cats and µ4:3rds and iphone and wordpress – oh my



I’m doing this because I’ve got all this camera gear lying around, yet I still find myself lusting after something newer and very expensive, like the Pen F, E-M1 Mk II, and the GH5. I’ve got digital camera equipment that goes back to 2009 and the Olympus 4:3rds system, and film equipment that goes back even further to the early 1980s. For this work I took a very “classic” 4:3rds system Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens and mounted it on an E-M10 Mark 1 via a Panasonic 4:3rds to µ4:3rds adapter (DMW-MA1), then went around trying to produce some “interesting” photos of the kittehs with the 30mm nearly wide open for that “pleasing bokeh” effect. That’s Ellipses at top followed by Luke the Gingersnap.

All focusing was manual because the 30mm Sigma lens, already glacially slow to begin with on 4:3rd systems, is a joke when it comes to auto focus on any of my µ4:3rds Olympus bodies, starting with my E-P2. I put the lens in manual focus mode and used the E-M10’s back screen to carefully focus. The camera was set to a custom color mode (Muted picture mode, contrast -1, sharpness 0, saturation -1, and high key) that provided a more pastel-like color palette and character than the heavily saturated overly sharp look I tend towards. I then set the lens to f/1.8 and went out stalking the cats. Well, more like following and cajoling. They, of course, cooperated only on their own terms…

Once something was duly captured, I used the Olympus OI.Share app to move the JPEGs over from the E-M10 to my iPhone. Just a little bit of trimming in Snapseed, then I opened a new post in the WordPress app and selected the three images to go into the post. Then I closed the post as a draft and re-opened it in my MBP using the web-based WordPress editor.

A bit complicated, especially that last part, but once you get into the flow it flows pretty quickly. It keeps my cellphone as my “creative center”. I’m thinking I’m going to give both Scrivener and Ulysses an opportunity Real Soon Now to write and post to my blog.

My complaints against the WordPress iOS app on the iPhone are growing. I’ve noticed that you can’t set the size or the location of the photo when you import the photo. When I check the photos using the web-based editor they’re full size and not centered at all. I have to do some cleanup to get the images how I want them on the page. This might work if all you do is write for, and read from, smartphones exclusively, but I also check to see how my blogging looks on tablets (iPads and Android) as well as regular PC browsers.

But hey, that’s why we’re doing this. It’s a “learning experience.”

happy birthday gingersnaps

It was on this day, one year ago, that the Gingersnaps came into this world. Tiny, eyes closed, ears barely visible, no teeth, they were totally defenseless and totally dependent upon their mother, Sunshine. The photo below is one (I have no idea which one) of them taken four days after their birth.

where is my mom????

Now, a year later, they’re officially Not Kittens, but Male Cats at around twelve pounds each. It’s sad to say that their mom, Sunshine, passed earlier this year due to feline cardiac arrest. But while she was alive she loved all five of the kittens she delivered into this world (the two boys, plus three females) and they’ve all turned out quite sweet and loving.

I would have create an appropriate photo for their birthday, but I had to fly back from Kansas and spend the rest of the day getting ready for hurricane Matthew, which is chewing up the Atlantic coast of Florida as  I write this.

And speaking of Mom, here’s Sunshine will all the litter.

momma guarding

hypno-cat

Who can ignore such a look? Not me. Beau is looking at me, while Luke chills in the back (probably entranced by a lizard). The Gingersnaps, born 6 October 2015, are now officially ten months old. Still kittens, but as of their last vet visit (last weekend) they’re 10 1/2 lbs for Beau and 11 lbs for Luke. So certainly not little kittens. But still playful and curious. I hope they keep those sweet characteristics for a long time.

gingersnaps report

Second cat post, this time about the Florida Gingersnaps. The real reason for the vet visit where I met little Victoria was to have the Gingersnaps weighed and their claws trimmed. At nearly eight months of age, Luke (in front above) now weighs 10 pounds, while Beau (in back) weighs a more svelte 9.4 pounds. Considering how Luke looks like a mirror image of his mom Sunshine, and how Sunshine was a thirteen pound adult, I can see how Luke would follow his mom not just in looks but in overall size and weight.

They’re still quite loving and playful, and when resting like they are above, they still like to cuddle together. After eight months I assume the two will keep up the cuddling behavior for as long as they’re living together, which I hope is many years to come. They both still allow me to pick them up in my arms and gently rub their stomachs until they purr like motorboats. My wife says it was Lucy who looked down from heaven and picked them out, and I believe that as they purr just like she did; loud and continuous. I’d sit here and gush quite a bit more but it’s the Memorial weekend and I’m already tasked to do other things. Perhaps later this weekend.

all creatures small and smaller

ruby and annie

It’s been a while since I lead off with any of the household animals, especially the Labs. I can still call out plural Labs because Annie is a Labradoodle mix. Pride of place in this photo belongs to Ruby, who has perfected the side-long look like no other Lab that’s ever lived with us. She loves to hop up on the sofa next to me, sidle over close, and then give me that “come hither” look, which for a Lab means “walk hither.” Annie, back in the shadows, is watching, picking up tips. Her schtick are her flying leaps, which I’m assuming come from the Poodle side of the Doodle mix.

cat condo

The Mackerel Tabbies seem to be getting along pretty well these days, at least in the big cat tree. I’ve not checked in about a month, but back in April, at six months, the Gingersnaps were weighed at nine pounds each. Lulu, resting at the bottom, is a little over fourteen. Everybody realizes Lulu is our special needs cat, and they give her reasonable wide berth. But when it comes time to nap, everybody gets along in the cat tree. As long as nobody but Lulu goes in the cat condo.

Gear

I’m photographing more, but posting less. The breaks are good as long as the don’t become indefinite. Top photo was taken with the Olympus E-M10 and the 14-42 EZ pancake zoom, bottom with the E-M10 and 45mm Zuiko. I also took the luxury of post processing with Lightroom 6.