“My Old Man”, a sleepy Stanley, on the rocker, on the deck, in the sun, in late spring or early summer of his last year with me. He was with me for 21 years and came to me well into adulthood, so my best guess is that he was 24 here; he passed the following January but enjoyed his time outdoors until December. I adored the little white diamond between his eyes and the little snip of white on his nose, and those precious white paws, always like white cotton balls, dangling off the edge of the rocker, a very typical pose for him all his life long.
This was taken with traditional black and white film, and I scanned the print. I was using my old Pentax K1000 with the 50mm lens, but also with the 1.5X teleconverter behind the lens for a shallow depth of field and the f-stop and shutter speed set so that the highlights and bright sun in the background would flash out but the details in the mid-range areas, such as Stanley’s face, would hold. It has always made me think of summer, of morning, and old memories.
Today’s 2011 photo of Mr. Sunshine’s big yawn reminds me of other black and white photos of my cats, and also that even as I enjoy their presence today I am building a memory bank of images of each of them, of all of them, to keep always.
One of the ways I cherish my cats while they are alive, and remember them when they’re no longer with me, is to celebrate their image in art and photographs. This is especially true of the cats who lived with me long ago, before I was actively creating every day and still searching for my creative voice. These are the ones who led me to the level of visualization where everything becomes art but I can focus on what inspires me most, which is usually that which I love best.
But the best are when they are enjoying the sunshine, inside, outside, any way, my cats in the sun will always be an inspiration; three of my black and white favorites, shot with black and white film years before digital cameras, are Stripes on Stripe, below, Late in the Year, and Sally Silhouette.
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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.