Describe 'How To Photograph Chickens' here
How to Photograph Chickens
Most of you are laughing by now. About 90% of the chicken pictures I take are blur pictures or fluffy butt pictures. Why is it that chickens know exactly when to turn away? Or a chicken walks over and blocks your potentially great picture. Yesterday I actually went out to get a fluffy butt picture, and I got some great shots, but no fluffy butts.
I'm not a Professional photographer. I'm just an average person who has a normal decent camera or two, or three. I also want
some awesome pictures with the equipment I have or can afford.
These 4 pictures above were taken with a pocket camera, a superzoom, or a DSLR, freehand, all cropped.
Step One: Pick out a camera. I have a pocket camera with 10 megapixels, a zoom camera with 12 megapixels, and a DSLR with 18 megapixels. If I shoot pictures with any one of them they can be stunning. However, I am a "blow up and crop" queen. That's where megapixels come in handy. If you take a picture of a hen posing (Hahaha), you can enlarge and crop down the picture until it gets grainy or falls apart. That will happen sooner with less megapixels, or later with more. If you want a picture of the hen's eye, more megapixels allows you to blow up and crop down to just the eye, and still have a stunning picture. I hesitate to admit this, but my best pictures have been taken with the camera set to "auto". Don’t feel bad. “ Auto” takes better pictures than most people. “Auto” is my best friend. With all the settings on these cameras, by the time I get my camera set up, I’m sure my model is long gone.
Blown up and cropped.
: Get a cup of coffee, your camera, your tripod, and your chair, and go sit with the chickens. Plan to be out there for quite a while. It takes time and many pictures to get “the one”. I do pick around 10AM because it's the time when my chickens start to think about taking a nap, and be slower moving--maybe.Step Two
2PM is pretty good, too. If you don't have a tripod, you can steady your arms/hands on anything solid, or , position your feet , your right foot a step in front of your left, feet apart. Hold your arms against your body. Take the shot while you exhale. I have also discovered that if your camera is on a tripod, you can set the timer so that you are not even touching the camera when you shoot. That can get you an ultra sharp picture, good if you want to blow up pictures. Any kind of movement will blur your pictures; Even blinking your eyes.
The 2 pictures above were taken with a tripod and a superzoom camera. The 2nd one is blown up and cropped
: Pick out your model chicken. Some of my chickens are born models. They see the camera and freeze, (or like Madonna says, “Strike a Pose.”) It seems that they want you to take a good picture. I have many many pictures of those 3 chickens. But , my other 34 chickens are more like typical chickens who seem to think that you love “ fluffy butt pictures”, or “Look how fast I can move” pictures. I have also gotten in the habit of taking my camera with me more often. You just never know when that “Kodak Moment” is going to reveal itself. How many times have you said to yourself, “Gosh, I should have brought my camera!”Step Three
Position yourself as level to the chicken as possible. I like face pictures, not top-of-head pictures. Taking a picture from too high also throws off the proportions of the subject. Now, it might take quite a few minutes for the scene to be the way you want it to, but the picture will be worth it. Take many many pictures. I may take 10 pictures of my perfect model hen, and end up deleting 9. I can go out and take even 100 to 200 various pictures because I will not have to develop and pay for film! (Remember those days?) I have a digital camera, and can take hundreds of pictures, put the memory card in my laptop, and delete all the ones I don't like. It costs the same whether I take one picture or 100.
Picture above: one of those "I took alot of pictures, but couldn't get a good one". But I did, unexpectedly.Don't take pictures of chickens with the sun in front of you. Try to take pictures with the sun behind you, overcast, or maybe the sun to the side. If the sun is in your eyes, your subject will probably be too dark. Sometimes a friend or family member can entice some pretty nice poses with some treats. However, I myself, do prefer to work alone.
: Take the memory card out of your camera and put it in the computer and download the pictures. You can then delete all the pictures you don't want. I can try to edit the rest with the FREE photo editor that comes with Windows. It's pretty easy. Photo Shop is just too expensive and complicated for me. Step Four
You may want to make your subject bigger by cropping more of the edge off. Or, sometimes you can take an area on the picture, crop off the rest , and enlarge what you keep. For example, you may have a beautiful picture of a chicken, but there’s a garbage can in the picture. Crop it out. Remember those megapixels? They will limit how big you can make something in your picture, and still have sharpness. This free photo editor also lets you play with exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, warmer or cooler, tint , saturation, and other. That's about all I need. Sometimes a too dark picture or too light picture can be made awesome with just some exposure adjusting. Then press the copy button, and it’s stored. Or, you can try different settings with the same picture-as many times as you want.
The 2 above-top one taken freehand and bottom one blown up and cropped
If you follow these steps, you will get some super nice pictures, or at least, many more than you have been getting. Friends and family will be in awe of your photography skills. And if you post your beautiful pictures on BYC, members will be drooling into their laptops. National Geographic may see your pictures on BYC, and call you. Well, maybe not.