View Full Version : Tabby by Torchlight

5th March 2008, 12:18 AM
I adore my cat, "Thimble," and have taken many conventional pictures of her. Few of these, however, capture her personality and so I recently took a series of photographs, lit only by a small LED torch, in an effort to reveal some of her character. I'm pleased with the results which, to me, represent a triumph of mood over technical perfection.

But I'm biased. What do you think? Honest opinions, no matter how critical, will be very much appreciated.






Nick Temple-Fry
5th March 2008, 12:29 AM
I think the first and last images are very good. The first displaying the generic character of 'a cat' and perhaps something specific about Thimble.

The last is an intriguing image/pattern/shape with a lovely feel of texture. I understand why the head is at a slant but wonder if a fully symmetrical presentation might not work even better.

I'm afraid the middle two images do not work for me; the rear end of a cat - so what/why. And the blurred/motion image has too much motion compared to shape. Others may well disagree.


5th March 2008, 08:36 AM
Like the last one.

5th March 2008, 08:44 AM
Love the eyes in the first especially against the cold blue feel of the fur.

5th March 2008, 09:34 AM
I like the compositions, but the blue cast troubles me :rolleyes:

Did you intend the blue to be that intense?


5th March 2008, 07:06 PM
I like the compositions, but the blue cast troubles me :rolleyes:

Did you intend the blue to be that intense?


I have to admit that I like the general blue colour - it's obviouslt from the LED's which give a much bluer light than regula halogen or tungsten bulbs. I like the way the cat's eye contrasts. Someone did similar with PP recently on a Tiger shot if I remember, but IMHO this is nice because it's more natural


5th March 2008, 07:10 PM
I really like the first one, but like Ian, am not to keen on the blue cast.
Might look good as mono with just the eyes in colour.

regards Ewan.

5th March 2008, 09:49 PM
That's sure is one cool cat, I think the cross processed look acheived by using the led light works well, a prefurr the first shot's composition. Great capture.

5th March 2008, 10:33 PM

and thanks to all who have offered an opinion so far. If there's one skill I wish I could improve it's the ability to judge my own work as objectively as I judge other photographer's work. Until I can achieve that, forums like this are the next best thing.

Taking Nick's point about the rear of the cat, to me this picture so typifies a pose I often see of Thimble as she roots around in any empty box or bag she comes across. But here lays the problem; this image means something to me but not to anybody else. Why should it? It was rather careless and self-indulgent to include it in this selection.

The amount of blur acceptable when attempting to depict motion in a still image is always a matter of opinion and, looking hard again at this one I must say I still like it. However, Nick is far better placed to judge my work than I am myself.... does anyone else have an opinion on this one?

Ian and ewan, I rather liked the blue cast which, combined with the harsh, spotlight effect from the torch, I felt imbued a strong night-time mood to the pictures. I tried a few customised white balance settings before settling on 5600K (which approximates to a sunny day). Andym, shenstone and photonutter all seem to like the effect of this cast, but maybe I should reshoot a little higher up the Kelvin Scale to see if a more subtle effect woud be an improvement.

The general concensus regarding composition seem to be a preference for the first and last, with the jury out on the middle two. The great benefit of digital is that it positively encourages us to try different techniques or more adventurous compositions. It doesn't always work, but it costs nothing and is great fun and, with your help, I feel I've learnt a little more from this particular venture.