Kitty Paw…the Lap Cat
My friend Jill at Forever’n Ever’n Always Photography posted a wonderful tutorial on correct exposure yesterday. She is in the process of re-reading Bryan Peterson’s book Understanding Exposure and sharing her lessons learned along the way. She suggests that if you’re going to take photography serious in 2011, that you purchase your own copy…I did just that!

Anyways, I felt inspired by her post last night. Although I like to think of myself as more of a creative photographer, proper exposure is really important regardless of the type of photography you shoot. Unfortunately, these days, by the time I hit the gym, get home and take a shower, my natural light is gone! However, my new Canon 7D has ISO capacity all the way up to 6400 so I don’t have to bring out my speedlight in order to get a shot. This came in handy last night because Kitty Paw was laying in between my legs. There was no way I was going to be able to get up to get my external flash…and then recreate that sweet moment.
Kitty Paw in my Lap Before and After
ISO 6400, f/2.8 (had I been able to get up, my 50 mm f/1.8 would have been nice), 1/50

My SOOC shot is a little underexposed but going much below a shutter speed of 1/50 without my tripod might have produced a shaky image. I do love that I was able to capture some nice catchlights…I’m thinking they’re coming from the kitchen behind me.

I opened the photo in Adobe Camera Raw and made just a couple of exposure adjustments (I stayed away from auto this time because it wanted to dramatically change the picture…and create a lot of noise). I then opened the shot in Adobe CS5. I made a slight curves adjustment, levels adjustment and brightness/contrast adjustment. I really could have stopped there because it was a nice improvement but I decided to play with a couple of actions for a little extra something. I then applied Totally Rad Flare Up: Golden (lowered the opacity a bit) and Totally Rad Lux: Hard from the Revenge 2 collection. Of course I also had to do a little blurring in the background to reduce the noise. 

With all that said, stay tuned for a big announcement on Sunday (it’ll be posted on my both my blog as well as Jill’s). We are looking forward to exploring core photography and editing skills in more depth and hope you’ll join us! In the meantime, check out more touch-ups as well as a new challenge hosted by Sarah at NapTime MomTog, Whitney from Q & Us and Marah from Diary of a Devil Dog Wife called Momtographer Monday.

Happy Tuesday!

    What a cute photo! Looks like such a sweet kitty.

    I LOVE Bryan Peterson’s books! They are sooooo good. Reading them was what finally helped me “get it”. :-) Now I shoot in Manual mode all the time!

    Thanks for linking to Jill’s blog. It looks like a treasure chest to me. *grin*

    Haha, I love that Kitty Paw looks like she’s trying to hide herself with crazy cat camo in the blanket.

    I’m trying to use manual white balance. It’s been a challenge. Especially with moving targets.

    Im DEFINITELY going to look into that book! Awesome post with awesome info and an adorable pic!!!

    Aww! Cute photo. You did a great job editing. I love Understanding Exposure. I checked it out from the library but I had to return it. I guess I should buy it. ha ha. Thanks for linking up. :)

    Great job! Looks so cute. I need to get my copy of Understanding Exposure back out. Looking forward to your announcement :)

    Great shot. I think I need to buy that book too, I’m terrible with exposure.

    I love your header ! It’s funny and cute.

    Cute pictures and nice book!
    Kisses, Zondra Art

    I love me some Kitty Paw photos! Your editing is fantastic. :)

    Love the editing and, the photo of Kitty Paw is truly precious. I just love following you….cause now I’m challenged to go and try something new and different. Thanks Ashley xoxo :)

    Nice! I need that book. I hear it’s better to be underexposed and correct it than overexposed. You can’t get those washed out features back, but you can always lighten the darker images.

    Can’t WAIT for your new tutorials…esp. the editing ones – awesome! Helloooo KP! ♥

    Great shot! I need to actually sit down and read through that book!

    It looks great. I wish my camera had the ability to go to 6400 iso. Mine stops at 1600!

    You did wonderfully on this edit! I love how you brightened up the whites and darkened the blacks. I cannot WAIT for the announcement.. I am ECSTATIC :D Hope your day is totally awesome ;)

    Awesome, and what a fun time to spend with Kitty… Great job

    Awesome job Ashley! Great edit and I too can’t wait to share our journey together!

    I love KP! She is really sweet :-)

    Hugs for the day sweet friend!

    Awesome! Love the information and the cute picture!!

    Thank you for sharing Forever n Ever Photography blog. I have that book and have thought of re-reading it too. I love the shot of the lap cat.

    I dread having to bump up my ISO, but sometimes, it’s worth it in the end. A good camera body helps too!

    OMG, I love this picture. Compeltely and totally love. :-D

    I am in awe that your ISO goes up to 6400 and it still looks decent. Great edit…man, when am I finally going to get my photoshop loaded on my computer? Hopefully before you make your big announcement!

    Thanks for the nudge to read an actual photography book – I’ll have to do just that!

    PS – so jealous of a camera that can shoot decent pics at that high of an ISO.

    I have Brian Peterson’s book on Exposure. It is in my photo today although you can’t see much of it. I love his explanations of how to take the perfect shot. Love your explantations of how you create your perfect edits.

    I’ll have to look into this book for sure. It’s always super dark in my dark NW overcast home… My ISO capabilities are not so great… I’ve been already wanting to upgrade.. bwa ha ha. I just bought this camera in September!

    Love that Kitty Paw!! Sounds like exposure book would be helpful.

    I love your cat so much. :) And you’re lucky he holds still for you! My cats do not cooperate with me when I try to take pictures of them. :P

    Sweet shot and great improvements!

    always so photogenic

    I am a day or so behind both posting and commenting. But come and see my snow flakes. Love this shot of Kitty Paw and thanks for the mini tutorial.

    Love it…quick question, When shooting manually, what should my “standard” ISO be?

    Thanks for the name of the book…going to have to look into that.

    Very nice! I find that the ISO at 6400 gets grainy on me…yours looks perfect. I gotta play with mine a bit more!

    Your kitty is too cute!!!

    Thanks for sharing the lovely photo (and adorable kitty) and the “how to” of what you did with it :)

    Such a sweet little kitty! She looks so comfortable and relaxed…

    Beautiful shot of Kitty Paw, your edit really makes the shot!

    another sweet kitty paw shot…looking forward to your news on Sunday!

    Such a sweet moment with Kitty Paw! How great your camera was handy and you could get it — and isn’t your camera cool 6400ISO and the noise isn’t overwhelming! Great editing, too, btw.

    Looking forward to your big announcement… :)

    Great photo and great edit! I have that book and it is fantastic!

    Are you liking TRA revenge? I got the original action set and use it quite a lot.

    Announcement – awesome! I know it will only be something fab! I am very jealous of your new ISO range. Very nice editing as always!

    I love photo and the edit!

    Love your little kitty, we used to have one just like her….. :( my daughter loves your pics of her too! Great blog of photo’s!

    I don’t blame her! Looks pretty darn cozy.

    I have that book! :D It’s the first photography book I bought.

    Love the pic of Kitty Paw. :) Our (huge) kitten is always climbing on my lap… and then, of course, Hannah has to join him! :)