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Old Oct 16, 2011, 12:29 PM   #1
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Default D3s at the Spaniel Field Trial

Well, I've been away from the Spaniel games for a couple years. This is the first time I've shot one with the D3s, and I chose the 70-200/TC14II as the lens setup for all the photos.

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Old Oct 16, 2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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Default Portraits

The trial was south of me a bit. We've had a killing frost, they have not yet.



Most folks see the big camera and strike a pose for the camera. I much prefer to catch the fleeting moments. This was one of my favorite dogs at the trial. The owner stated he had "about the same" camera setup as I had.



A couple seconds later, a totally different expression.





The ground cover was high and I spent most of the day following the judge, handler, and dog. The portraits I managed had all sorts of backgrounds.



The joys of owning spaniels. This guy needs a comb.



A bit warm after his run.



I kinda like this one.

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Old Oct 16, 2011, 1:14 PM   #3
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Default The dogs in action...

It was a difficult trial to shoot. The cover was high and much of the time the dogs were obscured by the weeds and brush. That is the stuff these dogs love. Some stuff I managed to capture.



Next frame on "spray and pray" mode.



The bird's escape was temporary.



Next to the line.

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Old Oct 16, 2011, 1:23 PM   #4
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Default Some more retreiving





And a delivery.

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Old Oct 16, 2011, 2:09 PM   #5
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Default Misc thoughts and a couple straggler pics

My prior camera was the Oly E-5, and the workhouse lens was the 50-200. The EFL was 100-400, and the 70-200/TC-14II worked out to 100-280. I wasn't too disapointed in the range, not as much as I thought I might be.

The lens focused quickly each and every time, was sharp throughout the entire zoom range, and balanced nicely on the D-3s. What's not to love??? I had the camera/lens on my neckstrap for five straight hours, and the only aches and pains I experienced was not due to the camera.

The D3s is a super camera for this sport. The conditions of this trial will put a strain on ANY autofocus system. So much of the time the dog was hidden between strides, so quickly aquiring the target was the key for this day. All in all, the camera exceeded my expectations. It wasn't until I opened up Lightroom until I really realized how well. My keeper rate was much better that my prior system would have managed.

Five straight hours on a sunny fall day will lead to harsh lighting. The dynamic range of the D3s was used to its max. Most pics in Lightroom showed lots of blue in the shadows, and red in the highlights. Deep shadows combined with the spectacular white of some of the dogs pushed the limits of the camera, and blaze orange is always a test in the sun. Its a treat to have this camera for this job. I was pushing up shadows and pulling back highlights, photo after photo. A+ is the grade I'll give it for the day.

A couple leftovers.

A cool drink after the workout.



This is Sue, with her dog Finn. Finn is the son of my old national field champ Rev.

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Old Oct 16, 2011, 5:24 PM   #6
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Hi Greg,

It always is a treat for me to see your images of your dogs in the field and on the hunt.
While I realize that, now, with the Nikon system you have what is arguably the best photographic tools available on the market, it still takes the person holding the tools to know how to use them properly and getting the most out of them.

As in the past, these images are just wonderful. i especially like the 7th(last) frame of the portrait sequence.That one is just perfect.

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Old Oct 17, 2011, 6:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Hi Greg,

It always is a treat for me to see your images of your dogs in the field and on the hunt.
While I realize that, now, with the Nikon system you have what is arguably the best photographic tools available on the market, it still takes the person holding the tools to know how to use them properly and getting the most out of them.

As in the past, these images are just wonderful. i especially like the 7th(last) frame of the portrait sequence.That one is just perfect.

Zig
Thanks Zig.

When I got the D3s, I was worried about learning the camera, and thinking it would be awhile before I would get decent results. In reality my worry was unfounded, at least as far as the results are concerned. It will take awhile to learn all the ins and outs of the control the camera allows, but the complex systems also allow you to forget about technical details and concentrate on the subject at hand when that's the route you choose.

That camera is a big computer built to take photos. The focus system is a computer taking in alot of information about where to place the focus for the next frame, and most of the time its dead on. The metering system is taking information about what is light and what is dark in the frame and choosing exposure. It does astoundingly well. I find myself worrying less and less about those details and concentrating more and more on the subject. I'm not saying I won't spot meter anymore, but when I don't and let the camera handle it, I'm not thinking how to outsmart the camera, as I did with the Oly. The Nikon just seems to get it right.

On the dog side of things, it was fun to get out again. Two years was a long time to be away, and it was a tough scenting day for the dogs, but I had fun. Having the bird basket on my back for five straight hours took a toll on my legs, but it was worth it to get back to the dog photos again.

Plans are to take some vacation time and shoot the Nationals. I'm looking forward to that. There are a couple other trials to knock the rust off my skills before then.

Thanks again,
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Old Oct 19, 2011, 12:32 AM   #8
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.......hey Greg,

What a treat to see your post, as Zig said, it's always a treat to see the dogs and these images present the day very well.
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Old Oct 19, 2011, 2:24 AM   #9
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Very nice work, Greg, thanks for sharing these...!
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Old Oct 20, 2011, 6:46 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone. Its fun to shoot these dogs doing what they love. Its also great to have the dog handlers welcome you, hoping that I happen to catch one of the pics of their dog in action.

You are all very kind.
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