Chickens are natural models. Their perfect plumage, charismatic faces and lyrical deportment make them always ready for their close-up! Taking pictures of our feathered family members is quite a bit of fun. Gear up your creativity and grab your imagination. It’s fowl photography time.
You don’t need fancy equipment to snap great natural pictures. Use your cell phone. It’s always handy (that’s certain) and the quality of modern technology is quite good. It isn’t the violin or the paints that make great art – it is the skill of the artist!
Getting the spur of the moment photo captures a vibrant section of time. These “off the cuff” photographic moments highlight some fantastic footage – that just can’t be beat for emotional impact and depth of atmosphere.
Do you know the #1 one trick to getting professional pics? Get in CLOSE. Don’t stand so far away from the subject that the viewer wants to get a telescope! Be prepared to get “IN” there. Try to arrange the subject to dominate the frame. These photos have instant impact.
Snap several shots – this is what professional photographers do. Journalists, and portrait or nature photographers, take reels of pics (well…it’s digital “reels” now). Remember the old days when you’d see photographers holding up strips of photo film? Thankfully, fussiness is no longer a part of picture printing these days. Just delete the ones that are not any good.
Be a tough judge. The more editing of frames you do, saving only the very best, the better you become as a photographer.
Keep it natural folks. Wait for a good moment to invite you to click! Try not to pose or force birds into situations… the results will often look rigid, static, bland and rough. Beauty rests with spontaneity.
Your pictures will tell a story, set a scene, display a mood and reflect the birds in their true light. Just like in the other arts, photography tells a story. After all, it is just painting and sculpting with a camera.
Think of yourself as an artist capturing the essence of the chickens’ figure and highlighting the personality of the birds.
Background matters. Don’t take pictures in cluttered, unusually grungy (poop, feathers, shavings) or competing backgrounds (shovels, lawn chairs, fences, feed bags) as these reduce impact by taking away the focal point. Compose shots with minimal distractions.
Think “portrait.” Whether you are posing 2 birds or 15, get them into an organized frame (use bribes – Tasty Worm treats). You will need to take many photos to get this one right. Chickens are action actors and the most compelling award-winning photographs are taken in the moment.
It’s yoga time. Change perspective for some added drama and maybe a bit of silliness.
Stand on a chair, lay on the ground or try a unique angle. Changing where you stand and how you turn the camera can really jazz up a picture. By building the unexpected, or the just plain curious, you can fill a frame with fun, excitement, hilarity or cuteness. Chickens generate some picture perfect expressions and gestures. Be ready to grab them when they happen.
Catching action poses is even better. Stopping the action in mid-frame adds inimitable interest!
It’s all about the light. Many perfect pics have been wrecked by…bad lighting. Dramatic lighting (chiaroscuro) can establish a passionate tone - but it can also feel “abrasive” or “hot” if not done right.
Avoid shooting into the sun and at times when the sun’s light is at its height or when the rays are too weak. Cloudy days, dawn or dusk are a photographer’s friends. In fact, this is the best time to capture white birds, but not black or dark feathered ones.
Shooting white and black chickens (especially dark plumed silkies) is extra challenging. Black chickens tend to wash out and white birds will appear over-exposed. Adjust your lighting accordingly; use stronger light to shoot the black chickens and softer light to capture the white ones.
Always experiment! Remember you can always delete! Art is about breaking rules and trying new things.
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