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A happy walk

By matthews677  
A quick snap whilst taking the dogs for a walk. I personally think the dog is a photogenic one and i enjoy taking pics of him but would like to know how to improve freehand action shots of him. All comments gratefully recieved

Tags: Pets and captive animals Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 2:14PM
If photogenic, I don't think it's his 'best side'.

Mainly, the shot isn't very sharp. 1/125 is not fast enough for a dog running towards you, and the AF will like as not focus in the wrong place because he will have moved by the time the shutter trips (even with focus tracking, it's hard).

For head on shots, try focussing on a spot he will run past, trip just before he gets there, and use a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the motion and an aperture to give a wider DoF. With practice, you will get better quickly.
In this instance, I would be looking at upping the ISO to shoot somewhere around 1/500 or 1/1000 sec at f/8, so maybe ISO 400 or 800.


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banehawi Plus
13 1.7k 3783 Canada
12 Jun 2012 3:28PM
Welcome to EPZ Paul.

Nick is spot on with the advice above. Using Shutter priority was not a bad idea, but for action, speeds start at least 1/500, and best at 1/1000.

Do try AI Servo mode for focusing, BUT use only one focus point, - you can select one rather than all nine easily, - check the user manual. Place that one focus point (the red square) on the dogs face as he runs towards you. Also get down to the dogs level, - which is really low for a Pug!

One other approach you may have success with is to simply use the Action or Sports mode on the camera.

You may have been a little lucky with this one as it sharpens up reasonably well as in the mod, though a tad too sharp perhaps. Theres a step for sharpening which I will include below. Notice the crop, - better placement of the dog in the frame. Ive lifted sgadow detail using the shadow tool in Photoshop CS.

As a new member, there are features in this gallery you may want to use: Theres a "Like" icon beside a comment; and theres the small "Nominate for Constructive Critique" link at the bottom of every comment. The Critique Team approves or denies submissions for constructive Critiques, and members can accrue points. Critique Team members cannot approve comments on their own feedback. When you provide constructive feedback, you can also start collecting points, which can mean you are improving to the point where you can see how to improve other members shots. To qualify as Constructive, the feedback has to improve you image, your skill, your knowledge of the photographic process, or post processing. Comments like nice shot, love the scenery, etc dont qualify.

For re sizing images to upload, its a process that goes like this:

Resize image: Image>Image size> set pixels per inch to 72; then set the longest side to what the site allows; then during the save as process, you will adjust the quality slider to get the right file size, then save.

Next: OPen the new image. Check for sharpness at 100%. It will very likely need to be sharpened. You can use whatever method you prefer; here is a reliable method you can use:

Filter>sharpen>unsharp mask; set Radius = 0.8; set threshold = 3; now slide the Amount slider all the way to the right, which oversharpens the shot; then slide it slowly back to the left until it doesnt look soft, and doesnt look too sharp. You can view your image and turn Preview on and off to see how youre doing. When your happy, press OK, then SAVE. Now upload.

Hope you find this helpful, and enjoy the site.


Cybalist 5 21 United Kingdom
14 Jun 2012 2:37PM
I think your 1/125 is ok as with many action shots you do want to show a little blur in the fastest moving bits of the animal - the legs - just to show it is actually moving. I think the blur you have is more of a focus thing. I would severaly crop this image - action shots often benefit from a close crop to get the viewer "into the action" and I would also advocate a lower viewpoint - it would be a lot more dramatic to have a "dog's eye view" where the mutt can dominate the picture - far more dramatic!

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