Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-23-2009, 09:45 AM   #1
Pentaxian
eccs19's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lisle, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,504
Gone to the dogs.

My sister works for a small company that does agility training for dogs. This Sunday they've got a larger event going on, and they asked if I'd be interested in showing up and doing some pictures for the event. I've never shot anything like this before. I made sure that they knew this. I basically said that I'd do it for nothing, just for the experience, more than anything. Anyone done something like this, and have any tips / pointers? I know that she works out of a barn, but also has some outdoor stuff also. I expect that it depends on the weather as to where they will work from. Here's the equipment that I've got to work with.

28mm Takumar
50mm Pentax f2
100mm Takumar f4
200mm Takumar f3.5
300mm Tamron f5.6
500mm Tamron mirror f8
*istD
Tripod
Pentax AF280T flash

Also got an older Vivitar flash that I've got set on a light trigger, so I can trigger with the AF280T if needed for some fill light

All lenses are manual focus, so no autofocus to help me out, but once I've got mounted on tripod, I don't think that should be an issue.

10-23-2009, 10:26 AM   #2
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 11,009
Hope you are shooting outside.
Your longer lenses will be your friend.
Watch how the course is being walked and set up on a tripod in a position where you can get the dogs coming out of one or more pieces of equipment. The tire is especially good, agility people like pictures of their dogs coming off the tire.
Concentrate on the jumps more than anything, airborne dogs are more impressive than running dogs.
10-23-2009, 12:01 PM   #3
Veteran Member
philbaum's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Port Townsend, Washington State, USA
Posts: 3,659
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Hope you are shooting outside.
Your longer lenses will be your friend.
Watch how the course is being walked and set up on a tripod in a position where you can get the dogs coming out of one or more pieces of equipment. The tire is especially good, agility people like pictures of their dogs coming off the tire.
Concentrate on the jumps more than anything, airborne dogs are more impressive than running dogs.
eccs,
This is a complex little puzzle, long or short lens? i'd spend some time with DOF tables to see what that would mean.

I don't have all the experience of some regulars on this board, but i would be thinking:

a. setting up the camera with a depth of field that would be large enough to cover the exit from the tire or other appartus without doing focus for each dog.

b. (a) is far easier to do with a smaller FL, so I would find that 50mm F2 would be an attractive choice to me.

c. I would think you would need a shutter of 1/500 or more.

d. The relative speed of the dog to the camera viewpoint is greater the more perpendicular one is to the direction of the dog's travel. moving around to a 45 deg angle with the dog's head coming towards you will reduce the relative motion but yet give you an appealing image, etc.

e. Try to get to the course ahead of time to test some shots and determine where the sun is going to be when the event occurs. I would go so far as to set up the tripod and camera to take some test shots and see what lens and position and background offers the best possibilities. You might even select 1 or 2 backup positions. When you get there for the event, be sure you inform whoever is letting people in that you have been asked to take official photos. When i did that once, the usher went out of his way to let me select where i wanted to take images.

Best wishes,
10-23-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
Damn Brit
Guest




Palmor is our resident expert for these events. Do a search on threads he has started and you should find quite a few images and tips. You could try PMing him as well.

10-23-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
tscip22's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 62
Some good advice above. I would not forget the expressions of the owners of the dogs, reaction shots when their pooches are competing, pics when receiving awards. I would also try to get some close up portraits of the dogs, using wider angles, with the apparatus in the backround.

It sounds like a lot of fun. Good Luck!
10-23-2009, 02:57 PM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,395
Just taking a look at a few pages of images here should give you a good idea of what you will run in to...

dog agility - Google Images

God help you if they also have agility lure coursing (just hope that there are not any IGgs running - as they will blur thru your focus trap).....

Lure coursing - Google Images


10-23-2009, 07:00 PM   #7
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 11,009
QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
eccs,
This is a complex little puzzle, long or short lens? i'd spend some time with DOF tables to see what that would mean.
Umm, no. A long lens is going to be dictated here by the nature of the sport. I suppose it's possible that a short lens might see some use, but mostly 200-300mm will be the right choice.

I don't have all the experience of some regulars on this board, but i would be thinking:
QuoteQuote:
a. setting up the camera with a depth of field that would be large enough to cover the exit from the tire or other appartus without doing focus for each dog.
This is correct.

