50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Everyone, including the chickens, are on the move

It’s been a busy few weeks in my household, and I’ll end this post with a few thoughts on where this blog is headed.  Before I get to that though, I thought that this week’s photo challenge, on the move, was the perfect time to share a few chicken photos.  Those of you who read my last post know that I am photographing a life cycle unit that is being taught in a 2nd grade classroom.

These photos show a bit of what the set-up looks like:

Over the weekend the eggs were checked one last time and then went on lockdown.  That means that the incubator will not be opened for several days while the chickens are hatching. One of the things that happens while preparing for lockdown is that we can look at the inside of the egg using a process called candling, basically to check on the health of the egg.  Here is a healthy egg:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f/2.5 1/50

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f/2.5 1/50

This one is blank, meaning no chicken in here:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f/2.5 1/125

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f/2.5 1/125

The candling photos were taken on Saturday, just before lockdown, by Monday the first three chickens had hatched.  This photo is of an egg that is getting ready to hatch, there is a small break in the shell, so soon there should be a chicken:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f/4 1/200

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f/4 1/200

The shell that is completely discarded belongs to the yellow colored chicken in this photo:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f/4 1/200

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f/4 1/200

The darker colored chicken is a bantam chicken.  The children named that chicken Trouble because it was messing around a bit with his incubator mates.

The photos I chose for this post are all unedited, as for the purpose of this post, I was just telling a story and not focused as much on the art of the actual photo.  When I get to the editing process, I will be doing some cropping and sharpening.  The photos taken through the incubator window are a bit tricky due to reflections.

As I alluded to in the title of the post, the chickens are not the only ones on the move. I have not been posting as frequently in the past few weeks because I started a new job and finished a school semester at the same time. So, this is my acknowledgement that I am “behind” on my blog.  This means that I may have a comment of yours to approve or perhaps you have visited here lately and I have not returned the visit.  As I am writing this, I can see that I have 777 visits to make. Thats a lot for me, but having a cup of tea and visiting blogs is actually my favorite way to start the day. I am hoping to get caught back up in the next week or so.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I have been taking a Photoshop class this past year.  I am happy to say that I turned in my final project and took an exam yesterday. My next class is on Adobe Illustrator, so I am not certain how much of that class will turn up on this blog.  I am grateful to all of you who have offered me support and encouragement over this past year.  I’m very much looking forward to getting caught up and then continuing with this blog over the summer.

Questions or comments about the chickens or about this blog in general? feel free to leave them below!

Cheers!

 

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photography

Travel Theme: Close Up: It’s Time for Chickens

It’s a great time of year.  It’s chicken time:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/30

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/30

These eggs are part of a life cycle unit that a friend of mine who is second grade teacher teaches this time of year.  It is getting close to the end of the year, so it is harder to keep the kid’s attention as the weather get nicer.  This unit however, is fascinating, and a highlight of the second grade school year.

So, this is one of my first photos of this year.  The next step will be for these eggs to go into incubators.  As you can tell, there will be a variety of chickens hatching this year.  This is, in part, to show the kids the diversity that can exist among a species.  The chickens that hatch will eventually go to local farms.

You may wonder why I chose this for this week’s travel theme, close up. It’s my opinion that education should make you wonder about the world around you when you are young so that when you are old enough you can go out exploring on your own.  Projects like this one help bring that larger world close-up in a tangible way.  In a less direct connection to the travel theme perhaps,  I think it is good for the kids to see a part of how their food chain works close up. Often, I think, food just appears in front of them without any real discussion of how it got there. If there is to be a lovely natural world for them to explore as adults, I think it is important for them to be informed of where their food is coming from.

I’m pretty “egg”cited about this project, so there will be more posts as the unit progresses.  Feel free to drop by again to check for updates, your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photography

Chickens Move On

This will be my last post about chickens for the season.  The chickens are ready to move to the various farms and homes that are waiting for them.  Here is one group ready to go:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

Before they left, I took a few outside to stretch their legs and get some photos:

These chickens were all part of a life cycles unit for a second grade class.  If you missed my other posts, or just would like to take a second look they are here: Still in the EggIn the Incubator, and Small Chickens.

