Sunday, 28 February 2016


It's strange how when an idea takes hold it occupies one's mind almost all the time. For some reason I can't stop thinking about chickens and photographs these days! With no poultry event to go to this weekend I've been driving around looking for the silly birds, or at least roadside signs advertising eggs for sale.

I'm not sure yet whether to concentrate on environmental shots of the signs or to close in on them to make a grid. One my drives I found a few signs that would be better photographed at different times of day, so I noted their locations and the times when the light would favour them. As the main egg laying season approaches there'll be more egg honesty boxes appearing and those might make a better subject for a typologically based series.

One route I took passed by a community farm (a hipsterish name for allotments if you ask me!). I hadn't intended stopping but as chance had it there was a car coming towards me and the gateway was a convenient pull-in for me to allow the car to pass. As I glanced across the 'farm' I saw someone I recognised so went for a chat. It turned out that both his chicken run and a large percentage of his flock had been wiped out in the Christmas flood when the nearby stream burst its floodbank. The result of the conversation was a welcome to photograph the flock when it's re-established in it's renovated home, and a lead to a poultry breeder and hen hotelier.

Not far from home I had another chance encounter. Somewhere I hadn't seen chickens before were four hens scratching away on the roadside verge. I pulled over and went to see if they'd be amenable to my presence with a camera. They were. I tried to do the old slow shutter speed trick to blur passing vehicles. But, as I should have realised in advance, it also blurred the jerky movements of the chickens. Idiot! I made do with a passing walker and their three dogs to convey movement and highlight the proximity to the road. I'm not sure it works.

Maybe I'm spreading the chicken net too wide, but these sidelines provide subjects to work on that are poultry related and keep my brain ticking along.

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