Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Background Fabric for the Bengal Kittens: Peat Moss.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Our good neighbors are Ralph and Arly Pineo. Arly Pineo, is a published writer, a magnificent cook and has a garden that is the envy of our community. One year she grew Daturas and told me they were poisonous. The blossom is quite beautiful, so after I took a snapshot of it, I looked it up on the web. This is what I found:
About Datura, from B and T World Seeds website, http://www.b-and-t-world-seeds.com/Datura.htm
"All species of Datura and Brugmansia contain powerful alkaloids which in sufficient quantities have the power to kill. The main alkaloids represented are Scopolamine, Hyoscyamine and Atropine. Self-experimentation is not recommended and must be strictly avoided by anyone who suffers any kind of heart condition. The effects are stimulating on the central nervous system and simultaneously depressing on the peripheral nerves. Symptoms include an increased heart rate, drying up of the mucus membranes, a dry throat and sometimes cramps. At first the effects are arousing, sometimes manifesting as uncontrolled talking or laughing, forgetfulness and indulging in senseless repetitive activities. Vivid hallucinations and delirious illusions may also occur. Occasionally the effects can produce extreme violence and destructive urges. The period of agitation is usually followed by a deep prolonged sleep accompanied with vivid dreams and hallucinations, often of a sexual nature. Upon awakening one might experience a distinct hang-over and a total lack of memory as to what actually happened during the state of altered consciousness."
NOTE: "In cases of poisoning one should induce vomiting and bowel evacuation as a first aid measure. Willow-charcoal powder can be given for detoxification."
Arly also grows a Datura which is a white version with purple edging. Very striking blossoms. I have yet to see the seed pod. In fact, Arly has a fantastic garden with shade plants in the back and sunny ones in the front. It is always a pleasure to see what is thriving.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
"Kot" is the Polish word for cat, as you may have guessed ... and probably the only Polish word I know. Thank goodness for Monika!!
The above cover image is one of four photos of mine that the magazine used for a feature article on Savannahs. Another one was one of my personal favorites, the image below of Callie and Mary, also brought to me by Teri Redding of JuJuKats. Callie, on the bottom is one week younger than Mary, the Savannah, who is resting on her shoulders.
Thanks to KOT's interest in my work, I find myself a regular contributor to their classy magazine.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Background fabric for G Jonson: Honey.
Here is Blake holding Caprock Legends Okatoma of Red River Bobis, a 2 month old Brown Spotted Tabby Pixie-Bob Male kitten, which I submitted to Abdo Publishing for a children's book. Blake holding Okatoma was photographed at TICA's Turkish Van cat show in Waxahachie, Texas, last November, 2008. This is the shot that Abdo Publishing chose for the book to illustrate the gentleness of this breed. Plus, I think they liked the absence of Blake's front teeth! Kids should certainly identify with this image.
An older version of Caprock Legends Okatoma of Red River Bobis is shown above. Here, he is 7 months old, brought to me for photographs by Maranda Hull of Red River Bobis located in Boswell, Oklahoma. Look closely and you will see that his front paws are not touching the deck. All his balance is on his hind legs! Okatoma is a shorthaired Pixie-Bob. He was photographed this past weekend at TICA's KansasKatz cat show in Wichita, Kansas.
Background fabric for Okatoma: Peat Moss.
Above, is Norsepixiebobs Odin, a 5 month old Longhaired Brown Spotted Tabby Pixie-Bob Male kitten brought to me by Mark and Janet Arnold of Sooner Pixie-Bobs, Moore, Oklahoma. Note the polydactyl feet and the heavy brow ... a look I love in the Pixie-Bob! Odin was also photographed at the KansasKatz cat show in Wichita, Kansas.
NOTE: when photographing Pixie-Bobs, it is very important that their head is not held too high. Otherwise, the brow will not be obvious. Ken wrangles the Pixie-Bob to look just below the lens of the camera so the brow will be apparent. Breeders have told me that the Pixie-Bob should look "worried." And this kitten fits the bill. He may look unhappy but that is the effect of the brow!
Background fabric for Blake holding Okatoma as well as Odin: Claret.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Background fabric for G Jonson: Honey.
During the cat show, Ken and I stayed with my cousin John and his wife, Carmen, who live in Wichita. On Memorial Day, the cousins held a family reunion and I was able to see family I hadn't seen in 50 years! What a great time we had. They even came to the cat show! I'll post some pictures of that event later in the week.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Our Blue and White Maine Coon, Zak, insists on being with his humans ... if you're at the computer, he's preening in front of your screen; and if you're taking a picture out the window, he's right there. You can see his ear at the left side of the image, above. I love this trait of Maine Coons, always wanting to be with you, "in the moment," and companionable.
So I decided to include him in the shot. Here he is, above, looking out the window to see what I found so fascinating.
And barely visible (right bottom corner), napping in our "cat window" (about 8 feet away from where Zak is looking out) is Nox, our Black British Shorthair, who could care less about the sprinklers outside!
This window is why we bought this house. I called it "the cat window" from the start. During our house hunt in 1998, when Ken was surveying the prospects with a video camera (while I held down a desk job) and playing the results of his search each evening, he found this house in a neighborhood whose hilly terrain was carved out by a brook and is totally unlike most of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which is "pool table-flat." He strenuously persuaded me that we NEEDED to go see this house the next day at which point it had only been on the market for 24 hours.
So we did, when I got off work. Some other prospects were just leaving when we drove up. The owners of the house were into cat rescue and had cats which made them kindred souls. :) And there was a lot to like about the house itself, as well as the neighborhood. But the feature that sealed the deal for me were these windows that canted out at the bottom and created a window seat. The view from these windows looks out on the berm that is our front yard and because the house sits on a bluff, the only thing we see of our neighbors are the treetops in their yards. Long story short: I whispered to Ken that we should pay the owner his asking price and write him a deposit check on the spot. This was the house for us -- I knew it in my bones. Ken calls it my impulse purchase since I didn't even want to go see a similar house on the next corner that the realtor wanted to show us. Ha!
