wobbly-Take Two!

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Thanks so much to everyone for their beautiful, encouraging comments on my last post, chucking a wobbly. (I’m still snorty laughing over your comment, LB!!)

Without you all, I probably wouldn’t have continued bravely into the perfect storm of indoor photography – and, staring down the beast, wouldn’t have unlocked two more of its mysteries.

But more about those soon.

First, more cat distractions whilst trying to perfect product photography!

SLINKY

Slinky cut a fine figure but I was in kind of a rush to experiment with products for sale a little more!

TIGGER

While Tigger played the “charm card”. “What? Well, you are taking pictures of orange things!”

And Oscar just generally distracted me with mountains of fur! (Which, incidentally, is being professionally groomed tomorrow. Hysterical pictures to come!)

OSCAR

Two wonderful bloggers, Alys from Gardening Nirvana and Pauline from The Contented Crafter, as well as leaving their usual, encouraging, kind and thoughtful comments, quite rightly asked some important questions that could and should have been answered in my last post.

So, here I am to atone.

Also, BREAKING NEWS: The gorgeous Boomdeeadda has just custom ordered a crochet flower bunting from my Etsy shop, having seen them in my first post about my terrible photography tantrums!

Boomdee is currently decorating her world-famous craft room – the Boom Room – and would like some of my little ‘ol bunting in colours to match! She’s a gem!

But back to more indoor photography trials and tribulations!

As you know from last time, this is pretty much my indoor photography set up.

PHOTOS 1

It consists of a solid white MDF base, one large, lightweight, white solid plastic sheet leaning against the back wall and two small solid ones on either side to hopefully bounce light back onto the subject. All of this was purchased quite cheaply at a large hardware store. I then drape a white sheet of paper (a paper tablecloth from a party shop) over the back board and base board to eliminate a harsh line between the two.

As I said previously, I had a basic, relatively cheap point-and-shoot camera already, which has quite a large lens. I was told a larger lens allows for more light, but who knows if that’s true.

I did splurge a little on a middle-of-the-range tripod, which of course is great for holding the camera steady when taking product shots.

I was also lucky enough to already have some work lights on stands in the shed because The hard-working Committee has accumulated those sorts of blokey things over the years for when we’ve repainted or had work to do in the roof space, etc.

The first lot were LED (tungsten) lights, which were excellent light-wise (see my pictures under Crochet Flower Bunting Garland Love on the right) but shocking heat-wise. I was sweating all over five minutes into a photo shoot and, ten minutes in, couldn’t physically stand near them any more.

So back out to the shed they went.

I fossicked around and found one set of fluorescent lights on a stand and they turned out to be much cooler. The light isn’t as good for indoor photography and I think that’s partly why I’ve had so many issues (and wobbly chuckings!) over the past week.

SCALE 11

But, onto my discoveries!

I was aiming the fluoro lights straight at the subjects because the light wasn’t bright enough when bouncing it off the ceiling (like I had done to good effect with the tungsten lights.) So, off I went to the hardware store and bought one more fluorescent light.

And this is how things look now.

Work light 2

Work light 3

Aiming the two fluorescent lights straight at products was washing them out and creating shadows – so now with one more light – and aiming them at the ceiling – I’ve achieved a bit better result and a more natural look.

So, first discovery – bouncing light off the ceiling gave me a softer light (Aaahh! der! every professional photographer in the world just sighed!)

The second discovery was a bit “der-ish” as well. In fact, some may say I’ve been very daft!

You see, here I was all this time cursing iPhoto for its lack of photo editing tools when I realised there were two more tabs I had never clicked on!

Good grief!

It’s opened up a whole new world – I can lighten photos and make them a little sharper, etc. etc. Wow!

I know, Dani with the late news!

The great thing about these newly discovered photo editing tools is they help to make the product look more like it does with the natural eye, which is so very handy when you are selling your goods on line and people want to know exactly how the product looks before they buy.

So, here’s where I have progressed to …

NEW ONE 9

For Alys: I have been scouring op shops (thrift shops) for props to help with photo styling (ha!) and came across these gorgeous little felt dresses for a bargain. Must try and make some myself one day!

There’s still a bit of work to do …CROCHET FLOWER BUNTING:GARLAND 10

And now for a close-up.

CROCHET FLOWER BUNTING:GARLAND 16

And for another colour …

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I’ve still got a lot to learn about the mysteries of indoor product photography, but little by little …

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I hope that has helped answer a few questions from my first indoor product photography post, chucking a wobbly, but if it hasn’t feel free to ask any others you may have.

