Three Goats and a Key Light

While killing time at the New York State Fair earlier this week, I decided to spend some time visiting the animal pens.  Look, it’s either walk around the Fairgrounds until my feet fall off … or take some pictures of farm animals.

Photos of farm animals wins out.

Now I’ve had some good success with photographing goats.  One of my earliest goat photos, Rutland the Goat, took a blue ribbon at Altamont, as did a subsequent goat photo, We Are Not Chickens.

But I really couldn’t get a good angle to photograph goats inside these old steel animal pens.

Goat in the pen. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

And even if I could get some goats at play – it was cramped into a tiny pen.  This will not work.

Goat nibbling on chain. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

That shot’s so tight I could claim some vici kid leather.  That’s 1930’s reference to soft goatskin leather products, but we’ll talk about that later.

After looking around the building a few more times … I came across three goats that were staring in the distance.

This might work.

Let’s try this.

Goats at attention. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Well now.  This I like.

.Now there’s one thing to remember when you’re photographing animals.

You need to have a key light in their eyes.

A key light is a tiny reflection of light on the animal’s eyeball.  It’s best seen in bird photography – especially if you can get a key light in an eagle’s eye or in the eye of a songbird – but did I get one with three goats?

Why yes I did.  You can see the tiny glint in each goat’s eye as he looks off to the distance.

I guess if nothing else …

I have an entry in the 2019 short pile.

Yeah, summer’s not over and I’m already looking at Competition Season 2019.

I could designate this picture for the Altamont Fair’s Goat Photography competition …

Or maybe I can hold it for the New York State Fair for next year.

You know what they say.

#beatthesyracurse