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.

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