Sunday, November 7, 2010

QUESTIONS ANSWERED no 3

Please tell us more about the masthead photo. One of my all time favorites. It was taken after a playdate. I had loaded the girls into the car and was talking with one of my friends who yelled “look” and pointed past my shoulder so fast she almost knocked me out. I turned and saw the girls posing. I fumbled to get my ever-present camera out of my pocket and managed to fire off a couple of shots before they lost interest in whatever they were staring at. I was so focused on getting the shot I have no idea what caught their attention, though I am grateful for what ever it was.

The models from left to right: Willow, Breeze, Dru and Opal. Yes, they are all greyhounds and, yes, at the time, all mine. The car is a Toyota Matrix, which is surprisingly roomy and can fit 4 greyhounds. It is probably a good thing it can’t comfortably fit more…

How do you get such good photos of the dogs and/or the sprinting greys in focus? In all honesty, a good portion of the photos I take aren’t in focus, or it’s a picture of just grass, or just the tail is in frame or part of the head is missing, or the dogs are little specks in the distance, or someone is sniffing someone else's butt, or my shadow is prominent and distracting, or there is a person in the frame, or the photo is just boring, or, or, or...

Taking good photos of running greyhounds is hard. Period. They’re going at 20-30 miles an hour (If not faster. I know they have a much higher top speed, but it can’t really be achieved in our fenced area due to limitations on space).

It is like taking photos of race cars. The only thing is that with race cars (and racing greyhounds (be it on the track or coursing) and horses) they follow a set path. The photographer knows where the subject will be at some point and can set the focus, waiting for the subject to enter the frame. The area we run in is not a track and the hounds take full advantage to run in every which way. It makes it more challenging, and fun, to take photos.

So, I take a lot of photos and a small percentage come out well. Though over the years, with all the practice, the percentage has risen. I have learned how to time my swing of the camera with the speed of the dog, what settings I need, which direction I can take the photo in because of the sun and my shadow, how to work around the people in the area, etc. So the answer – lots and lots of practice and lots and lots of pictures.

Here's just a couple of the photos from this morning that didn't come out all too well.

Breeze, a bit out of focus. She looks quite prancy in this photo, that's 'cuz Dru is not attached to her head.

Cleo out of focus, this would have been a great shot, massive intent on attacking the toy.


Kebi and Ginger, little specks on the horizon and my shadow featuring predominantly.

RJs tail. The timing was a bit little off on this one.


Willow's tail. Again a small problem with timing.

Missing a bit of nose are we? Though I love the photo anyway.


and my favorite. No dog. What. So. Ever. It happens more than I care to admit.


To be continued...

4 comments:

jet said...

hahaha yes I have lots of photos with no dog in them! It is pretty funny. I have more 'specks on the horizon' photos than anything else though... and my instant cam's shutter speed isn't quick enough so there is always a bit of blur.

Canine Behavior Training said...

I'm rather fond of pictures of tails and RJ and Dillan have two great tails !!!

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Oh can SO relate to this!! Sometimes I take about 100 shots to get a couple I'd show anyone:-) Grass is very boring!

I'm really enjoying your posts, on to the next one:-)

Helene said...

Hey, "no dog whatsoever" looks awfully familiar to me!!! it happens to me all of the time! but I keep practicing...