My dog, Chance, with his green ball in a moment of pure doggy joy.

My dog, Chance, with his green ball in a moment of pure doggy joy.
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6 Comments | Report
sweetpea72 April 03, 2018
What a absolute cutie~pie! シ
nataliethorpe April 04, 2018
Awww so sweet. Great picture!
Photoman75 April 04, 2018
Ahh! How sweeet! What a great capture, Chris :)
NicoleFerrisPhotography April 04, 2018
This is so cute! :) Great job
martinrodgers April 16, 2018
Simply CUTE and the shot too...
photographybug January 14, 2019
I am in love with this dog! The cutest ever!

Behind The Lens

This photo of my dog, Chance, was taken in my back yard. I was experimenting with my 105mm macro lens, with its 1:1 magnification at its closest focus distance. I wanted to see how close my dog could get to the lens, on the run, with a sharp focus for a close-up shot.
Early morning, when the light was still soft and the sun low in the sky. There was a bit of mist in the air, which also helped to diffuse the light. I love the softness of early morning light and wanted photos of Chance without deep shadows or blown out highlights.
Light is always a critical element in photography. And for pet photography, is it important to get light into the animal's eyes. So I had him facing toward, rather than away from, the rising sun.
I used my NIkon D750 and a 105mm f 2/8 macro lens. I did not use a tripod but rather braced my elbows on the lawn as I lay prone to get a low angle point of view.
Although I mostly shoot landscapes and macros, it was my dog Chance who got me hooked on photography. He was an adorable little goldendoodle and when he came to live with me, I tried to photograph him with my smart phone and the results were horrible. I blamed it on the camera, purchased an entry level camera and kit lens, and then discovered that the problem was with the photographer and not the camera. I took some online classes, got better, and soon became hooked on photography. I still have fun photographing Chance, and he is my favorite model when I am experimenting with a lens or technique. He is so full of joy when he is running with toys in his mouth, and for this particular shot I wanted to see if I could capture that joy close up with my macro lens.
My yard is not very scenic, and so I added soft gaussian blur to the background. I cropped the photo to a 3/4 body shot to help keep the viewer's focus on his face, where the expression of joy was so visible. I also added a bit of contrast to the dog only, and some noise reduction and selective sharpening.
In my camera bag
My bag is often quite full and can get a bit heavy! I usually carry one camera body (Nikon d810 or d750) and three lenses--a wide angle, my walk around Nikon 24-70mm lens, and a longer zoom. I also usually tuck in either my macro lens or a 50mm, depending on where I am going and what I think I may end up photographing. The bag includes extra batteries and memory cards, lens and camera rain covers, lens cloths, remote shutter release, allen wrenches, cell phone, and snacks (nuts and chocolate). I also carry a pouch with Lee filters. Luckily, when I am shooting in my backyard, I don't have to carry anything at all!
Capturing a dog on the run can be tricky. The shutter speed needs to be somewhere between 1/600-1/1000 depending on how fast the dog is moving. And it is essential that the focus on the eyes is very sharp. Some photographers are okay with a soft nose if the eyes are sharp, but I prefer enough DOF to get sharpness in both the eyes and nose. Usually that requires shooting at f/5 or higher. (This photo was shot at f/5.6). I focus half-way between the nose and eyes to get both in sharp focus. It is also essential to get light into the eyes, and it you are not shooting with flash, the best way to accomplish this is to make sure that the front of the dog is pointed towards a light source that is close enough to illuminate its face and eyes. And don't be afraid to experiment. This photo was the result of an experiment with my macro lens, which is not the typical lens of choice for a dog on the run image.

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