05 January 2012

Great Chicken Questions

I admit it, I collect chickens. (Is it because I am a chicken at heart? Is it because my mother collected owls?)

Well, not real chickens, at least I don't think so. I'm talking about decorative chickens, all over my kitchen.

So here I am with plenty of time on my hands so I decide to clean the soffit area in our kitchen. I take down the ceramic chickens that reside up there - some of them inherited from my mother - and dig into the difficult task of cleaning all the greasy grime from their myriad surfaces. The job is so tough that I clean one and then take a long break before I attempt another one. Slowly, clean and shiny chickens join each other on the opposite counter top.

I come to a point when I am almost done. Turning slightly, I glimpse something disturbing. There is a mob of chickens clustered on the counter . . . are they ganging up . . . is that a sinister look on the old rooster in front? . . . is he guarding his clutch? . . . why is that one hen so surprised?

. . . maybe it's time to put them back up on the soffit. Separated.

gang of chickens

Click on this link for a past blog entry on my obsessive chicken collection and the Chicken God.

For a photo of the chickens back up on the soffit and a little techie photo talk, click on "read more" below.

Chickens back up on the soffit:

chickens on soffit

Below is a photo of the chickens on my counter with a lot of clutter behind them. I decided this type of photo didn't get my point across, so I removed the background clutter. Later, I went back to the cluttered shots and played in Photoshop to see if I could get more details in the shadows. Here is the result:

merged HDR

I created the above image using the "merge to HDR" function of Photoshop. The original shot employed "bracket exposure, 7eV", which means the Sony camera took two separate different-exposure photos. Then you open both photos in Photoshop. The program aligns them and makes shadowed areas clearer and brighter without over-brightening the non-shadowed areas. It took awhile for my MacBookPro to render the photo, and it looks pretty good, except I should have used a tripod. As a sidenote, the camera will do the same function in a shorter amount of time, but only if you choose to shoot in jpg, not in arw (raw).

Two original photos:




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