We moved in two weeks before we left for Florida to get married on the beach and spend a week in a beach house with some old friends. One of these friends, Kirk Wilder, called that week spent together, "The Cantebury Tales," since few of the guests at our wedding feast (Ken's words, here) knew each other, going in. So Ken, the house, my wedding, and cats are all entertwined. I'll post some pictures of the wedding on the beach later. But this morning, the view of the sprinklers in the morning with Zak right next to me is a daily reminder that life is good.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I took this shot as a lighting test for a sitting of a human holding their cat. But I loved the smile, so he gets his mug immortalized (if you can consider my Blog a vehicle to do that!) for the grin. :)
Monday, May 18, 2009
Myra's breeder is Sharon Stegall, Dracoonfly Maine Coons, and was brought to us for photographs by Marjorie and Philip Berger. I think it is easy to see when you look at Myra why many people are fascinated with the look of the Brown Tabby Maine Coon. A classic cat and a joy to look at.
UPDATE: Myra's Breeder, Sharon Stegall, wrote in the comment below, "Thanks for all the compliments to Myra! Her registered name is Dracoonfly Miramichi Special. Like all our Maine Coons, she is named after a fishing fly. A natural mother and a real sweetheart, Myra recently had a litter of 5 kittens, all brown classic tabbies like herself." You can see more Dracoonfly Maine Coons at http://www.dracoonfly.com/
Background fabric color for Myra: Old Gold.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Background fabric for Jaylin Art: Claret.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Here is the final poster:
The cat is RW SGC Drinkwater Derringer of Mystre, a Brown Spotted Tabby Bengal Male, owned by Mark Pennington of Mystre Cattery in Houston, Texas, photographed in New Braunfels, Texas, at TICA's Mission City Cat Show, 3 April 2005.
This shot was taken with a 2MP Olympus. We didn't use a hairlight yet, nor did we have one. I liked the image so much because it was more about the cat's curiosity than the cat himself, and the blue glass marbles looked so cool. I had never seen any other photographer use a prop like this. The cat was our F1 Chausie (half Jungle Cat and half Abyssinian) who had more curiosity than was good for him. Ken named him Bushwah. He was so active and recalcitrant, he would have us at each other's throats -- trying to get the shot -- or ANY shot! We couldn't even use the sparkley end, or feather end, of a cat tease. He would go ballistic. Ken ended up using the handle of a cat tease just to keep him on the photo table.
In this shot, Ken stirred up the marbles and let a few drop back into the glass brick that held them. The sound was enough to get Bushwah's attention.
From left to right, at top: Periwinkle, Charcoal, Imperial Blue; center: Teal, Caribe; bottom row: Purple, Orchid and Magenta.
Friday, May 15, 2009
"Piece of cake?" you say? The reason for this title is because this was an easy shoot. One wouldn't normally think that four kittens and the mom would be easy ... but the Maine Coon is such a delight to photograph, so receptive to our direction, and such a natural and pleasing-to-the-eye breed to look at ... that the shoot was, as they say here in the States, very easy, or -- A piece of cake! We liked this breed so much that in 2001, we got two of our own to add to the two British Shorthairs we have had as companions since 1997.
This Maine Coon family was photographed in my studio in Bedford on the 14th of May, 2008. The background fabric is Chocolate.
LA, IW, SGC Suwannee Fudge Ripple, a Seal Mink Marbled Tabby Bengal Male, Breeder: Larry Snider of Suwanee Bengals; Owner: Bill Brown, Bagheera- Millcreek Bengals.
Backgrounds for the dilute coat colors, sepia and mink ...
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
At the beginning of my career as a cat photographer, I needed some examples of my work to send to the Show Managers of cat shows to prove I could adequately photograph cats. Thus, I needed to create a portfolio. This shot, photographed in early 2000, was one of the shots I used. It's a little "arty" for what breeders want, which are poses that show more fully what their cat looks like and how it conforms to the breed standard. So this kind of photography doesn't do the trick for them since it is as much about background and mood as it is the cat. I loved the serenity of it and felt it captured the personality of my Brit, Sky. She was perfectly relaxed and ready to do what she does best -- to go to sleep with her head resting on her favorite pillow.
I later discovered what breeders and exhibitors at cat shows wanted in their photo shoot and have had to put these mood pieces aside, unless we have more "time than cats to shoot" at a cat show! Then I can do some more work that is as much about communicating feeling as it is about feline conformation. These kinds of shots and the action shots are the ones I love most.
As an aside, as much as we like the limbo look of the Varitone gradient backgrounds, they didn't hold up well since the cat's claws scratched or marred the painted surface. So we switched to fabric backgrounds early on and began creating our gradients with lighting.
TICA's Best Egyptian Mau Internationally 2006-2007
TICA SE Region's 19th Best Kitten 2006-2007
You can see more images of Luke and more Egyptian Maus on Dot Mardulier's website: http://www.maullenium.com/
Background fabric for Luke: Purple.
Monday, May 11, 2009
But I'm not the only one who liked this shot: this very photo was published by BowTie in their magbook: Popular Cats: The Maine Coon. These are, indeed, gentle giants.
You can see more Snuglcoons Maine Coons on their website: http://www.snuglcoon.com/
Background fabric for Big Bopper and Silver Belle: Imperial Blue.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
You can see more of Cecchetti Tonks here: http://www.cecchettitonk.com/
Background fabric color for Vince: Magenta.