Sunday Selfies – A Sampler of This, That, Cats and More!

Editors Note: I decided to abandon my usual Caturday post, and instead participate in the super fun and wildly popular Sunday Selfie Blog Hop that was created by the talented Janet Blue of The Cat on My Head. Rather than be a traditional selfie post, I’m sharing some recent pictures I have taken (many of which some of you have already seen). There are good and bad, winners and losers -take a look to see what I mean and I’d love your opinions, insight, and suggestions as to what works for you with your cameras!  

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My obsession with picture taking started when I saw Rolz grooming his sister, Mia. The look of pure contentment and adoration just radiated from her sweet little face and I knew I had to try to capture it for eternity. Camera: iPhone 4

So now that I’m home all day and night with the cats, I find that I’m drawn to them more so than ever. EVERYTHING they do fascinates me and I’m constantly feeling the need to photograph them as if I am under some sort of hypnotic spell to do so.

This is all well and good… except for the one glaring flaw to the whole equation… I DON’T TAKE GOOD PICTURES. Or I should say, with the current technology at my disposal, I am unable to manage my cameras to take good pictures.

I say cameras plural because I actually have two that I can chose from – one from my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 that I won from a random drawing at a BlogPaws conference several years ago and the other from my iPhone 4s that I got in 2011. 2011? Yes, I know admitting something like that can get you laughed out of an electronics store in a heartbeat, but you have to understand I grudgingly got my iPhone in the first place (to be honest, I tend to be off put and grumpy when it comes to just about any new technology). I would have much preferred to keep my old android phone, but since the the darn thing kept dropping calls, I had no choice but to find something that actually allowed me to talk on the phone without going outside and balancing on top of my car to get uninterpreted reception.

So now I’m surprisingly and admittedly hooked on the iPhone technology – I love the quick and easy freedom the camera gives me, but because it’s an older phone model, it does not have the razor sharp pixel clarity of the newer phones, and more times than not, most of my pictures come out horribly blurry. My Samsung, on the other hand, is actually able to take nice pictures, but not close up ones… which is typically what I need when I take pictures of my cats.

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I was recently told I needed to start posting pictures on Instagram – not really understanding how it all worked, this frightful picture was the first one I posted. Between the bad lighting and the fact I have bad eyesight up close, I had no idea until I uploaded the picture how awful and blurry it was. The funny thing is, it still got lots of likes! Camera: iPhone 4

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Understanding the concept of Instagram a little better, my next image was less blurry as I had good outdoor lighting to work with. This is one of my neighborhood cats I see when I walk in the morning – he gets so excited to see me that this was as still as I could get him. Camera: iPhone 4

All of my close-up pictures, no matter what setting I use, come out looking like an oil painting. Not that the technique isn’t pretty, but I would prefer something with sharp clarity. I went on line to see if others are having the same problem and it turns out my version, lucky me, is the one that does not have the macro focus setting that I need. Sigh… I don’t mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it really would have been nice of Samsung to include that very basic feature in this model.

If I stand far away from something to take a close-up with the Samsung, that seems to work, but more times than not, the cats are being especially adorable in the guest bedroom and due to the logistics of it, I am not able to move far enough away to get the shot I need!

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Getting frustrated with my iPhone, I started to use my Samsung to take pictures of the cats – when I take the pictures, they look really sharp on the screen (it’s a much larger screen than the iPhone, which I really love), but when I upload them for editing purposes, that’s when you can see that the clarity is distorted, giving it the look of an oil painting. Camera: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

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Zoey, Mia, and Jazmine watching bird TV. The picture is a little sharper, but it still is not as sharp as I would have liked it. Camera: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

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I don’t even mind that this picture is not super sharp – I just love that sweet little photobombing face of Jazmine’s so much that nothing could ruin this picture! That’s Rolz in the background! Camera: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

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This was a great catch – Mama Zoey and Papa Zee with their siblings Peanut, Mia, and Rolz all sharing an afternoon nap together. I really would have loved this image to have been clearer, but because I had very little room to back up against, I had to take a closeup, which seems to cause the distortion in the Samsung.

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With me being home all day long now, Jazmine is my constant supervisor and companion. This is her on a shelf that sits above my computer. Poor thing, I guess it’s exhausting taking care of me! Camera: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

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In the case of this picture I got of Rolz, looking as regal as ever, somehow the painting effect of the Samsung camera looks good – almost like I did it on purpose!

