This was like the old recipe -- "First, you get a chicken." The rooster is a major character, and I needed to find the right model. Thankfully, my farm-boy dad was able to spot a likely specimen when we visited the Little Farm, and the rooster was as interested in me as I was in him, and as a result I got exactly the shot I was looking for.
When I walked to the building I wanted in the background, it was adorable, it looked exactly the way I wanted the house in the story to look -- and it was facing north, and there was no way I was going to get good light on it this time of year.
And then, across the street, catching the light just right, was the house where the rooster character makes his first appearance. You got to run with what you got, you know?
Next up? The black-and-white plate, and the start of the unified image.