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Expert Tips for Taking Action Photos of your Dog

Photos and Words by Corey Chiang, @jaxandthepack 

Dogs are cute- like really cute and we have hundreds if not thousands of photos of them on our devices and social media accounts. However, have you tried to take a decent photo of them in motion, only to be irritated that all of the photos came out blurry? Here are some tips on taking action photos of your dog.

*As a disclaimer, these tips are for photos taken with a DSLR or Mirrorless cameras.

Use a high shutter speed

This may seem like a no-brainer, but there is a little bit of science to shutter speed. To freeze motion with your camera, your shutter speed should not be lower than your focal length. For example, if you are using a 50mm lens, your shutter speed should not be under 1/50. The same goes if you are using a telephoto lens such as a 70-200mm, do not let your shutter spend fall under the higher number, for example, you shutter speed will need to be 1/200 or higher

While those are the technical recommendations for shutter speed, the higher the shutter the better. Most cameras can go up to 1/4000 and depending on the conditions in which you are shooting that may be best, such as full mid-day sun. Just keep in mind, your shutter speed will affect your exposure if you are shooting in manual mode.

The direction of your action is key

Taking photos of your dog running from left to right or right to left is easier to photograph than your dog running straight towards the camera. That is because when your dog is running from one side to another, they are staying in the same plane which makes it easier for your camera to stay focused. When your dog is running towards the camera, they are traveling through different planes that your lens has identified based on your aperture settings and your camera is unable to focus fast enough.

 

Dog at the beach wearing Rex Specs Dog Goggles

Time it perfectly

If your end goal is a photo of your dog running towards you, the most popular photos are dogs jumping over a log or running down a trail. To achieve these photos, you will need a higher shutter speed and you will choose exactly where you want to take the photo as your dog is running towards you. 

For the dog jumping over a log photo, position yourself somewhere in front of it, have your camera ready, set your focus point on the log, and as soon as your dog is about to jump over press and hold down your shutter button.  Shots like this, typically take a couple of tries so do not feel bad if you have to re-do this a couple of times.

Take photos in a well-lit area 

While bright light does not always make for the prettiest photos, it does make ideal conditions for action photos. The bright light requires higher shutter speeds already because of the exposure triangle and many photographers wanting their ISO to be as low as possible at 100 and apertures wide open at 1.4 or 1.8, leaving the shutter speed the only thing left to adjust the exposure.

The bright well-lit area will allow your camera to focus faster. Cameras grab focus based on contrast. If your subject is easily discernible from the rest of the location, it’ll be easier to focus and take the shot.

Two dogs running towards camera

Use Continuous Auto- Focus

Be sure to set your camera’s focus mode to continuous. For Nikon and Sony cameras it is AF-C and for Canon cameras it is Al-Servo. Continuous auto focus mode allows your camera to continuously focus on your subject within the set focus field, increasing the likelihood your photo will be in focus.

Now you are all set to get awesome action photos of your dogs. All of these may take some practice to use but when you put it to the test and get those in-focus action shots, you will be very happy. 


 



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2 comments

  • Very durable my dog loves it, protect her Blue eyes.

    Evelyn Carattini
  • Very durable my dog loves it, protect her Blue eyes.

    Evelyn Carattini

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Lens Guide

Lens

UV Rating

VLT*

Durability

Recommended Use

Red Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB Rays.

Allows 20% of light to pass. Very similar to sunglasses.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

Giddy up! The Red Mirror lens is great for most dogs and is very similar to the smoke lens with a bit more style.

Clear

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 92% of light to pass

Impact Resistant. Offers best visibility when scratched.

For Everything except protection from brightness. Great for working, hunting or adventure dogs. Blocks UV is impact resistant and often is preferred by dogs. Great training lens, and when it gets scratched the scratches are not as visible to the dog as with other lens options.

Blue Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 15% of light to pass. Slightly darker than smoke and red mirror.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke

DM's are rolling in! The Blue Mirror lens adds a touch of flare and is one of our darker lenses for dogs who have sensitivity to light. Perfect for use in sunny areas and for those who love that blue mirror look.

Silver Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 13% of light to pass. Our darkest lens.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

STYLE! Add some flavor to the daily grind with our darkest lens, allowing only 13% of visual light to pass through, making it the best option if your dog has light sensitivity.

Smoke

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 20% of light to pass. Very similar to sunglasses.

Impact Resistant. Offers excellent visibility when scratched.

For everything! Overall the most versatile lens. Great for dogs that are rough on their equipment as it continues to offer good visibility when scratched.F

Green Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 15% of light to pass. Slightly darker than smoke and red mirror.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

The Green Mirror lens adds a touch of flare and is one of our darker lenses for dogs that need some reprieve from the suns brightness.

*VLT = Visual Light Transmission

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Rex Specs

measure your dog in two steps

  1. muzzle circumference

    Measure the circumference of your dog's muzzle where you expect the goggle to land on their nose - usually around the back of their mouth.

  2. head circumference

    Measure the head circumference where you expect the goggle to land on the forehead - typically an inch or so behind the eyes.

Watch Sizing Video
Goggle Size Head Circumference Muzzle Circumference
X-Small Less than 10.5 in Less than 6 in SHOP X-Small
Small 10.5 in - 12 in 6 in - 8 in SHOP Small
Medium 12 in - 14 in 8 in - 9in SHOP Medium
Large 14 in - 17.5 in 9 in - 11.5 in SHOP Large
X-Large Greater than 17.5 in Greater than 11.5 in SHOP X-Large
Small Wide* 12 in - 15 in 6 in - 9 in SHOP Small Wide

*Designed for dogs with a wide, flat face i.e. Boston Terriers
If your dog is between sizes, select the larger size: This will insure the most functional fit and optimal field of view.

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EAR PRO SIZE GUIDE

Measure the circumference of your dog's head at it's largest point (just in front of the ears and under the chin). If you are between sizes, please go up in size.

SIZE

HEAD MEASUREMENT

2 13" - 15" SHOP Size 2
3 15" - 17.5" SHOP Size 3
4 17.5" - 21" SHOP Size 4
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CRUX & TRAILHEAD COLLAR SIZE GUIDE

Measure around the dog's neck as loose or tight as you would like the collar to fit.

SIZE

NECK MEASUREMENT

1 12"-14" SHOP Size 1
2 14"-16.5" SHOP Size 2
3 16.5"-19.5" SHOP Size 3
4 19.5"-24" SHOP Size 4

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