Photography News | Issue 32 | absolutephoto.com
especially sharp mountain peaks like the Matterhorn or Mount Everest. “Although I’m an ‘old school’ photographer who has spent a lot of time in a darkroom, I work digitally now. Most of the time I work with low light using a tripod. I made this image in colour as usual, processed it initially in Adobe Camera Raw, then in Photoshop and then finally converted it to black & white using Silver Efex Pro. It took some time to get the right tonal range.” Paul Walker Scottish photographer Paul Walker’s animal photography goes back to his childhood where his pets were the subject of his trusty camera. Paul has extensive experience of photographing pets and animals with many different temperaments, from rescue dogs through to highly trained dogs at Crufts. Ideally he likes to shoot in a natural environment, echoing the everyday live of the animal. “I have been taking photographs of pets for many years and have learned and refined techniques to help me capture the personality of the pet I am photographing. “My priority with this photograph was to capture an imagewith all of the owner’s dogs. They all had their own agenda and were rarely together, yet were united by their love of chasing a ball. It was an unusual mix of animals including three German Short Haired Pointers and a Jack Russell. All of the dogs were very agile, even the small Jack Russell, so an action image seemed to be the best method for capturing them all in the same frame. I pre-focussed on an area of ground, and then locked the focus as I couldn’t see the dogs approaching
beneath me and into the arena. The first rider went by and I cropped the shadow too tight, not realizing just how long the shadow was going to be. The next rider fell off before arriving, and with time ticking and the sun moving round there were only a few more minutes before the sun was obscured and the picture would be lost. Luckily for me as Thai rider Nina Lamsan Ligon rode past I made this frame. I knew right away the picture was quite special. But as I turned to photograph the arena again I noticed another photographer climbing up the stairs. I stood facing forward toward the arena willing him not to notice what I’d just shot. He did notice the same shadows – but the picture had more or less gone, as by now the row of spectators wasn’t as long, and the sunshine not quite so intense. Fortunately for me I’d made a pretty unique photograph from an event covered by several hundred other photographers. That doesn’t happen very often! “The settings I used were standard in a sports photographers’ armoury. A fast shutter speed, relatively shallow depth-of-field. The tricky part was getting the camera ‘square’. Thismeant leaning over a railing 15-20 metres off the ground looking directly down and then pressing the shutter button and firing 3-4 frames as the horse and rider appeared in the viewfinder.”
Adrian Dennis Adrian
“Usually, when photographing dogs running, it is simpler for the camera to auto focus if you have them running across your front; either from left to right, or right to left. However, with animals running straight towards you the camera’s autofocus can struggle. In this case I pre-focussed on an area of ground, and then locked the focus as I couldn’t see the dogs approaching, but could only hear them. I then shot a burst of images as the dogs ran over the top of the ridge towards me. “It can be useful to have an assistant when photographing pets, and for this shot I had the owner helping me. They were hidden at the far side of the slope and had the challenge of throwing the ball in the correct direction at a time when the slowest of the dogs had a head start.
This was achieved by throwing the occasional ‘dummy’ throw to send the faster dogs in the opposite direction for a few yards. This was necessary to give me the best chance to have all of the dogs in the frame, rather than just the speedy dogs appearing earlier than the slowest members of the pack. I also had to risk being trampled as the dogs came over the ridge! “With the dogs running at high speed over the ridge, and because I was fairly close, f/8 was manually selected as a ‘safe’ aperture. This enabled me to capture all the dogs in focus. “The shot was taken in Raw format to provide the highest quality, and the image was later processed in Adobe Photoshop with tweaks to the hue and saturation to give the overall toning exhibited in the image.”
Dennis British photographer who covers a variety of assignments in the UK and around the world with an emphasis on sports photography. Internationally published, Adrian has been a staff photographer for Agence France Presse (AFP) since 2000. Before this Adrian worked for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday (1996-2000). “I was assigned the equestrian cross-country event during the Olympic games in London 2012. Arriving early, around 6am, I scoped out the course. Competitors set off roughly every sixminutes so I started high up on the course, shooting the jumps with London as a backdrop. I worked my way down the course, before spending a couple of hours at the water jump, where the Greenwich Observatory provided a beautiful backdrop. After shooting virtually the same kind of action picture for about 20 riders I had to move on to keep my sanity. “I found myself at the top of the spectators’ seating overlooking the main arena. It made a fantastic wide- angle picture with Canary Wharf as my backdrop. While waiting for the next rider I leant over the back of the stand and noticed the shadows. I started to think what it would look like when a horse ran directly is a
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