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Monthly Archives: September 2018

If you enjoy photographing your pets, and dogs, in particular, this article will help you take better action photos of dogs. Learn what camera equipment to use, the best settings, and general tips for success.

How to Take Better Action Photos of Dogs

The Camera Body

If you want to take better action photos of dogs, I recommend a camera body with a fast burst rate. From my experience, five frames per second is the minimum. If your camera has a faster frame rate than that, you are going to increase your keeper rate as long as your approach and technique are on point, which we will get to shortly. I personally use Nikon’s D610 and D7000 and have great success with photographing dogs in action.

The Camera Lens

How to Take Better Action Photos of Dogs

I recommend long and fast lenses. I’ve tried to photograph action shots with the 50mm f/1.8, and the Tokina 100mm f/2.8, with very little success. While both of these lenses are incredibly sharp, they are soft wide open and do not focus well on moving subjects.

Longer lenses with fixed apertures generally focus on moving subjects much faster than shorter lenses. They also keep you and your camera gear safer. Think about it. If you have a 45 point Border Collie running full speed right at you, you need to get the photograph and get out of the way quickly.

A longer lens will give you the time you need to move once the dog starts to fill the frame. I personally use the Nikon 300mm f/4 and sometimes I’ll even throw a teleconverter on it for extended reach and cleaner bokeh.

Camera Settings

How to Take Better Action Photos of Dogs

Setting Your Autofocus

I recommend locking your autofocus directly in the center of the frame. When photographing action shots of animals you don’t have time to be moving the focus point around. I also suggest using AF-C (Continuous focus mode, called Servo on Canon), which may also be called autofocus continuous, AF-Continuous. This is the setting I always use when trying to get action shots of dogs.

Set your Camera to Burst Mode

How to Take Better Action Photos of Dogs

Make sure you check your camera drive setting. I know it’s common sense, but make some kind of reminder, though, a checklist you look at before capturing action shots. I’ve been photographing animals for over a decade, and still screw this up sometimes. It wastes time if you don’t have your camera set to burst mode and also wastes the dog’s energy. Dogs can only run for so long and you need every opportunity you can get within that time frame.

Photographing Running Dogs

When I photograph dogs running, I aim to get them looking straight into my camera lens. I want the dog running directly toward me, and I focus on as much eye contact as possible. So to consistently get great photographs of dogs running in this manner, you’re going to need some help.

How to Take Better Action Photos of Dogs

What I do to accomplish this is have the dog owner or an assistant stand fairly far away from me. I will then position myself on my belly, using my camera bag to stabilize the lens. I try and keep my back to the sun when outdoors. This will help me get the shutter speed that I want to photograph the dog running. I shoot for 1/1250th of a second to 1/2000th.

I’ll first take a test shot to make sure my exposure is right. Then I have the assistant throw a tennis ball right at me. I usually tell them to try and hit me with the tennis ball. This sends the dog running full speed, right at me. I will also instruct the assistant to quickly move to the left or right as soon as the ball is thrown. This saves me tons of time later in post-processing by not having to remove them from the background with Photoshop.

Photographing Dogs Catching Frisbees

How to Take Better Action Photos of Dogs

This is a little trickier and complicated to pull off compared to photographing running dogs. The goal is to get the dog in mid-air right before he is about to bite down on the Frisbee. I use pretty much the exact same camera settings and approach that I do for photographing dogs running.

I do change one thing, though, and that’s the camera shooting angle. I like to shoot from the hip. Meaning the camera is around my hip level. I’m not actually shooting from the hip, but kneeling down on one knee. Following the dog chasing the Frisbee, I bump the focus until the dog is close to the target. Then holding down the shutter button, I burst out some shots until the buffer gets filled.

Photographing Dogs Jumping

How to Take Better Action Photos of Dogs

This is simpler than capturing the two types of dog action shots mentioned previously. It definitely requires an assistant to pull off consistently, though. You also don’t need a lens as fast or long to photograph docs jumping compared to the other types of action shots. Although, I prefer using long lens simply because it makes a smoother, more out of focus background.

Here’s how to do it. Position yourself so the dog is in only one-third of the camera frame or less. Check your exposure. Have an assistant hold up a toy, a tree branch, or whatever the dog is interested in enough to jump up and grab. Have the assistant hold it up high, with their arm extended as long as they can. This is incredibly helpful when it comes to post-processing.

Look out for the Safety of the Dog

How to Take Better Action Photos of Dogs

You can photograph a dog all day just lying around and looking cute. When dogs are running and chasing Frisbees, they get tired. If you are doing a pet photography session and want action shots, this is going to happen incredibly fast.

The dog owners don’t always prepare for it, but I’ve done this many times, and I always prepare. I keep several bottles of water on me, along with a collapsible drinking bowl. If the dog is panting heavily, give them a rest. If they drink a 16-ounce bottle of water in less than a minute, you may want to wait a while before attempting more action shots.

Some factors that you need to consider when shooting action shots are how hot it is, the dog’s age, and the breed. Certain dog breeds handle heat better than others. This is also true for exercise needs. If you are a professional pet photographer, you should be well aware of what the dog’s exercise needs are as well as how well they handle the heat.

