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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Pets Talk
Thread started 11 Feb 2016 (Thursday) 05:02
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First dog photo shoot

 
Orange ­ Elephant
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Feb 11, 2016 05:02 |  #1

I've been invited to take some photos of a neighbour's two dogs. The location will likely to be in her large garden (yard) which is mostly lawn. The dogs are quite small, but not tiny. (Don't know the type).

From my lenses, the most suited would seem to be the 24-70mm f2.8 & I'll have to expect to do some cropping. I also have a 105mm f2.8 but I'd have thought it may be restrictive in this shoot?

I'll be using continuous focus or course, but unsure of which focus type to use. Whether I should just use a single focus point, or use something like 3D tracking? (When taking small aquarium fish I use 9D continuous focus.)

Any advice welcome.




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neacail
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by neacail.
Feb 11, 2016 11:09 |  #2

My rule for dogs is the same as people: I want the eyes in perfect focus.

If my aperture is wide open, I'll focus on the eye closest to me. If I'm using a narrower aperture, I'll focus at a point on the muzzle. I use a single focus point in both of those cases. If my aperture is narrow enough that the DOF will have the whole dog in focus, I'll focus anywhere on the head or body, and I may use "auto" focus points.

Outside I'll use autofocus tracking (AI Servo for Canon . . . I don't know what the Nikon equivalent is called), but inside I'll just use "one shot" focus.


Shelley
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Orange ­ Elephant
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Feb 11, 2016 12:43 as a reply to neacail's post |  #3

Thanks for your reply. The shots will be outdoors.

I think that your servo tracking may be the same as Nikon continuous focus. However you mention a single focus point. I'm not sure how this would work outdoors with the dogs running around. This is why I asked about 3D (predictive) tracking or maybe something like D9 or higher multi focus points?




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Alveric
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Feb 11, 2016 13:12 |  #4

The rationale for a single focus point is that you want to be the one deciding what must be in focus, not the camera. If you use multiple points the camera will nail whatever suits it best –viz. the ear tip is closer and more amenable for the AF sytem instead of the eye, so you get a sharp ear and a blurry eye–, and the photos will be unsuccessful. So, better to use one focus point only (though your camera might offer the option to extend this point when using Servo mode [It extends it to mini-adjacent focus points that do not light up in your viewfinder but are nevertheless there], if so, just turn it on).

Yes, it'll be challenging trying to nail focus when the subjects are moving and not posing for you as a human would, but it'll be less frustrating. Of course, you should expect to end up with quite an amount of missed-focus photos, but less than if you'd use multiple focus points.


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Orange ­ Elephant
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Orange Elephant.
Feb 11, 2016 15:36 |  #5

I have some control over focus.

I can choose continuous focus, meaning that the camera will continually adjust focus as the subject moves. I can choose single point, or D9 which I can lock to the eye for instance, but then if they eye moves within the frame, then one point in a group of 9 focus points will take over the focus. I use this in small fish photography. I can also choose D21 & D51 in the same way with the corresponding number of points. I can choose 3D, which once I have chosen a focus point, will use predictive focusing. I can also choose group area focus.

I think that I probably need to go a a Nikon specific forum for this.

Edit: Thank you for your advice, however I think that this forum appears to be of almost exclusively Canon users. This makes questions such as this a little pointless. I will look elsewhere.




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Alveric
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Alveric.
Feb 11, 2016 15:52 |  #6

OK; so, Nikon-Canon dictionary seems to say: Continuous Focus = AI Servo, Single Point = One Shot, D9 = AI Focus.

In that case you'd choose Continuous Focus, in which once the selected focus point zones in, it'll track the target. For subjects that can be told/made to remain static, you'd use Single Point. D9 is like a combination of the two and, like any jack of all trades, it might not work all the time; I never use this mode: it essentially is Single Point but quickly switches to Continuous Focus if it detects the target moving.

What I typed above regarding point extension was in reference to how the Continuous Focus mode works, in which you select a focus point (or a group of them) of the many your viewfinder has and use it to lock on the target, so that you're not using the central point all the time and have to be constantly locking focus and then reframing. Around those points that are marked in the viewfinder, there are other points/sensors that are not visible (they never light up): they're helper points that can aid in retaining focus when tracking a moving subject in Continuous Focus mode. These points can be disabled via an option in one of the menus, as sometimes they might interfere with the tracking (kinda paradoxical, but ah well). At least that's how it is in the Canon system, and it varies also by camera.

What Nikon is this of yours?


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

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Orange ­ Elephant
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Feb 11, 2016 15:55 as a reply to Alveric's post |  #7

Thank you.




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neacail
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Feb 11, 2016 16:17 |  #8

Orange Elephant wrote in post #17894462 (external link)
Thanks for your reply. The shots will be outdoors.

I think that your servo tracking may be the same as Nikon continuous focus. However you mention a single focus point. I'm not sure how this would work outdoors with the dogs running around. This is why I asked about 3D (predictive) tracking or maybe something like D9 or higher multi focus points?

Yes. It will be tough. But, depending on your depth-of-field, it will be well worth it.

I also shoot ice hockey with a single AF point (in continuous focus), which I try to keep on a player's eye. I usually don't have to cull images due to poor focus any more, but it has taken me three years to get really good at it.

An image is much more compelling when the eyes are in focus.

You might want to try shooting images with both wide and narrow apertures. If you don't nail focus in the ones with wide apertures, you'll have a fallback in the ones with narrow apertures.

I'm guessing you're in the U.K.? Your use of the word "garden" leads me to this assumption. Can you get freeze dried liver treats called "Benny Bully's"? These things are like doggie crack for canines who are motivated by food. Picking up a small bag of those might make your subjects more cooperative.

Depending on your post processing skills, leashes can be removed after the fact, and don't be afraid to involve your neighbour in working with the animals. Your neighbour can be cropped out of photos and might be very useful in getting the animals where you want them.


Shelley
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Orange ­ Elephant
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Feb 12, 2016 01:27 |  #9

Thank you very much for your replies.

Unfortunately this forum appears to be mainly for Canon users & asking about specific settings becomes a little confusing. I appreciate the help offered by everyone, but I will look for another forum. Please could you consider this thread closed.

Unfortunately it seems that the administrators refuse to delete an account, so forum members in future may unwittingly resurrect threads. If you could please leave this as the last post in this thread, it should disappear quickly. Thank you.




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First dog photo shoot
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