Now off to unlock the mysteries of photo editing – and to make some custom-ordered bunting …..

xoxoxoxoxoxox

chucking a wobbly

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The Urban Dictionary defines “chucking a wobbly” as:

“To throw a tantrum.”

AND

“Reached the end of rational thought and action.”

And it gives this example: “You had a flat tire, you weren’t in auto club, mobile phone was out of batteries, late for work without a note and there were no tools in the car so you chuck a wobbly.”

It also states that this saying was: “Thought to have originated in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.”

I, personally, have never had any trouble chucking a wobbly.

For instance, when I was about two years old I couldn’t turn on a tap – wobbly time!

YOUNG PHOTO 2

And I felt much the same way last week when I decided it was time to get a little serious about indoor photography.

You see, the dull winter light just wasn’t cutting it when I tried to take photos of my handmade crochet flower bunting/garland. (The photo below isn’t too bad, but I had to bolt to the camera when the sun appeared from behind the clouds – and just as quickly it disappeared again.)

CROCHET FLOWER BUNTING 16

So, I did what most do today and turned to the Internet for ideas, suggestions and recommendations on how to set up a small indoor studio on a budget.

I came away with some fabulous information and was quite optimistic that by the end of the day I’d be taking fabulous snaps in my reasonably-priced mini studio.

I was as happy as when I was four – and twice as naive!

YOUNG PHOTO 3

Luckily, I already had a reasonably good point and shoot camera, but apparently I needed a tripod, a white background and, of course, some form of lighting.

So, first came the background – solid white MDF for the base and a lightweight, large plasticky-type sheet to lean against the wall.

And that certainly improved things a little.

ANOTHER BUNTING 24

But, oh, let there be light!

We are blessed in TeddyandTottieLand with good natural light for outdoor photography but indoor is a very different story.

There was nothing for it but to experiment, experiment, experiment.

One type of lighting made me feel a little blue! Chucking a wobbly time!

NEW LIGHT 6

The next lot made me feel a little washed out! Wobbly time!

CR FL BUNTING 14

Then, slightly less blue but still not great! Wobbly ….. well, you know!

NEW LIGHT 10

Then I got the light right, but had cat issues …

ANOTHER BUNTING 14

“Are you talking about me?”

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Yes, Tigger, you little monkey!

Eventually, after days and days of dusting off cobwebs from different work lights found in the shed, and fiddling with settings on the camera – and basically sheer dumb luck – I have stumbled across a set up that’s acceptable.

PHOTOS 1

Don’t laugh you professional photographers out there!

PHOTOS 6

I’m all for “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again”, but sometimes you’ve just got to call it quits before they cart you away!

So, this is the final result … for now …

FINAL CROCHET FLOWER BUNTING:GARLAND 9 SH

And, at least I can take photos any time now – day or night – without depending on the sun being out.

FINAL CROCHET FLOWER BUNTING:GARLAND 11 SH

It’s far from perfect, but you get the idea.

My close-up focus especially needs some work.

FINAL CROCHET FLOWER BUNTING:GARLAND 13 SH

But I think that’s a problem for next week!

FINAL CROCHET FLOWER BUNTING:GARLAND 15 SH

In the meantime, bring on the chamomile tea!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Snake Speak

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At the heady heights of our obsession with all things Harry Potter, we collected many objects associated with the young wizard’s tale.

HARRY POTTER

Ha! Ha! No, that’s not me on a bad day in the middle there – that’s Voldemort, of course! And the strange-looking brown thing on his right is our very own “sorting hat”.

When Tottie and Teddy put it on their heads several years back, it sorted them into Gryffindor without hesitation.

I was sorted into Hufflepuff! (Hmmmf. Yes, it’s true I’m at home in a greenhouse and I’m a little rotund like Professor Sprout, but surely the sorting hat missed my heroic qualities and bravery? Well, not in the face of mice, of course, or rats, oh and yes some spiders, snakes, flying in airplanes, thrill rides, swimming in the sea deeper than my knees, sharks … hmmm …)

Anyway …

If you’re not or never have been into the Harry Potter books or movies, well, you’ve probably already moved on to the next blog you follow, but if you are a little kooky about all things Hogwarts – I’ve got one question for you!

Q: Aside from the great Harry Potter, who else was sorted into Gryffindor AND can speak parseltongue (snake language in J.K. Rowling speak)?

