Yesterday I photographed something new. A dog agility competition. It wasn’t a paid job, it wasn’t even a favor for a friend. It was just something I saw was happening and thought would be a fun time. I was right and I was wrong. It was fun…. and very frustrating. I love dogs and love seeing them have fun. The people were great, taking the time to come over and explain what was actually happening. For those who don’t know, dog agility is a dog sport in where a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course. Since the dogs are not on leash and the handler can’t touch the dog or the obstacle it really is more difficult than it looks. It was great to see the dogs running through the course and especially leaping over the jumps.
So why was it frustrating? Well, that had to do with my gear. I was shooting a Nikon D5200, a D4 and 2 lenses, the 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikkor and the 400mm f/2.8 Nikkor. And getting the focus spot on as the dog was jumping with the 400mm was really tough. That is not a lens that you can just pick up and nail every shot. There is a learning curve especially when staying in focus while following a moving subject. As the morning progressed, I did start to get into a groove and my percentage of good shots to crap shots really started to improve.
I also tried to get a few shots where you could see the handlers controlling their dogs with a gesture (and voice commands).
Below is a huge gallery of photos from the morning. Usually I would not create a gallery this big but I did tell the handlers I spoke to yesterday that I would post these images here for them to see and have.