Sunrise: 2011

two black cats by sunny window
Sunrise

One of my absolute, all-time favorite photos, enjoying the quiet, beautiful space they are in.

Giuseppe watches the yard, Jelly Bean soaks it in at the upstairs window facing east.

These sunny spring mornings have been intoxicating for all of us. In the rush to get breakfast and clean up and play and get to work, we all pause when we find ourselves in a sunny spot and simply appreciate the gift of the sun’s warmth and the promise of more beautiful days to come. The rounded mirror in the background brings to mind the rising of the sun over the horizon.

And while I love to look at their beautiful faces as they look back at me in photos, I usually prefer the more candid shot as they do what they do and I am only an observer, trying my best not to influence their actions.

This photo, like all the others, was originally a color photo, though because of the dramatic contrast with the sunlight I knew I’d probably convert it to black and white in PhotoShop to mimic the effect of a true black and white shot. Removing the distraction of color allows the eye to notice the tracery of sunlight on whiskers against rich black fur, and the delicate shapes of the wild rose branches on the wall above.

But I didn’t like it as a black and white shot; there were just wasn’t enough interest in the darker areas and aside from the left edge it just looked murky.

So that meant I got to play around with a few other techniques I use now and then. In this case I was still desaturating, which converts color information into grayscale, keeping the richness of the detail, but this time, not all the way so that a bit of color remained to add interest and dimension. The cabinet looks like a very pale pine, Jelly Bean retains some of the warm mahogany in his fur, a trace of green remains in Giuseppe’s eyes, the antique gold mirror frame still has a gold tinge to it. The only two cool colors, the tired old snake plant and the plant pot between the two boys, retain some of their original gray green and turquoise, but not so much that they call attention to themselves. Overall, the photo retains a tinge of the warm yellow morning sun.

I initially cropped down farther, right above the top edge of the mirror, to bring the focus on the two cats, but the image lost the airy look of the sun-filled space, and one of the things I liked about the original photo was the organic shape of the rose branches against the wall at the top. I recropped it to include this and once again found that feeling of a larger, open space, and the extra element of detail lightened up the heavier shapes of the cats, the cabinet, even the mirror. The only thing I don’t care for, and one of the other reasons I had originally cropped down so far, was that I don’t like the glass globe at the top of the photo; I find it distracting, but not as distracting as cropping too far down.

Feedback

I hope you enjoy my notes on photography and PhotoShop techniques. Occasionally I get the chance to teach a class in manipulating photos for design and layout, but I also remember learning quite a bit from generous people who shared their techniques with the world in various venues, even before the internet.

And as I plan one or two or three new sets of greeting cards featuring color photos, black and white photos of my cats and all black cats, and photos for sale and imprint on garments and useful things in the coming year, I value any feedback I get from social networking of my cats. I hope to narrow it down some time to set up galleries so readers can vote, but until then I still need help in narrowing down!

Sure, I never got around to the project mentioned above, but I still appreciate your feedback on photos. I do need to get around to those sets of photo cards someday…

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

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.

Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

9 thoughts on “Sunrise: 2011

  • April 19, 2012 at 6:50 am
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    Defiantly one of my favorites also. What I love about your photos is that they are natural and not posed. Playing with photoshop using a wacom pad to remove the globe would be fun but it really doesn’t bother me. I think it is lovely. I just love your stories and the photos really make them come to life.

    Reply
    • April 21, 2012 at 12:14 am
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      Zora, thank you for writing–that’s my goal, the everyday extemporaneous shot, also with natural lighting. It’s been a challenge to adapt that to all these black cats; sometimes my camera continuously beeps at me because it can’t focus, seeing only black. For that reason I am often fooling with PhotoShop to lighten or darken if necessary, but I do think I’ll take out the globe. I’ve always found it distracting and I like the height of the photo so I don’t want to crop it.

      Reply
  • April 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm
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    we luvluvluv your kittehs! And those totally handsomepanfurs are so amazing! Hope I can create some presentable art on my iPad but never as FAB as yours! Paw pats, Savannah

    Reply
    • April 21, 2012 at 12:20 am
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      Savannah, there was a time when I thought the same thing–about creating art, I mean, and now here I am, but I didn’t really start on it until I was nearly 30. Just keep working on it! And yes, they are handsome panfurs!

      Reply
      • April 21, 2012 at 12:22 am
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        Mais, oui!! I do love this shot. It’s one of my favorites. Theadora (Thanks, Beyonce!)

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  • April 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm
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    If you can use photoshop, you are up there with Einstein!!! I have trouble working it out even with the videos and I only have Elements! That photo does have great depth to it.

    Reply
    • April 21, 2012 at 12:22 am
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      Carolyn, I’ve been using it since it was invented, so I kind of grew up with it from the days when it could do about a dozen different things, which were all really cool and exciting. I still use it every day while I’m designing. Not Einstein, just a lot of experience! But I can’t imagine trying to learn it today!

      Reply

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