Look Away, Baby, Look Away

March 10, 2006

Taking pictures of my cats is fun. And by “fun” I mean “a frustrating, hellish ordeal that would be fun if only my frigging cats would cooperate for ten frakking seconds, I mean Jeebus Farging Cripes, is that really asking so flipping much?!?” (Note skillful and subtle use of Lenten euphemisms.)

Tiffy is a particularly difficult subject, since it is a given that the moment she realizes my lens is trained on her, she will suddenly realize that The Most Fascinating Thing Ever has suddenly and magically appeared far, far across the room at a precise 90ΒΊ angle AWAY from the camera. Thus I tend to get a lot of pictures of Tiffy that look like this:

P0002727.JPG
“Wow, that imaginary bug and/or
micron-wide speck on the wall in the
next room has certainly captured my
interest.”

Of course, the solution to this is to yell “Woo-hoo, Widdle Tiffums! Wook at Daddee! Wooky-wooky!” in a shrill, fishwife-like voice while holding up one hand and wiggling the fingers while hoping that my other hand can manage to hold the camera still enough to snap a non-blurry picture, should my humiliating antics be sufficient to tear Tiffy’s attention away from the manifestation of the Virgin Mary juggling a chainsaw, bowling ball, and flaming Tiki torch or whatever the heck is so blasted interesting over there in the opposite direction I want my cat to be looking.

If I am lucky, the result is a picture like this:

Tiffy.JPG
“Your wriggling digits and shrill,
womanly cries have momentarily
captured my attention, human.”

While cute, Tiffy’s expression still has a vaguely “What the HELL?” quality to it β€” one familiar from many baby pictures I’ve seen, where you know the photographer must have been yelling “Woo-hoo, Widdle Baby! Wook at Mr. Professional Baby-Photographer! Wooky-wooky!” while waving a rattle off camera. Oh well, at least I’m not alone in my humiliation.

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She’s a Cute Little Bastet, Isn’t She?

March 3, 2006

I’m a kreptacular photographer, I’ll admit. A few years ago I bought my first (and so far only) digital camera second-hand from Carl β€” a Kodak DC290 Zoom with a mere 2.1 megapixels (and given my lack of skill, that’s probably more pixels than I deserve). It’s a testament to the high-tech photographic smarts built into digital cameras that they can enable even inept shutterbugs like me to occasionally take really cool photographs, like this one of Mimi (snapped earlier this week, using ambient light):

iPawed_Mimi.JPG
“It’s both a stereo AND a bun-warmer!
Who knew?”

This almost has a studio look to it β€” partly it’s Mimi’s pose, with that wonderfully formal way cats have of sitting (as if they were expecting you to carve their portrait in basalt), softened a bit by a coquettish tilt of the head; partly it’s the lighting on the blue-grey wall behind her, which looks very much like a photographer’s backdrop. Of course, a real studio photographer would have managed NOT to capture a reflection of his own huge, doughy midsection in the stereo, but other than that it’s a nice picture if I say so myself. If you click on the picture above, you can see a bigger version (you KNOW you want a better look at my gut reflection, admit it).

The top of the stereo is one of Mimi’s favorite napping places, by the way. It’s warm, it’s high up (five feet at least) so she can keep an eye on things, and the incessant “NN-chik NN-chik NN-chik NN-chik” of the trance music I prefer probably kindles reassuring memories of her mommy’s heartbeat, back when she was a kitten (either that, or cats are closet ravers, though Mimi seems to prefer catnip to Ecstasy).