Shake, Shake, Shake!

I’m obsessed with a good shaking shot. I love the fur flying, the goobery faces and the water spray (or muck) flying everywhere!

I’m using Walter for this blog post because his shakes are rather spectacular. He’s happiest when he’s wet and dirty, so needless to say he shakes a lot…usually he gets one last one in “after” he gets in the truck. I think he does this on purpose and he and Rupert have a laugh about it while we wash the windows 🙂

Here are a few tips for capturing a good shake photo!

  • Timing! It’s pretty much alllll about timing. When you see your pup coming out of the water, they’ll shake pretty much right away. So be prepared. Have the camera all ready to go!
  • Get low. If you’re looking down at your dog shaking, the water drops will blend into the ground and you won’t see them. Being level with your pup will allow you to see their beautiful faces and the drops spraying everywhere.
  • Use a fast, continuous shutter to get those drops! I like to keep it above 1/1000 sec (1/2000 on bright days) and shoot in bursts. I put my finger on the shutter when they start to shake and don’t take it off until their done!
  • I also like to keep a shallow depth of field, usually f/2.8. This allows the face to be sharp but some of the drops and fur to be out of the focal field and give a more artsy feel to your shot.
  • Use a zoom lens or be prepared to move quick! Before I invested in my Sigma 70-200 Sport lens, I used my 35mm or 50mm for everything. This meant I needed to be close to get some of the photos I wanted. There were more than a few times where I would be all set to get the shot, and then Walter would run right up to the camera to shake (again, I think he finds doing this rather hilarious!). I would get sprayed, the camera would get sprayed and the lens would get covered with water drops. I always keep some lens cleaning clothes with me, but I learnt to very quickly fling myself to the side if I saw him doing this. So be prepared! lol!

If your pup likes getting wet, try getting a few shaking photos. They are fun and great practice for capturing action shots!

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