A lighthearted look at capturing perfect sporting dog moments

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TEXT AND PHOTOS BY DAVID LUCAS

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

One thing's for sure, when it comes to outdoor writing and photography, people in the Palmetto State cannot get enough of sporting dogs doing their thing. Dog images are a popular staple of the South Carolina Wildlife magazine/Hampton Wildlife Fund photo contest and display during the Palmetto Sportsmen's classic in Columbia, and articles featuring sporting dogs are always a looked-forward-to feature in any SCW issue. Whether it's hard-core waterfowlers, upland pointer devotees or just regular folks, everybody loves a good dog photo. And puppies?.....don't even get me started.

Capturing a perfectly timed action shot of a majestic retriever bursting out of the water amid a shower of sunlit water droplets, duck in mouth and ready to make the perfect drop or patiently waiting by its master's side in a dove field can be difficult under actual field conditions. Among other things, having a photographer, handler and all the necessary equipment for making a great photo trailing along behind doesn't usually make for a very productive hunt. And yet good images of sporting dogs and their humans is a near-constant need for a variety of SCDNR publications (be sure to check out the cover of the 2020-21 SCDNR Official Rules and Regulations booklet, for instance).

So with that in mind, last winter SCW magazine editor/photographer Joey Frazier and agency photographer (among other duties) Taylor Main put out a call for volunteers for SCDNR staff members with working dogs to be a part of a photo shoot designed to help build up our supply of "stock" hunting dog images for potential use in ads, articles or other agency publications. Staff members from several different SCDNR Divisions answered the call, and it was a great - and VERY chilly - day of shooting that produced some fantastic images. It also produced a LOT of outtakes - "behind-the-scenes" shots that highlight just how much fun you can have on a cold winter day with a passel of pups, their owners and some really talented photographers. SCW magazine will be featuring a photo essay of the very BEST shots from this outing in its November-December 2020 issue, but in the meantime, here's a few that probably won't be in the final cut.

To see more photos

visit http://scnaturalresourcesblog.com/home/2020/7/17/shooting-dogs.