Change and a Flash

Unlike most days, when I got home from work the cats were not down in the kitchen waiting for me. In fact it took a minute or so for Julius to come down and Gus and Calla were even later.  I didn’t think anything of it until this morning when I noticed that the trees and vines that used to be planted outside my back wall had all been cut down, uprooted, and mulched.

Apparently everyone had gone to ground with all the activity and noise out back.  And not very far out back…my back wall is about six feet from the back wall of the house.

Even this morning Julius was a little spooked going out back, so I brought him back in because it was not very good weather anyway.  I’m sure he will adjust easily enough, and the lack of branches on the wall top may make it more convenient for use as a highway.

It does help the view – I can see all the way down the pass and across the valley to the Santa Monica Mountains to the southwest from downstairs now.

I did a little more experimentation with the camera today to try and codify my observations about avoiding laser eyes or demon cat eyes.  It seems with Calla that there are two major effects in play.  The first is the flash intensity.  If I put the light pipper on a relatively dark part, like I did in this picture, the flash is brighter and the white fur and reflective eyes are overexposed or bright.  In the first two pictures it was on her white shirt front and thus the camera used less of a flash and probably a faster speed.  The white fur is not over exposed, but the rest of the room is very dark.  In the last picture the background is more filled in and visible.

Even the dark fur ‘fools’ the camera logic a little because it is closer to the light sensor and seems ‘brighter’.  There are ways to compensate for this with the camera, but these would presumably make the eyes and white fur even worse.

The angle of the shot can also help – if the eyes are not looking directly at the camera then the glowing eyes effect is a lot less in all cases.

Of course the ideal thing would be to use enough ambient lighting and good backgrounds so that little no flash is required at all.

Presumably similar tricks would work for Gus, but with him you have a second issue is that the black fur wants to vanish unless there is a lot of light, unless you use enough flash to burn in the white and produce glowing yellow eyes.  Calla’s cream to seal fur is a lot more forgiving.

About Oldcat

Engineer with Cats
This entry was posted in Calpurnia, Cats and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Change and a Flash

  1. That’s a beautiful and fluffy cat!


  2. I admit, I use the red-eye correction a LOT with May Ling. Blue-eyed kitties are a bear to get without the tapis luminarum in the back of their eyes reflecting, and our house is dark so I need the flash!


  3. littlemiao says:

    Laser eyes or not, Calpurnia is gorgeous! Do you think her white patches make the photos easier? It is almost impossible for me to get good photos of Mani, the dark seal-point ragdoll. He has no white. Red eye is 100% guaranteed if I use flash, but because he is so dark, it’s almost impossible to have good lighting for him.


    • Oldcat says:

      Well even besides my ‘fool the flash’ trick, the white brings out her face very well. Gus is similar, and its only his body that vanishes in photos. Poor Mani has a visible body and ‘invisible’ face. Cat faces may not have much expression, but people still need to see them to feel satisfied.

      I think you would need to have a powerful light to play on the ceiling or onto a sheet or other diffuser to get the ambient light up to where the fine features can show. Same thing for Kemi who is all dark.


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