I only got one shot at tonights photo, bunnies did exactly what I wanted them to but then I had the camera set completely wrong (d'oh!). Oh well, live and learn (you'd hope) - here are two other photos from this evening.
I decided MrB was going to be todays subject. But when I went to take his photo, he suddenly wasn't in it. So we got:
He was right there, not two seconds ago! He REALLY doesn't like the on-going attention to his sore feets, which to be fair we had done just two minutes before. Fortunately (for us, not him) I know exactly where he hides. Here's todays photo:
No themes this week while I catch up. I was thinking of having 'flash' as the theme, because I almost always take bunny photos without one and thought it might produce something different. If you have a fancy flash you can point it at the ceiling indoors, rather than the bunny, for a nice even light that doesn't freak them out. Or, in this case, accidentally point it at my own face. So I can't see what I'm typing here, but hopefully the photo looks OK and maybe that's the other reason I don't usually use a flash.
It was a rubbish week on the Rabbit 365 Project this week, none of my planned photos with my two played out and I had too much other stuff going on to make the time to recover from it. This is the one phone pic I got of Anouska, which was actually from Friday.
Yes, quite right Pea/Pod/Cosmos, you SHOULD glare at me - my photos this week have been so terrible I've not even posted them! The theme for this week is 'mobile phone photography', i.e. trying to get the best possible images out of a phone camera. (The image above was not from a mobile, in case you wondered, it's just here to make me feel better/guilty.) Hmmm... maybe I should have waited for the summer when there is more light...
I recently found myself in a 2 hour Photoshop class learning the basics. I've used Elements a fair amount for a limited set of tools, but this was my first time doing proper learning of how it is supposed to be done and in the full version.
In this class we were combining our own photos from a previous photography lesson as the exercise. Somehow some of my home photos had gotten mixed in to my set, so while the others in the class produced a simple artistic combination of their silhouette and flower photos, one extra component sneaked into mine...
This weeks theme is about "negative space", so if you are following along with us then I hope you are finding some good ideas for your own rabbit photos. If you are finding it challenging, don't worry - there are plenty of great web pages out there if you need inspiration (like this one or this one or...in fact you can pretty much just do a Google image search for 'negative space photography' and you're sorted).
I want to throw another tip at you in case you are wondering why some of your photos look kinda cool while others just don't work at all. I think this next tip is so relevant to this weeks theme because it is very much emphasised by all the space in these pictures. And that tip is this: Be very mindful of your complementary colours.
I must confess here, I myself am terrible when it comes to colours. Perhaps it stems from my younger years as an aspiring goth when as far as I was concerned there was only 'black', 'white' and 'other'. Well anyway, I am now aspiring to better (photographical) things so I am trying harder. If you don't know about complementary colours, I am not going to re-invent the wheel here, go and take a look at the excellent introduction to the topic by professional photographers Chelsea and Tony Northrup over on their website.
Got all that? Memorised that wheel thingy? Good! Time to start preparing for today's photo...
I guess Anouska knows that this weeks theme is "In A Negative Space" because she has decided to contribute and left this for me. Such an artist. I don't even know which part of the floor it came from, which will give you an idea of the level of devastation she has wreaked on the mats in their room this week.
When bunnies aren't in the mood for photography I need to respect that so I have a few friends on standby to help out. Here's the complete gang: Mr Bun, bunny (doesn't have a name yet), Mr Bear, Meg and Ms Beanz.
Since MrB is having stuff rubbed into his sore feet at the moment, which he hates, and Anouska just assumes her feet are next (they're not) and hides, I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot of the gang during our "negative space" week...
It's been a tricky week taking photos of Ms A and Mr B. Last weeks vet visit is still causing them to treat any unusual new activity as highly suspicious and likely worth running away from. None of yesterdays attempts came to anything, close-ups of noses rapidly turned into far-away tails before a shutter could be released. So to make up for it, you get two Anouska nap photos from today, which is still about the best we can manage. It seems I am going to have to step up my trust-building/bribery skills as much as my photography this month!
Most people who take up photography as a hobby will at some point pick a camera brand and stick with it. Not because they are lucky enough to always correctly pick the best brand for them from the off, but because once they've bought a few lenses they are kind of committed. For me, that brand happened to be Canon.
The camera on the left is the Canon EOS 550D. I bought it, new, with lens, for 635 quid back in 2010. It was my first DSLR, bought both for my role as official photographer at the Rabbit Residence Rescue and for taking photos of my bunnies. I liked it a lot, it was a pretty decent camera for rabbit photography, especially when it had the cheap but wonderful Canon 24mm STM pancake lens on the front of it. As a formerly purely compact camera user I found the controls difficult to decipher and learn at first, but once I did I found the camera very effective. However, as it was only a smidge above entry level as DSLRs go, it wasn't built for the all-weather punishment it received in its years taking photos for the RRR calendar and blog. In essence, I killed it. Like the compacts that came before it, it has all sorts of mess mushed into all of its dips, gaps and grooves and has long since ceased to function. Photography, it turns out, can be a very expensive hobby.
