Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cuatro Gato

Twice now I've sat down to write a piece about Jones Beach,  first hesitating for the want of more pictures, then I was waylaid for the second time  when,  after returning from getting more pictures, I was confronted with the sight of all my children sprawled in the sunshine on the living room floor.  This is something I rarely see, all four of them at peace with one and other.  Well, at peace given some distance.

The triplets, seen here, were on the rug, the sun streaming through the double windows, the blinds half-raised and open.  Betsy (on the left) was half in shadow, and Molly, in the background, was just about blending into the distant shadows.  A very high contrast scene, there was no way I could capture this without some serious help from my Speedlite:

Above is the same scene shot with just the existing light, exposed for the highlights:  ISO 100, f11, 1/25 sec.

The challenge with a scene like this is not only to get all three cats in the picture with good expressions, preferably all looking towards the camera, but to light it so that everything can be seen without losing the sense of natural light.

I think the first picture has good light; you can tell sunlight from shadow and still see detail and contrast throughout the image.  Overall it's very warm; very often shooting gray cats with a flash results in a gun-metal colored result with Betsy, yet here she looks fine.

The difference between the two pictures?  Both were shot at f11, but the first one had a shutter speed of 1/200 sec, instead of 1/25, the better to handle the  +2 stop compensation of a direct flash.

This is the best I could do to get all four of them together.  As it was, to get the first two pictures here I had to crouch down in Legs' bed with him, which he was quite tolerant of.

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