One of the problems with bunnies is that, to them, there is no "instead of"...
Normally I would come home to disapproval after an afternoon like yesterday, spent around other furry friends, but I think Fluffy Little Five's humans pre-empted this and very kindly sent me home with some distractions...
I popped in to see the very wonderful bunnies over at Fluffy Little Five this afternoon. They seemed to enjoy my visit, though I suspect that had more to do with my being able to reach the treat jar than anything else, eh Marshmallow?
I have a bunch of 'photographing stuff' activities planned for this weekend, so today I thought I'd have a quick practise at shooting some straight portraits. Then, to make it more challenging, I tried it with some added difficulty thrown in. The idea of nailing these simple portraits is to ensure I can knock out some standard shots during these activities so that if all other ideas fail I will have something 'in the bag' and it won't come away with no useable photos. That probably makes more sense in my head than I am explaining it.
Anyhoos, the challenging part I tried to work with here is 'subject is lit from behind' (the light from the window), so it's dropping in just the right amount of 'fill flash' to even it out - if you've tried taking this kind of daylight indoor photo without flash you've likely ended with a perfectly light background and a silhouette of a bunny but no bunny. Again, I know what I'm talking about but...
So here we go. Subject lit from behind by light from window, lit from in front with a drop of bounce flash (with a little added shadow recovery in software because I didn't quite get it right)...
Ah Anouska, always has just the right way to make you feel wanted.
When I dreamed about this radio-triggered flash setup for photographing my bunnies, I failed to take into account how much I was relying on the focus assist beam on the flashgun (i.e. the red light on the front that comes on before the flash to help the camera focus). It's no help when it's high up on furniture pointing in a different direction instead of on the top of the camera. This ropey old, secondhand, slow-to-focus 5DMk1 I use now seems to especially need every little bit of help to focus in anything other than broad daylight, plus I had been using the beam to help me aim without looking through the viewfinder, since it effectively paints a temporary red cross-hair on the target. Probably more of a 'cheat' than a 'pro-tip' that one.
Anyway, as always, just a little bit of adjustment needed so luckily I can count on patient bunnies to wait without complaint and...erm....no, of course not, what was I thinking.
I guess but...hey, wasn't there talk of a diet not too long ago?! Cheeky Anouska!
Here's (what I hope is) a useful tip.
To combat the problem of uneven light in you photo, say for example where your bunny has a big fat head casting shadows over the mouf area when lit from above by your standard light bulb, you can use a reflector. A reflector, in photography terms, is a flat shiny surface you place just out of shot and angle to reflect light back at your subject. Sure, you can buy fancy purpose-made ones from camera shops or online, some of which are quite cheap, but since bunnies are quite small, you can also just use a sheet of kitchen foil stuck to a bit of card.
You can get different looks by using different coloured surfaces, a golden surface will have a warming effect etc, and in fact you can even just use a piece of paper. Neat, huh?!
Fuelled by desire to have better, more thought out photos on here, yesterday I decided to try out some different ways of lighting the bunnies. However, just my keen manner and placing the flash in a different place was enough to make MrB suspicious. There was some brief sniffing and tasting of the equipment before deciding it wasn't a new type of treat-time, then they made like magicians and disappeared themselves.
Luckily, Mr Bun stepped in, but his brilliant white fur was exactly the opposite of what I needed for this particular lighting experiment.
Back the the drawing board. Actually, maybe drawing bunnies is the way forward...
I'm getting slightly frustrated again with my own laziness and lack of creativity here on R365. Sure, I can blame non-compliant bunnies and their lack of enthusiasm for doing anything different and interesting, but at the end of the day it is down to me to find something that works for all of us. I need to kick myself in the butt.
While I digest that instruction to (and assault on) myself, today for my 100th post I am mixing it up a bit with a photo taken at an angle and processed with tonal curves to make it look slightly more dynamic. In case you wondered.
I almost caught Anouska in the exact same spot as MrB was yesterday, but she was shifting about too much cleaning herself and facing the wrong way...
Fait point, Anouska, fair point.
Yes, there should probably be a sweet caption on this post of what they were whispering to each other, but I didn't hear it over my exclamations of "OMB, LOOK AT THOSE ROLLS OF BUTT AND TUMMY FAT!!!!".
I think maybe your bad bunny parent has been cutting your breakfast carrot 'garnish' into 'chunks' in his pre-coffee sleepiness, my little chubby cherubs. Back to the diet!!!!
After some evening classes in photography last year, where we got to play with different lighting equipment, I decided that the way forward for my indoor rabbit photography was radio transmitter/receiver flash triggers. Instead of having a flash sat on top of the camera, you have a little transmitter box. That box then talks to another box somewhere else that has the flash sat on it. Why does this help? Well, because you can set it up somewhere off the floor, bounce the flash off the ceiling and you don't get the worry of having the strong flash anywhere near their eye-line and accidentally blinding/frightening them.
I finally picked up the kit over the weekend so I was trying it out. As you can see, MrB is always happy to sit there while I play about testing stuff out...
Oh wait, did I say 'happy'? Hap... no hang on, hap...hum...grum...grumpy. Yes, 'grumpy', that's the word I was searching for.
This kind of looks like MrB has gotten himself a new car and is looking with disdain at the human pedestrians that get in his way. Really though, I shot it through the arm of a plastic chair.
We seem to have switched premiere bun here on R365. First it was Anouska hogging most of the posts, recently it has been MrB. Not only have I found ways to take photos of MrB more easily, but it's almost like Anouska decides to camp out in the litter tray when she sees me coming with the camera now and that's generally not a great place to photograph a bun. You know, ...generally.
Are you comfy in there, Anouska?