action dog photography


lennythelion

Link Posted 14/12/2014 - 22:21
I'd welcome your help and opinions please.

I was out yesterday afternoon photographing a race day at a greyhound stadium run by a charity for owners to run there dogs.

I'm a bit out of practice and my attempts to capture some of the dogs running for several owners were rubbish.

I ramped up the auto ISO to up to 6400, set the shutter speed at various settings between 1/250 up to 1/2500.

Unfortunately due to to the frost they were only racing on the straight. So I tried to prefocus on a spot on the track and fire in high speed once the lure had just passed me.

Looked reasonable on the LCD, but on the monitor the noise is horrific, and despite my efforts the no of sharp shots is pretty low.

If anyone has any experience they'd like to share it'd be appreciated.


Oh BTW I was using a k30 and a da 50-200. Mainly at 50-70 mm.
My efforts are that poor that I don't really want to spend any time in pp, as I'm not sure there salvageable

johnriley

Link Posted 14/12/2014 - 23:33
Aperture priority, using a wide aperture, ISO say at 3200, better at 1600 if possible, using single shot and anticipating the action. Manual focus would do this, just prefocus on the track and release the shutter just before the subject arrives at the required spot. There's always a slight reaction/shutter lag, so you need to practice until you find the right amount of anticipation required.

A wider aperture lens might be advantageous, but you should be able to get something reasonable with the lens you have.

Hope that helps!
Best regards, John

lennythelion

Link Posted 15/12/2014 - 00:17
Thanks John,

I'm really not sure I can nail the shot in one tbh, I'm stood bout 75 feet from start gate and by time the dogs get to my spot there doing nearly 40mph.

I did wonder if a smaller f stop say f8 might have helped keep more of the dogs in focus but, with the light on sat it seemed to ramp up the ISO to the point where all the detail on the dogs is gone.

johnriley

Link Posted 15/12/2014 - 00:25
It's just practice, practice, practice. If the detail on the dogs is gone I'd also check out metering, to make sure whatever lighting there is doesn't fool the camera. It might be that some exposure compensation is needed, just as it would be for stage shots.

I'm thinking 40 mph might be very fast for a dog, but wouldn't be that fast for a car. Would there be a problem getting a sharp shot of a car doing the same speed?
Best regards, John

cabstar

Link Posted 15/12/2014 - 01:00
The da 50-200mm is just too slow for this kind no of work, you would be better with a da* 200mm which will give you faster focus speed and the advantage of a 2.8 aperture which will increase shutter speed whilst looking wearing ISO.

High speed action at ISO 6400 on Pentax is not going to look the best, on my k-5 mkii I hardly ever went above ISO 2000 as the noise was just too much..
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lennythelion

Link Posted 15/12/2014 - 01:19
Thanks guys, and Gary thanks for the tips on the Iso. I think that was the lesson i seemed to take from the day.

I had thought that by having a fast shutter medium fstop and high ISO I'd be able to get sharper shots albeit wit some noise, but now im left trying to polish a turd.

Fletcher8

Link Posted 15/12/2014 - 18:44
If you get another chance to photograph the dogs on the straight and the light is not great, try some panning shots, keep your ISO below ISO 1000 and start with your shutter speed at 1/125th, you will get some great images showing motion and as your skill in relation to panning improves you can reduce the shutter speed for greater affect.
Fletcher8.

Xiluodeweisa

Link Posted 16/12/2014 - 08:23
Fletcher8 wrote:
If you get another chance to photograph the dogs on the straight and the light is not great, try some panning shots, keep your ISO below ISO 1000 and start with your shutter speed at 1/125th, you will get some great images showing motion and as your skill in relation to panning improves you can reduce the shutter speed for greater affect.

what he said is almost like i did.and i do really a series of dog photos
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