Tip of the Day – Choose the right lens⠀
5 of 10 in the series 10 Tips for Taking Better Action Photos of Dogs
5. Choose the right lens
Dogs in action are usually easiest to follow from a distance, using a long lens, preferably a zoom. My favourite lens to use when shooting action is a 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom. Cheaper zoom lenses with large ranges (i.e. 50-300mm) are handy for general photography, but often don’t cut it when it comes to capturing dogs in action. They struggle to keep up with the fast movements, and variable maximum apertures can cause exposure inconsistencies.
Shooting action with prime (fixed focal length) lenses is definitely possible, though it can make life a bit harder not being able to zoom when the subject is rapidly changing distance from you.
Getting amongst the action and using a wide angle lens can be fun too. A technique to try is “shooting blind”, which means shooting without looking through the camera’s viewfinder, holding the camera down low. Using a wide angle lens, hold the camera down close to the action and aim as best you can. Increasing the depth of field can help if your focus isn’t great to start with. The more you practice this technique, the better your aiming accuracy becomes and the more in-focus shots you’ll end up with.⠀
Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 200mm, ISO 1600, 1/1250 sec, f/2.8
Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 175mm, ISO 800, 1/1600 sec, f/3.2
Wide angle shooting blind: Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II @ 24mm, ISO 500, 1/1600 sec, f/2.8
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