Conclusion

So I hope that you find these tips helpful for taking better action photos of your dogs, or those of your clients. Any action photography takes some practice so keep at it and you’ll start to have more keepers over time. Please share your dog action photos in the comments below, we’d love to see them.

The post How to Take Better Action Photos of Dogs by Dave Spates appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Source

https://digital-photography-school.com/take-better-action-photos-dogs/

In 2008, as part of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, the Pennsylvania state legislature enacted some of the most comprehensive regulations on commercial dog breeders in the nation. The state had become, in the words of one legislator, “the puppy mill capital of the East,” and sought to strengthen the law primarily to ease the suffering of mother dogs used for breeding. Commercial breeders commonly kept mother dogs in cages with only metal wire strand flooring, and many dogs were literally never let outside for exercise.

Used because it’s cheap and easy to clean, such wire flooring is not only uncomfortable but also harmful to stand on. Paw deformities and other serious injuries often result from such conditions. The amendments to the Pennsylvania Dog Law were intended as a remedy, banning the use of metal wire strand flooring and requiring “unfettered access” to outside exercise for dogs over 12 weeks of age.

But such laws are only meaningful if they’re enforced. Under pressure from puppy mill owners, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture soon issued two broad exemptions to the law. One allowed 50 percent of the flooring to be metal wire strand in cages where mothers with nursing puppies were kept, while the other said the Department wouldn’t enforce the law if breeders provided “daily” access to an exercise area for nursing dogs.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund went to work for mother dogs and their puppies. With three Pennsylvania residents and supporters, we challenged the regulations through multiple Pennsylvania state agency review processes. Those review boards sided with the Department of Agriculture every time.

Seeing no other option, we sued the Department, asking the court to strike down the unlawful exemptions. On Sept. 9, 2016, a panel of judges ruled in our favor. Finding that the Department’s actions were contrary to the clear purpose and intent of the Dog Law, the court struck down the exemptions.

Now puppy mills in Pennsylvania are required to provide all dogs with safe, comfortable flooring and with free access to fresh air and room to exercise. Consistent with the will of the people and with the intent of the lawmakers who passed the law, Pennsylvania puppy mills will no longer be able to profit while ignoring basic needs of mother dogs. This is a significant step forward in the fight against puppy mills.

Learn more about the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s work to stop puppy mills at aldf.org/puppy.


 

Source

http://aldf.org/blog/protecting-pennsylvanias-mother-dogs-from-puppy-mill-neglect/

We who work in newspapers are used to criticism. It comes with the territory.

Reporting on happenings in our community, helping readers sort out public controversies, serving as a watchdog on government – some of what we do makes some people uncomfortable. Good newspapers constantly look for the positive things going on in their communities, but we are the bearer of bad news as well. And, being human, we sometimes make mistakes.

We view criticism as part of the process. Responding to complaints, putting bad news into context and correcting errors – those things are part of our continuing daily conversation with our readers.

Increasingly, when subjects of news stories don’t like what is published by newspapers around the country, they dismiss the reports as “fake news.” President Donald Trump and some of his allies don’t stop there, but also disparage the men and women who gather and present the news, calling them “bad,” “dishonest” and “enemies of the people” – a sinister term previously used in communist and Nazi propaganda.

Common sense refutes those wild assertions. Newspapers and broadcast institutions that have served their readers and viewers for years haven’t suddenly decided to allow their staffs to make up stories or invent sources.

The Journal Gazette, which has been serving this community and this region since 1863, is dedicated to fair and accurate reporting and responsible commentary. The news organizations we rely on for wider coverage share those values. The journalists we know and work with are dedicated professionals doing their best to help their friends and neighbors understand a rapidly changing world.

But as always, it is not what we say that matters most – it is how you, as informed readers, respond to the events of the day. You and your parents and their forbears have known us and depended on us for more than 150 years.

You’ve seen us covering school board meetings and track meets and tree plantings, offering photos of snowy mornings in northeast Indiana and hot afternoons at Fort Wayne pools and bringing you news about local tax increases and the latest votes in Congress. The people who work here are your neighbors, the parents of your children’s friends, the fans who cheer a winning run with you at a TinCaps game.

Our work is always open to your criticism and suggestions. We don’t always enjoy your critiques, but we do our best to learn from them. Today, we join more than 200 newspapers across the country asking you to think twice before you accept the demeaninglabels being applied to the people who work at places such as ours. You know us. We are not the enemy of the people.  

Source

http://journalgazette.net/opinion/editorials/20180816/watchdogs—not-attack-dogs

Many pet-loving Americans were shocked to hear this news, but only six states — California, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia — explicitly outlaw dog meat.

But members of the U.S. House are trying to change that.

They’ve just passed legislation that would outlaw the slaughter of dogs and cats for food, a move that will also serve as a signal to other countries that Americans condemn the dog and cat meat trades in East Asia, according to the Washington Post.

