus was not tracking the dog. That is why my earlier pictures all had the focus at the dog's midsection....she had run through the focal plane while I was operating the shutter button. A smaller aperture and more distance gave me a larger DOF but using the back-button focus allowed the camera to keep the focus tracking independent of what I was doing with the shutter button.
     
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  8. Dillard

    Dillard No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    She's a mess!

    In race photography, we frequently shoot from low angles. It's really amazing the difference a few inches will make in the outcome of a photo. Keep practicing, and you're keeper rate will skyrocket! I really love the photo of your dog in mid air.
     

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