This is one of my favorite kinds of pictures, partly because of the basics like composition, subject, lighting, and depth of field but also because it’s a single shot that tells a much larger story. And while I certainly enjoy the creativity afforded by the off-camera colored lights with which I have been experimenting lately, at the end of the day images that tell a narrative are a lot more meaningful to me. When I look at this image I don’t see a dog running with a frisbee in his mouth. I see Dashwood, my cousin’s Fox Red Labarador who spent Easter weekend with us (along with my cousins, of course) in an Airbnb in central Iowa. I see my kids throwing the frisbee for Dash in the early morning while the grownups chat after a warm breakfast including bacon made on a barely-working electric griddle. I see two days of board games, hikes by the lake, visiting a diner and coffee shop in the nearby town, and the single greatest Easter egg hunt my kids have ever experienced–courtesy of my cousin’s husband Steve whose boundless creativity provided not just candy but a cast of imaginary characters with an entire backstory.
But enough about the story; let’s talk about the picture itself. To get it, I used the only camera I brought with me for the weekend: my trusty little Fuji X100F, the photographic powerhouse that has been at my side on every trip and vacation for the past five years. Even though that camera is, shall we say, not exactly ideal for capturing fast action you can work wonders if you know how to play to that camera’s strengths. The first thing I did was look at the light, and think about where I would need to be in order to compose the kind of shot I had in mind. I knew that I wanted to get a shot of Dash running past the camera but I didn’t want him shrouded in shadow, so I made sure to position myself such that when he returned a tossed frisbee he would be running just to my right and into the early morning sunlight.