Perspective was the theme for the Camera Club in July.
I had lots and lots of ideas for this theme. I’m sure not all of them were what they had in mind for the theme- but I’ve never really like to play by all the rules. I had one in mind with a swing, one using rose-colored glasses, one that involved pavement, a puddle and another person with cute rainboots on, but I ran out of time. When I think of perspective in photography I tend to think of forced perspective (like the sun in a cup below) or railroad tracks or tall buildings that the lines would merge if you continued them off the photo. So I started thinking outside the box. From a cats perspective. Glass half full or half empty the optimists and pessimists perspective or one door closed, one door open. A scale laid upside down on my feet in the air (so it said 0 bls) but I never painted my toenails. Someone dressed for hot and someone dressed for cold, in the same setting. The lens ball super wide fish eye perspective. From inside a food grater I already had. My main idea was doing more underlook under-cat pics and I really could hardly wait to share those. I just LOVE some of these.
When I read what the club had in mind, they included low, high or unusual vantage points. I try to look at all different vantage points before I take my first photo and to move around to get a different vantage point anyway.
I decided to shoot a few on purpose and to put more effort into my “under cat” photos. I tried this a while back and Tyler cooperated more than Trinity did. Sadly, I didn’t have one usable photo from under Trinity. My light colored, logo printed shirt showed and I learned that me crawling under the table to shoot wasn’t the best way to go about it.
I have the table and chairs listed for sale so I wanted to get my shots taken before it sells. Do I wish I had tried this again while we still had Trinity? YES! Yes I do.
This is what I learned.
- Wear dark colors, cover anything light with dark colors and don’t have your LCD turned up or you may end up with a reflection of it in your cat’s bottom (see above). It also helps to cover most of the camera too.
- Having a large empty room with tall ceilings without lights and fans in the ceiling (or a way to sheet them off) in the way would’ve been helpful too.
- It would have been easier with help.
- Clean your cats eye goop and such beforehand.
- I tried a remote shutter but I still couldn’t see if Tyler needed to scooch over or when he was in focus so I had a TON of shots that went right in the trash. I finally remembered using my phone camera app to operate my fz2500 like I did when I first had my shoulder surgery to take my mustard seed photos where I can see what the camera sees without being behind it, and boy was that the way to go!
- Treats, toys, breaks and multiple short sessions were a must.
- Still life is easier than pets especially when you’re doing the shoot alone.
I tried to watch videos from Andrius Burba of Underlook.org to get an idea on lighting and method, but without all the tall stands, draped material, an assistant, reflections and not scaring my big baby of a cat, it was easier to just to trash the photos with a lot of glare or ceiling that couldn’t be edited.
Below is the most complicated set up I did but decided against it. I ended up using the glass table, a blanket covering the chair seats, my camera and phone combo, (not shown) a dark solid gray rice heat pack unheated just to get my camera to lay as low as possible parallel to the table, the lights set up as far from the table as I could get them in the crowded room. It is easier to edit out a can light if it is off instead of on making bright spots. There was no good way to get the fan out of my shots, or the windows or… well you get the idea.
Here are a few more before and after pics to give you an idea of the editing involved.
I tried to learn more about Luminosity mask and channels from Greg Benz. I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t start with something as complicated as glare and shadows on a brown and white cat on a non-smooth white or black background. My mom needed us to help her, I wanted to be outside hiking in cooler higher elevations, I’m pushed on working on my computer, my thyroid has been off, plus I didn’t get started editing them until the five days before we had to turn them in… all of those added up to less than ideal situations to try to actually learn something new. I’ll revisit the courses and my Scott Kelby The Photoshop Channels Book hopefully when my brain has more time to be quiet and learn something. I kept all the RAW files so I can try again to edit the “underlook” photos after I learn on something simpler.
Life is just to short to sit behind a computer all day!
Here are the three I chose to submit for the critique. If I couldn’ve sent 5, I would’ve added the half glass and under-butterfly since I shot those specifically for this.
Before we lost Trinity I wanted to take photos of my best friends twins for “symmetry”- but I didn’t. I’m so not comfortable taking photos of people! I decided to ask if the twins were still up for a photoshoot for “perspective”. They were, but between everyone’s schedules and the sun location, I’ll have to push it again for “blue”. Maybe I’ll use my half-full glass for blue also since it got cut from perspective.