NWPBanner
Welcome! NWPphotoforum.com
Page 1 of 14 1 2 3 ... 13 14 >
Topic Options
#20569 - 02/21/09 10:43 PM SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics
AdoptAPet Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/21/09
Loc: NY
Hi Everyone,

I just found this site yesterday and have been so excited it is hard to contain myself.

A little about me... I have been doing rescue for over 15 years. About 5 years ago I started rescuing from high kill shelters around the country. I spend 7 days a week and on average 18 hours a day working on saving kitties from being gassed or killed by lethal injection. During kitten season (which is just starting) I basically run an ICU and Maternity Ward here in addition to doing adoptions.

Unfortunately, so often the life of the animal depends on a good photo. Get me a ?great photo? and I WILL find a great home for that animal and its life will be saved.

For the past several years I have tried and tried to learn what it takes to get that ?great photo? and have made minimal progress. I have figured out the basics like using a solid background, shooting nothing but the cat, being level with the subject, not to use a camera flash, etc, but in my experience it all comes down to the lighting and that is not something I have been able to master at this point.

Below is a (typical) photo one of the shelters sent of a Death Row kitty in a cage. I posted her and no one was interested.





It was very upsetting because I knew if I could get (what the shelters now know as a) ?Barbra Photo? I could find this cat a home and save her life. I decided to pull her from the shelter and get a ?Barbra Photo.? When I posted this photo I literally had people fighting over her!



Needless to say it was the picture that saved her life!


I need YOUR help! I have scanned the forums and posts and see there is a lot of unbelievable talent on here and quite a few have even been involved with helping shelter animals (thank you)! Please see if together we can build a set-up that will work for me. You need to keep in mind I am a newbie and not using the photos to make money, but rather to save a life. Money is always tight in rescue.

The best article of information I have found thus far towards reaching my goal is:
http://cat-chitchat.pictures-of-cats.org/2008/11/cat-photography-with-ken-and-helmi.html

If someone can explain to me in very basic terms what I need to get (and from where) that would be great! It appears to me that the light used behind the cat, pointing towards the background makes a tremendous difference in the photos.

Up to this point I have been using a cardboard box (with two sides cut off) and then I throw a background over the box and add the kitty.










There is a large window in the room, so depending on the day and sunshine determines the shot. I also bought two lights on tripods (with umbrellas ? one of them silver), but that didn?t resolve the problem either.

I don?t have too much difficulty with the cats and posing them or catching a good shot. My trouble is all with my make shift studio. I have been able to get some decent photos (for my purpose), but need to set up a little studio where the conditions will ALWAYS be right.









Any help anyone can offer will be so appreciated and WILL save lives!!!

Hugs and purrs?..
Barbra and the paws

Top
#20570 - 02/22/09 03:07 PM Re: SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics [Re: AdoptAPet]
psmith Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/09/08
Loc: Kansas
Tell me more about the two lights and umbrellas? Are they flashes or continuous (hot) lights?

What is your budget to set up a studio (I realize that it is probably shoestring...but a few dollars may make a difference in what one would buy)?

How much space to you have to commit to a studio space? I am assuming it will be temporary (set up and tore down)?

Is this a 'cat/kitten' only request? (Dogs are a whole different animal

You placed a high goal for yourself, Helmi is one of the best cat photographers in the world.

Top
#20571 - 02/22/09 03:09 PM Re: SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics [Re: psmith]
psmith Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/09/08
Loc: Kansas
Also, what make and model of camera do you use? If DSLR, what lens?

Top
#20572 - 02/22/09 04:04 PM Re: SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics [Re: psmith]
Julie Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/08/05
Loc: TN
Don't let PSmith not include himself in one of the best cat photographers in the world either. His photos are beautiful! And I am not one to hand out compliments to be nice

Helmi has an article on here describing her entire setup, which is very neat. I do dogs mainly, so all my stuff is geared toward that

I do shelter dogs at least monthly and use a one light set up on colored photo paper. And, as you said, it does help to get them adopted.
_________________________
http://JuliePoole.com

Top
#20573 - 02/22/09 04:10 PM Re: SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics [Re: Julie]
Julie Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/08/05
Loc: TN
Here is the link to Helmi's interview and she gives pretty detailed setup shots http://www.nwpphotoforum.com/ubbthreads/JM_Pieces/hflick/hflick_pt1.htm?Cat=0
_________________________
http://JuliePoole.com

