Friday, 3 June 2011
PHOTOGRAPHY: TAKING BAD PICTURES
I take a lot of photographs but I wouldn't dare call myself a photographer. Hell, I'm not really interested in photography as a hobby, though I can appreciate it as an art and as a skill, the aesthetic aspect of it. What I do is take snaps. Of cats. And any other animal I encounter along the way too. But as someone who spends a fair chunk of his time involved in cat rescuing, what I photograph is cats.
I do this for two reasons. I just like looking at cats and at images (still or moving, whatever) of cats. I want to keep a photographic record of all the cats we're involved in helping. I don't keep notes on them all, I just take snaps.
Taking a decent, or even a less than mediocre, photo of a cat is a hard thing to do because they can be constantly in motion and even when seeming relaxed or asleep, they can be moving in a fraction of a second. It's even harder as I take many pictures in small areas such as cages and from awkward angles, where it's impossible to achieve anything remotely aesthetically pleasing.
Today, however, I actually managed to take something I consider the best cat photograph I have ever taken. I'd picked up and brought a couple of cats over to Carol who looks after our rescued cats. As usual, I stopped to chat and make a fuss of any kittens she was keeping in the house and of the various cats, some permanent, some up for re-homing, and she has quite a few of them. Her house is also immaculately clean, predominantly white with some wood grain lino for contrast. I didn't have a lot of time but there were no distractions so I took the opportunity to try for some more considered shots than usual. Below are a handful of my favourites. I've done some cropping with Picassa but that's all; indeed I'm not capable of much more than that when it comes to altering photographs. Maybe I should look round for an evening class sometime.
I like this one for the vertical frame and how the animals are all at different heights and with lots of long straight lines. Stop me if I'm being pretentious.
Only a small thin crop down the left hand side here. A cat on every step would have been wonderful. And impossible.
Saving the best till last, I love the sheer simplicity of this. Unlike the others, there is not the smallest extraneous detail. Just the cat and the lino.
I'm putting all these and a few more minus text up on my cat rescuing blog.