To take excellent pictures of running dogs, one would need to understand the behavior of the furry pet, know how to use various light sources/light modifiers, have a good understanding of using their camera functions in extreme conditions, and be acquainted with framing less than optimal scenes effectively. While professionals like Bruce Weber Photographer will have all such capabilities and knowledge, amateur photographers need to brush up on important techniques to take beautiful action shots of their dogs.
Bruce Weber Photographer offers tips for photographing dogs in action
When photographing a dog, most photographers get low and sit at their level. As the dog is the key subject of the visual narrative of the image, it is smart to capture a scene from their perspective, while featuring the furry friend prominently in the frame. This is the general rule to follow, but that doesn’t mean that a photographer has to always stick to it. More than any specific technique, a photographer must consider the purpose of their image, its mood, and the idea to be conveyed through it. If they are capturing the image of a dog running through boulders or long grass, then they might want to shoot from an even higher vantage point. It is prudent to account for sight lines even while chasing a dog’s perspective.
Using a tripod can be immensely helpful when taking pictures of running dogs. Tripods tend to serve a host of crucial purposes in pet photography, including making leash removal a simpler task, reducing camera shake, and making focal compositing possible. But more importantly, a tripod enables photographers to frame their images efficiently and simultaneously also handle their pets.
Locking down the compositional layout with a tripod also helps the photographer to be mindful of how the dog is included in the frame. No matter how exactly they compose the image, whether it is through the use of the Golden ratio, the Rule of Thirds, or some other compositional technique, there are only a few places in the image where the pet can be positioned optimally. If one is capturing the image of a dog when they are seated or lying down, they can just tell the pet to move a bit and stay there. But things get more complicated when the dog is running. By actually guiding a pup from one spot to another, and making sure that the optimal compositional position is between these two points, it would be simpler to get the pet where it needs to be. Use of Auto Focus should additionally be avoided when photographing dogs. A photographer rather needs to take a more active approach towards capturing images and actually create scenes.
Checking out pet images taken by Bruce Weber Photographer and other industry experts can be of great help to understand how to take impactful images of dogs, even if they are running and playing around. Such images can ideally be found on the web.