Four Legs Good

Four Legs Good

Four Legs Good

A good amount of what I do is photographing human beings, and trying to shape light to bring out their best features. This project was about seeing how animal’s heads react to the same treatment – seeing if they look any more human

These are all animals from Wythenshawe Community Farm in South Manchester.


Vulcan hen.


A cross breed of lamb.


Light Sussex cockerel.


Polled Hereford bull.


Polish hen.


Shetland pony.


And a pygmy goat.

Here’s an idea of the setup.



A challenge I anticipated was lighting animals with massive variances in head size. Light modifiers over my flashes that would make a nice shape on the bull’s head would swamp a chicken in light, so for the smaller animals we used black wrap to make even smaller shapes out of snoots.




None of the animals were easy to shoot. They were all used to being handled but not used to being photographed, so the lamb and the goat especially were being literally chased around the shed between successful frames. The Hereford bull, though not all that energetic, almost tore everything down just by deciding to turn around. The only animal I couldn’t get at all was a young calf. Kept sprawling on the floor and bounding around in circles.

Nerd stuff: All shot on a Pentax 645z, on either 90mm or 150mm, at f9. Thanks for reading.

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