Day 285 – A little Egg

Today I was using the Canon 60D camera, and the 18-55mm kit lens to familiarize myself with the camera and I was lucky enough to observe something special.

My mother in law recently brought some bantam eggs, from a local shop – believe it or not and choose to put them in her incubator and I was fortunate enough to be visiting in time to share with you these images.

13.02pm - ISO1600, F9, 1/30sec - starting to hatch
13.02pm – ISO1600, F9, 1/30sec – starting to hatch

The 18-55mm lens does allow you to get pretty close up to capture the detail. Light was limited so I upped the ISO, but because I was close to my subject I wanted to pick a mid range depth of field. I found it fascinating that a chick is peaking out of a dated egg!

Old day old chicks under a heat light corrected with Raw - ISO500, F9, 1/100sec
Old day old chicks under a heat light corrected with Raw – ISO500, F9, 1/100sec

These two chicks hatched yesterday from the same batch of eggs so they are about a day old. This was a really tricky lighting situation as the red heat lamp they were underneath provided a reasonable amount of light but with a real red glow… so I took the image in raw I have played around with the colour balance to reduce the red significantly.

14.55pm Hatching is hard work - ISO1600, F7.1, 1/40sec
14.55pm Hatching is hard work – ISO1600, F7.1, 1/40sec

Nearly two hours later and the chick in the incubator had been working incredibly hard – it seems mean to leave them too it, but it is part of the hatching process and it helps them strengthen their limbs and become ready to grow and flourish.  I was delighted I was able to capture the detail inside the shell.

16.53 - Newly hatched ISO400, F8,0.4secs
16.53 – Newly hatched ISO400, F8,0.4secs

I am really not a patient person, but after a walk, I came back to look again and amazingly he was free of his shell and just beginning to dry out. As a tiny chick he was not really able to support himself, but soon he will be up and running around.

The final shot is of me holding the chick and moving it so that it is under the heat lamp. This was captured by my husband and a great reason for having a green button – fully automatic mode on the camera, the camera choose all the settings and choose to add the pop up flash – the direct lighting does produce a harsh shadow behind the chick, which would not have occurred if either he bounced the flash upwards or choose to select a high enough ISO so that the flash would not have been required – but if I had time to do that I would not have got to hold the chick!

16.57 - First hold, ISO400, F4, 1/60 sec on camera flash
16.57 – First hold, ISO400, F4, 1/60 sec on camera flash

These shots though really do indicate the challenge that lighting can offer, and now I know more about lighting I can see that I want to add controllable light to the scene to enable me to record the moment better.

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