I understand there are a lot of articles out there on BYC for Chicken and poultry photography.
I enjoy photography and maybe will someday be a photographer for equine or other animals. That is something undecided though.
I decided to create this article to help teach about chicken and poultry photography. I used to have 5 ducks, but they are all gone now, so all I have to practice on are my good old chickens. Before my ducks died, I took many photos of them. I will share some of those with you in this article also.
In this article, not only am I going to share my good photos with you, but also the bad, to explain how the photo and the photo situation could've been improved. lots of photos can be improved by editing which I will not cover in this article, but a good editor I use for my photos is picmonkey.com .
1. Angles, photo settings, flash (use or don't?)
Finding the correct angle can be difficult, especially in the winter months. I find getting down at the level of the chickens is the best way to photograph. Sometimes this is impssible to do, so you try and get as low as you can to get the best photo without messing it up.
Today I was photographing my chickens, but the runs are very muddy from all of this rain, making it difficult to get down to the level of the chickens. To solve this problem I bent down over the outdoor roost we have in the run to get photos of the girls.
Here's what I got:
As you can see, I didn't quite get down to the level of the chickens, but the photos still turned out good. I find that "zooming in on" the chicken(s) is the best way to acheive the "ground level" look without being on or near the ground.
Not all of these pictures are good. I will explain here what I did wrong, or how I got the good pictures.
The first two photos were taken over the roost that we have outdoors in the run. You can see that they turned out OK. Not as good as I'd like, but they are still better than some of the other photos featured below:
This is Connnie, Andie and Thud (the three Silkie hens I have left)
below you see an example of what a photo looks like NOT taken from the level of a chicken and from OUR level/perspective. It isn't very good, is it?
This is one of my best photos below... it is of my Barred Plymouth Rock rooster, Wings. This photo was taken we'll say from a "chicken's perspective" or from "ground level". You can see it is much better than the pictures taken from OUR perspective.
another shot from OUR perspective:
I just have a digital camera. My camera is an archived item, so most likely if you'd try to buy one like it you wouldn't be able to find it. My camera is a Nikon Coolpix model, S3100. The zoom is only a 5x wide optical zoom. The camera I will soon be upgrading to has a 7x-8x wide optical zoom. That is the Nikon Coolpix S3600 or S3700 (I haven't yet decided).
My camera just has some basic settings. I usually just use Auto mode when "shooting" the chickens. I also use macro mode which helps focus for some close-up pictures which you most likely won't use when taking pictures of the chickens.
Some other modes that I might use for photographing the chickens are: Dusk/Dawn, Snow (for in the winter of course), Pet Portrait (this works in Single or Continuous Modes), Backlighting, or Black and White Copy. You can also use subject tracking if you have a chicken that won't stand still.
I don't mess with a lot of lighting settings but you can play around with those if you like. Usually taking photos in the morning when the sun is up a little or about an hour or two before it goes down are the best times for taking photos around here for shadowing, etc.
In Pet Portrait mode you cannot use flash which is about the only thing I don't like about it. That goes for any continuous shoot mode also. Continuous can be used also to make .gif file images. If you upload all of your photos to a Google photos account, the assistant will take care of the motion image for you, or you can do it yourself in Google photos app.
use or don't use?
It really depends on
1. the backgrund and surroundings
2. the lighting
3. the animal
1. the backgrund and surroundings:
If the surroundings are somewhat darker you can use flash. It works best to put flash on Auto and let the camera choose the best situations to use it either way.
2. The lighting:
the lighting of your picture may not turn out so great sometimes using flash. You can play around with that but sometimes the best is just to put the camera on Auto flash.
3. the animal:
You definitely don't want to take photos with flash around an animal such as a horse, or other larger livestock. That is not what this article is about though, so for chickens, mine seem to be OK with flash but I wouldn't use flash around a flighty chicken. Even a rooster might get "spooked" by flash. It is your decision, but be careful not to use flash for close-up photos. You wouldn't want to blind your chickens.
A lot of photos of my chickens use flash, including the ones featured above.
My photos are most!y just of chickens doing the regular things they do in their regular surroundings. You can, however, pose your chickens in a better surrounding or background. For example, one time i posed one of my silkie girls outside of the run in the grass. You do have to be careful that your chicken does not get away. You do not want to pick a flighty chicken for posing outside of a fenced area. For a darker colored chicken i suggest a brighter colored surrounding/background. For a white or brighter colored hen, they look nice in dark and mildly bright surroundings. Again, you can play around with surroundings and brightness, etc.
There are lots of photography articles on BYC as i said above. Every one of them will provide different and additional information. Everyone has different opinions, it is interesting to see those.
Come back soon!
**THIS ARTICLE IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION; MORE WILL BE ADDED LATER**
**How to photograph your chickens and other poultry**
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