Sunday, 18 February 2018

Sheep, dogs and hens.

With one thing and another (mostly horrible weather) I've not had much chance to try out the teleconverter I bought a while back. Although the light was good enough the other day the wind made hand-holding a long lens steady difficult. That meant I didn't get any further with discerning if the thing is any use. Most of the photos were blurred from camera shake. I did manage a couple that seemd to be okay when I braced myself against a fence post. The best thing to come out of that afternoon wander was seeing a field of lambs, most of which were sensible lying down and huddling with each other to lessen the wind chill effect. More experimentation required with the teleconverter.

Latter in the week I was frustrated by work and set off to revisit my dog town project to relieve the tension. I didn't really get in the zone but found that the change of small camera does the job. The colours are much better than those out of the 'toy' camera. All I have to do for consistency is crop the frames to 4:3. This project is liberating as I'm quite sloppy, in a controlled way, about composition. That's the easy bit. It still requires a lot of photographs being taken to get the handful that rise above being snaps. The crucial factor is what's going on beyond the obvious subject. Distant dogs which need searching out in the picture are one element I like to include, and the 'bit part players' are also important. Making the edit is quite subjective, but I know what I'm looking for when I see it. Certainly seeking out pictures with dogs in them makes roaming around town more interesting than idly snapping away in what passes for a lot of street photography.

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...

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.

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.

Once again I was playing around with the small camera and once more found it very capable. Not without it's drawbacks but so far it seems to be the small camera I've got on with best. It's high ISO performance is acceptable, the smaller sensor is advantageous in getting more depth of focus for a given aperture, and I think it's leaf shutter overcomes the problems fluorescent lighting creates with white balance banding when using a focal plane shutter camera. I might be wrong about that last point but white balance was consistent across the frame no matter what shutter speed I used. No doubt I'll find something annoying about it eventually!

I didn't get many people doing things pictures for some reason. One being not many people were doing things, another being that I popped back home during the judging. There are a few which will be added to the useful file though, mostly detail shots like the scales. Small selection here

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