Chickens (5 of 52)

As I progress in the project 52 Weeks of Chickens – 2nd Generation, I have come to the conclusion that the idea of a “Detail Week” was horrible. This is true especially because they are so young and cannot sit still. Because of the challenges of taking the photos, this week was not very fruitful in terms of usable photos, but a great learning curve.

It is a shame, though, because they grew so much in a week. As you will see in the comparison of Dolores’ wings on Monday of this week and her wing on Saturday and Sunday of this week. Such a huge change! And because I wanted to stick to my proposal, I did not take other photos of them. This morning we went out to the driveway to get some sun, as it was a beautiful and warm day. This gave me the opportunity to take photos of “details” that would not have been able to be seen, had I taken the photos from 30 cm from them (closest I can get with the Sigma 105mm for details).

The Chicks

They are all in a very funny, awkward transitional state. Dolores is full of feather stubs, which make her look very awkward (despite the colors coming out of those stubs being a stunningly beautiful brown).

Valentina has random feather stubs in her back and wings (all white), and the feathers coming out of her legs/feet look a bit disturbing (I know she will grow out of the awkward phase).

Consuelo is a small chicken with a chick’s head. She barely has any plumes left, maybe some on her underside and her head is still plush. She almost looks like a miniature/small chicken. Looking at how much more developed she is today and looking back at day/week 1 and week 2 photos of her, I am convinced she is 2 weeks older than her sisters.

Consuelo has started changing her chirping, it is transitioning from “pi pi pi pi” to something I haven’t been able to define yet; but it is definitely not a crow. She is just changing her tune from high-pitched (which can sometimes be annoying) to something closer to the cluck a chicken would make. Valentina and Dolores are still in their high pitch “pi pi pi pi”. Sometimes they make that sound for HOURS before either they or I fall asleep.

Challenges

Trying to get close enough to the chicks with my macro lens it significantly difficult. Because taking macro shots require fine-tuning focus, as the subjects are significantly close, the chicks don’t generally give me that much time to do it. Unlike Sophia and Victoria, which I took VERY good close up photos of them (wasn’t a walk in the park, but wasn’t herding cats either). I tried increasing the field of depth a bit more by selecting a very small aperture (sometimes even f/29) to take the photos.

One of the techniques I tried applying here, which I have read in flash photography books, is to make the environment as dark as possible (small aperture, low ISO and fast shutter speed) and use the flash to bring out your subject. I tried applying this technique with medium success (first time trying). I will unlikely do another “Detail Week” for a long time and will probably only announce it post taking the photos.

Photos

This week I focused on details and some can be comparative. I have paired up in the gallery below the comparisons.

The next week I will be back to taking random photos of them. That will allow for more documentation of their growth and I can focus on the more challenging items once they are established as chickens.

On a side note, I am starting to think they are all chickens, no rooster. This is a huge relief as I will be devastated if I have to get rid of any of them for being a rooster.

To see the 52 Weeks of Chickens – 2nd Generation project, click here.

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