Shooting Challenge: Dog Days of Summer

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Dog Days of Summer

We’re in the dog days of summer, and what a perfect time to pay tribute to man’s best friend. That’s right, for this week’s Shooting Challenge, we want you to photograph your dog.

The Challenge

Photograph a dog. Your dog. Someone’s dog. I know, I’m a cat person, too. But it’s not the “cat days of summer.” It’s the “dog days of summer.” So we’re doing dogs—and preferably dogs that are lovin’ summer life.


The Method

Pets are notoriously difficult to photograph because they move so much. It will help if you get outside, to give your camera a lot of light. Because a lot of light means that you can shorten your shutter speed, allowing you to snap higher speed photo. (And that means, it’s less likely that your furry subject will be blurred.)

If that doesn’t make sense, I’d recommend taking a quick skim through these three tutorials. None is very long, and each will help flesh out the theory of animal (and pet) photography. And for those of you who prefer to use an SLR in partial auto mode, there are tons of little tips for the settings you’ll want.

The Example

Our lead shot is by Tiago. I dig its texture—that juxtaposition of grass against fur. And the subject has a nice backlighting, meaning this was probably shot in the morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower and more flattering.


The Rules - READ THESE

0. No watermarks. They’re so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, July 20th at 10AM Eastern to with “Dog” in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameDog.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameDogWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don’t skip this story part because it’s often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

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Sorry, was taken last year so not eligible, but perfect: On vacation in Costa Rica (Pura Vida!) and walking down the beach came across this old pooch playing in the surf. Owner said it it was tough to get him out since he loved it so much. Camera: Canon T2i. I don’t remember the shutter speed but probably pretty high.