November 03, 2007

Cat Math

Have I told you lately how much I like the new digital camera? After all, I took about 6 pictures to get one of Fuzzy that wasn't too bad, but didn't waste any film AND no wait time. I know, I know, I was kind of late getting to the scene of the digital camera party, but now I'm a believer.

Fuzzy has become very friendly. A couple of years ago he was very skittish, running of if anyone got so much within 30 feet of him. As time went on, he got so he wouldn't run until we got within feet of him (usually we didn't see him until he moved as he likes to lay on things that he blends into). He has disappeared a couple of times - sometimes as much as for several months. The last time he disappeared, I quit putting food out in the cat house because ours were spending more time in the house, so I didn't have to worry about them going hungry.

About 2 months ago I saw him at the door to the cat house. He was in horrible shape; very thin and bedraggled. I know as a feral cat he has a tough living, but I had never seen him look so bad and he has always kept his coat very clean. As I opened the door to take him some food, he darted off to just in front of the gate to the deck stairs. as I bent down to put the food dish in the cat house, I was startled because he almost ran into me to get to the food.

Obviously, I have been feeding him since and he is in much better shape. He has been hanging around more and more, not bothering to move even if he is on the railing right next to the stairs. I got home the other day and WS informed me that if I hurried I could go pet Fuzzy. I had him repeat that sentence because I was sure I had heard wrong. Nope, that is what he had said. So I went out and Fuzzy was sitting on top of the cat house (a new favorite haunt for him). I stretched out my hand for him. He flinched, then stretched his nose and took a sniff. Much to my amazement he then put his head under my hand for a scratch. I obliged (of course), then not wanting to push mu luck, or his nerves, backed off. He looked at me and started meowing at me. So I scratched him a couple more times, then left him alone.

When I got home yesterday, he was out on the cat house and I went out to give him some food (I Had been thinking on my way home how I hadn't set any out that morning). As I was kneeled down, he rubbed against me on his way in the cat house door. I went outside several times after that, and each time he would meow at me then come over and rub against me (and get a pat on the head). He didn't even move from the top of the cat house when I brought the dogs in from the pen, nor when I let Shadow and Tory out (Tory isn't thrilled with Fuzzy hanging around, but doesn't confront him and Shadow pretty much ignores the feral cat)


This picture was taken yesterday afternoon. Yes, he is looking in the slider at me. I actually had to take several pictures before I could get it to come out right - what with the indoor lighting where the camera was at, the darkness of the cat and the brightness of the background. Hey, but I knew when they didn't come out well and was able to play around until I got a decent pic.

Adding it all together, I think we will be the "owners" of a new pet soon

Posted by Bogie on November 3, 2007 at 07:13 AM in Camera, Our Animals | Permalink | Comments (8)

October 28, 2007

New Camera

I'm in love with the digital camera I bought last week. Although I didn't get the one I really wanted, I got the one I was willing to spend the money on and has already proved to be a nice "beginners" camera.

After much investigation, wavering and downright stalling, I decided to get the Canon Powershot SD1000. It takes a bit of getting used to - the menu system is a bit involved. But then again, this camera can do a lot of things that I never thought a slimline could do (and some that I never really heard of or thought about).

The most impressive feature for me so far has been the ability of the camera to adjust for subjects that are back lit, or conversely, those that are lit a lot more brightly than their background.

For example, this is the original picture taken on my way home at about 5:45 PM. The sun sets about 6 PM and it is setting almost directly behind the hillside:


And this is the picture that came out after a couple of minutes of fumbling around trying to find the setting I was looking for (as I stated, the menu system is a bit involved, plus I was going by memory of what I had read a couple of days ago):


A world of difference!

For the converse, subject over lit compared to background, some hydrangea blooms in a vase sitting on the woodstove. When looking at the flowers in normal light, they don't appear over lit. But the flash is what affects the lighter areas of the Endless Summer hydrangea flower:


The smaller flower on the left looks like it has white buds in the center. With the internal correction, pictures though:


Yep, those buds are definitely green.

I have been playing with ISO settings and other settings too. Although this picture of limelight hydrangea blooms is dark, the impressiveness comes from the fact that the flash was not used, so the results are entirely from the use of the ISO settings:


It is very instructional when you can see the results immediately. I can also tell when I've taken a bad picture of flowers (which 90% of the pictures taken on the film camera were a huge waste of film), and immediately make adjustments to get a good picture.

With this camera, I can turn the flash off. It used to drive me crazy with the other camera because I didn't have that option (and without an auto correct for over lit subjects, was a major pain).

The list of things I don't like about this camera so far is very short.

  1. I don't like that the only way to imprint a date on the picture is to use the "postcard" setting. What is up with that?
  2. I want more zoom power (3x optical and 4x digital). However, that is one of the trade-offs of buying this camera versus what I will probably buy down the road (one with interchangeable lenses).

I'm still learning to use the features, but so far have been very pleased with the results.

I'll leave you with the first good picture I have gotten of Fuzzy - taken yesterday, a rainy, dark and gloomy day (the white dots are water reflecting the flash):


Posted by Bogie on October 28, 2007 at 06:53 AM in Camera | Permalink | Comments (0)