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Bowpi always seems to know “her kind” …

6 December 2011 Bowpi scopes out the sighthounds

From the way she gravitates towards other sighthounds, I can start to understand why so many sighthound packs spotted at the park come in multiples — you can’t just have one. It’s captivating to watch all their lithe forms, simultaneously sinuous and angular. When sighthounds congregate and play, every movement expresses an artistry akin to dance, with a deeper physical vocabulary beyond the comprehension of other dogs.

7 December 2011 Shall we dance?

We’ve met some really nice packs at the park, like the Iggy+Iggy+Whippet in the early afternoon crew and the Deerhound+Iggy+Iggy trio that Bowpi has flirted with in the past. One of the most exciting, and difficult groups to photograph (to me) is the Whippet+Whippet+(+Whippet?)+Iggy+Iggy+Iggy+Silken Windhound pack that I have tried so often to capture, all in vain.

20 April 2012 Sighthound blur

Okay, there’s an extra Sloughi up there, but — my goodness. I can’t even count them properly, let alone photograph them. I think anytime the number of dogs you’re trying to capture within a frame increases beyond three, the difficulty of getting a good shot increases exponentially. These guys in particular move with such delicacy and speed, they really expose me for the amateur dog photographer that I am.

20 April 2012 Standing blur

They must have magical powers. Even when they’re standing relatively still, taking a drink of water, I can’t get them in focus.

I had the camera on a small aperture with a low ISO because I had been trying to snap a panorama of them all playing in the open, sunny field. Unfortunately this setting didn’t work for either distance or proximity shots.

2 February 2012 Scamper

With a larger aperture and fast shutter speed, I can strike at least one dog with clarity, but it’s a pity to lose the rest to a shallow depth of field. This inevitably happens when dogs are in action and I can’t predict which way they’re moving.

6 December 2011: I lost count

In general, I count on sheer luck to get good action shots. I’m still getting a sense of the results that I like. The motion blur on the shot below, for example, is perfectly fine with me.

20 April 2012 Baiting

Yet there’s something I see in my mind’s eye that is unmatched by the photos, and I’m still not sure what it is. So I’ll keep trying, keep practicing… As long as the dogs are having fun, it’s all good.

Laying low