the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Flying Dogs and Toto too

Flying DogLast Saturday, Tanya and I attended the Seattle Dog Show. Inspired by the dog photography of my friend Tom Guffey, I thought I’d try my hand at shooting some of the show. I came away even more impressed by the work of Tom. Shooting images of flying dogs is tough!

First, it’s dark and using flash is a big no-no. I had my camera set at ISO 3200, using f-stops of  f/4 and f/5.6 and shutter speeds between 1/50 and 1/320 seconds. Digital noise was definitely an issue in my images. Secondly, dogs move – especially when flying. When using fairly wide open f-stops, particularly with my 70-200mm zoom which I used at the agility ring, there isn’t much depth of field. It’s tricky getting the focus right. I set my camera to AI Servo focus mode, to track moving subjects; but as I primarily shoot non-moving things, I’m not very experienced with AI Servo. As you might imagine, there were a lot of rejects for every shot that was almost in focus. Even with these tough lighting conditions, it sure was a fun time.

Here’s some of my favorites from the show.

Dogs Can Fly

In the agility ring, this guy had no trouble with the jumps.

Pug Determination

I love the determination on this pug's face. Note the height of the jump was a little less for him.

Cute Corgis

A lot of people think Corgis are cute. This pair is living up to that reputation.

What's up?

Of course, bulldogs are cute too!


But, I'm partial to Newfoundlands. This one is a cousin of Tanya's and mine newfie, Carson. And speaking of poor lighting, as I did above, try taking a picture of a black dog in dim light and still get detail!

Having Fun

This dog looks like he is having a great time showing off for the crowd.


I call this image "Takeoff" for obvious reasons.

Old English

In the Old English Sheepdog ring.

Bad Hair Day

And speaking of sheepdogs, how about this one's hairdo.

Between the Posts

Back in the agility ring, there are are the posts to run around as well as the jumps.

And Toto Too

And what would a dog show be without Toto (and Dorothy of course).


7 responses

  1. hmunro

    Wonderful, wonderful images, Joe — both the action shots and the portraits. Judging by your post, I’d say it was a Saturday well spent.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    • Thank you. It was a Saturday well spent. I definitely had fun and I could have stayed longer. The show continued on Sunday, but I wasn’t able to go for the second day.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm

  2. Great images, shooting dogs is really tough, I’ve tried the dog shows and like it when they stay still. Lighting is at best murky poor and white balance constantly changes. Good thing for RAW now. Dogs don’t always cooperate either, I just get lucky.

    March 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    • I echo you, good thing for RAW, it helped a lot. At least the white balance wasn’t much of issue at this one. The whole arena was fairly evenly lit by large fluorescent lamps, so correcting WB wasn’t bad.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

  3. I LOVE the one with the old english sheepdog!!! I can imagine that it is a more technical type of photography…. kudos for doing well on your first try!!! 🙂 **

    March 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    • Thanks. It was challenging, but so fun (probably because I like dogs) that I want to try again soon.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:11 am

  4. Oh, I know how hard it is to get these shots at a dog show (shakes head :)). Great job on your first try. Some great photos here, Joe. 🙂

    March 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm

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