Sunday, November 7, 2010

Late-Morning Molly

So here we have Molly, enjoying the late morning sun, fitting perfectly to the size of her bed. (Well, perfectly after I raised the blinds a few inches.) I needed to be almost directly above her in order to get this shot, and she watched intently as I climbed, first to the ottoman, then steadying myself with my left foot on the chair. Just the way I wanted her.

I don't know if my cats take a perverse pleasure in looking away from me whenever I aim a camera in their direction, or if they simply lose interest in looking at me after I cover my face. Whatever the reason, their sudden disinterest makes it difficult for me to physically attain the results I want.

As my stocking feet sank into the soft folds of the chair, she turned away just as I framed the shot. I made an exposure anyway to check the light. This is one of the harshest lighting situations you can encounter: black fur against brilliant white in the sunshine. I shot this in aperture priority at f8, which gave me a shutter speed of 1/30 second. This blew out the highlights too much, so I moved the exposure compensation down 1 and 1/3 stops, for a final speed of 1/80. I still lost a tiny bit of detail in the upper left corner, but it was acceptable.

Not acceptable was Molly's continuing feigned ignorance of me. None of my calls were getting her attention, though she'd look at me if I took the camera away from my face. Of course, as soon as I replaced it she turned away.

I was finally able to get the picture at the top by standing as described earlier while holding the camera in my right hand (quite a heavy combination, too, the 5D with a 24-105 lens) pointed straight down. My left hand held the tempting carcass of the fuzzy yellow mouse dispatched by Legs in another post a few days ago. This got her attention long enough for me to get a few shots off. The single eye and some whiskers lit by the sun was exactly how I envisioned this scene, being what I saw the whole time I was climbing into position.

Unwelcome Advances: Molly and Legs

I'm not sure if Molly envisioned our session ending this way, however. You see, this particular fleece bed and its patch of sunshine has been favored by Legs for some time now. (Last week, in fact, he was wailing in the living room. I came in to see what was wrong and find him pacing. The fleece bed was about two feet from the patch of sun. I moved it over, he climbed in, and we all had a peaceful morning.)

He settled into the empty space and they actually coexisited for about a minute before Molly decided the top of the armchair had a better view, and was closer to the light.

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