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There are varying levels of desperation when out on feature hunts. I've written before about my love/hate relationship with B.O.D.s, but stopping for a photo of common birds is the hallmark of a crushingly slow day.

Of course, a photo of unremarkable birds doesn't have to be. I'm fond of this feature from Water Follies during the air show,

the right sky and light made a mundane stop at the scummy bird pond in Columbia Park kinda pretty,

and I had fun camping out for a bit at Horn Rapids Dam during lunch time:

More often, you stop because nothing else is going on and end up with a photo you're embarrassed to be credited with:

A recent feature find near Canal Drive in Kennewick definitely fell into that category. I was a bit early for an assignment nearby and saw a few chickens wandering near Meyers Auto Tech:

That frame made it too much of an ad for the shop, though, and it didn't seem like the chickens were affiliated. I followed them around a bit and snapped a few to show their relationship to the semi-urban surroundings,

ultimately settling on this shot to turn in:

I kind of liked how they were all looking in different directions, which fit what I learned about them from the guy I talked to at Meyers. He said they were some neighbor's birds that wander freely on occasion.

I definitely didn't love it, though, and pitched is as an emergency-use-only photo. Thankfully it didn't run because the next day, the Kennewick City Council decided to allow residents to own chickens. That didn't make the photo any better, of course, but it upped its news value from zero to something.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

No links this week

I've been in Denver on assignment, but you'll have to wait until March to see what I was covering. By then, I'll be gone, however, and next week is my last at the Tri-City Herald and the final post of Behind the Fold. I've accepted a new job in the Seattle area and will be moving by the end of the month. I'll save the blubbering and reminiscing for next week's post, but in case you want to stay in touch post-Herald, you can reach me at kai [at] kaiphoto [dot] net. My website is also available at


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