Better late than never, right?
I did this session on January 2nd, edited three images and then never went back to the folder again. I had intended to write a blog post, but just got too busy. So I decided to finish both the editing and images…finally ;). At the bottom will be a behind the scenes image and the gear/settings info. It was funny because I tried about 5 different kitties (Sphynx and Lykoi) and two couldn’t escape fast enough, and three actually seemed to enjoy themselves! So cats and water can be done..with the right cat! Haha!
And for fun, I added a bit of strawberry milk powder for a pop of color!
Behind the scenes….
I was using a two flash setup. I had a chair pulled between the two lights and shot from above the cats, and yes, I did almost fall in…several times. Haha! I used powdered milk which I whisked into the water to get rid of the clumps. It took approximately two boxes to get the water to have a white appearance (and I only had about 3″ of water in there!). I was still shooting Nikon at that time, so my gear was the Nikon D810 with the Sigma 35 1.4 ART. My settings were ISO 100, SS 1/125, f/3.5. As far as editing these images, mostly I just used hand edits. The actions that I did choose to use were from Chasing Light’s Chemistry set, and GTG’s Lara Jade set.
The kitties loved how the flowers would float away! I spent a lot of time getting on and off the chair to push the flowers back toward them!
I love it when a family of one of my kittens suggests a theme and it is my job to find the props and make the idea come to life! This was a quick session done in a hurry to help surprise this little feller’s new dad with a birthday gift! This is more a gallery posting, then a behind the scenes post like I normally do…but I thought I would post it anyway! My model is a 5 weeks old Lykoi kitten who is just beginning to “wolf out”. That is the joking term we use for when the Lykoi molt their coat and grow that patchy hair back in that is reminiscent of the old werewolf movies.
For my photography friends, this was shot using two Alien Bees (a B800 and a B400 both with softboxes). I used wood backdrops from Lemondrop Stop. I used clear plexiglass to cover the bottom drop. I purposely left the scuffs on the baseball equipment….so yes, I could have clean the gear up in PS, but chose not to. My camera is now the Sony A7rII. I used the new Sony 24-70/2.8 GM lens at varying focal lengths. The settings were ISO 100, SS 1/200, F/7.1.
Blooper shot….Not suitable for work 😉
Right now it is a pretty ugly time of the year. Everything is dead or dying. The vibrant greens of summer foliage is gone, and all the flowering bushes are dormant. But if you live in an area like mine, stop for a minute. Look around…how many shades of brown do you see? Can you even count them? What about all the yellow and gold tones? The bits of green here and there are a deep rich hue. There is still beauty…you just have to look at things differently! For a photographer and artist…this is also a time to get creative with editing to bring out some of these shades even more brilliantly. I got asked to share some behind the scenes info about this session, so here we go! Also, I get no benefits for the places that I link. I am simply sharing what things work for me, I am nto advertising for anyone. Let’s start with my two “locations” (they are cell pictures and meant to be informative, not pretty. LOL). The first is just some dead grass around some chopped and left behind firewood….
The second is a large tree that a storm ripped out of the ground and dropped on top of my favorite flowering photo tree (which had to be chopped up and hauled away). But after getting over my original upset, I told my husband that the fallen tree had to stay…after all, it makes a pretty great photo prop! LOL!
I used my Nikon D810 and Sigma 85 1.4 lens. My setting pretty much stayed the same- F/1.4, ISO-64 (which was too low, I should have bumped it up a bit), and SS 1/640. These are all natural light, on a very over cast day (which is my favorite kind of day for photographing!).
I did hand edits on several of these images, but then I did have fun playing around with some different actions since this was meant to be a more creative session. Keep in mind these are not quick fix filters. These are tools! When you run an action, be sure to open the folder, turn off all the options and then slowly turn them back on and adjust to your liking. Check out Nikki Harrison’s Youtube channel for tips on hand edits and using actions. I see actions being marketed as a way to speed up workflow, but often they slow me down simple because I like to go back and forth and paint bits off my subject. Like a painter that enjoys playing with mixing different colored paints. This first is a kind of blooper shot, but made me laugh. I did hand edits and then used an action called “Romancing The Stone”.
The next images I played with an action called “Anthony & Cleopatra”. I rarely use it…but for the images I do need it for….Wow! Talk about a pop!
For the following image I used an action called “Amanda” .
I use Chasing Light Actions the most, but I do own quite a few other sets. This one was edited using the Editorial Collection by Greater Than Gatsby.
These were edited using a mix of actions (mainly Chasing Light and Greater Than Gatsby)-
Notice those last two have sun flares. Those were added in Photoshop. Remember it was a completely overcast day, so I wanted to improvise to show off all those beautiful tones. You can find sunbeams and sun flares on Etsy and many different websites. HERE is a tutorial that is pretty easy to follow for those that are new to this :). It starts around the three minute mark! She also sells a nice set of sun flares.
Okay, so now a before and after of my favorite from this session! The top is the image prior to any editing (other then small adjustments for example to exposure since I should have kicked up my ISO a bit). I shoot in RAW, so my images are very boring SOOC (straight out of camera), and I have to edit them to make them appear as they do to the human eye…or how I imagine the world around me in my head 😉
Hope that was somehow helpful to someone! Have a lovely weekend!
If you have never been to a cat show, I highly recommend you go to at least one! You will never be around a larger group of cat adoring fans..not to mention kitties of every shape, size, color and personality! These are just a few of my favorite images!
All images shot with my Nikon D810 and either my Sigma 85 1.4 or Sigma 35 1.4 Art. All with natural light. I tend to carry a small wand in my back pocket or inside my boot and will jingle them to get the cat’s attention. Do make sure that the owner has a good group on their kitty before letting the cat see your toy or you may get a face full of playful kitty. Also keep in mind to not let the cats touch your toy or pet the adorable kitties unless the owners offer. Cat illnesses are easily spread and most owners take many precautions to keep their kitties in tip top shape! The wand shown in the video clips below are from Ceylon’s Wand-erland. She has so many beautiful styles available HERE. They are a cat photography MUST (also they work for most small children and some dogs as well! LOL).
Here is a video with more images and some Lykoi video clips. Enjoy!