Morning Mimi: 2011

black and white photograph of black cat looking out sunny window

Morning Mimi

Mimi enjoys a spring sunrise from the upstairs window. I enjoy Mimi.

I enjoyed playing with the lens to achieve all the distortion of light and dark. I wanted the sense of the sun streaming into the window and washing over Mimi as if it was actually entering the house. I focused the camera’s sensor on Mimi’s darkest areas near her hip where there wasn’t even reflected light and the camera metered for a darker image, flashing out the highlights. I moved just enough into the path of the sun so it entered the lens, creating the path of translucent circles.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get Mimi’s lovely curved tail; her continuous curving shape contrasts with the angularity of the window and cabinet, but coordinates with the sunspots and the softness of the lace curtain. I love those few old casement windows I still have—they have so much character with the wavy glass, the layers of caulking and paint.

I don’t shoot on any camera’s black and white setting, though—I find the camera’s sense of values to be different from mine, literally, and find they never compare to what I shot on black and white film. I’m always disappointed in the lack of midrange tones and I find the highlights are white, but even the darkest areas aren’t truly saturated. Instead, I experimented when I still had black and white film, shooting the same images with film and with my digital, trying settings then taking the color versions to PhotoShop to work with saturation levels and came up with a little procedure that works well to match on computer and in prints pretty much what I loved about black and white film.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


A Custom Daily Photo

matted framed photo of four black cats eating

The Fantastic Four at Four, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

A friend enjoyed one of my daily photos so much he wanted a print for himself!

Of course, it’s less to do with me than it is with the “Fantastic Four at Four”, perfectly lined up and having their birthday breakfast on July 26, 2011, the day they turned four years old.

I actually included the photo (below) in the post about Mimi’s “birthday”, July 29, which is the day she arrived here with the “tiny four” and which has become her nominal birthday since I have no idea when it really is. And the Fantastic Four get enough attention, Mimi deserves her own day for lots of reasons.

four cats eating

Fantastic Four eating breakfast on the big day: Jelly Bean, Giuseppe, Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette.

This was kind of staged—they don’t normally eat up there, and they don’t normally eat dry food, but just to get a shot of them all lined up I used bowls of their favorite grain-free dry that I know they all like and, heavens, forced them to eat it! Right. They were lined up as soon as the bowls came out, and if I could only have recorded the purring along with the image…

On seeing the post, a friend said he’d like a print of that photo, and I was thrilled he was interested and also had a few ideas. I play around with these photos and others myself all the time, adjusting colors, adding filters, matting and framing and even printing them on canvas and tote bags and tees and lots of other things as I plan new merchandise and experiment with products and techniques.

I’d also seen this person’s home and remembered a lovely retro scheme of 1950s bold pastels like pink and yellow and sky blue and mint green along with brushed and bright chrome (especially that totally cool chrome chandelier with the pastel ceramic cups and saucers as the light fixtures), and along with asking what size he’d like it I offered to mat and frame it. I was picturing the photo in black and white instead of color, a bright or brushed chrome frame in a particular retro style, and a white mat with a colored liner, mint green—for the Four and their favorite sink—or pink since the color was often used in the room.

I described this to him, and to my surprise he had the same sort of thing in mind. I am sometimes fortunate when a customer and I have the same idea for their custom piece, but his went pretty far into the actual details of the idea. But I knew I could move forward with the confidence that in the end he wouldn’t receive his artwork (he is not local and would not see it as I was working on it) and ask me what I was thinking when I put this together…

So that was the plan. He gave me the size for the area it would go, I planned out the size of the frame and mat and print and put it together. The frame size of the finished piece is 11.5″ x 24.5″, the image is 6.5″ x 19.5″.

black and white photo of four cats eating

The Fantastic Four, the final version of the photo.

When black and white photos are printed through a color printing machine, as most of us have our prints made now, you’ll see a slight color cast that varies for many reasons, from the content of your own file to the machine that prints them. It’s not always noticeable until you put it with another color, and in this case when I cut the mat and looked at the print next to the pink, it looked a less-than-attractive dull green. I filled the photo just 3% pink and readjusted the brightest highlights back to white and it worked perfectly with the mat.

I just love knowing that my cats are out there being enjoyed by other people. One of these days I hope to have an actual studio where shots like this will be even easier, especially if I use the right cat food, but for now the candid daily shots are also very much enjoyed.

And they serve their purpose for me as well as a daily creative exercise: take usable photos, choose only one, prepare it for view, give it a title and write something about it that others will enjoy—without taking all day! Much of what I do is commercial art, planned by myself and customers and I don’t get the chance to do much that’s extemporaneous, or find the need to come up with ideas, headlines text and images on the spot as I used to when working in advertising. It helps to keep my design senses sharp for everything I do during the day.

So if you see a daily photo—or sketch—that you particularly like, just ask and we’ll plan something special.

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Read about more of the things I create that are inspired by my cats in the category “Marketplace”.

To see more daily photos and sketches go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or “Daily Sketches” or choose from the categories below that to see photos and sketches of black cats or tortie cats.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Mewsette, Morning

black cat in sun

Mewsette in the morning sun.

