Riverdale Farm

For this assignment, I decided that I wanted to capture animal faces. I was prepping for a crazy long TTC ride to the zoo, when I was reminded that I had Riverdale Farm practically in my backyard. It worked out relatively well as I was able to try out some digital zoom features of the camera but  I also ran into other technical issues related to the photographer rather than the camera.

I had been playing around with the settings on my camera and had changed the format I shoot pictures in. Normally I shoot in RAW format that allows me a lot of leeway in terms of the brightness and tweaking of pictures. By mistake, I had left the camera in jpeg mode, which means it did most of the editing for me and left me little to play with myself. Turns out, I rely quite heavily on being about to tweak exposures and colours in post production, and I couldn’t do much this time. So a lesson learned, check the camera before shooting next time.

That being said, I had a lot of fun chasing after the animals. This horse was having a great scratch on this tree and I was trying to capture the movement. I settled on this shot as his legs are at an angle that helped demonstrate he was leaning against the tree.


211mm- f4- 1/100 – ISO 200

I loved the calm, peaceful expression on this goat. He was fairly fair away, but with the added zoom I was able to get really close to his face.


800mm – f5- 1/640 – ISO 125 – exp comp -1

The chickens at the farm are not having that good of a time with each other, as most of them were missing feathers. Too many dust ups in the barn I guess. This fellow however was happily scratching his way around the yard.


500mm – f5- 1/2000 – ISO 125 – exp comp -1.7

Yet another goat relaxing up the hill. Not sure what I was thinking in terms of the settings of this shot. The exposure compensation is quite high, resulting in a fairly underexposed (dark) picture. I think I was trying the get the white under control, but the rest of the picture suffers.


800mm – f5 – 1/2500 – ISO 125 – exp comp -2.3

I wanted to get this group shot as the rooster was enormous, and the goat put him in perspective. The colour differences also popped as well.


400mm – f5- 1/2500- ISO 125 – exp comp -2/3

Yet another purposely underexposed picture. I was focused on calming the white again, and what resulted is a picture that looks like it was taken at night with a flash.


226mm – f5 – 1/3200 – ISO 125 – exp comp -1.3

Ah the cows. There were two of them grazing, and it took about 10 mins before one of them would nibble with an eye facing towards the camera. For all of these pictures, getting the eyes was very important as it connects them to the viewer.


260mm – f5 – 1/100- ISO 1250 – exp comp -1.3

Couldn’t resist these flowers and the yellow/orange just caught my eye. They were perfectly open as well.


74mm – f5- 1/80 – ISO 500 – exp comp -0.3

I had to move around to several locations before I found an angle where the light reflected off this web and highlighted it for me.


255mm – f5- 1/100- ISO 125 – exp comp -1.3

As I was leaving the farm, I found several little areas along the trail that provided look out areas over the water. The algae was so thick and the ducks so still it almost looked like everything was made of plastic. Again, this pic is underexposed making it hard to see some of the detail.


75mm – f5- 1/125- ISO 125 – exp comp -1.7

I had a great time at the farm, although getting home and realising the issues that I had was a little frustrating. It’s a good lesson for going forward however, and that’s why I don’t mind sharing them.

3 thoughts on “Riverdale Farm

  1. This is so great…wonderful pics and you are such a super writer. The goat and the chicken and the spider web are my faves and I like how you talked about connecting the viewer with the subject through eye contact.


  2. Fantastic job! Despite the JPG settings I think you did an excellent job of capturing the subjects in their environment. I’ve been to the farm and the goats love to hide out within a shelter that looks like a cave. Shooting in bright sunlight into a cave is less than ideal regardless of settings. Job well done!


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