How to photograph a running dog

How to photograph a moving subject

I occasionally get asked how to photograph moving objects; especially dogs because of my Four Foot Fotos pet photography practice. So let’s take a look at this challenge, with advice for intermediate and more advanced photographers and equipment.

Lots of people try to get nice sharp shots of moving dogs, but don’t get the result they want. Either the dog is out of focus or something else is wrong with composition or nuisance objects.

I’ve written this article after answering essentially the same question for perhaps the fourth time in the past few years in a professional pet photography forum. The advice I’m giving here is good for both amateur camera users and professionals, as long as your camera supports what I’m talking about: and most Digital SLR cameras do. So come with me down memory lane to a technique photographs had to use before we had good auto focus systems…

When you’re shooting a moving subject, any camera’s auto-focus system is to some extent shooting after the subject has moved. The best DSLRs are very fast to focus and shoot, and get a lot of good results without this technique. Still, there are always limitations. Fast moving objects like racing bikes, greyhounds, sprinters, skateboarders and wild animals will always be challenging to shoot; no matter how good your camera, how fast your reflexes and how well you know your camera.

Would you like to know more? I’ve got an infographic you can keep handy (save or print) that runs through the settings to use for both DSLR and compact cameras, PLUS dog handling tips! COMING SOON.


Picture of Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes

Principal photographer at Steve Barnes Photography; Principal Consultant at Ballarat Business Media and (just for fun) owner/photographer at Four Foot Fotos!

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