Thanks for an interesting thread.
I know this project is pretty much concluded, but I offered my services as 'official photographer' to the bantam society for their big show at the weekend. My plan was to sort out a cheap and reasonably efficient set up that anyone with a camera could use. In the hope that I wouldn't have got myself committed to future events. Apart rom another club's show in a fortnight...
As I was there I took pictures of my own, some of which have been added to the project file.
Shining up the feet.
Judging book and prize cards.
Judges compare notes.
The results are noted down.
Any road. This was the set up for the official photos. The club already had the board and background as used by their other photographer. Having seen what he did I had a rough idea how to go about things. The LED lights weren't ideal (no control over brightness) but helped to soften the shadow from the on camera speedlight. This really is outside of my comfort zone!
Some of the results were better than others, and some subjects trickier than others. It would have been a lot easier if the pesky birds would stand still for more than a nano-second!
I had a play around using my compact as a video camera, as an experiment. For anyone who hasn't been to a poultry show it looks, and perhaps more importantly sounds, something like this poorly edited footage.
It seems like my photos (the individual birds and the one of the two judges) were good enough for Fancy Fowl magazine. All I have to do now is train one or more of the club members to use my 'studio' set up and I'm off the hook!
There was another show and an auction the other weekend but I really have run out of steam and took very few pictures. Time to work out how to approach a project to do with sheep...
Congratulations! I look forward to your sheepy photos.
The avian flu outbreak last winter/spring had a knock on effect for the poultry shows round here so I went to agricultural shows during the summer and found myself hanging around the sheep pens.
OK. So I can't keep away from poultry.
There was an auction and show last Saturday so I thought I'd try a slightly different approach using a small, silent camera I could use the screen to frame shots, and a longer lens on my DSLR. Not sure I got anything different, but it made a change.
Then I reverted to type and used my usual set-up.
One good thing about the local bantam society is their show hall is about ten minutes drive away. Although that makes it hard to resist visiting on show days...
As with anything you visit frequently it gets more and more difficult to find new things to photograph. Over familiarity makes it harder to keep looking with fresh eyes. But every now and then something different jumps out at you. Today it was an old set of scales. Most egg judges use electronic scales, but not today's judge.
I've found that with fewer things interesting me I'm spending more time on anything that does catch my attention. I must have taken ten or more shots of these scales, and a good job too because only three or four weren't either blurred or out of focus! I also spent quite some time trying to make the next shot work. I don't think I did in the end, but it's OK. If the people and poultry don't make shapes or gestures to 'finish' the picture there's not a lot that can be done about it.
Last year's avian flu has had a big impact on the show scene. Birds are now routinely inspected on arrival, and carriers have to be of a certain specification - which has been a boost for manufacturers of poultry carrying boxes! I managed to get to the show early enough to get one reasonable picture of the inspections. A pity they do it under a blue gazebo.
Photos of people taking photos with phones (or using the screens of cameras) have become something fo a cliché, but I don't care. I finally got one I'm happy with.
That's about it. Apart from a snap of one man and his duck which made me smile for some reason.