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.
Good to see the return of "The Chicken Shack" Dave and as usual you've done a great job of capturing the atmosphere of the occasion. Love the shot of the bloke with the duck draped over his shoulder.
Thanks Pete. It was one of those moments when I just had to grab a shot!
It being a wet Saturday I thought I might as well go to the poultry auction, even though I felt a bit jaded with the subject. As it turned out I found myself doing something different. Since going digital I've taken against black and white conversions. A personal prejudice. But today I broke my own rule. At least shooting digital I still have the colour originals.
I was never any good at making black and white prints, and I'm no better with digital conversions! Here are a few from today.
I'm not sure if it's the shows or the bacon barms that keep drawing me back to the bantam society shows. Being ten minutes from home probably contributes. Anyway it was egg show day today and although I wasn't expecting much I got a couple of 'cracking' pictures. The pointy wooden egg cracker was something I hadn't seen before. I was lucky to time the shot just before contact.
Then I tried to get the ultimate contents picture. I doubt i managed that, but I got one of my best so far - out of a burst of ten frames I think this one 'tells the stroy' best.
There are other pictures of judging and the usual goings on which are much like those i've taken in the past. I did try some different angles though.
And some 'arty' shots.
Because there were only a few entries for the junior poultry show the club room was pretty much as it is when not in use which allowed for a couple of behind the scenes type pictures to show the brushes and tools used for cleaning up after a show. There's always something to see if I can keep my eyes fresh. Agricultural show season starts soon. There might be poultry, there probably will be sheep...
I got collared at the last show by the organiser of the poultry section of an agricultural show. He wanted some photos taking. I was going to the show anyway so a free ticket and car park pass was welcome. However it sort of put the pressure on me as I guessed I'd have to hang around for the presentations and get some 'publicity' type photos. Not my strong point. e.g. man with trophy growing out of his head...
At least the pictures are reasonably in focus and exposed.
I did get one or two candid shots of the organising team, which I hope they'll like.
Again, smiley people are not my style.
I still don't have a decent picture of the new inspection regime for arrivals at shows. I think this is my best so far.
And queuing for the prize money is another addition to the files.
I got some of the usual setting up and judging pictures.
Plus the trying to find unusual stuff.
It was red hot day and the poultry tent wasn't well ventilated. I'm pretty sure that the heat sapped my ability to find pictures. Particularly as I wanted to do some stuff around the sheep pens - which were as far away from the poultry tent as they could have been, and lacking shade. I got there just after eight and left around four fifteen. I think the two hour sit downI had in the early afternoon saved me from collapsing! My efforts at the sheep pens wasn't any more productive. The bright, high sun wasn't helping matters, but I'll post some pics in my sheep thread later. I got one or two reasonable pictures around the showground in a humorous/surreal 'street' style,and I could spend the whole day oat one of these shows photographing dogs and their owners.
It had been a toss up whether I went to yet another poultry auction or a sheepdog trial at a country show. From the publicity the show seemed to me like it would be all knick-knacks and country clothing and just happened to have sheepdogs. I thought I'd have a change and it t turned out that there was a poultry show too. As I was there to try to get some sheepdog photos (I got hundreds which I'm wading through right now!) I didn't take many in the poultry tent, but I got a few more for the files.
Not poultry, but poultry themed.
I think this project has finally worn itself out. I was at an agricultural show today and just couldn't get into the poultry at all. Just more of the same old stuff really. It's been fun, I've learned a lot about showing poultry, and met lots of friendly people. I've learned a bit about taking photographs and organising the results too. So all in all a very satisfying experience. So these are probably the last few photos I'll be posting here. Thanks for all the feedback and comments. They've been helpful and appreciated.
Just when I thought it was all over... The poultry marquee was right by the sheep pens today! I even managed a couple of somewhat different pictures too.
The organisers removed the front of the marquee to let air in as it was baking hot again. Hence:
Other than that is was semi-abstract time.
And a very clean judging coat.