One of the really fun things about photographing agility, is that I have had the opportunity to capture a large variety of breeds over the years.
This wonderful saluki strides across the dogwalk with the great elegance that is inherent in the breed. These hounds are built for speed and run with a grace that is amazing to behold.
Saluki are a breed that you don’t see that often, even though it is a very old breed. The breed dates back about 6,000 years from the Fertile Crescent. Salukis and greyhounds can be seen depicted on the walls of the tombs of ancient Egypt. According to legend, the saluki was introduced to Europe by returning crusaders.
This dog was the favorite of kings across the ages, showing up in portraits over more 1,000s of years.
Hope you enjoy this image of a wonderful dog!
Shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. Exposure settings were 1/400 second at f/6.3 and 400 ISO.
On this St. Patrick’s day edition, I was looking to post an Irish Setter weaving through the poles in agility competition, but will have to table that one for a bit later, when I retrieve it.
Looking mighty tough in the pirate collar, this expression was just one that I couldn’t resist photographing and posting today. I caught this candid moment during an agility competition, which reminds us that dogs of all sizes and breeds compete.
Hope you enjoy this little cutie and have a great Saint Patrick’s Day!
Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. Exposure settings were 1/80 second at f/3.2 at 640 ISO (light in this building is not stellar).
A lot of my dog photography has been of dogs in action and to this day, a lot of people still know me for this part of my work. Portraits are a bit rarer in my oeuvre, so here’s one that I enjoy…
The dog in this photo is our youngest Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Dora aka Bean. Her full name is White Raven “Salute of Innocence”, Dorothea Lange. Dora is now almost 3 years old and has quite a sense of humor, which is not a bad thing in a cute dog.
She stays busy with duck and sheep herding and agility, which means that she has something on her schedule most every weekend.
It is not coincidental that this little love shares her name with my favorite photographer. As I got to pick her registered name, “Salute of Innocence” was an easy choice, as it is one of Dorothea Lange’s most poignant images of Japanese American children saluting the flag during the pledge of allegiance.
This image is from Dorothea Lange’s time photographing Japanese Americans in internment camps in 1942; a dark period in American history that we should ensure to never repeat.
This week, I am going back to one of my many agility photos and am picking one of my favorite obstacles to photograph, the A-frame.
This image was taken in October, 2010, at the Cape Cod Kennel Club AKC agility trial in Falmouth, Massachusetts. It was a beautiful day with great light and a pretty good breeze, so the dogs were ready to run!
Clearly, this pug had a good head of steam, when cresting the A-frame, which, for this jump height, stands at 5’0″ (apps. 1.52 m). For a small dog, that is quite a height; if we’d scale this for the average human, it would be 4-5 times as high! Luckily, these dogs are well-trained and quite used to it, but it is still a feat of courage for them to fly over this A-frame at speed.
Out of curiosity, have any of you run your dogs in agility or other competitions?
After featuring agility competition photos in the first two installments of this series, I’d like to present something a little different and very near and dear to my heart.
In June 2011, I was photographing an agility competition in New Lebanon, NY, on what was a very hot day. One of the nice features near the park where the competition was held, was a shallow stream; I had taken a look at it during the day to get an idea of what the light would do later in the afternoon, because I had an idea.
Our oldest Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Darwin, was well into his 10th year at that time (he is almost 14-1/2 now), and his competition time was coming to an end, as we don’t want to push our dogs past what is good for them. One thing that Darwin always liked to do was have fun (he’s a bit crankier these days, which is just fine), and he loves water. So, my idea was to get some action shots of Darwin running through the stream toward me.
Luckily, this stream has a small drop-off of about 1 foot, which helped me position my camera just above Darwin’s eye level. After a couple of trial runs to get the feel for it, I zeroed in on getting shots like this one, where you can see Darwin’s fun, as he is coming right at you!
This shot was taken with a Canon EOS 1D MkIII, using a 70-200 F2.8L lens. Despite the sunlight, I kept the ISO at 400, so that I could get a shutter speed of 1/400 second at f/8.0, which provides enough depth of field get that smile and some good splash.
Last week’s image was of a Golden Retriever clearing a jump on a nice, sunny day. Today’s photo shows you that agility competitions are not always blessed with wonderful weather, but the contest continues!
This shot came from a competition in Broomfield, Massachusetts, held in October of 2006. The morning conditions were abysmal with rain and wind sending everyone looking for a place to stay dry and warm.
None of the weather could hold back this Border Collie blasting through the chute and sending water flying everywhere!!
This shot was taken with a Canon EOS 1D MkII, using a 70-200 F2.8L lens. Due to the weather, I had to push the ISO up to 1600, so that I could get this shot at 1/400 second at f/4.5. Clearly, it’s not a perfect image, but it got the sense of the day across rather effectively.