February Photo Challenge, Finale: The eyes have it

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

Well, if that’s correct, I have a long way to go still. But working with my camera just about every day in February has taught me a lot. I know more about the buttons and dials and all that stuff on my camera, and I’m learning how to envision the photo I want to take, and how to adjust and evaluate the ones I actually do take. I have a long way to go still, but investing a month of more intensive time with my camera was definitely worth the effort.

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”― Martin Buber

Throughout the month many of you commented on the eyes of our pets, and I am thrilled to have a camera that captures them so well. Eyes, they say, are the window to the soul, and maybe some of this month’s pictures gave you a small sense of the souls of the nine critters who live with us. So rather than capturing something new for my last day, I did a little cropping of photos to bring you the eyes of our dogs and cats once again.

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Paris’s eyes always have a wistful look about them. He has had that look since the day we rescued him from the pound more than 10 years ago.

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Thomas is the contented one, totally comfortable., always ready for a lap, friends with all.

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Minh is our handsome kitty, and full of mischief at a moment’s notice.

“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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Stripe lives life on the wary side, always on guard. She makes sure no one bothers her, sending daggers from her eyes if they even think about it.

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Annie, our little feral, also lives a watchful life, but she’s getting more comfortable as time goes by. Still, you can see the uncertainty in her eyes.

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Lily is a bit shy, but sweet. A submissive little soul who avoids conflict and danger whenever possible.

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Hiro…what can I say? If he were human, he would be the handsome but dangerous guy all the girls fall for.

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Sweetness personified, that’s Butterscotch. Total and complete sweetness. And always ready to offer a belly to rub, just in case you might need one.


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Gabi, our matriach. Hellion when she was young, graceful presence in her old age. A gentle soul.

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”
― Ansel Adams

I hope these pictures give you some sense of the love we feel for the four-leggeds who live with us. Taking the photos gave me a chance to see them in a slightly different perspective than usual, to look into their souls a little more deeply. I have never considered myself an artist. Or rather, my artistry has always been with words. But little by little, I am learning to use my eyes to see and photograph. It may take me a few more lifetimes to complete the 10,000 photographs, and move into my better work, but I’m content for now and enjoying the journey. I’m even entering two of my photographs in the Hershey Camera Club contest this week for the first time. Wish me luck!

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer”
― Walter De Mulder

February Photo Challenge, Day 23: Annie

OK, these aren’t great photos, and the kitchen was dark so I had to use the flash, but I had a story to tell about our little Annie, so this is what you get today!

Annie is our little feral who came to us two years ago on death’s door, quite literally. Once I nursed her back to health, she had been inside too long – 4 months – to go back out. So she lives with us. She isn’t a huge fan of the two-leggeds in the house, but she’s learning.

Thomas, however, is her best bud. Where ever Thomas goes, Annie goes. (Maybe we should have named her Ruth…”wither thou goest, I will go.”) Thomas is Annie’s confidence.

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Often, what Thomas does, Annie does. So when Thomas jumped up on my lap the other night, as he often does, Annie jumped up too. It took both of us a couple seconds to realize that Annie was on my lap, and it took about one more second before she jumped down. But she was on my lap, ever so briefly. She is even letting me pet her when she’s not eating once in a while these days. Baby steps.

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She stood still for a photo shoot of at least 10 minutes, but in the end here’s what she had to say about it.

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I guess she’s done.