The challenge for all these chicken photos was dealing with the light.  Under the warming lights, it was bright and hard to get detail.  In the incubator, it was on the dark side, but the incubator needed to be left alone, so I worked with what I had.  Taking the chickens outside was bright, but the uneven light some times created a problem.  Taking photos of something that is moving is always tough.  In this case I was trying to stop the action and get as much detail as possible, so I always tried to get the shutter speed as fast as possible. I use my 50mm lens for shooting these chickens.  I can get close and the detail that a prime lens offers is great in this situation.

I hope you enjoyed following the growth and development of these chickens.  I had a great time taking photos, and the kids in the classroom learn so much!  I always appreciate comments, so feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Photography

Some Very Small Chickens

The last time I posted about the chickens they were hatching and still in the incubator.  In these first two pictures it is two days later and they are out of the incubator but still spending most of their day under warming lamps.  This is what it looks like when the gang is all together:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/100

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/100

They also spend short amounts of time out of the cage:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/20

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/20

You can see that they are going to have to grow into their feet a bit.  They do grow fast.  Here are a few shots from the next day:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/640

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/640

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/40

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/40

And two more from the day after that:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/125

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/125

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/160

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/160

The chickens in this post are between 3 and 5 days old.  They are currently living in a second grade classroom where they are being observed as part of a life cycle unit.  If you would like to see what they looked like while they were developing, click here to see my post.  While they are is the classroom the children have been filling out chicken journals, keeping track of the chickens since they were eggs.  In a few days the chickens will be moving on to various local farms.  I will post again before they are moved just so you can see how fast they grow.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Looking through the Incubator Window

For the last few weeks I have been taking pictures of chickens as they developed.  Today’s first picture was taken while the eggs were on lock down.  That means that they are in this incubator until they hatch.  It is nice and warm in there:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

These eggs were put in the incubator on a Saturday and by Monday they had started to hatch.  Here is one just out of it’s egg for a few minutes:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/40

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/40

In this photo you can see that they don’t all hatch at once:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

It takes a few days for all the eggs to hatch, and not all of them do.  Being born is a tough process for a chicken, if for whatever reason something goes wrong the chicken will not make it.  This particular group of chickens did well overall.  I will be updating you as they grow, and they do grow fast!

As the photographer, the biggest challenge in getting these pictures is the glare of the window.  I just had to move around and get the best angle I could.

This post was written as a response to the challenge, Thursday Lingering Look Through Windows.  Check it out, and feel free to participate.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Travel Theme: Light

I didn’t travel too far this week’s theme, light, I just went to a local elementary school.  A friend of mine teaches there and they are doing a life cycles unit, which includes monitoring some chickens as they go from eggs to chicks.  At day seven I went in to take some pictures of candling.  Here is one of those from the series I took:

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/10

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/10

If you look at the lightest part of the image, you can see the head of the developing chicken.  How cool is that?

The challenge to getting this image is, as you can see, that I was  shooting in the dark.  I used my tripod and asked my friend to stand very still.  You will notice that the ISO is really high here.  I could have tried a lower f-stop to let in more light, but I really did want to preserve a good amount of depth in the photo, so that is why it is set to f/6.3.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, iPhone, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Travel Theme: Multiples

The theme at Where’s My backpack? is multiples.  I have created a gallery below of a few photos that includes multiples.  I also have multiple cameras, so I have included at least one photo from each camera.  My oldest camera is a Fuji A900 which was my point and shoot (and only) camera for several years.  I am sad to say that it is now not working so well.  My newer point and shoot is a Canon Powershot 320.  I am still learning to use it properly. My DSLR is a Canon 50D.  I also have an iPhone.  Between those four, I have taken the images below:

Cheers!

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