Sunday, August 29, 2010

EMPS: A Photographer's Miscellany

For Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #104: Photographer's Choice, I thought I might take the opportunity to shoot fresh portraits, or at least new photos, of Cayenne and Pepper. The trouble is, there's a reason why I seldom get photos that are good enough to successfully convey their unimaginable cuteness. The house is not brightly lit, which in the Arizona heat is a good thing, but not so good for photographing a moving object.

If I'm doing anything around Cayenne, and it doesn't involve petting her, she's definitely on the move, pressing her head under my hand, rolling on her back, and performing other "Look at me! Pet me! Play with me!" antics. So photos of her tend to be blurry. If I use flash, the light turns her brown eyes yellow - and chances are, the photo is still blurry.

Pepper is generally more laid back about getting attention. In fact, the first year we owned her, she just wanted to be left alone. But when Cayenne is rolling around on the bed or the couch, that disturbs Pepper. And in any case, she knows and dislikes the camera. As soon as I point it toward her, Pepper usually gets up and leaves.

Dogs aren't the only animals that tend not to hold still for a portrait, of course. Two years ago, I spent many lunch breaks at my temp job in Oro Valley, trying to photograph butterflies. I doubt that I ever got a single portrait of those restless creatures. But this morning I got lucky. I was in my bathroom when I heard the fluttering of wings in the casement window. It was a butterfly, sort-of trapped between the pane of glass and the venetian blind, batting its wings ragged rather than easing out through the opening it probably used to get in.

I pushed the blind out of the way and nudged the window further open. The butterfly just hung there, resting, giving me plenty of time to go for my camera.

I think it's a pipevine swallowtail, the same kind that was so common out in Oro Valley; but this one had barely a hint of blue on its wings, and if it ever had a swallow tail the feature had been sacrificed to the creature's accidental self-harm. Still, it survived its ordeal, and flew away shortly after I left for church. And John says there are three pupae at the top of that same window. Perhaps we'll see brand new butterflies, alive and whole, before too long. Meanwhile, I need to wipe up the sad flecks of butterfly wing that are currently littering my bathtub.

Let's finish up with another kind of moving object, also trapped in glass. I've been sitting on this shot for a week or two: clouds reflected in the Williams Center building where one of my recruiters has an office.



Carly said...

Hi Karen :)

Great round up of photos for this week! I always enjoy seeing the pups, running, in focus, out of focus, it's all good! I have really enjoyed seeing them the last couple years! Goodness, I would love to bring them a big box of doggie biscuits one day, and go for a nice long walk! I miss having pups around the house!

LOVE the butterfly shot. What a great opportunity! Pour little wings. :( I will be thinking about that guy for a while. I just love black Swallowtails. So lovely! I have seen a couple in my yard this summer, but alas not a single one stopped for a visit. So pleased to see one here. :)

Thank you for your participation each week. It was appreciated! You have a perfect attendance record! LOL!

We will talk soon!



Jama said...

I love that little butterfly shot! Just a few days ago , at the park I came across a little butterfly with part of the wings torn off. I had to zoom to photograph it, as it couldn't sit still long enough for me to come closer!