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 have all sorts of backdrops in all different colors and patterns, but one of my most favorites is called “Pecan”. It is a huge paper roll that is easily ripped off and changed out when it gets dirty (my kids love coloring on the scraps as well!). Once I have the pecan roll up….well, it is hard not to just keep using it over and over! I have to force myself to swap the backgrounds. So yesterday I did three little Lykoi boys on Pecan with two different quick prop setups.
Now for those still learning about the Lykoi breed, Lykoi kittens are born fully coated like a regular barn cat. As they grow, the coat falls out and they grow back in an outer coat with the roan pattern. All these boys are siblings from the same litter. But this little guy below just hasn’t decided to grow back in very much hair! I cannot decide if he looks like a kitten, a rat, or Smeagol! LOL!
I shot with my Nikon D810 and Sigma 35 1.4 Art Lens. The settings were f/8, ISO-80, Shutter Speed 1/100. I used three flash units. I have attached a horrible cellphone picture of my tiny studio with the lights set up. This was for the over head shot (the first image in this post). After I shot that image I lowered the two units with soft boxes so that they were a little more level with my subjects. The Pecan backdrop is found HERE. The wreath is a $10 wreath from the Dollar General…and it shed twigs like crazy! Normally I would have located a nicer more realistic quality, but this is all I could get today! Look for props where ever you are…Inspiration is everywhere!
When it comes to outdoor photos I have always used only natural light and a reflector rather than my studio flash units. But I decided I wanted to try something a little different so I took one of my lights outside to play! Guenhwvar and Ylva the Lykoi kittens were happy to be my models. I rarely photograph my kitties outside because I don’t want to risk them running off, but these two girlies are always under my feet and believe they are my shadows so this was safe. Please do not photograph any animal outside and off the leash unless your yard is secure!
This shows what my setup looked like. I was shooting in full sun with no shade.Other then a couple of small variations, most images were shot at f/8, Shutter 1/250, ISO- 64. I used my Nikon D810 & Sigma 85 1.4.
Now that I have talked about the technical stuff, it is time for the photos!
Don’t forget to stop and smell the…flowers?
I turned the flash toward a little bush also in my yard to try for some “natural habitat” type of photos. These were shot with the same single light, but were edited to look like evening shots.
I thought it would be fun to post a video of how crazy it can be to photograph to very active kittens. It definitely requires a lot of patience and a fast finger to snap the images!
And here are a couple of bloopers (not the best quality but too funny not to share!).