QuoteQuote:
b. (a) is far easier to do with a smaller FL, so I would find that 50mm F2 would be an attractive choice to me.
This is probably not viable. I haven't shot a lot of agility, but the times I've done it, the 300 seemed to be a little long, but 200 was definitely on the short side most of the time.
QuoteQuote:
c. I would think you would need a shutter of 1/500 or more.
As fast as possible, and it's worth getting more ISO noise than you would normally like to get the shutter speed you need.
QuoteQuote:

d. The relative speed of the dog to the camera viewpoint is greater the more perpendicular one is to the direction of the dog's travel. moving around to a 45 deg angle with the dog's head coming towards you will reduce the relative motion but yet give you an appealing image, etc.
Head on can be quite effective, but somewhat to the side is also good. A lot of this will be dictated by the course. Sometimes you can't get exactly what you want because of the way the track is set up.
You definitely want them coming more or less at you than more or less going away. No one wants a picture of a dog's behind.
10-24-2009, 05:12 AM   #8
Pentaxian
eccs19's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lisle, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,504
Original Poster
Thanks for all the help. I'll keep all this advice in mind. I just hope I don't have to use my 300mm, as I've never been happy with the results from it. I think my 200mm will be the way to go. My favourate is 100mm, but I think I'd be to close & distracting to the dogs. My sister says it will be outside unless the weather is bad, so fingers crossed.

10-24-2009, 07:45 AM   #9
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 11,009
QuoteOriginally posted by eccs19 Quote
Thanks for all the help. I'll keep all this advice in mind. I just hope I don't have to use my 300mm, as I've never been happy with the results from it. I think my 200mm will be the way to go. My favourate is 100mm, but I think I'd be to close & distracting to the dogs. My sister says it will be outside unless the weather is bad, so fingers crossed.
You'll be shooting from outside the course, so your distances might be fairly great.
10-30-2009, 06:14 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2009
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,674
I only shoot our local dog show for fun most every year and the best year was with a long zoom. And mind this is in a fairly non-active setting, still I find I need a minimum of 1/640th to get a handle on all the moving parts of the dawggies. I found I prefer 1/800 most of the time. If it's a sunny day, that will help a ton otherwise it's gonna call for a higher ISO to get the shutter speed. And it is surprising how much a dog moves around and when running even if you are tracking them well with say 1/500, their coat, ears, tongue or even head might still be moving too fast to freeze motion at 1/500.

Also, I find a monopod is my friend for a long day or in the case of our show, about 4ish days of fun. I missed the show this year but last year I had my Sigma 150-500mm and it was the perfect lens because I did not always need to be ring side to get a nice shot. Most of the regulars for the shows like the 70-200mm zooms and can camp out and cover the particular ring they are wanting. Me, I like to wander and do that candid and more stealthy thing...lots of fun. I keep telling myself I will get to the agility stuff but the hold that in the AM and I am NOT an AM person for a lot of reasons.

Last, be somewhat cautious about using the flash because it can easily distract a dog during the competition, even if you are shooting off to the side.

Looking at your list I would say take the 100, 200, 300 & prolly both the 28 & 50mm just in case. The 28mm would be nice for walking around. I have used my 10-20mm Sigma quite often in the past. You could drag along the 500mm just in case, but I am not sure if you'll be trilled with the IQ in this setting, I am willing to bet the 300mm will be all the reach you might want. Of course as soon as you decide to leave a lens at home, all I do is see the shots I could have taken had I dragged it along...hehehehe. For the dog show I go to, I will shoot between 150ish (but 100mm is really nice to have access to) up to around 375mm or so, that's a pretty big range, which I no longer have btw...d'oh!!)...I will, however pull out the 10-20mm if want something wide and tight or a shot of the whole park sorta thing so the 28mm might be your pal here.

Also...find yourself a nice folding three-leg stool (mine are aluminium and nylon but can be hard to find anymore, I found them only at our Big-5) as there are a lot of times for a break and sitting down for a bit, or even to get a better perspective on the shot can be your friend. I grabbed a demo Bogen-Manfrotto 055B Pro last year and really want to try it out just barely off the ground to sort of get shots up at the leetle beasties rather than the normal shots from overhead...of course that means laying on the ground which may or may not be possible, also the tripod will take up a HUGE area with the legs splayed out like that...

Just my very amateur contribution to the topic...oh, here are the shots I took in 2008 mostly with the 150-500 and very basic or no editing or culling of shots yet, or should I say still as it was over a year ago now... :

Lompoc Dog Show 2008 - BreckLundin's Place

all the image data should be there...and the conditions were very nice and sunny along with a bit of haze in the sky (we are not far from the ocean with nothing between us and it...). No filters or anything either...I had only owned the lens for a few days before using it at the show...lots of goofs for sure!

have FUN!!
10-31-2009, 08:24 PM   #11
Veteran Member
palmor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA
Posts: 798
QuoteOriginally posted by eccs19 Quote
My sister works for a small company that does agility training for dogs. This Sunday they've got a larger event going on, and they asked if I'd be interested in showing up and doing some pictures for the event. I've never shot anything like this before. I made sure that they knew this. I basically said that I'd do it for nothing, just for the experience, more than anything. Anyone done something like this, and have any tips / pointers? I know that she works out of a barn, but also has some outdoor stuff also. I expect that it depends on the weather as to where they will work from. Here's the equipment that I've got to work with.