What’s more, it’s a rare topic on which both sides of the aisle agree.

The Bill, by Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Alcee Hastings, both from Florida, would amend the federal Animal Welfare Act to ban the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption in the United States. It was passed this week by voice vote.

The bill makes it illegal to knowingly slaughter, transport, possess, buy, sell or donate dogs or cats or their parts for human consumption. Violators would be fined up to $5,000.

Photo: Flickr/Yukari

“Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” Buchanan said.

The House also passed a non-binding resolution urging other nations to end the dog and cat meat trade. Targeted here are the governments of the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, India, China, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and other nations to ban consumption of the animals. Last year, Taiwan led the Asian charge, became the first to make the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption illegal.

“This bill is a reflection of our values and gives us a greater standing in urging all other countries to end this horrific practice once and for all,” Hastings said.

Animal rights groups, many of which have been lobbying hard for this change while saving slaughterhouse animals in far-flung parts of the world, were thrilled, noting that there is
small underground U.S. market for dog and cat meat.

Nationwide, it is illegal for slaughterhouses to handle dogs and cats, and for stores to sell the meat. But outside the abovementioned six, individuals are not prohibited from killing and eating a dog or cat or selling the meat to other people.

Amy Drew

See author’s posts

Source

https://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2018/09/eating-dogs-and-cats-banned-in-house-passed-bill/

Priyanka Johri was working as an animal shelter volunteer when she said she noticed dogs that had serious illnesses, special needs or were older, were not getting adopted or saved by rescue groups from the shelter. In hopes of giving these dogs a chance at survival, Johri said she took matters into her own hands.

Johri founded Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary in 2008 to give a home to dogs unlikely to be adopted due to age, serious illness or special needs. Located on a 1.5-acre property in The Woodlands area, the property is home to 37 dogs and Johri, who lives in the house on-site.

“The whole idea for the sanctuary was that dogs—who don’t have any place to go or who cannot be adopted because of their special needs—could come here and live out their lives here until they pass away,” Johri said. “I want to stand up for the dogs that don’t have anybody.”

The sanctuary is a cage-less environment where the dogs are free to go inside the house and outside in the yard as they please. To make the property dog-friendly, Johri adapted the house to include ramps and dog doors to improve accessibility. She also built three cabins to provide additional shelter for the dogs, each of which is air-conditioned and heated, has dog bedding and a yard area.

The sanctuary is home to a variety of dogs, including elderly dogs as well as dogs with cancer, amputated limbs, blindness, deafness, diabetes and other serious illnesses and disorders. Because many of the dogs have strict diets, instead of purchasing bags of dog food, Johri cooks fresh organic food for her animals twice a day, made with ingredients, including vegetables, meat, beans, rice and oatmeal.

As the sanctuary is private and closed to the public, Johri said the nonprofit rarely accepts dogs directly from the public, and most of the dogs are brought by shelters and rescue groups.

“The rescue community has been really good with us, and when we get a call, we know that they really need us,” Johri said. “They only send dogs to us when they’ve checked all their other resources and they don’t really have any other options.”

In times of crisis, such as Hurricane Harvey, the sanctuary has been home to as many as 57 dogs that were separated from their families, Johri said.

In addition to dogs with special needs, over time the sanctuary has also become a temporary home to healthy dogs that are available for adoption. Johri regularly takes these dogs to local adoption events and also lists them on adoption sites like Petfinder.

Johri said many dogs with special needs have also been adopted through the sanctuary, including a dog with obsessive-compulsive disorder that was adopted by a man who also has OCD, and a deaf dog who was adopted by a family with a deaf daughter.

“All of these dogs are waiting to rescue somebody,” Johri said. “I’m just a caretaker while they wait for the right person to show up.”

To fund the sanctuary, Johri uses profits from her business, Woodlands Eco Realty & Executive Rentals. Twenty percent of proceeds from the company benefit the dogs at Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary.

“I always thought nonprofits should be run like for-profit businesses, so we’re not dependent upon other people,” she said. “I tried to raise money, but I was spending so much time trying to raise money that I didn’t have time to take care of the dogs. So I decided to start a profitable business to fund the nonprofit. That way, we’re not so dependent upon other people.”

However, as the nonprofit is not funded entirely through her business, Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary still relies on donations and sponsorships to help cover the costs of food, supplies, medical bills and surgeries. Johri said the sanctuary’s biggest expenses are medical bills, which includes procedures like spay and neuter to cancer treatments.

In the future, Johri said she hopes to build more dog cabins on the property to add capacity to the sanctuary. She also said she is looking to hire a volunteer coordinator to aid with adoption events, taking animals to the vet and caring for the animals while she is at work.

“Sadly, there is a growing need in this community for a sanctuary like this,” Johri said. “I hope one day I’m not needed, but unfortunately, Houston has such a bad problem with overpopulation of pets that it has become really hard for dogs with special needs to survive.”

Source

https://communityimpact.com/houston/the-woodlands/editors-pick/2018/06/15/pure-mutts-animal-sanctuary-offers-home-for-senior-disabled-dogs/

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