Monday, February 14, 2011

Working With Chickens

The Nera - chicken. Photograph by Tim Irving
The Nera - Tim Irving
You can see now why I was fussing with old carpets over the weekend. I had an appointment with several hundred chickens and needed a suitable carpet to pose them in front of. I'd devised a simple plan that in the event sort of worked. My idea was to sprinkle a trail of corn leading to where I wanted to take the picture and snap the chickens one by one as they posed on the carpet.

The job was not without its issues, but few jobs are.
Issue one was the cold. When I left my house to drive to the farm, the sun was shining, it was warm, too warm for a coat. When I arrived at the farm on the Cambridgeshire Fens the sun was still shining, but the wind was cold, very cold. Never mind, get the job done. Issue two was I didn't consider kneeling for an hour on damp grass. Issue three and by far the biggest issue was that the chickens didn't feel comfortable on carpet. They'll do anything to avoid walking on a nice rug. The common ploy used by the poultry was to keep to the edge of the carpet, stretching their necks to peck the corn.

I'm happy with the photograph of the Nera (Rhode Island Red hybrid), but I haven't finished the project, today was a trial run. On my next visit I'll take warm clothing, a groundsheet to lie on and, the secret of success, a bigger carpet!


  1. Having lived with chickens as a kid, and having been around them as an adult, I can imagine that photographing them would be a challenge.

    This photo however is fantastic. Hope you'll share more as you get them. :-)

  2. Am so in love with this girl...the town in RI where they say the RI Red is from has a statue in the town square for the breed.

  3. What a lovely little lady to pose for your Valentine's Day cover. Perfect. She's even heart-shaped. I love this photograph. Using the carpet was artistic brilliance. Perhaps the chickens will warm up to the idea.

    I had chickens as a kid, and they are such comical characters. I would have given anything to have been present at this particular photo shoot with you! They had you on your knees and kept you on your toes.



Related Posts with Thumbnails

Google Plusone