Archive for May, 2012

This year’s AWDF Championship and Team Challenge was an exceptional event; very well organized and a marvelous venue.  Each day dawned clear with cool mornings. It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that the sunlight washed out the trial field, and for most of the day the sun was in a favorable position for photographs. There also were no bleachers directly across the way to distract my camera lens. An added bonus to be sure!

The first day I tried to shoot with low ISOs around 100 or 200, and it simply did not work well. Many of the images came out muddy and out of focus, especially the dark sable and black dogs. I’ve tried this before, with the same disappointing results. The best settings seem to be shutter speed priority, with ISOs around 600 to 800 or maybe higher depending on the light and aperture settings around f 5.6 to f 8 or f 11. The camera sets the shutter speeds, which varied around 800 to 2000. I’m willing to bet that experts who say you can get good action shots at low ISOs have never photographed Schutzhund (IPO) dogs in action. They move fast, and are small relative to the rest of the frame, which is usually a grass field with a lot of reflection and glare.

Which brings me to the other lesson learned. I experimented with different meter settings: spot, center weight, partial and evaluative. The spot meter setting did not work well for the same reason low ISOs do not seem to work; dark dogs that move fast and comprise a relatively small part of the overall frame. It was hard to keep the center of the lens directly on the dog. Partial and center weight settings worked pretty well, especially early in the day. After midday, the evaluative setting worked the best. For a review of what these settings are, please see the recent post on Metering Schutzhund (IPO) Dogs.

Below is a slide show of my favorite 67 images from more than 1800 photos.These were taken with a Canon EOS 7D and a Canon EF 70-300 mm, 1:4.5 – 5.6 DO IS USM lens. If you are interested in obtaining a copy(s) of an image(s), please contact me. Please do not copy from this post. Thanks! Enjoy!!


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