moody cats

I have been going through my archives again this weekend and came across these images of a repeat client’s kitties: Sugar Ray, Ali and Floyd. (yes, they are all named after boxers)

We are overdue for the boys’ annual photo shoot, and have been playing email tag since December, so I am posting these images here to put out some good ‘call me’ energy to their mom. I’m ready Ronnie! Call me! 🙂

I haven’t photographed these gorgeous guys since I got my Canon. They have a really incredible house, with steel walls and lots of black and white. The most unusual architecture I have ever seen in a house. To say I can’t wait to get back in there with my Canon would be an understatement. We can *finally* capture those action shots in the bedroom their mom has so long desired. Whoopee!

So Ronnie if you are reading this (I know she’s not, she is verrry busy- busier than me even!), call me and let’s get you scheduled! I can’t wait to see the boys.

Also, you probably noted that these images look pretty different from what I normally do.

That’s because I finally decided to see what all of the fuss was about Photoshop action-wise. In late December I paid for some pro actions, and piddled around with them the last few months. It wasn’t until this weekend that I finally got around to really trying them.

The actions I bought are from Michelle Black and Nichole Van.

I bought ‘Perfect Enhance’ from Michelle Black and ‘Complete Workflow’ from Nichole Van.

I tried out every action from both gals’ sets on just about every different type of photo I could think of (all dogs and cats of course, cause well, that’s pretty much all I have).

I played around with layer opacities, and deleted layers, and layered new layers on top of old layers. I did all kinds of stuff as I normally do when trying something new. I combined the actions with my already pretty good pre-existing knowledge of Photoshop.

My conclusion?

Although the actions themselves are very cool, and very impressive, and clearly took a vast knowledge of photoshop to create, they don’t really work for my purposes or give me the look that I am going for, which is in a word: realistic (the action fans would probably say ‘boring’).

I’m still a big fan of getting the shot right in-camera, and although it’s not always easy with pet photography, the challenge is part of the fun.

I do, however, like the ‘evenout’ action in Michelle Black’s set, and overall like hers the most, but all I really want to do with my images is tweak the contrast a little, and lighten them when they are too dark.

Having said that, I discovered that these black cats look truly amazing with Michelle Black’s ‘dramatic’ action. It produces really cool, slightly desaturated moody images. And I also think some of the actions might be fun to play with for my Decopaw art process. Oooh, I could waste a lot of time there, oh no. Maybe next year.

These shots are all from my prosumer Fuji camera, and I just applied the action to the unedited files, then flattened layers and saved as-is. No messing around with layer opacities or anything fancy. Just click play, flatten, resize, save.

I totally dig the way Sugar Ray, Ali and Floyd look with the ‘dramatic’ action (I tried them on other cats and wasn’t nearly as pleased; I think it’s because these boys are black), so I’ll keep them for my own personal file.

Whether or not the boys’ mom Ronnie likes them remains to be seen. Maybe if she sees this post she can tell me. Ronnie, where art thou?! 🙂