Harry and the Burmese Python. Photo courtesy of: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Parseltongue

A: Tottie

Yes, Tottie!

Who knew?

On our recent trip to Australia Zoo in Queensland, Tottie showcased her parseltongue skills in style.

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 18

Tottie positioned herself beside a very large glass enclosure to get a closer look at the majestic python.

And the reptile noticed the interested onlooker straight away.

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 1

Tottie translated for me afterwards and the encounter went something like this.

“Hello,” said the python.

“Do you know, according to Wikipedia, I am one of the five largest snakes in the world.

“My wild relatives average 3.7 metres (12ft) long but can reach up to 5.74 metres (19ft).

“Ah, you like water, too.

“My species are often found near water and are sometimes even semi-aquatic.”

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 2

“My, you’re lovely, Tottie – and so very tall”

“Right back at you,” said Tottie. “Your skin is totally awesome.”

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 3

“Why, thank-you,” the python replied. “I love your pretty bracelet and I’m so glad to see you are not wearing snakeskin shoes or carrying a snakeskin bag.

“My kind are considered ‘threatened’ because, historically, we have been slaughtered to supply the world leather market.

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 4

Tottie: “Oh! That’s terrible!”

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“I’m so glad you think so,” said the python.

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 6

“You don’t mind if I get a little closer to your fluffy, cuddly blue skin, do you?

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 7

“Oooh! So cosy!

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 10

“Happy dance!

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“Did you know, Tottie, like all snakes, Burmese pythons are carnivorous.

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 12

“My species use their sharp rearward-pointing teeth to seize their prey of birds or mammals and then wrap their bodies around the prey, at the same time contracting their muscles, killing the prey by constriction.

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 13

“We are very strong and must be looked after properly if people wish to keep us as pets.”

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 14

“Oh! That’s fascinating information and so true about looking after pets properly,” Tottie said to the python.

“I’m so glad we can speak together in parseltongue, but I’m so sorry I can’t free you like Harry did in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone in the US).”

“Oh! That’s OK. I quite like it here, really. I have a huge enclosure and interesting faces to look at all the time.

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 16

“Do come back and visit again, Tottie, and bring your Harry Potter friend with you next time!”

TOTTIE AND THE PYTHON 15

Parseltongue:

“Psā!”

“Efe iska?”

He, he, he!

Tigger and Oscar hit the big time!

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teddyandtottie:

Tigger and Oscar featured on Katzenworld this week among some other super cuties! Yay! Thank-you the good folks at Katzenworld!

Originally posted on Katzenworld:

Hi friends and followers!

Please find below photos of participants of last weeks photo challenge and links back to their own Blogs:

canadiancats

Photo by The Canadian Cats

tigger-8oscar-10

These two tummy beauties are from Teddy and Tottie. :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And these beauties are from Three Cat Yard.

andy-resting-on-back_edited-1andy-by-grass

And these two super special tummy pictures of Andy are from Weggieboy’s Blog!

Would you like to see your own cats here next week? Well the rules are simple.

All you need to do is post a photo or photo story of your furfriend on your own Blog and add our photo challenge photo (Click on this text to get the photo) to your post. :)

And to make it fair your cat photos don’t have to be a tummy shot we do understand that not all cats like showing their belly! So any fun photo story will be fine…

View original 149 more words

ZZZZZzzzzzzzz – Sleep Like No One Is Watching!

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OSCAR 10

Oscar certainly lives by this rule.

OSCAR 2

There’s often fur and legs everywhere.

OSCAR 4

And, whilst walking past, you catch a glimpse of super cuteness that instantly puts you in two minds!

Ooohhh! I really, really want to leave him in peace in the lovely land of REM, but that pink nose, mouth and paw pads – and all that superfine fluff – is screaming out for a big squeezie hug!

OSCAR 9

Luckily for Oscar, he is not the only one who sleeps like no one is watching in this household.

TIGGER 11

Mind you, I don’t think Tigger realises that Edward B. Bear and Puss-In-Boots don’t sleep when he does -

TIGGER 4

and are constantly watching as he quietly snores his way through several hours,

TIGGER 8

and many cute poses …

TIGGER 6

Aaawwwww!

TIGGER 7

Now you’re just playing it up for the good folks on the www, Tiggy Wiggy!

