This is Esther. She’s a tough old bird, survivor of two raccoon attacks (she lives in a fortress now), and an all around sweet chicken. She is several years old, but still lays regularly and helps out in the garden, always underfoot. Chickens are a great addition to any garden, provided you keep them out of the most edible plants. She spends her days on snail patrol, and gets along great with the cats.
I took the shot on a sunny afternoon, sitting inside a small greenhouse and shooting through the open door. When raking a portrait of a chicken, I don’t worry much about shutter speed, and I have the lens on auto focus, because while chickens are generally perfectly still in the instant, they move in tics every second or so. As usual, I used my 60mm macro, which is perhaps even better at portraits than it is for bugs. I took about ten shots in this series, and every one of them was this sharp. Click on the picture to see it full size, the details are fun.
Camera settings for portrait of a chicken:
- Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
- Lens: EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
- Shutter Speed: 1/320
- ISO: 400
- Aperture: 5.6
Post Processing: Just a bit of sharpen and contrast, and that was more out of a habit of trying to optimize than any real need.