Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Afternoon with Meow

     The world was boring and I just got home from work.  Tired, unmotivated, uninspired, and just unable to think of what to do next.  Fortunately, I have my cat, Meow.

     South Korea was damp.  Autumn was ending and there's a real chill in the air.  But instead of snuggling with Meow, I ushered him outside as we take a little stroll.  He sticks close to me when I'm around.  He's more comfortable to be on the outside territory whenever he feels my presence.  He knows I'll be there to protect him.  So he's relaxed, and I liked it that way.  At least I don't have to keep escorting him, when in fact, I was in the mood to take pictures.

     He's a natural.  Being the cat that he is, he moves smoothly enough for me to take time and get things right before I take a shot... yeah, right!  I can't keep his attention to me too long.  There I was lying in front of him, beside him, under him, while waving my hand(s), feet, whatever that keeps his attention.
Look Here!
Lying flat on the ground and having to wave my right foot to get his attention.  Then the left foot.  Then right.  Then left.  Ah, the joys of cat ADD.

     He likes being on top of tables, cabinets, and whatever is high.  But when outside and I'm around, he immediately dismounts to follow me when I step back at a small distance.  So it's hard for me to keep him still on a table outside.  This was a challenge.  As I'm used to taking pictures while stagnant, I'm forced to aim the camera and shoot while walking backwards.
Now What?
It took some leg cramps having to squat and do slow duck-walks backwards to take a shot.  This picture may not be wowing everyone but I'm glad I went through this.  The situation calls for me to adjust a lot to get a shot.

     Soon we were outside the company gates.  I realized he likes playing around on tall grasses.  This set my mind to photography mode.  As I watch Meow run around, pounce at something, or just stay still yet alert, I feel like I'm in the Savannah watching a tiger in a hunt.  I've not seen the Savannah.  But this is as close as I could get.  Anyway, I feel the intensity in his eyes.  I could almost wish he'd growl or something.  Maybe I get lucky and he'd yawn... too bad, he didn't.  But I think I got some decent shots.
Meow may not have blending colors but he sure knows how to hide.  My focusing says so.
Environmental Distraction
Once again, it's hard to keep his attention very long.  But I like how each shot takes candid ones.  It's more realistic as I do see him like a tiger on a hunt, through my lens.
The Look
One of the images I'm happy with.  I saw the framing of the leaves and adjusted myself as fast as I could, to cope up with his fast head movement.  I really love that I got to frame his eyes this way, as it really really was my intention.  Even better that those two leaves looked like his brows.

     Time to go back home and I'm about to face my greatest challenge yet.  As I call his name, I see him walking just the way cats walk-- suave!  The scene was just so compelling, I just got to take a good shot.  But despite his slow and relaxed walk, I'm just too slow that he reaches me even before I get to focus the shot properly.  Remember my previous blog?  I'm using that lens the whole time.  That means, I'm new to using it, it's manual everything, and I'm in big trouble.  I wanted to get low.  Really low!  Ground level low!  So I have to run back outside the gates, wait for Meow to come to me, then I run a distance, lie on the ground, and start focusing.  It took me 2 tries along with crawling backward while lying flat on my belly, to get this one shot that I have exactly on my mind.  I got scratches and elbow bruises, but it's all worth it.
The Catwalk
The tilt, the direction of grass bending, his intensive eyes, EVERYTHING!  This made my day complete.

     It's all worth it.  Why?  Because for the very first time in my photography life, I got EXACTLY what I had in mind.  I envisioned the image, worked on the scene, and finally got the picture-- in 2 tries!  That's rare.

     I've learned a lot this day.  I got to work with a subject I just can't completely control.  I got to speed up my shooting process (I am making this an experience towards Street Photography).  I discovered some means to take pictures while I'm mobile.  And learned some means to take pictures while the subject is mobile.  And best of all, I got the best feeling every photographer deserves... that the session was all worth it.

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