Freddie’s First Day Out

There are some things I just can’t let happen without photographing. One of them seems to be the first time any of our cats leaves the house. I wasn’t really a photographer back when Cookie had her first trips, but I took a lot of shots when Rambow and Zelda first explored the outside world, so of course I was ready, camera in hand, when the newest edition to our family Freddie took his first steps outside.

1/2500sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/2500sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm

Well, ‘steps’ might be the wrong word in this case. Because we’d spent several days with the window open before we let him go out, he was a little less timid when we finally let him out free so it wasn’t long before he was balling about like the crazy kitten he is.

I did have a bit of a problem, however. Freddie’s trip out came only a couple of days after I’d accidentally made a very half-arsed attempt at filleting my own thumb with a small serrated knife, so my hand looked like this:

1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 250, 32mm
1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 250, 32mm

I’m left-handed, so although I successfully punctured my right hand, ultimately photography is a multi-handed pastime so there was no getting away without using it. So I just plonked myself on the grass and let the kittens run around me.

1/200sec, f/4, ISO 320, 47mm
1/200sec, f/4, ISO 320, 47mm

Well, I say kittens. Really Freddie is a kitten, Rambow and Zelda are now technically cats. But then, Cookie is seven years old now and she’ll always be a kitten in our hearts.

I’ve not really shown much of Rambow and Zelda since they were little, but they were running around with Freddie and got themselves photographed quite a bit too. They’re a bit bigger than they used to be.

1/320sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/320sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/250sec, f/4, ISO 100, 105mm
1/250sec, f/4, ISO 100, 105mm

I’m getting a bit practised at photographing my cats at this point, and am getting better at capturing them in photogenic poses. Most of the time.

Looking a bit feral…
1/200sec, f/4, ISO 320, 93mm

Unfortunately, Rambow and Zelda’s dark fur on their faces means that when they’re in strong sunlight it looks like they’re frowning.

1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 65mm
1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 65mm

And it’s made even worse when they are actually frowning a bit. This does not look like a cat you want to get on the wrong side of.

1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm

As we’re getting towards summer, at times the light was a bit harsh, but it was still often soft enough that when I got Freddie backlit his fur was lit up lovely:

1/320sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/320sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm

Whenever the opposite happened, and Freddie was front lit by our local star, I had to do a bit of playing about with contrasts and colour balance to bring out the details.

1/2500sec, f/4, ISO 320, 95mm
1/2500sec, f/4, ISO 320, 95mm

What’s stunning to me is the different in auto exposure time between shooting against the sun and with my back to the sun. I was shooting in Aperture Priority as I usually do, and shooting with the sun behind Freddie the camera picked 1/320th; in the full light 1/2500th. I knew there’d be a difference, but not that much of one. For the most part I shot at 320 ISO to ensure then Freddie stepped into the darker patches I could still get him with a short enough shutter speed. Which is fortunate, because he seemed keen to perform some interesting poses. Like invisible karate.

1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 320, 73mm
1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 320, 73mm

Of course, for the other cats this is all old hat by now.

1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 75mm
1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 75mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm

That is, except for Cookie, who was still very weary of Freddie at the time and didn’t want to come out and play. She’s since improved a bit, but will still whack him if he gets too close when she’s not in the mood. Since she’s alpha kitty, however, this is her prerogative.

1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm

Maybe because I’m getting used to photographing things running about (like cats and, er, students), I managed to get several great action shots of Freddie in full loon mode.

1/640sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm
1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 67mm
1/2000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 67mm

That last one is definitely going to have to go on the wall at some point.

For the most part, however, I managed to get some pretty decent shots of three quarters of my cats.

1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 320, 95mm
1/1600sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 95mm
1/250sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 93mm
1/250sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 93mm
1/250sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 105mm
1/250sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 105mm
1/2500sec, f/4, ISO 320, 73mm
1/2500sec, f/4, ISO 320, 73mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 320, 84mm
1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 320, 84mm
1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 320, 84mm
1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 320, 84mm

Given Freddie’s furriness I wanted to get some decent shots of him backlit, since that is how most furry kitties seem to be photographed these days. Fortunately Freddie was happy to oblige.

1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm
1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 320, 105mm

Well, not always happy about it.

1/640sec, f/4, ISO 320, 73mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 320, 73mm

That’s Freddie for you, however. He is a very vocal kitten so you can often photograph him with his mouth open. Sometimes it looks like a cheesy grin, but others time it looks like it does above, like he’s possessed by an evil spirit.

Fortunately, he soon started walking towards me, holding my gaze. I got down low in the grass to try to frame some nice foreground and shot away.

1/500sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm (cropped)
1/500sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm (cropped)
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm

The latter is already the lock screen on my phone. I love the bokeh of the background and his face is nicely lit without being blown out. His whiskers are still a tiny bit lopsided but not as much as they were when he was younger.

Soon he plonked his butt down in the grass making for another classic sort of shot.

1/640sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm

Not that he can sit still for long.

1/800sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm
1/800sec, f/4, ISO 250, 105mm

A few days later, the kittens were out again. This time I decided to use my macro lens, mainly because I was trying to photograph a ladybird I saw on a leaf who managed to sneak off whilst I was fetching camera and swapping lenses. It allowed me to shoot at a bigger aperture and a prime lens which I’ve not done in a little while. I even managed to get a shot of Cookie. Not looking happy, of course, that would be a bit much to ask.

1/4000sec, f/2.8, ISO 250, 100mm
1/4000sec, f/2.8, ISO 250, 100mm

For reasons I still haven’t figured out, there is a sharpness to my macro lens that I don’t really see in any of my other lenses.

1/200sec, f/2.8, ISO 125, 100mm
1/200sec, f/2.8, ISO 125, 100mm
1/250sec, f/2.8, ISO 250, 100mm
1/250sec, f/2.8, ISO 250, 100mm

Meanwhile, Zelda had snuck off into the grounds of the adjacent warehouse, and when I started photographing her she played up to the camera in a brazen attempt to court my favour.

1/320sec, f/2.8, ISO 125, 100mm
1/320sec, f/2.8, ISO 125, 100mm
1/400sec, f/2.8, ISO 125, 100mm
1/400sec, f/2.8, ISO 125, 100mm
1/200sec, f/2.8, ISO 125, 100mm
1/200sec, f/2.8, ISO 125, 100mm

Whilst Freddie snuck off to play in the car park…

1/1250sec, f/2.8, ISO 250, 100mm
1/1250sec, f/2.8, ISO 250, 100mm

… Zelda decided to climb a tree for another photo opportunity.

1/200sec, f/16, ISO 1250, 60mm
1/200sec, f/16, ISO 1250, 60mm
1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 500, 55mm
1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 500, 55mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 500, 105mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 500, 105mm

She also gave me a decent pose as she climbed down.

1/640sec, f/4, ISO 125, 24mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 125, 24mm

I’m beginning to suspect I get a bit carried away when I photograph my cats. But then, when they’re being so cooperative and the light is so right, who wouldn’t?

 


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Related Posts:

Freddie
Rambow & Zelda’s First Excursion
New Kittens

4 Comments

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  1. Gorgeous pictures! I have lots of cats and love to photograph them. You have captured their personality really well.

    Like

  2. Awww! Freddie in full kitten leap… nice! And the back lit closeups… nice! Zelda’s a beautiful cat too – particularly as she sits in the tree!

    Like

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