“Goodbye Flint”

Our cat “Flint” passed away last week. He was five years old. Wynn named him after one of the players on Harry Potter’s Quidditch team.

Flint was a real sweetheart, loveable and gregarious. He was well know in the neighborhood and loved meeting people passing by, as long as they weren’t walking a dog! He attracted much attention due to his girth. Flint weighed in at nearly 30 pounds and more than once was mistaken for a pregnant female.

Flint loved to eat and would fall asleep with his head in his food dish. Once, I watched in amazement as he carried a can of the turtle’s shrimp pellets, down the stairway from the second floor and into the kitchen, then drop it in his dish. If he had had opposable thumbs, we would have been in real trouble.

Flint was extremely intelligent. Wynn’s cousins had accidentally released their hamster in our house and after much searching, couldn’t find him. While holding the hamster’s cage in front of Flint’s nose, I asked him, “where’s Teddy?” Flint walked over to the piano and began pacing back and forth. Everyone said I was crazy when I told them Flint knew where Teddy was. Sure enough, later that evening, the little rodent dropped out of the piano. Luckily for Teddy, I heard the little thud as he hit the floor and gathered him up before flint did.

The photo above was taken just before Christmas a few years ago. We had just returned home from The Miquon School’s , Winter assembly, hence Wynn’s Rudolph nose. I was testing out a Profoto ringflash I had rented from Calumet Photo. We plaster the neighborhood with this image after Flint had been M.I.A. for two days. The mailman rang our doorbell to tell us he had seen that cat up a tree over on Lemonte street. Sure enough it was flint, he was fine but very hungry!

He will be missed.

“Shrimp” #2

Veterinarian holding rescue dog

Veterinarian holding dog rescued from puppy mill.

Here’s Shrimp being held by Melanie, one of the vets that was caring for him.

I’ve always liked photographing people in hallways. Using a telephoto lens not only provides a flattering perspective for portraits but in this case, compresses the hallway and turns the door frames into geometric lines that frame my subjects. The telephoto, with it’s limited depth of field, allowed me to have both Shrimp and Melanie in focus against a soft background.

For this shot I used a similar lighting set up as the one of Shrimp on the exam table. A Canon 580 speedlight into a silver umbrella, mounted on a stand and placed high and to the right of my subjects. The wall to Melanie’s right provided just the right amount of fill. To separate Melanie from the background, a second Canon speedlight was mounted on a stand and placed about 10 feet behind her and pointed directly at her back. I zoomed the flash head to the 105mm setting and added a Lumiquest snoot to focus the light on Melanie and keep it off of the walls. Both flashes were fired by an on camera Canon STE2 infrared transmitter. I had to bump the ISO up to 400 to get the f/5.6 ( Shrimp & Melanie in focus) and the 1/60th (I can hand hold this) shutter speed and allow the ambient light to provide detail in the hallway.