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Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
"I heard you were dead."
Well, maybe I'm not dead -- but I'm not resting, either.

Work has kept me busy, the house has kept me busy, the cats have kept me busy... and now I have a hobby again, just in time for winter. In case you hadn't heard via tugrik, during the last week of September I dropped just a little over $3k for a new digital SLR (a sexy Canon 40D), a couple different lenses, a camera backpack, a decent-sized memory card, additional batteries and various other accessories like a FireWire 800 Compact Flash reader.

Below are some of the early results as I become acquainted with my new kit, uploaded without the slightest retouching -- outside of being resized. I'm only sharing the highlights and I'm only sharing photographs of fuzzy critters because, well, they're cute and fuzzy. That means they are pleasantly distracting and that in turn makes you, my loving but merciless readers, less likely to complain about poor white balance or lousy composition.

Under Cover Under Cover
Jazz just gave away her position.

Camera Shy Camera Shy
Cailet isn't one for having her picture taken this early in the morning.

Always Good For A Grin Always Good For A Grin
Brianna is sometimes vacant, but she always has a smile.

Big Kitty Eyes Big Kitty Eyes
You wouldn't hurt little old me, would you?

I'm Gonna Get You I'm Gonna Get You
Marcus always gets what he wants.

There you have it. If my photographs have left you in pain, I profoundly apologize. Let me suggest that you go enjoy some of the works of one gatcat by clicking here. Trust me on this.

Everybody wants you.

Tags: , , ,
Current Location: Z'ha'dum
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: Cats hissing at one another

16 thoughts or Leave a thought
enveri From: enveri Date: October 8th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I LOVE the one of Cailet with the big kitty eyes!!
feren From: feren Date: October 10th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't forgotten that I promised you a surprise. I'm still working on it, but it's slow going. This rig makes HUGE files so my cunning plan is going a bit slower than anticipated.
neuracnu From: neuracnu Date: October 8th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Damn the magnificent quality of your toys. DAMN THEM.
feren From: feren Date: October 10th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I need to get down there and use 'em on you!
ya_wot_aver From: ya_wot_aver Date: October 8th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Congrats on the new toy. Nice rig!

great pics.
feren From: feren Date: October 10th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I'd wanted to consult with you and your lady about the kit but ultimately I decided the hell with it, I'm just gonna pull the trigger.

And the photos suck, but at least I still remember how to push the shutter release. :)
midwestcougar From: midwestcougar Date: October 8th, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kiiiiitties! Man, I cannot wait to have a furball of my own. Haha. I see Marcus, my favorite of them all!
feren From: feren Date: October 10th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Marcus is an utter paint to take photographs of, his coat is way too glossy.
nekosensei From: nekosensei Date: October 8th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay...the picture of the scared kitty cat was funny. I damn near spilled my drink. Which one was that? Cailet?
feren From: feren Date: October 10th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. Yes, that's enveri's girl Cailet. I don't know why she had that particular expression when I took the photograph but I toyed with naming it "You want to put that where?"
rainingmeat From: rainingmeat Date: October 9th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)


Beautiful photographs, Feren. See, Isn't this fun!!!!?? Glad you are getting back into this. I'm happy for you.

feren From: feren Date: October 10th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Pix

Bah, they're mostly terrible, I just got lucky on one or two. Admittedly they haven't seen the glory of a good retouch in Photoshop but they show I've been away from the game for a while.

You and I should get together to compare notes on kit and technique.
rainingmeat From: rainingmeat Date: October 11th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Pix

Yes, we should. While I'm thinking about it here's a summary brain dump of what works for me along with some unsolicited wisdom.....

- Only use a flash when you absolutely have to. Natural light has a
unique quality and color that flash obliterates.
- Best natural light is early morning or at twilight when sun is low.
- I find it very difficult to get good tonal ranges in late morning and
early afternoon. Shadows are difficult to manage as well.
- Look carefully at the framing of your subject in the camera. Generally,
my tendency has been to try to capture too much. This makes dull
photographs. Move in, zoom in and watch the edges.
- Watch your backgrounds. Use depth of field as a tool to emphasize
or de-emphasize parts of your images. Distracting background crap
really kills good photos.
- Camera shake is your enemy. If I'm calm and leaning against something
stationary I can usually shoot a normal focal length lens at 1/30 sec.
1/60 is better.
- Never completely hand over control of exposure or focus to the camera.
it's okay for snapshots, but even the best automatic cameras and sensors
blow good pictures. Learn the manual camera controls. You will not
regret it.
- Photoshop can usually fix bad exposures, but it can't do much for a
subject that has dead, flat lighting (poor tonal range) or is just
plain uninteresting.
- I prefer using RAW mode for all my pictures. You don't have to do
this, but I personally find that sticking with a well-defined workflow
will help you get a feel for the capabilities and limitations of the
- The less processing you do with the bells and whistles of Photoshop--
i.e. the better your raw images are, the better the finished images
look. I double-process images on occasion when practical and when I
think the image is worthy of extra fuss. Photoshop is an outstanding
tool for small to moderate fixes. Overprocessing with Photoshop can
really suck the life out of images if you're not careful.

- Lenses: A lot of beginners think big-ass telephoto lenses look cool
attached to a camera and they don't bother to learn about what various
focal lengths do to the perspective and dimensions of their images.
Telephotos are great for some things, but they produce really flattened
perspectives at high magnifications. Often, you will get better images
by using a shorter focal length and getting closer to your subject. I
prefer wide angle lenses as they tend to lend depth to images--but they
distort too. I try to work the wide angle distortion into images as
a feature. This is personal preference.

- One important lesson I learned after I grew up a bit after my high school photography classes: it's really easy to get wrapped up and fall in love with camera hardware and lenses. I still have weak moments drooling over cool camera bodies and expensive, first-rate optics. But if you lose your focus (pun intended) and don't concentrate on making images and improving your technique using the tools you have, you energy will be sapped chasing the latest camera body or lens--and you will never develop the necessary intimacy with your equipment to understand its capabilities and limitations.
equivocally_me From: equivocally_me Date: October 9th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
glad you're not dead, natch
feren From: feren Date: October 10th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I've been away from LJ for a while. Are you doing okay?
equivocally_me From: equivocally_me Date: October 10th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm doing very well, thanks. Big problems with motivation on schoolwork, etc, but...I'm socially happy for a change.
16 thoughts or Leave a thought