I’ll let the photos do the talking here (for a change…)
A few months back my housemate got a kitten. He’s a ragdoll and he’s called Kirk. Some of you enjoyed the photos I posted of him back then, when he was thirteen weeks old. He’s now about seven months old, and I figured it was high time to share some more photos.
Also, some people (I’m looking at you, @ShoesfromthHood) have been gently implying they would like to see more photos of Kirk teh Kitteh. So you can consider this my contribution to the #1millionkittens campaign.
I am expecting cupcakes.
And in all seriousness, he’s such a darn cute little thing to look at that I just couldn’t resist. So I went out and had a little play with Kirk in the garden yesterday afternoon. As a ragdoll he’s supposed to be an indoor cat, but he’s okay to play in the fenced back yard (as long as he doesn’t realise he can climb the gate).
Comments on the somewhat wild nature of our back garden are not required. I like to think of it as our very own Carbon Sink.
It was a long way from the easiest shoot I’ve ever done. I used my Canon EF 85mm f/1.8, one of my favourite lenses and which I adore shooting with, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere. It rocks my world when it comes to portraiture, and that crisp, shallow depth of field and huge aperture make it a joy to shoot with.
(A reminder to the non-photo-literate readers among you, ‘depth-of-field’ relates to the amount of the image, front to back (depth) either side of the point you are actually focusing on that is in focus. Shallow depth of field means that only a small amount of the photo either side of that point of focus is sharp, which is the technique which gives those pleasing-looking portraits where the subject’s face is nicely in focus but the background is all smooth and blurry).
The downside to shooting at such a shallow depth of field is that if you get your point of focus even slightly off, the bit of your photo that you want in focus, is no longer in focus. This is a challenge even at the best of times taking portraits. When you are dealing with a seven-month-old kitten which has an attention span of a fruit-fly on speed, this is a task not entirely different from trying to hit a sheet of paper with a dart, side-on, while riding a mechanical bull.
Using a variety of tricks, cajoling, and abuse (it’s a good thing Kirk’s too young to understand cuss-words) I did manage to get his attention enough times to get a handful of shots I was pretty pleased with, and which I feel capture both his beauty (he is one gorgeous-looking cat) and his cheeky, resilient and adventurous spirit.
I’ll post the second tranche of these photos on Thursday to keep the variety up. After all, I’d hate to overwhelm you with kitten cuteness.
Click some of the shots for a larger version…
My housemate bought a kitten the other week. He’s a ragdoll, and he’s called Kirk. Some obscure reference to the Gilmore Girls which I refuse to give air-time to. He is none the less an extremely cute little bundle of fluff (even if he did soil the kitchen floor this evening). These photos were taken of Kirk at about 13 weeks. I’m not usually the cutesy, pink, hello-kitty, Anne-Geddes sort of photographer. However, Kirk’s general adorableness made it very hard to resist snapping away some portraits. And posting the results.
Thanks for indulging me.
This is Zac.
No, don’t worry, I haven’t run out of travel images to post. Nor am I becoming one of those people who posts soppy pictures of their pets all over the web. (Zac’s not even mine… you think I can keep a dog with my lifestyle? But he belongs to my folks, so he’s part of the family).
We’ve kept Tibetan Terriers for a good twenty years now. First Toffee, when we lived in France, and now Zac and his little sidekick Zena. I’ve been camping at my folks place looking for somewhere to live, and every now and then I take the dogs down to a nearby park where they can run, and play with other dogs too. It’s a real joy to watch them tumbling around as a pack together, a big bundle of paws and tails and ears flailing in a big ball of dust.
(Incidentally, you can see how the drought’s really taking hold down here; where Zac’s perched is supposed to be grass, but now the whole place looks more like the back-lot to a beach).
From a photographic side, it’s been fun taking my 5D for a walk while I exercise the dogs. I’ve been fitting my 85mm f/1.8 on the front and it’s an ideal focal-length to catch some of the canine chaos. The shoots bring with them their own challenges. The dogs are rarely still, and when they are, they’re rarely looking at the camera. I open up the aperture as wide as it will go so I can ramp up the shutter-speed and freeze the action, but unless I absolutely nail the point of focus, their faces end up a little blurry.
I caught the top one of Zac as he took a breather between romps. It’s shot at f/1.8, hence the deeply blurred background. It’s not a perfect shot (you’ll notice the bench growing out of the side of his head), but I like that his face is in focus, and he’s wearing a typically Zac expression, happy and content and just a little bit puffed. You can see the gleam in his eyes. Intelligent, and stubborn because of it, he’s affectionate and gentle, and frankly, we all love him to bits.
Yeah, the little heart tag isn’t very masculine. That’s my Mum’s doing…
And just to make sure I haven’t alienated the rest of you who don’t like dogs, I promise to post something less pet-related very soon.
1. Little King. Zac sitting in the park
2. Playtime. Zac (l) and Zena chasing down a willing Staffie
3. The Chase. A Labradoodle (Labrador/Poodle cross) gives Zena a run for her money
4. Romp. A Retriever and a chocolate Labradoodle having a good time
5. Dogfight. Zac checks out the fun and games between a pair of young Retrievers
6. Show me the Love. A Cavelier King Charles Spaniel finds some affection
7. Thoughtful. Zac can be a sombre little bugger sometimes