Top
#20574 - 02/22/09 04:21 PM Re: SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics [Re: Julie]
psmith Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/09/08
Loc: Kansas
Quote:

Don't let PSmith not include himself in one of the best cat photographers in the world either. His photos are beautiful! And I am not one to hand out compliments to be nice






Top
#20575 - 02/22/09 06:06 PM Re: SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics [Re: psmith]
AdoptAPet Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/21/09
Loc: NY
Hi Preston,

WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!! I just looked at your photos on Pbase. WOW WOW WOW! They took my breath away. I am sitting here with the chills.

Okay, let me focus *which is not easy as I am so in awe right now).

My lights:



They are two continuous (hot) lights and each has a 300W bulb in it. Unfortunately, the cats kind of destroyed the umbrellas, so let?s just say I am starting from scratch.

I don?t think space will be a problem as saving these animals is my life and if I need to throw out the furniture downstairs and use the entire living room consider it done. Where I have been photographing now is in an upstairs office, because the front wall has tall open windows. I do not need to take the set-up down (although it would be helpful).



I rescue cats and kittens only. Any dogs I get involved with rescuing never come here so no photos needed.

As for the camera I have been using the Canon Digital Elph S230 (and have gotten some great pictures from it ? when I luck out with good lighting). I was looking into getting the Canon Rebel XT, but now see that Helmi uses Canon EOS 20D with a Tamron f2.8 28-75mm lens exclusively, so let?s just say I am starting from scratch and open to anything (that is cost effective).

Thank you so much!
Barbra

Top
#20576 - 02/22/09 06:19 PM Re: SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics [Re: AdoptAPet]
AdoptAPet Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/21/09
Loc: NY
Hi Julie,

Thanks for the links. I spent the other day combing through every site I could find on Helmi and found her set-up instructions and pictures (that?s how I ended up here). Unfortunately, it is over my head (side light with flag, hair/rim light, slave flash, soft boxes and so on are all foreign to me). I need to go down to the basics as this is all very new to me, but I am willing to do whatever I can to learn.

I wish her and her husband sold the whole set-up as is. Now that would solve my problems.

Barbra

Top
#20577 - 02/22/09 06:24 PM Re: SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics [Re: Julie]
AdoptAPet Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/21/09
Loc: NY
Quote:

I do shelter dogs at least monthly and use a one light set up on colored photo paper. And, as you said, it does help to get them adopted.




What do you mean when you say "colored photo paper?" Is that something that comes in a roll? Would you send me a link to an example? I tried to search, but only come up with paper to print on.

Thanks,
Barbra

Top
#20578 - 02/22/09 07:40 PM Re: SAVE A LIFE! ? Need to know basics [Re: AdoptAPet]
psmith Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/09/08
Loc: Kansas
Barbra,

I probably won't get into a detailed answer until I have a bit more time. But here are a few odds and ends:

The paper Julie mentioned is background paper, here is a link:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/1395/Other_Backgrounds_Paper_Savage_.html

As you can see, there are many colors and widths to choose from. 53" is probably wide enough for your purposes. Although you can reuse it, it is a disposable material and can get expensive if you need to discard after every use. White is the most problematic in this regard.

Helmi is using studio strobes, so her setup could get quite expensive for you. However, your hot lights may actually be preferable for your intended use because your subjects are likely much more shy and intimidated than a 'show cat' who is accustomed to being around noise, strangers, and handled by many people.

Tell us what happened when you shot with the lights/umbrellas...where did you position them and what kind of results did you get and what sort of camera settings did you use?

Top
Page 1 of 14 1 2 3 ... 13 14 >



Who's Online
0 registered (), 159 Guests and 2 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
alophotography, Perros.Humanos, Lindsay Wood, Devildogz0311, jamie
3304 Registered Users
Forum Stats
3304 Members
13 Forums
6095 Topics
36233 Posts

Max Online: 513 @ 07/14/12 06:45 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2017 Nature, Wildlife, and Pet Photography Forum. "NWPPhotoforum" and "nwpphotoforum.com" are the property of Nature, Wildlife, and Pet Photography Forum. All Rights Reserved. Wild Coyote Studio, New York Pet Photographer