Venti meets Zeiss

It's been a lazy Easter Friday - a chillaxed day to terroise the kitten with the camera. Today I was playing with the Zeiss 85 mm f/1.4 lens - long time no Zeiss!

I love the Zeiss lens - it's as sharp as when you can lock focus. Slightly more challenging with manual focus and a frisky kitten whose only two speeds are "100% Go" and comatose.

Shooting in AV mode, I tried various apertures - up to f/2, which does a great job at blowing away the background. Shooting Venti at f/1.4 though is practically impossible to get a sharp shot as she's always twitching....especially when she knows there's a camera in her face. Bless her little cotton socks :)

Happy Easter wherever you are, and have a great long weekend!

Practising pawtraits

It's the second week of having a little shadow weaving her way around my feet as I try to walk anywhere in the house. Venti the 17-week old kitten flies to  my side when I'm about to walk up the stairs, and stops on every step, looks up and sees if I'm still walking up or am about to randomly change my mind and flee in the other direction (as she does - often).

This week we have discovered she thinks she's a dog. She loves playing a good old game of fetch with her pink mouse toy, and absolutely bolts back to us when we throw it to the other side of the room. The throwing and fetching cycle goes for about 10 rounds or until she flops at our feet in exhaustion....poor little cat, it's probably her equivalent of running a half marathon.

I'm trying to hone my cat photography skills; shooting with fast shutter speeds and the flash if I'm photographing her at night. I'm sure the poor kitten is sick of the paparazzi that greets her every time she does a new trick (or just sits there minding her own business and looking cute). I'm learning that pet photography requires a lot of patience, particularly from the animal! It's not too different from photographing kids - both require a lot of patience and trust, and they're all entirely unpredictable!

I'm really looking forward to getting started as a volunteer photographer at the RSPCA in a couple of weeks. While I'm not allowed to do anything with the photos except provide them to the RSPCA, it's likely they'll post some of the photos on their cool Adoptables page on Pinterest.

Here's some of this week's photos of our crazy little fetchin' kitten, Venti :) You can see more of her antics on her Facebook page, The Venti Files, and follow her on Twitter.

A cheeky kitten called Venti

This week, a 16-week old kitten called Venti changed our lives!

It was about this time last week, that our families got together for lunch, and started talking about their respective cats. All that talk about felines reminded me that I missed having a pet (and have missed having a pet for about 25 years) - so we set off to the RSPCA QLD's facility at Wacol to see who was available for adoption.

There were stacks of kittens and older cats, and we got to wander round the kennels to see some gorgeous dogs, while we waited our turn for one of the volunteers to take us into the cat viewing area.

One little ginger cat called (funnily enough), Ginger, didn't seem at all interested. The poor little thing was probably feeling nervous and out of sorts being poked and prodded by kids all day. Mia, another potential adoptee was also a bit placid and wouldn't come out of the cage to say hello.

And then the volunteer mentioned that she had a 16-week old kitten called Jamima, who she had personally foster-cared for the last few weeks...a timid little kitten poked her head out of the cage and I think we pretty much knew instantly, that this kitten was coming home with us.

A swift approval from our laddlord meant we could pick up the kitten the next day, all for the bargain price of $20. This included microchipping, desexing, immunisations - the lot! The $20 deal is still running at the RSPCA's Wacol facility, so it's worth checking out if you're looking to adopt a cat.

We changed her name to Venti for a couple of reasons - I'm learning Italian and Venti means "twenty" in Italian. We thought it was cute - the vet said he'd NEVER had a cat called Venti come to visit. Our girl is certainly an original :)

Our first week of having a kitten has been hilarious, curious and tiring. She's up at the crack of dawn every morning, biting our toes, skidding sideways across the tiled floor, following us round like a puppy and miowing for attention whenever she's not draped across my mouse hand at the computer.

Skittish and nervous at first, this kitten's true curious nature is coming out day by day. It's weird having a little shadow trailing me around the house, but it's lovely to have a pet again.

I was so impressed with the RSPCA adoption process, that I applied to become a volunteer photographer almost as soon as we got Venti home. My role will be to photograph animals in preparation to be adopted out. If my photos can help to find these beautiful creatures new homes, then I'm happy to help.

Venti will no doubt feature a lot in my photos. It's renewed my interest in phootgraphy, which has kinda waned over the last few months.

Here's a few pics of our cheeky kitten, and you can follow more of her antics on my Flickr stream, in The Venti Files set.