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Thread: The Agility Class

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    The Agility Class

    Way back here, I explained the circumstances whereby we came to be the full-time carers of my dad's 3 year-old Border Collie.

    Well, time has gone on since January and we've been attending training classes on a weekly basis. The trainer also also runs agility classes and she's encouraged us to take Garry along. We went last week to observe and today we started for real.

    So, as my dearly beloved (let's call her Sheila) took the lead training role, I, with the permission of the trainer and the other owners, started to teach myself a completely new (for me) aspect of photography. Not the slow measured pace of the landscape photographer, but the all-action environment of the event tog.

    I and my trusty Canon 40D were places we've never been before - Shutter Priority (Tv), Auto ISO, Evaluative (Matrix) Metering, High-Speed shooting. Oh, it was all very strange!

    The first attempts are, I think, reasonable. Got 12 out of 232 that were, for me, at least worthy of not dumping.

    I don't think I am in a rut doing landscape. I love it and there is so much more to do. However, I've been feeling a bit like a one-trick pony in that that is all I seem to do. So, I'm needing to expand my horizons and prove (to myself) that I can do other things. And who knows - all these dog owners might want to pay to get nice prints of their doggies jumping over things!!

    So here is a selection from my first attempt. Any thoughts suggestions will be very welcome.

    The Agility Class

    The Agility Class

    The Agility Class
    Last edited by Donald; 6th April 2013 at 10:05 PM.

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: The Agility Class

    Great shots... Agility is very difficult to shoot!

    In the neat second image, my eye is first drawn to the dog and then lead by the leash up to the handler who seems as if he is enjoying himself as much as the dog (Is that a bearded collie?). BTW: I have never seen a lead used in agility trials...

    I would consider cropping the top of the last image to remove the horse. I love the intense look on the dogs face!
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 7th April 2013 at 03:29 PM.

  3. #3
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: The Agility Class

    Donald, I think these are more than just reasonable. I think that you demonstrate that even in venues other than your chosen "field", you do know your way around your camera.

    The first one is my pick. I love that you caught the intensity of the dog's expression and I like that it appears his face is in sharp focus yet there is movement in the legs and tail. I like that movement. I have to comment too that it took me a moment to register that the image was monochrome. Surely that means something, although I'm not sure what it is.

    The second one, I really like that you also included the owner/trainer. I do wish there was a little more room in front of the dog but that's a minor deal to me. The detail is great!

    The last one I find amusing. It makes me wonder what the dog is looking at. Was he looking for guidance from his owner or was he distracted by something he'd like to chase. He's so far to one side of the jump that it makes me think he'd been heading that direction from the start. I'm on the fence about whether the horse adds something or distracts me.

    I certainly have no expertise in any photography and haven't done any sports type stuff at all but I know what I like. I like these!

  4. #4
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    Re: The Agility Class

    Very very nice. Well done. The second one is my favorite. I like the angle of the dog, angle of the leash, all that fur showing some movement and some 'stop action' as well.

    I love that you included your ratio......... 12/232. I can definitely relate. Its helpful that the dogs have a course, so you can somewhat rely on the path that they are going to take and set up accordingly.

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    Re: The Agility Class

    Just looking at your previous post of Gary's face and your info was 40D, 70-200mm f/4L IS @ 30mm. ISO400. 1/45@f2.8. I was a bit confused about the 30mm on a 70-200, and f/2.8 on a f/4 lens?

  6. #6
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: The Agility Class

    Donald, I hope you never stray too far from landscape photography, I enjoy your work so much. But it is great to see you doing different things...and doing them VERY well.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Agility Class

    Thank you all for your comments.

    I'm going to have the chance to do this every Saturday. So I'll be looking for improvements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken MT View Post
    Just looking at your previous post of Gary's face and your info was 40D, 70-200mm f/4L IS @ 30mm. ISO400. 1/45@f2.8. I was a bit confused about the 30mm on a 70-200, and f/2.8 on a f/4 lens?
    Ken - Thanks for that. I have basic details for each camera/lens combination in 'Swift Paste' and just copy it in to each post when I have an image, changing the Focal Length, ISO, Shutter & Aperture as appropriate. I obviously cut in the 70-200 text instead of the 24-70 f2.8L
    Last edited by Donald; 7th April 2013 at 08:10 PM.

  8. #8
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: The Agility Class

    Wonderful captures. My favourite is the 2nd photo likely because the man in the photo lets me know what is going on. Love how you caught the dog mid-air in the 3rd photo.

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    Re: The Agility Class

    Donald, sometimes knowing something too well can lead to boring execution. All of these pictures are full of energy and excitement. Bringing your expertise to a new subject can also improve your art in doing your landscapes. I might crop the top part of the last picture. Just a side note, these photos make me appreciate your B&W skills.

    Karm

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Agility Class

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    (Is that a bearded collie?). BTW: I have never seen a lead used in agility trials...
    Richard

    Sorry, I missed your questions when I first read the responses.

    Brodie is indeed a big, energetic and very lovely 'beardie'. The lead is in use because Brodie, at his stage of development, can be a bit, er um, unruly. So things are taken gently on the lead for the moment. But, at the end of the session, when all the dogs are allowed to run free in the field, Brodie runs everything else off its legs. Our little Garry was absolutely exhausted trying to keep up with him.

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: The Agility Class

    Hi Donald,

    A better than average start at (something else) new.

    Personally, I would go for a square crop on #3 that loses the horse, I find it does distract me.

    Good control of DoF and of course monochrome helps by avoiding issues with high saturation background blobs.

    Cheers,

  12. #12
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: The Agility Class

    Donald,
    You didn't miss anything. I edited the comment with the addition, probably after you first read it.
    Richard

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