Thursday, January 29, 2009

Charcoal Cat on Black and White

This very cool and handsome fellow was happy (OK, maybe 'apathetic' is more accurate) to pose for me near a busy pedestrian passageway on Naxos. I noticed him relaxing on the top step of a short stairway leading to the front door of a home. The monochromatic subject and surroundings were too perfect to pass up, and I was able to get him to pay attention to me long enough to get a few good shots. This scene - within a recessed front patio - was set back several feet from the main foot traffic area, so I used a telephoto zoom at 150mm to give me enough reach for a decent frame-filling shot.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Cat Overhead

My wife and I were winding our way through some of the less commonly traveled passages in the main port town of Naxos island, when I decided for some reason to turn around and scan the low 'rooftops' of some decaying buildings, camera in hand (as usual). This curious cat popped into view and peeked at us over the edge of his hideout, giving me a good opportunity to quickly grab a few images. Something in the distance must have distracted him during the brief photo shoot, providing the instant that produced this particular shot.

The point for travel photographers in the Greek Islands is, don't forget to look up and behind you when walking through the narrow passageways that characterize so many of the classic villages and towns. With any luck, you'll be rewarded with some great photo opportunities.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Cat Bed in the Boulders

This striped tabby was sound asleep in a vacant, boulder-strewn field between two buildings on Naxos. I couldn't get very close without risking a lot of noise and disruption to the scene, so I stayed put - maybe 50 to 75 feet away - and changed lenses in order to zoom out to 180mm (270mm in 35mm SLR equivalent).

This cat obviously blended in pretty well with the background, was well removed from pedestrian traffic, and so was probably feeling very safe and comfortable. I'm guessing she's a regular visitor to this particular "bed."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Case of the Broken Canine

That's canine as in "tooth", not as in "dog." This comical cat liked to visit outside our room at the Hotel Grotta in Naxos. He was a non-stop talker, and also liked to stretch out on our warm patio during the late afternoon. I had several opportunities to photograph him at close range during our stay, and it wasn't until editing photos back home that I noticed his broken right front tooth.

Hopefully he is not bothered by the fractured tooth. According to The Veterinary Dental Center, a broken canine tooth can be pretty painful and prone to infection. This cat seemed pretty happy-go-lucky to us, so maybe he has somehow managed to avoid these complications.

Boy Cat or Girl Cat?

Some of you may rightly be wondering how I know if my feline subjects are male or female. The answer is... I don't. At least not always.

In some cases (as in the pregnant 'Hotel Keti' cat), it was immediately obvious that she was a female in full bloom, so to speak. But if the gender wasn't obvious during these (usually) brief photo sessions, I pursued a "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy.

So, I'll try to shoot for a little gender equity in my postings, which basically means I'll make educated guesses and flip some coins along the way.

Cat Guarding the Drinking Water

This cat took me a little by surprise during a hike on Mykonos, as he (she?) was perched at about eye level on an old stone fence along a narrow pathway, and he came into view pretty suddenly. The improvised water container placed somewhat precariously atop the fence serves as a strong clue that a 'caretaker' lives nearby, providing some basic essentials for this cat (and probably others) in the area.

This one became very curious about me, though he didn't seem to be overly approachable. After nervously shifting around a bit, he settled in to stare at me while I took several pictures at close range. I really like his focused gaze - it gives the impression that he's protecting his favorite water supply on a very hot day.