Catting About

Well here it is the middle of the month, and already I am overloaded with photos. I’ve been shooting, if not every day, at least every other day, and the backlog is insane. But I may only have a few weeks off this summer, so I might as well shoot and edit and blog while I can. So let’s get to it.

While jumping about in new clothes Saturday, Simon eventually decided to try and get into the act. Well, he wasn’t trying to get into the pictures so much as he was trying to: a) crawl behind the backdrop and create a big visible lump in it, b) steal the remote after I pressed it and tossed it on the floor (mission accomplished on that one – one of my two remotes is now MIA), and c) attack my skirt and/or feet while I jumped about. I figured if he was doing to get into so much mischief while I tried to shoot, he could at least do me the courtesy of a little modeling.

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He somewhat complied

And yes, I know those little white specks (which are mostly glitter from a previous shoot and Simon’s cat hair) are on the floor again in these photos; I noticed it after I re-sized these and saved them to the blog, so although I went back and edited the originals, I didn’t bother to edit them in the re-sized versions. Sorry. And, lesson learned about the need to seriously clean the black backdrop before shooting. Moving on.

As far as the photo goes, I’ve been learning a little about the burn tool in Photoshop, and how I can use it to enhance shadows; I think it made the movement in the skirt more pronounced here. Those little half-sock thingys are from, of course, Free People, and they are great for photos. I think they are considered some sort of yoga sock, but I wouldn’t really use them for that – I got them because I really don’t think my bare feet look good in my jumping photos (I am not a dancer, so really it’s that I don’t know how to point my toes very well while trying to leap about and I they often come out looking sloppy) so I thought this little half-sock might help distract from my less-than-perfect toes. I think they worked out great for this purpose. Damn that Free People, they really do have absolutely everything I want right now (I also bought some yoga socks with little cut-out toes in them [!], they look great in photos also. I’ll show some pics I took wearing them later).

Let’s talk about this next shot a little. I actually got two shots of me leaping while holding Simon; in the one below, I managed to get some nice height while carrying him, so it was definitely the better shot:

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He looks thrilled, doesn’t he?

But as you can see, my hair was all in my face and the expression I was making wasn’t that great either. I much preferred my head in the other shot I took while holding the cat…

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…but the leap was unimpressive. So, I pulled both shots into Paint Shop Pro and layered one over the other to combine my top half with my bottom half into one perfect jump.

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I know this is the sort of thing a lot of people can do easily, but for me it’s still a chore to pull off, which is why I don’t do it more often. If it didn’t take me so long I’d have more perfect jumps out there, for sure. But I really have to care enough to take the time involved to do this. In this case, it was worth it, even though Simon looks like he’s about to bail on me (he was perfectly fine after the leaping, I promise).

This skirt, by the way, is NOT from Free People; it was purchased at this cheesy boutique called “Everything Bling,” or something like that – a store that is always blaring country music and has loads of rhinestones and lace. Yet every time I go in there I find something cool, so perhaps I shouldn’t be so harsh on the cheesiness of it. Clearly it caters to me on some level. I bought this one in both black and beige and I do wear them everywhere because they are tiered and twirly and fabulous. I always wanted to get photos of it and hadn’t had the time until last weekend.I took a bunch of photos in this skirt, but the focus was off in most of the shots and I felt like they came out soft, so I didn’t process many of them.  I did edit this next one, but I don’t really like how it came out; still not sure if I like it at all. What I do like is how it shows the great movement of the skirt.

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I added blur since I felt it was a little soft and figured I’d make it look intentional. I even tried pulling this into Pixlr to see if I liked it better, but I’m not sure I do.

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I dunno – I’m still meh about it. I did like this next one, though, if for no other reason than because it’s a particular leap I’m always trying to pull off and not accomplishing, and I managed to kind of do it here – kind of a little ankle-kick while leaning slightly forward (my technical dance terms, don’t you know). It would have been better if I’d been in profile, but when you’re as uncoordinated as I am you take what you get.

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I hope you all noticed, also, that I took all these jump shots in  my natural hair. We’ll talk about the four months’ worth of regrowth at the roots later, mmm’kay? Anyway, more yoga toes tomorrow!

10 thoughts on “Catting About

  1. These are all really great. I love how in that second one, the bracelets mimic the folds in the gray top. Great swirling skirt. I like the sharpness with the inky black background and Pixlr seems to be a bit like gilding the lily on this set, imvho. On my monitor the color combo of “coffee” (skirt), smoky gray (top and “socks”), and black background with Simon’s orange is very effective, sophisticated. Can’t really see your hair against the black.

    I know what you mean about photo-overload. I now have six sets waiting in the wings. If I were to even put half of them up, one per day on Flickr (not that all of them are worthy of displaying), I would have five years worth of shots right now, at least. Serious culling is ahead.

    • To keep track, I have a file called “to be uploaded” on my hard drive, where I store a copy of every photo I need to still upload to Flickr. Currently there are photos in that file that are more than a year old! I am considering making some collages and uploading those just to whittle the file down.

      I think that Pixlr photo I just don’t like either way. I often can’t explain why I don’t like a photo and i can’t really grasp it with this one – I just don’t care for it in the end. My hair does disappear against black, something that may change but I’ll talk about that in another post. 🙂 Funny story – when I was in 8th grade I was a cheerleader, so my mom took me to get professional Olan Mills pics made. The photographer used a black background, and at the time my hair was really long, feathered, and BLACK. In not one shot can you see my hair! I am just a face floating around in a black void…they are hilarious.

    • Flight of the Kitty – LOL! Seriously, you need a second career as a writer of some sort. Your comments always knock it outta the part. When do we get to see new videos?!?

    • Yes – it’s a pretty common thing to do actually, especially in movement shots like this. You can do one just planning out how you want your top half to look, then a second one planning how you want your bottom half to look.

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