28mm Takumar
50mm Pentax f2
100mm Takumar f4
200mm Takumar f3.5
300mm Tamron f5.6
500mm Tamron mirror f8
*istD
Tripod
Pentax AF280T flash

Also got an older Vivitar flash that I've got set on a light trigger, so I can trigger with the AF280T if needed for some fill light

All lenses are manual focus, so no autofocus to help me out, but once I've got mounted on tripod, I don't think that should be an issue.

Hi,
I assume the event has already happened, I wish I had seen this thread earlier but work has been crazy and I haven't read the forums as thoroughly as I normally do

Anyway if it hasn't happened and you read this I'll try to through some tips out there

1. Don't use a flash
1a. Don't use a flash This can REALLY mess up the dogs on the agility course and you will get a lot of evil eyes and the judge and/or event organizer will probably give you a little talking to. Save the flash for outside the agility ring.
2. 200mm is a good length so I'd go with that lens. Since it is manual focus I'd trap focus as much as you can
3. What I do before each class runs is get a course map and study the course like one of the competitors would. I check the angle of the sun and keep myself to the side of the ring were I won't get the dogs in the shadows. Then I pick a spot I can get good angles of at least (hopefully) 2 obstacles. I'll even watch the competitors do their walk through to see how they plan on running the dogs.
4. Since you are manual focusing you might want to concentrate on things were the dogs *may* pause for a couple of seconds, like on contact equipment (AFrames, Dog Walks, Teeters).
5. Sometimes I try to line my self up and get a few obstacles in a row.. like if the ending sequence has a tunnel, tire, jump all lined up I'll sit at the end track the dog coming out of the tunnel and get the tire shot then the final jump shot.
6. Some real popular shots of mine are getting the dogs while they are sitting at the start line, that should be an easy one to get.
7. It is kind of a personal preference about things like DOF. I usually shoot at f/4 outside (with a 70-200mm lens) and that gives a good balance of DOF (at least for me). Inside is real tough and I usually shoot f/2.8 and ISO3200.
8. Ask the event organizer if there could be anything special happening. It happens almost every trial were someone achieves some type of special ranking or award (their championship ect). Make sure you get LOTS of photos of that. They usually like to get a photo at some point with the judge standing in front of some equipment (I suggest the AFrame if is available).
9. Shoot at a high a shutter speed as you get get.. even if that means upping the ISO beyond what you would normaly like. It is a lot easier to reduce noise in post process then it is to sharpen a blurry dog
10. HAVE FUN. Dog people are crazy out their dogs (I know we are, my wife competes in dog agility) and photos you may think are only borderline good will be great to them


Those are the things I can think of quickly off the top of my head. Here are some of my dog agility galleries, maybe it will help with some ideas http://www.pbase.com/palmor/agility. I did a lot of that when I started earlier this year (visiting other dog sports photogs sites and got ideas of things I liked and things I didn't).

If it hasn't happened and you have any questions I'll be happy to try to help. It isn't often I have helpful advice with all the incredible photographers on this board so it is nice


John


Oh I forgot.. share the photos you got! I love seeing dog photos!

Last edited by palmor; 10-31-2009 at 08:55 PM.
10-31-2009, 08:28 PM   #12
Veteran Member
palmor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA
Posts: 798
QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Palmor is our resident expert for these events. Do a search on threads he has started and you should find quite a few images and tips. You could try PMing him as well.
LOL, never thought I'd be called a "resident expert" in anything Thanks!



John
10-31-2009, 08:50 PM   #13
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 11,009
QuoteOriginally posted by palmor Quote
LOL, never thought I'd be called a "resident expert" in anything Thanks!



John
You do great Agility photos. Take the accolades and run with them.
11-01-2009, 02:21 AM   #14
Veteran Member
res3567's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Houston Tx.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,876
QuoteOriginally posted by palmor Quote
LOL, never thought I'd be called a "resident expert" in anything Thanks!



John
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
You do great Agility photos. Take the accolades and run with them.
Yea I agree. I saw some of your pics recently and I was impressed.
11-01-2009, 05:28 AM   #15
Pentaxian
eccs19's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lisle, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,504
Original Poster
Thanks to all that gave me some tips / advice. Some a little late, but better late than never. I'm thinking that they'll be having more of these, so I may get called back. I did post some pictures of the event. Here are the links if your interested in looking.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/77641-other-gone-dogs.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/77929-people-2nd-prize.html
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
af280t, camera, event, flash, light, pentax, photography, takumar, tamron, tripod
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nature My Dogs Spideralex90 Post Your Photos! 2 04-22-2010 06:11 AM
Misc Gone to the dogs eccs19 Post Your Photos! 8 11-01-2009 12:38 PM
More dogs Dekka Post Your Photos! 3 08-29-2008 10:42 AM
Going to the dogs Workingdog Post Your Photos! 2 01-06-2008 01:37 PM
Dogs 'n' dogs 'n' dogs! hamidlmt Post Your Photos! 10 12-07-2007 07:52 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:43 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top