The camera on the right is the Canon EOS 5D, a ten-year-old full-frame camera that cost over 3000 quid in its day. I bought this one last month, used, for 230 quid (without a lens). Although it is old and well used, the 5D is a more solidly built, professional grade of camera, so this one still has a bit of life in it. Despite its age, I predict that it will be some months before I manage to kill this one with dirt, fur, poo, woodshavings and rain.
So, especially if you are a fan of my rabbit photos, you might now be thinking "Are these good bunny cameras? Should I invest in one?". To which I would say: No. Definitely not. The 550D was great in its day but it has been replaced with newer better models in Canon's line-up many times over. Considering how many models have come since, its age and that it didn't seem to be built to last, they always seem surprisingly expensive to me to buy used. Then there's the 5D - revolutionary in its day, but that day has long passed. To use it now, it is by no means a beginners camera and I find taking rabbit pictures with it especially painful:- the relatively slow autofocus, no "live view", the tiny screen, few autofocus points, the low maximum ISO (which effectively limits what shutter speeds you can use), the 12 megapixel sensor you can't crop images from, the shutter so heavy it shakes the camera, the bulk and weight of it. Almost any half-decent modern camera puts it to shame. So why did I even buy it?!
After 8+ years photographing bunnies at the RRR, I had become lazy and was taking essentially the same few photos over and over again. I am hoping the 5D will break the cycle and force me to think carefully about photography again. I can't just point and shoot, everything needs to be planned around the limitations of the ageing technology. So far so good, the 5D is the camera I have been using for most of the shots I have taken up to now for this project, in fact ALL the shots from October were taken with it.
So there you go. Not very helpful if you were looking for advice on buying your own camera perhaps (I'll maybe try and address that soon), but as I am often asked "What camera do you use?", this is the post to tell you exactly that. Until I manage to kill this one as well, anyway.
I'll leave you with one of my favourite photos taken with the 5D last weekend and one of the RRR's most delightful adoptable pairs. This is the moment chocolate lop Mod, seemingly oblivious to the treat I was trying to give her, decided to try and mug her husbun Burny Whiskers for his instead!
BTW, if think you might like to adopt this gorgeous pair, go register your interest over at the RRR website!
The good news is that I've decided the themes for the next two weeks:
I figured continuing to ease in with another simple theme for this week would be good, so close-ups (ears, eyes, feets, floofy tails...) seemed like the ideal choice. If you are following along, time to get creative!
The bad news is that my "I'll take it tonight and post it tonight" plan was scuppered when MrB took one look at the flash gun and ran for the hills (well, technically, holes) prompting Anouska to think something serious was up and follow. Curses.
So what could I do to convey my sadness that I don't get to share my daily photo project with my bunnies today? Why, have a one-off 'sadness' themed post of course. Stuffies to the rescue...
At some point soon I aim to add a couple of 'about' pages on here (if I can work out how) so that there is a central place for both information about this blog, such as the rules of the Rabbit 365 Project, and the weekly themes. One of the rules I came up with is that the weekend posts should sit outside of the constraints of the weekly themes, a chance to experiment with whatever we are in the mood for on those days. Just so you know.
Anyhoos, this afternoon I dropped in to see my good friend Sprat over at the RRR as I heard he isn't feeling well. I was sad to see him not his usual lively self and also sad that he was too fed up with human poking and medicines to appreciate me trying to cheer him up. I did make a bit of a fuss of him though and made sure he knows I'm thinking about him. I was hoping he might be up for a photo, but he wasn't in a posing mood, so instead his wonderful uncle/father Wellington stepped in to help me out!
When I was planning this project (yes, that did sort of happen, believe it or not) I was wondering how...flexible I should be. The point of a 365 project is to take a photo a day, to think about how to capture a shot that fits within the current theme, to wonder to yourself, how much is too much italics. That much, in case you were wondering. Actually, that's not part of the project.
Well anyway, whilst I fully intend to take a photo a day, it did occur to me that maybe I didn't need to post today's photo today. Like, maybe I should be taking next weeks photos this week, then scheduling them up at the weekend (when I have more time) for the following week. It's an entirely practical idea, which should I catch up with myself I may still do. My bunnies have told me they wholeheartedly agree with this idea. Take the pressure off, they said. Don't rush it, or us, they said. Or we'll chomp up your props, they said. And they did.
Plush bunnies are so much easier to work with. Continuing the weeks theme of "Portrait", here is todays actual photo.
Let's just dive in and kick this off, shall we?
To get us started, I figure it best to pick something easy to warm up with, so I've settled on a first theme of:
If you are following along with our themes for your own 356 project it is entirely up to you how you interpret that - the orientation of the picture, your bunny as a painted portrait (through camera/app/Photoshop effects), whatever you can think of. Maybe get adventurous and try to photograph them through an empty photo frame?!
If you are completely new to this, why not try this:
You should end up with something that looks like this (or better!):
We'll keep with the portrait theme for the next few days to keep it simple, then hopefully step it up a notch when we pick our next theme at the weekend! See you back here tomorrow for our next 'Portrait' photo!