Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Merlin -- The Cat?

Yes, that's right: Merlin is a cat.

This is apparently clear to everyone except... Merlin, an 18 year old domestic long hair who has been with his owner, Denise, all of his life, and more than half of hers. But after our "sitting" you'd think he's a much, much younger man. 

When Denise asked me to shoot Merlin, I had reservations. I thought there was no way a cat was going to sit for the camera, especially for any length of time. But after Merlin got comfortable with strangers in the house -- Suzie gaffed (controlled the lighting) for me -- Merlin did in fact sit pretty, on his terms, in his favorite spot on the couch.

With the late afternoon sun coming through a window from the right, this shot almost lit itself. I just added some fill flash from Merlin's left. So the cool thing here was that Merlin, being the boss of me in this particular situation, actually helped/forced me try something new. 

The stalking shot is the one that most resonates with Denise though. It reminds her more of the active, dare I say something of a Bad A** Merlin was in his prime: a houdini, who could unlock kitty carriers and open doors, a thief, of jewelry and all things shiny, and an antagonizer of dogs.

Truth be told, I'm not entirely happy with the online versions of these shots. We went for -- and got -- some truly dramatic stuff. The Print of Merlin in the grass is, if I do say so myself, amazing. Surprised me, even. (Picking up a portrait at the lab, having that first look, is a such great feeling.)  If you know Denise, don't take my word for it. Drop in on her and check it out -- she'll ply you with her latest batch of homemade cookies and you won't want to leave! 

(Nothing after the jump this post.)