Tuesday, April 23, 2013

From Barnyard
Fashion Show
Somebody's awake!!!
Continuing with my saga of the Butting Heads Farm, found us in the kitchen with 6 kids running around. That's goat type kids, not people kids. The Frost's bring the kids in the house, soon after they are born and feed them until they are weaned. It can make for a hectic time. We were lucky to have gotten out of there without taking any kids home. They were great to photograph, with each one having a look and personality all its own.

Feeding Time at the Butting Heads Farm

New chicks had been hatched and were under the lights, as well. The kitchen is a busy place on the Farm.  It is a challenge to shoot the chicks as the warming lamp puts out a light that has a distinctive color to it. It was not possible to use the SpeedLight to balance the lighting. You may have to adjust your white balance when processing the images. This is one of the reasons I always shoot in Raw, much more control over the resulting image. I always try to get it as close as I can in Camera, but the digital camera sees things differently the human eye. Some tweaking in LightRoom or Photoshop is sometimes necessary to come out with the image you saw when you pushed the shutter release.

Butting Heads Farm sells eggs, goat milk, goat milk cheese, and goat milk soap. It is quite an operation, and a lot of work for a family to maintain, all while working their day jobs in addition.

Goat Milk Soap
Last Saturday, the 20th of April, I was fortunate to be involved in photographing models at the WMPG 2013 Fashion Show. Leah Haraden, Ken Jones, and I volunteered to shoot the models and fashions of a new designer, Raisa. The shoot started rather confused as we did not know where to set up and what the protocol would be. After sorting things out, we found a good spot with decent soft back lighting, and out of the direct line of traffic. We met Raisa and was introduced to her models. Most of them seemed to be inexperienced but took directions well, producing some very nice photos. 

Corissa, Loren, Raisa and Olga
Let your photography take you where it will. The same basic techniques will serve you well if you are shooting on a farm, or at a fashion show. It is all about the light. One of the challenges in shooting people, is to get them to relax and open up for you. If your subject is shy, you need to coax them into feeling they want to look good for you, and show they are having fun. Once we had made sure that Raisa had the photos she wanted, other designers began asking for photos of their models, and creations. It was a lot of work, and a lot of fun. Many good shots were produced and the feedback we have received from Models and Designers has been worth it.
Katlyn, Isabelle Jo, Courtney, Mac, Ivy Ferrelli, Janet, Kani
Photos of the Fashion Show and Butting Heads Farm can be seen on my web site: www.jimwalkerphotography.com

Monday, April 15, 2013

Photography Down On The Farm

1937 John Deere, seen on the Butting Heads Farm in Gardiner, Maine

The mentoring group of the Capital Area Camera Club was cordially invited to take photos at the Butting Heads Farm in Gardiner, Maine last Saturday. I say "cordially invited", but I guess she was talked into it by a "dear friend". I hope she does not have any regrets about letting us have the run of the farm for a couple of hours. The deal was we would shoot what we could, and the Farmer and her Husband would get quality photos to refresh their web site and facebook page. They could not have been nicer. The five of us were warmly greeted and shown around the place. The usual rules were stated; Don't let the chickens out, This one or that one bites, Etc...

The Girls at Butting Heads Farm

Now, you might think that shooting farm animals is an easy thing. Point the camera, push the shutter, admire photo. Not so fast. That method works for the John Deere Tractors that were resident in the barn and the yard. Not so much with goats, pigs, and especially chickens. After taking several shots of the 1937 John Deere tractor in the yard, and several more of the 1940 John Deere that still works the farm, I headed for the new chicken coop. It is a square building of 10 feet, or so, on each side, with only one small window. I just have to get in without the Hens getting out. Easy as eating pie, at least getting in was, I will worry about exiting in awhile. It is a challenge to shoot birds in a small space with limited lighting, and they never stay still. I cranked up the ISO to 800, and selected Shutter Priority. Aperture Priority would have been nice to put the background out of focus, but it would have made the shutter speed far too slow for fast moving birds. I also used the Canon Speedlight 580EX II and bounced the light off the ceiling for more even coverage. I spent around 15 or 20 minutes getting as many "in focus" shots of the girls as I could. Now on to the Goats and Pigs. Oh yea, no one escaped when I exited the chicken coop. You just have to be faster than the average bird.

Rhode Island Red at Butting Heads Farm

The goats were a blast to shoot. Each has a distinctive personality, and some even smile for the camera. Two started showing off why the farm was named "Butting Heads", and were the center of attention for all the photographers. The pigs were another matter. They never stopped for more than a second. You had to be fast, I mean really fast to catch a good moment where everything was in focus and had the right light. All at the same time.

One of the Pigs, down on the Butting Heads Farm

The next blog entry will highlight the Goats and their Kids, as well as some of the Goat Milk Soap that is made on the farm. So, Until next time, keep your Lens clean, and your Battery charged. Don't forget your spare cards for that digital camera.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Camera Clubs 
A New Maine Stock Photo Web Site

Lobster Traps on Vinalhaven, Maine

I have been a member of the Capital Area Camera Club (CACC) in Augusta, Maine for quite a few years. (CACC on FaceBook) I initially joined the club because there was none located in the Lewiston/Auburn area. This club has been a great help to my development as a photographer. The members have been more than willing to share their expertise, and teach their methods to other club members. Photographers come from all over Central Maine to participate in club meetings and interact with each other. 

Pulling Traps off Vinalhaven Island, Maine

At long last, there has been a new camera club started in Lewiston/Auburn, the Twin Cities Camera Club (TCCC). (TCCC on FaceBook) It is my hope that photographers here will have the same opportunities that I found in CACC. We are off to a good start, and will have several photo shoots scheduled over the summer. The official club start up will take place after by-laws are written and officers are chosen in September. All levels of photographers have shown interest in beginning the club, and that bodes well for its success. Be sure to check out the FaceBook page to view some of the members work. You may know some of us.

Hot Air Balloon over the Bernard Lown Bridge connecting Lewiston and Auburn, Maine
Speaking of Maine, and the Twin Cities, my friend and fellow photographer, Dan Marquis, has created a new web site in the hope of selling Stock Photography. He is targeting the niche market for photographs taken all over the state. My photos are being uploaded to the web site, and other photographers will be invited to participate as the business grows and expands. Please take a look at the web site, and let me know what you think.