Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Twinkle's portrait

twinkle's portrait

Perched on the ledge, Twinkle turns around and accidentally mirrors the painting of the cat on the wall behind.

Notes
The best moments in photography often take place when you're not looking - or looking the other way. I was busy trying to photograph Iffy (our other cat), who was playing king of the hill atop the display cabinet, when my wife said "Look behind you". (I cannot tell you the number of times this has happened; she spots things I don't see, and sees things I can't because I'm staring down a viewfinder at something else)

Twinkle was sitting on top of the ledge, and I immediately realised the possibility of her pose mirroring the painting behind. I had to wait: it took about 20 shots to catch her with her head turned up. Most were discarded because she was looking straight at the camera. One was a close miss, with her head turned too far and her eyes not visible, which to my mind made it harder to see her as a 'person'.

This one was the best remaining, and had to be sharpened a bit to compensate for the slight fuzziness from the handheld shot. The colour was not satisfactory at all: I couldn't get rid of the yellowish cast of the tungsten light without making the image dull and lifeless, so in the end I desaturated everything. That black and white image wasn't good either, so I brought some colour back, bit by bit: when the brown ledge looked recognisably brown again, I stopped. And that's how I got to this image here.

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6 comments:

said...

nice shot. shoot in RAW, then can get rid of the yellow by the tungsten light!

fortycalibernap said...

second that comment, and i'll add that i also appreciate the description of your process . . . for a neophyte like myself, it's very helpful to understand what others work through in building an image.

"quatro" still in process, the last element is a lot harder than i imagined.

wahj said...

Thanks ru and 40cal. I did shoot in RAW, but I couldn't manipulate it to my satisfaction ... even after correcting for tungsten light, it just looked colourless. Well, Twinkle is a grey cat ... against a biege wall ... and the painting really is that colour - so I guess it was a scene that was pretty much colourless to begin with. Also, my skills/experience with GIMP are not enough for me to squeeze all the potential out from the RAW format yet ...

said...

well, it's a good shot nonetheless.

(sorry - i accidentally deleted my last post on my blog along with your comment!)

askgerard said...

Great shot.

And ...

That's why snipers have spotters. The one on the gun (and behind the scope) can get target fixation. She's your spotter. And by your account, a pretty good one too.

pfong said...

Great portrait. Your patience in waiting for the right pose was certainly rewarded. The low key colour tones are perfect for this shot I think.