Democrats, Dogs, and 9 more Days

I’ve got nine days remaining on my internship, and it has been 2 weeks since my last post, so I thought I was due for another installment. Time has been blurring by–I have no idea where the month of July has gone. It seems like just a couple weeks ago I was saying a tearful goodbye to everyone in Missouri, and now I’m getting ready to say goodbye to Ohio. I’m bummed to have to leave as I have loved my experience, but it will be nice to see some familiar faces again.

I’ve covered a variety of subjects in the last two weeks–some of them you may just recognize!

Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden

First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama

Atticus the cat

A Pulley and weight on a grandfather clock

Oscar the Poodle

A man shears a sheep at the Ohio State Fair

some things are just better in black and white

A double-dapple dachshund

A Doberman does the weave poles during an agility competition

Bokeh the Frisbee Dog

A mother sheep and her newborn lamb

I’m headed out almost every day this week with a lot of new shoots lined up. Stay tuned for new photos.

Photos © Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies 2012

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Fatz Meow

Going through my portfolio photography class this semester, I have come to the conclusion that I need to expand my shooting away from just dogs. I decided to ask a photo friend to help me out. Tara was a graduate student at UCM in the photography department. She graduated this December, but is still in Warrensburg, so I asked her to bring in her cat, Bonnie. Bonnie (aka “Fatz Meow,) is a 16-year old Maine Coon/calico mix.

I grew up with cats my whole life, so I was nervous about bringing one into the studio. Whenever we’d take our cats anywhere, they’d run away and hide. Not Bonnie. Tara walked into the studio carrying her, and she seemed chilled and relaxed like it was no big deal. I set up a table top with black plexiglass, and Bonnie immediately flopped down and made herself at home on it.

I soon learned that photographing cats is much harder than dogs. Dogs are constantly on the go, bursting with energy, which makes it easy to capture dynamic and humorous images. Cats, however, do what they want, when they want. Bonnie was displeased whenever we made her be upright for more than 30 seconds. She just wanted to laze around on the table. I think it’s much easier to create serious, dramatic portraits with cats, but it’s not so easy to get images that make the viewer laugh.

I also had to revamp my approach to photographing cats. With dogs, if you make an odd, high-pitched noise, they instantly grant you their attention. Cats, however, could care less that you’re making a fool of yourself by squealing at them. Also, dogs will do ANYTHING for peanut butter. Tara brought in tuna for Bonnie, which she liked, but she still wouldn’t really do anything other than sit still, looking pretty for it. It’s a different world with cats, but I still really enjoyed the photo shoot. I always like to challenge myself by trying new things. You never know what you could end up with.

The whole set can be viewed on my Flickr page: HERE

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Stoli and the Cat, Part II

I think Curry’s house seems to draw stray animals from around the neighborhood. ( I have noticed that Missouri people aren’t exactly the most, er, “protective” (for lack of better word) of pet owners. They have no problem letting their animals roam free through the streets and neighborhoods.) Anyway, the cat came back today. We’re pretty sure it belongs to the neighbors, because it’s always around. Stoli tried making friends again. He always gets so excited. He really reminds me of a little kid. He tries to see how close he can get to the cat before he gets a swat from her. Anyway, I hadn’t shot since Saturday, so I figured it was time to get the camera out and make some images. I know they’re not super amazing photos, but I’m just trying to remain active with my shooting. Again, I’m sorry for so posting so many pictures of Stoli!

 

A close encounter of the Feline kind

Today was one of the rare times where I didn’t have a massive amount of homework waiting for me when I got out of class. After Wedding and Location finished up at 5, I checked out a Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift lens and a Canon 580X ii Speedlite flash unit. I didn’t have anything particular in mind when I checked them out, I just wanted to familiarize myself with them more before I actually have to use them in the field or for an assignment. I went over to let Stoli out and decided that he could be my test subject. Stoli was NOT a fan of the flash and would whimper every time it went off, so that was short lived. I also had a hard time getting him to sit still long enough for me to manually focus the tilt-shift lens. After getting frustrated, I broke out my trusty 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and did some action shots. No sooner had I put on the lens then a stray cat came wondering into the yard. Stoli has never had an up-close encounter with any cats before, so he went berserk. There are a few stray cats that hang around the house every so often. The other night I let stoli out and one of them scampered out from under the deck, and he chased after it until I called him back. Well today this cat just froze and hissed, so Stoli got the opportunity to get as close as he dared. The cat didn’t have claws, so it must belong to someone. I was worried that Stoli would get hurt since the cat was bigger than him, but I figured he would learn. Stoli wanted to go up to the cat and lick it, but the cat would not have that. As soon as stoli would get close, he would swat at him and start hissing. Stoli took this as a game, so as soon as the cat swatted, Stoli took off running around the yard, doing circle laps around me and the cat for a few minutes before coming back for another attempt. Needless to say, he was pooped after it was all said and done. I brought Stoli inside for a water break, and must not have gotten the back door all the way shut, because as I was petting him, I hear a “meow” from the hallway, and there was the stray orange kitty! I felt bad for the poor thing putting it back outside. It huddled up against the house for warmth. I always feel sorry for animals in the winter. (Granted it’s not terribly cold here today, but it was only in the 50’s, and it will only get colder from here.)

Also, I want to apologize for posting so many things about Stoli. I am trying to be pretty regular about keeping a blog. I drug my feet so much with this blog for the first year of its existence, but I realize now that it can be a really powerful tool. Keeping up with the blog requires me to go out and shoot outside of class and its projects. I most often find myself shooting the dog, because he’s always there to sit for me, and his quirky personality makes me try hard to capture his goofy side. So, I’m sorry if you’re sick of dog posts, but it’s really the best way to get me into photo-blogging

Anyway, enough said. Here are some shots from the evening.

Creative #4 – Animal morphing

I have always wanted to try morphing things together in photoshop, but I have never been successful. So for this assignment, I decided I would push myself to try and make a semi-believable morph. I spent countless hours in front of my computer trying to get the Photoshop gods to smile on me, but no such luck. I am not really happy with the results, but I have always been my own worst critic. If you have any suggestions on how to morph with more success in Photoshop, please let me know!