I’ve had a lot of changes in my life these past two years. Unfortunately, they didn’t bring the happiness I thought they would. Instead, they left me lonely. This in turn gave me the desire to adopt my very own kitty. Sometimes, I’m uncertain about her with me. I work full time. Will that leave her lonely? Hopefully, we’ll both adjust. For now though, she is new, and we are getting used to life together. Meet Maggie:
Overall, 2014 was a good year of photographic explorations and blogging. I did some archive posts because of other things I was involved with, and I didn’t finish my video essay (yet). However, I did have some memorable explorations: two new cities, a new park, and some foggy conditions. That and a new camera for higher resolution and video capabilities. I explored and learned a lot. Below are some highlights from 2014:
As usual, I plan to keep blogging every other week and spend a lot of time in nature – all four season are beautiful. I also want to get back into more table top (it’s a skill I need to work at and winter isn’t just beautiful, it’s cold!). Hopefully, I will finish the video, shoot macro, post more good cat photos, and have a few adventures. Only time will tell.
Yes, that’s right under, not in. Being owners of an artificial Christmas tree, my family is fortunate enough to have a tree whose branches bend to the floor under the weight of a typical household feline. The cats are both resigned to this, but they do enjoy sitting beneath the branches and admiring the beauty. It’s quiet back there too.
This year, I thought I’d try to get a photo. Flash simply would not do, and dear Jen is a dark cat, so I turned on the brighter lights in the room and pulled out my tripod. Jen was a little bothered by the autofocus in the first shot. I also thought it wasn’t close enough.
I moved in, switched to horizontal, and used live view to focus. Fortunately, Jen was pretty still. It was brighter than I wanted the final shot to be, but I decided to take it down in post rather than risk getting Jen noisy or loosing detail in her fur.
My sister works for a small library that just kicked off a pet-themed summer reading program. In honor of that, here are some photos of the cats with books.
Unfortunately, my smallest prop book is an aged geometry text. The next photo isn’t so great for summer reading, but it shows one thing I used to get the cats to the books. (Coaxing, toys, and patience helped as well.)
Yep, fresh catnip (and patience). The catnip was retouched out of the other photos.
The cats moved, so I moved a book. Now they can read by the window. As you can tell, lighting and contrast were difficult in the last two photos. Local adjustments in Lightroom helped some.
Next Time: Park Explorations or Jewelry
I was photographing dear Jenny the other day. She was in a good mood for it, but she decided to sit in very strong sun, causing some harsh shadows.
I decided to use a large piece of white poster board as a reflector. This did not work. Jenny hid behind the board.
So, I got a toy to lure her out. She came, but the board came with her.
Long story made short, I’ve decided to stick to photographing cats in softer light.
Next Time: Mugs (If they’re not done in two weeks, I have issues.)
Last week, I valiantly attempted to photograph my cat Jenny, who can be kind of a moody sweetheart. Jen has been hiding behind a bed all day, only to come out about the time the sun starts to go down. She will sit my room, which is now way too dark for natural light photography of a living subject, even at ISO 1600. So one afternoon, I lured her out with my cell phone alarm and an open patio door (she loves to sniff the outside air). Problem: I have about one shot where the cat’s face is not in the patio door.
It’s been awhile since I photographed her, so she gave me her curious face. I would have used the tripod more, but Jen was on the floor, and my tripod doesn’t go very low. Also, Jen likes to rub her chin against the tripod in typical cat “I own this” fashion.
The next day, Mom was trying to frame a picture she’d purchased, and Jenny was very interested in the process. She sat on the chair next to the frame. Frame was her new friend, she owned it. Jen was a bit surprised by some of the things her mommy was doing with the picture. She gave her mommy the surprised Jen face.
Mommy finished with the picture and took the frame away. A bit miffed, Jen sat on the chair and assumed the “I am Queen Jen-Jen no matter what” pose.
Hopefully, Jen will end her reclusive phase and come out into the light more often so I can photograph her with her “I am so cute, it makes you want to cry” face. We’ll see. For more pictures of Jen, see my Catography post from last year.
Next Week: Jewelry
As I’ve mentioned before, photographing cats can be tricky. Success depends on lighting conditions, experience, and the subject’s mood. Here is what Miss Precious was probably thinking the last time I attempted to photograph her. The first shot is just an introductory shot to let the cat know what I’m up to.
Oh, what is this? The human has opened the blinds so she can get more light. I will now go stalk a bird and press my nose up against the window, leaving noseprints on the glass. This makes it hard for the human to get my face on camera. Now that, my fellow felines, is how you deter humans from taking your picture when you’re not in the mood to be photographed. Humans, they never seem to notice when we’re having a bad fur day.
Next Week: Adventures in Stock Photography or Nature