Mewsette is letting the shadows fall behind her on this sunny morning, dozing in warm winter sun.

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To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.

 


On a Rainy Afternoon: From A Year Ago Today

two cats on a pillow

On a Rainy Afternoon

Cookie and Mimi spend some cozy hours on the pile of pillows on my bed while the day fills with rain and fog outside the window.

I often think rescued kitties take a little time on bad weather days remembering the days before their rescue. I know Mimi does because this normally reticent kitty is suddenly following me around, loving on me, looking into my eyes and telling me stories. Cookie is not so obvious, but she thanks me pretty much all the time.

The photo was nearly colorless with the stark rain light, and there’s something about a contrasty image with overexposed highlights that just asks to be black and white, and so it is.

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To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


That Does It!

sepia photo of two black cats fighting

That does it!

“That does it! That’s the last time you call me Fatso!”

“Fatso!”

“Shut up!”

“Fatso!”

“I’m gonna kill you!”

“Fatso!”

“You’re dead now, Giuseppe!”

“Fatso!”

“Your face is gonna be all over that wall!”

“Fatso!”

[Voice of Mom] “Don’t make me come over there boys.”

“Fatso!”

“You’re not gonna live to see that fancy French girlfriend of yours!”

“Don’t you talk about Mlle. like that!”

“Ha! You think you’re so tough! Now you’re all wimpy about a g-i-i-r-r-r-l!”

“You say her name and I’ll put you through that wall!”

“You’re all talk, Giuseppe, just wait till she finds that out!”

[Voice of Mom] “I need to make a phone call, boys, let’s kiss and make up.”

Brothers…

Giuseppe and Jelly Bean in another morning wrestling match. They’re never at it for long. I’m not sure how they got over this one, but before I knew it they were bathing each other again.

Of course, I had to edit the content of their argument for general readership.

Here’s another round of their daily wrestling match: I Knight Thee…

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To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


I Knight Thee…

two black cats

Giuseppe knights Jelly Bean.

“In the name of My Most Royal Majesty, the Queen Mother Bernadette, I knight thee. Arise, Sir Jelly of Bean.”

“Who died and left you Knight of the Realm?”

“Shut up, you little twit, act dignified.”

“You’re having delusions of grandeur.”

“You don’t even know what that means!”

“Get your filthy paw off my head or you’ll be having delusions of a lot of other things too.”

“You’re lucky I don’t take your ear off.”

“If I have to call you ‘Sir Giuseppe’ I’m going to puke.”

“Let’s get back to our regularly scheduled wrestling match.”

Brothers…

Giuseppe and Jelly Bean really do wrestle in front of this window just about every morning. I love it when there’s a pawse in the action.

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To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Traffic Jam

three black cats

Traffic Jam.

Jelly Bean sits right in the only place the boys think they can pass through to get from my desk to the window.

In fact, it’s a little game they play. There are plenty of other ways to get there, but JB is just itching for a little scuffle. Call him passive aggressive, but he gets in the way until someone gets annoyed.

On the left you see the back of Giuseppe’s head, since he has already run the gauntlet. On the right you see Mr. Sunshine’s butt, and chances are better than equal that he will jostle Bean and the games will begin.

I gave it a slight orange cast because I felt like it.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Morning Mimi

black and white photograph of black cat looking out sunny window

Morning Mimi

Mimi enjoys a spring sunrise from the upstairs window. I enjoy Mimi.

I enjoyed playing with the lens to achieve all the distortion of light and dark. I wanted the sense of the sun streaming into the window and washing over Mimi as if it was actually entering the house. I focused the camera’s sensor on Mimi’s darkest areas near her hip where there wasn’t even reflected light and the camera metered for a darker image, flashing out the highlights. I moved just enough into the path of the sun so it entered the lens, creating the path translucent circles.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get Mimi’s lovely curved tail; her continuous curving shape contrasts with the angularity of the window and cabinet, but coordinates with the sunspots and the softness of the lace curtain. I love those few old casement windows I still have—they have so much character with the wavy glass, the layers of caulking and paint.

I don’t shoot on any camera’s black and white setting, though—I find the camera’s sense of values to be different from mine, literally, and find they never compare to what I shot on black and white film. I’m always disappointed in the lack of midrange tones and I find the highlights are white, but even the darkest areas aren’t truly saturated. Instead, I experimented when I still had black and white film, shooting the same images with film and with my digital, trying settings then taking the color versions to PhotoShop to work with saturation levels and came up with a little procedure that works well to match on computer and in prints pretty much what I loved about black and white film.


On a Rainy Afternoon

two cats on a pillow

On a Rainy Afternoon

Cookie and Mimi spend some cozy hours on the pile of pillows on my bed while the day fills with rain and fog outside the window.

I often think rescued kitties take a little time on bad weather days remembering the days before their rescue. I know Mimi does because this normally reticent kitty is suddenly following me around, loving on me, looking into my eyes and telling me stories. Cookie is not so obvious, but she thanks me pretty much all the time.

The photo was nearly colorless with the stark rain light, and there’s something about a contrasty image with overexposed highlights that just asks to be black and white, and so it is.