Preparing for dog shoots – technicalities

Because I am wanting to shoot the dogs on analogue cameras, I have decided to shoot on a few different ones, to try and ensure the best outcome by me ending up with different/as many options as possible by the end of the work:

  • Canon A-1
  • Pentax P30

Research on canon A-1 and how to use it:

This video showed me just how versatile this camera is, with a shutter speed priority mode which may come in very handy if I am shooting a very active dog. The camera also has a very easily accessible double exposure setting which will be useful if I want to start taking images of dogs which are a bit more arty.

This video was very useful for showing me how to use the A-1 modes, where you can have either Aperture priority, Time priority, or full auto. This may be very useful when

I found some information about how to change the ASA settings on the canon website too, so now feel as though I am ready to start shooting on this camera.

Pentax P30

The Pentax p30 also has a shutter speed priority where the camera will read the aperture needed, also being good for shooting dogs which are particularly active. The Pentax P30 reads the ISO of the film, so it isn’t necessary to enter the ISO yourself.

Canon EOS 50E

With me wanting to shoot on analogue, but knowing how hard it can be to manually focus on analogue cameras with moving dogs I began looking into analogue cameras that have auto focus modes, and the Canon EOS 50E which as AF mode and an eye control focus. I wanted to try this out because I think it potentially work very well at solving technical issues I have shooting on manual focus analogues with excitable dogs.

This camera is seen as a more advanced amateur camera, and because of this it is more complicated to use and I need to look through the settings more. From this video I can already see that it has a tracking focus for moving objects, perfect for my dog photography.

This video recapped things about the camera which the other video did. It brought up a thing called ‘Exposure compensationwhich I want to research further:

Reading the article ( has helped me understand that exposure compensation is in regards to when you are shooting in conditions where there is either a very large amount of black or white in the image which makes the light reading incorrect, so now I know that when shooting in very low light conditions or in areas of lots of white (eg snow) that I can quickly use this setting on the camera to adjust the exposure settings accordingly.

Preparing for shooting on analogue

Because of the fact I want to do the shoots on film, I have decided it would be a good idea to take a book or two from the library on shooting analogue so that I can build on my technical skills with it

This part of the book was very good for recapping me on how exposure meters can be unpredictable in situations where the majority of the scene is dark (eg night time) or where the majority of the scene is light (eg snow). I am a little rusty on topics such as these, and think recapping the technicalities of this has made me feel more capable for shoots where I may not be able to control the situations eg if a person can only meet me at night or I can only shoot the dogs (lol) inside their house.

Pages on the different types of lenses, although didn’t teach me much new did make me think that I would like to experiment with doing some wide angle shots with dogs, but getting close up to their face to create a sort of warped image effect around their faces, much like this: (

If I rent a lens from uni such as the 16-35mm EF lens then I can attach this to the Canon EOS 50E and get some like this on 35mm which would be cool

Researching this table and what types of film to use in different situations made me choose an ISO of 200. I feel as though this is a bit risky because there is a chance that I have to shoot inside and it be quite dark for 200 ISO, however I feel most will be in parks and due to how sunny the weather has been recently I will go with 200 ISO.

Researching about film latitude in this book has also helped me choose which type of film to use. I had been tempted by colour slide film, to try something new, however reading this it explained how colour slide film is way less forgiving, so sticking to normal colour negative film will allow me more slip ups which are more likely to happen due to dogs running around into differently exposed areas.

One last useful thing I read within the book has ben about cleaning the cameras and cleaning film. Last project I had quite a bit of trouble with dust and want to make sure I can do my best to get clean scans of my negatives.

In preparation for shooting the foster dogs, i did some research into tips for photographing Dogs to try and improve my skills.

Thurs 14th feb

Trying to improve aperture skills with dogs –

(Tips from article

Using the very low depth of field that I have been doing today caused only parts of the dogs faces to be in focus, and reading this article has made me realise that I need to have an aperture of more around f.4/5 to create the dog body to be sharp and the background to be blurred… will try practice this tomorrow before the shoot on Saturday.

Improving exposure skills

this article has made me realise how to expose for dark or light coloured dogs, as cameras will want to underexpose white dogs and overexpose dark dogs. This means that I will need to set exposures lower for darker dogs and set higher exposures for lighter dogs.

Focusing skills

In preparation to shooting some rescue dogs I need to get better at my focusing skills due to the fact I could very well come across an overactive dog that is very hard to focus with.

7D focusing skills –

Changing Canon settings to AI servo, which focuses and tracks on moving objects allowing you to keep the focus on the moving dog.

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