TIGGER 9

How lucky we are to have such cuties but, boy, we miss our handsome Dee Dee so very, very much!

xoxoxoxoxox

Oh! August, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

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WARNING: Boomdeeadda, Simply Made Kitchen and CraftsMarking Our Territory, A Random Harvest, The Creative Cat, Bliss In Images, Nikitaland and many other good friends in the Northern Hemisphere who struggled bravely through a torrid winter may not wish to see any of the white stuff again so soon. So, perhaps you might like to look away now.

SNOW 2

Just when I thought there was nothing prettier than a frosty morning – along came a super cold blast on the first day of August – and, guess what, we got pretty, pretty snow – and lots of it!

Like real, hanging from trees,

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fluffy, deepish,

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Hollywood movie set snow!

SNOW 24

Well, we were promised snow down to 500 metres – and my little town sits at about 460m, according to the www, so we thought we might be in with a chance of some of the white stuff in our very own Oasis and Desert.

SNOW 19

But, alas, we again had to travel a small distance to a nearby Mount, that sits at about 640m (I know, everyone in the Swiss Alps and Himalayas just fell over laughing!), and lo and behold there was real, full-on snow on about the top third of the mountain. Wow!

SNOW 4

This is a big thing for we Victorians.

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We don’t often have so much snow fall so very low, the kids love it and, with it falling in buckets locally, we don’t have to travel about six hours in the car and put chains on our tyres just to see it.

SNOW 25

There were news crews and everything atop the mountain and adults not really dressed for snow and minus 1 degrees celsius temperatures throwing snowballs at one another and building snowman after snowman! Sales of carrots went through the roof at the local general store!

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And, did I spy proof of the existence of a mythical snow monster as I danced through the Winter Wonderland singing:

“Let It Go

Let It Go

Can’t hold it back anymore … “

And a Boomdee favourite:

“Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

And my best Bing Crosby impersonation of:

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

But, oh yes, back to the mythical monster.

SNOW 27

Could I have found proof of the existence of the Yeti?

SNOW 22

No, it’s not the Yeti, it’s …

Super Snow Jetty! He, he!

SNOW 9

Faster than a speeding snow storm,

SNOW 8
able to make doggie snow angels in a single bound,

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“I’ll stand by you, citizen!”

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His spiffy tartan coat is a tribute to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow at the moment.

And then school finished – and Teddy and Tottie got to see and play in the most snow they have ever seen in their lives!

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SNOW 30

So much fun was had that we vowed to give up our Saturday morning sleep-in to head up here again in the hope there might be – gasp! – even more snow!

SNOW 31

SNOW 32

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“Oh, brother!”

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Yes, it’s true, I’m a crazy snow lover as well as a Mad Cat Woman!

Although, some wise words from Nikitaland are well worth remembering:

“Snow is beautiful until you have to shovel it!”

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

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**** Frozen ****

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The Oasis has been covered in white wonder (more commonly referred to as frost) these past few mornings and I love it!

DOG WALKS JULY 14 18

But not everyone is happy about the icy mornings.

DOG WALKS JULY 14 27

And here’s why.

Jet: “So, we dogs have to brave the cold winter mornings on our walks whilst the cats stay inside doing this …

DOG WALKS JULY 14 28

“Hamish and I are calling the pet union!”

Oh! Jetty, it’s not that bad. At least you have a coat. You should try being parsley …

DOG WALKS JULY 14 22

… or strawberries …

DOG WALKS JULY 14 17

or a metal ant in a red pram!

DOG WALKS JULY 14 15

Can you see him?

He’s trying to serve us some frost on a plate, the dear soul.

DOG WALKS JULY 14 16

And while I was crunching around in my gumboots in the chilly Oasis Out The Front Door …

DOG WALKS JULY 14 12

marvelling at tiny little icicles …

DOG WALKS JULY 14 19

Teddy and Tottie were pretend ice skating on the deck in the Desert Out The Back Door.

DOG WALKS JULY 14 13

And then the pet union arrived and insisted it was only fair that the cats ventured outside, too.

So, Oscar puffed his fur coat out as far as it could go and braved the frozen posts of The Oasis’ veggie patches.

DOG WALKS JULY 14 20

And proclaimed: “I don’t know what you dogs are complaining about!

“It’s not that bad.”

DOG WALKS JULY 14 21

And then whispered: “Quick Mum, can you get my organic wheat bag heated and ready for when the pet union leaves.

OSCAR 3

“Aaaaah! That’s more like it!

“I love Winter!”

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox