Thursday, November 4, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Ken was the one who encouraged my photography. He got me a digital camera for HIS birthday! This was back in 1999. What a difference it made ... I could instantly see what I was doing wrong and could correct it, right there. Before then, I was using film and would be lucky to get one good image out of three rolls of film. Ken would ask me, "What was your f-stop? What was the exposure setting? Speed? Look at this image and tell me what is in focus?" I was clueless. But when digital came out, all the settings were there. And because of Ken, I became a Cat Photographer.
Now we are able to travel together, work together, play together, live a full life, with cats -- together. All because of cat photography. Sure, there are rough patches, but they don't last long. And it's usually me that gets bent out of shape or acts like a drama queen! But we end up laughing about it and remembering what, in the long run, is important.
Friday, September 24, 2010
It will be a long time before Helmi and I forget Dancer, the brave little Bengal kitten with the big heart. The world has lost a real winner.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
2010 TICA Annual Cat Show Bus Ad: Maine Coon
2010 TICA Annual Cat Show Bus Ad: Bengal
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I am so fortunate. Not only are we going to Japan to do the CFA Ruban d'or Chat Fanciers Show in November, 2010, but Jun Hagiwara created this beautiful ad for me. It shows the ten backgrounds we'll be flying with and our names for them.
This will be the first CFA show we've done outside of the United States! Thank you, Jun, for a stunning ad.
Friday, June 4, 2010
I wanted to start this story with an image from the next afternoon. There are giraffes, zebras, deer, antelope, all in this image. The school bus that has a camoflauge paint job is one that takes people on the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center's Scenic Wildlife Drive.
Fossil Rim has 1700 acres containing 1100 animals who roam freely in areas that approximate near natural conditions. (These words are almost verbatim from the Animal Identification Guide we were given before the drive.) The animals are managed this way so that they can behave, socialize, and reproduce, much as they would if in the wild. Some are endangered, on the brink of extinction, or part of dwindling populations.
Ken and I had such a magical time here. An 18-hour vacation! But it was so packed full of new sights, sounds, smells, etc that it felt like a longer time. It was rejuvenating. Here are some of the shots I took with my small camera.
Range: Mauritania to Egypt, western Sahara and Sudan. Critically endangered. The most desert adapted of all antelopes, an addax can live most of its life without drinking, deriving sufficient moisture from the plants it eats. Their coloring is stark white to tan with a distinctive brown "toupee." (I called that fringe of dark hair "bangs" when describing them to Ken.) Our tent was called "Addax."
Range: Northeastern Siberia, Alaska, Canada and northern United States. Population: Stable. Most easily recognized by their call, greater sandhill cranes can be heard up to half a mile away. These cranes have the longest migratory route of any crane -- about 14,000 miles round trip. This image is a crop, but you can see a youngster if you look closely; lighter in color and to the left of the two large gray Cranes.
Range: Southeastern Kenya to Angola and eastern South Africa. Status: Least concern. The herd rests in an outward-facing circle to watch for danger, while young lie protected in the center. Females are reddish brown, males are black, both sexes have white undercoats. I thought this female struck a pose that looked majestic. She was grazing in a pasture between the Lodge and the Foothills Safari Camp.
Status: Least concern. Red deer closely resemble the American Elk. Males emit a powerful bubling call during mating season in the Fall. Red deer shed their antlers each year in February and regrow them quickly. One of these deer came up to the car for a handout but I didn't have any food yet.
Wildflowers in the meadows. These were in the meadow right outside our tent. The morning light is doing a nice "fringing" light on the thistle bud.
Wildflowers with the watering hole in the background.
This is our "tent!" No locks on the doors but who needs them!
Addax Tent. With Ken relaxing in front. Now you can see why they call the cabin a "tent."
View out the front door of Addax Tent.
If you like animals, this is a place to experience.
The next post will be the drive through the park, called Fossil Rim Wildlife Center's Scenic Wildlife Drive.
Monday, May 17, 2010
You can see that they are buddies.
But about teasing a rat into poses: forget about it! This guy was not interested in sound or visual teases. You can imagine Ken whipping his pheasant feather around, getting the cat's attention, with Squelch paying him no mind whatsoever. It was a hoot!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Yesterday, we had the singular opportunity to photograph what is to our knowledge, the only known Bagral in captivity. The Bagral is a exotic/domestic hybrid breed which is a cross between the Fishing Cat and a domestic shorthair, in this case a melanistic Bengal.
For a stay-at-home cat that is not used to being around strangers or new places, Cleo was surprisingly manageable during the photo session -- especially a cat with one wild parent! We were struck by how affectionate Cleo was with her owner, Pat Harbert, constantly headbutting her - purring and visibly happy to be in her company. In fact, Cleo was so happy, that she was also affectionate to Ken and me, wrapping her body and tail around my legs and rearing up to meet my hand when I reached to pet her.
This was a large cat, far heavier than most cats and all muscle. Cleo's friendliness aside, this was not an easy shoot, primarily because Cleo was a busy cat by nature, eager to explore the new surroundings she found herself in. And eager to be all over our shooting stage, especially behind the deck when we needed her to be ON the deck so we could photograph her! She'd jump down off the shooting stage and start exploring (we were in an enclosed room), then run back to Pat for affection, purring loudly. What a treat this was to photograph and be around this happy feline!
Cleo was photographed against our Background: Old Wine.
(If I had another opportunity to photograph Cleo, I'd choose Peat Moss or Black. We had to pump so much light in since Cleo is a dark cat that the background came out pinker than I would have liked. Next time... !)
NOTE: From research done after this post was uploaded, it seems that Cleo would actually be called a Viverral which is a cross between the Fishing Cat and a Bengal. But whatever she is called, she is a stunner!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Above: Oriental Shorthair on Magenta Background
Above: Abyssinian on Sage Background
Above: Selkirk Rex Longhair on Purple Background
Above: Chausie on Black Background with Marbles
Above: Bengal on Peat Moss Background with Driftwood