I’ve joined one of the groups of photographers in the Atlanta area: the Southeastern Photography Society. Partially for social reasons, and partially to get feedback and learn new things.
Anyway they have monthly themed contests and next month’s is “Fur and Feathers.” The obvious choice is animals, though I did entertain several alternatives, and maybe will pursue them. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone with a feather boa who wears fur and would be willing to be an outrageous model. I wondered about a still life of fish flies or lures since they often use both fur and feathers; and something tells me that my puppies would not be keen on being dressed up with a bunch of feathers. So the obvious choice it is.
I get to put in a black and white/monochrome entry and a color one.
This one is one of my favorites, just because it’s funny.
I also like this one of our puppy. It looks like a Julia Ward Cameron work. Either of these will work well enough.
Feathers are a different case.
A bird is an obvious choice:
A closeup of a bluejay feather is also possible:
I have a lighter and a darker version of this, but the mid-range is probably best.
This close up of the edge of a turkey feather is neat, though there are some artefacts from the focus stacking.
Ruby throated hummingbirds are one of the more common ones in the eastern united states. We decided to put up a feeder and after a week or so this pretty little female decided to visit. She moves quickly enough that the “on the wing” photographs are just slightly blurred. But when she stopped to feed, it was another story.
I took these images with my Sony A7III using the 600mm lens at f6.3, 1/800s, and 2000 asa (equivalent speed). The trick is to sit in a chair and wait. If they’re spooked move further away, and then after a while move closer. These birds, once they realize that you’re not a threat, become bold. They’ll buzz you to remind you to fill up the feeder, which is an interesting experience. The feed is one part sugar to four parts water by volume without added food color.
I’ve been practicing with the local wildlife. Finally figured out how to implement “back button” focusing on the Sony A7III, which helps enormously with a telephoto. No more shifting focus to the wrong piece of grass.
The other big trick it to be non-threatening. I take a small chair and sit. The deer watch for a while and then go back to deer stuff (eating mostly).
The sony 600mm lens is pretty good as this detail shows.