Photographing Chickens: Remember They’re Live Models
I have a fantastic camera that I can barely use. Yes, I’ve taken thousands of pictures with it, but I’m just now learning how to adjust all it’s manual settings to mimic my old Pentax (film) 35mm camera. With my Project 365: The Daily Chicken I choose one picture I’ve taken daily. Often I take dozens of photos just to get the right lighting and best pose.
The other day, my friend Jess of Pork and Pickles gave me a goody bag of chicken treats: days old bread and muffins, Kale stems, apple cores and radishes roots. I really wanted to photograph the food in the snow with the girls eating. Of course, my chickens hate walking in the snow, but since they love old bread, I hoped it would entice them to leave their warm coop.
One thing I’ve learned this month is photographing snow can be tough. Sometimes it’s overexposed because my light meter is reading the saturation of a dark chicken, sometimes my chickens look black and the snow perfect. Yesterday I had the smart idea of photographing the food in the snow first to get my settings (F-stop, ISO etc.) correct before I let the chickens out. ultimately despite my preparations I wasn’t impressed with the photos–they were okay, but looked too much like a recent daily chicken photo.
As you can see in the photos below, I flipped through a few settings as I took pictures of Strawberry Sally.
Here’s the photo I ultimately selected for yesterday’s Daily Chicken — I just loved Sally’s expression over the bread and muffin, the vertically aligned composition, and the array of russet and brown tones in the photograph.
Did I choose the best photo?