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Much as I love my cats, I am a sucker for a cute squirrel too!! This little guy was so excited, wanting the peanut I had for him, that I had to take the first shot I could get! Camera: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

I suppose I wouldn’t even be complaining at all if it weren’t for the Purina Better With Pets Summit that I just attended. I was sight-seeing with Angie Bailey of Catladyland and one of the places we visited was St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is unbelievably gorgeous. She was taking pictures with her new iPhone 6 and the sharpness and clarity of her pictures was breathtaking. I looked at my pitiful pictures – all distorted and blurry – and wanted to cry!

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I was able to capture Zoey and Mia at the perfect time – just as Mia was yawning!! Had this been the iPhone6, it probably would have been an excellent picture, but I had to settle for my per usual oil painting effect from my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

If there was ever a question as to whether or not I wanted the iPhone 6, it was answered at that very moment. But naturally, it’s not as simple as that. After doing some research, it seems as if the iPhone 6 is like buying a car – it’s not cheap and there are about a hundred confusing options and plans as to how to get one. Leasing, lease to buy, purchase, purchase on monthly credit, purchase with trade in and on and on. Fine – just take my first born son – I think that would be less complicated.

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Another non-cat picture, but just an example that if I am able to stand at a distance, I can get a sharper picture from my Samsung. These are flowers that are in my front yard.

And honestly, I just want a phone that takes good pictures. Can’t we live in a time where something just is what it is without needing a user’s manual to understand what it is before we even buy it? Oh well, until I can figure it out, I’m just going to have fun taking pictures with the cameras I have. There are so many fun editing programs now that even a bad picture can turn into a good one with a few artistic tricks! Obviously my cats aren’t going to stop being cute anytime soon and by the time I get around to figuring out how to get a new iPhone6, it will already be obsolete, with a new and improved version on the market.

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This picture is absolutely dreadful – it’s Zee and Zoey in the bathroom atop our hamper. The lighting is awful and the room itself is old and outdated – nothing about it invites a good picture. Despite that, I took the picture because of the love it represents between the two of them. Zee had his paw around Zoey and with a little editing fun, I was able to make the best of it. Camera: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

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This picture was taken with my Samsung – I came outside to feed the squirrels and saw the yard blanketed in a wash of tiny white flowers that made it look like it had snowed. I shared the picture on Facebook and despite that there is not a picture of a cat in the image, it was actually one of my most popular pictures – getting almost 100 likes!

Happy Selfie Sunday and just for the fun of it, which of the pictures I shared today was your favorite?

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  1. Mum is not very good with photos, she progresses very slowly. We love Mr. Squirrel because we don’t see many squirrels here, and we love the family photo of Mama Zoey and Papa Zee with their siblings Peanut, Mia, and Rolz. Purrs

  2. Brian says:

    Our Mom has a 6+ and loves it and the camera. Dad has an Galaxy S5 which he really liked until the last update, now he would like to throw it in the trash. We totally love that photobomb pic though, it’s so darn cute!

    • Deb says:

      We totally understand how your Dad feels, Brian. Updates are the worst because you never really know what will happen and it’s totally out of your control! Glad to know your Mom loves the 6+.

  3. Practice makes purrfect! I love this blog hop but can’t join if doing book giveaways 🙁 I have two new phones, android and iPhone6 and still fiddling. The Instagram filters are fun but like everything, it’s a learning curve and I have zero extra time.

  4. Flynn says:

    My favourite photos are the first one and Photobomb Champion. I only have an older basic phone/camera due for upgrade at the end of the month. The photos also look okay taken by the phone until I upload them and then they also have the appearance of paintings. I usually carry a small point and shoot camera around with me which takes much better photos.

    • Deb says:

      Oh Flynn – that’s the frustrating part!!!! I take the picture and honestly, sometimes it looks stunning on the screen – then I upload it and the truth reveals itself!!

  5. Ellen Pilch says:

    I think you take great photos.My favorite was the photo bomb champion 🙂 and Rolz with all the stuffies. Don’t feel bad about your phone, mine doesn’t even have a camera.

    • Deb says:

      Oh gosh Ellen – that must be hard not having a camera on your phone. Thank you for your kind comments and I love the photobomb picture too!

  6. I completely sympathize, because photos are my downfall too. There is practically no natural light in Mudpie’s favorite hangouts, plus my phone takes lousy pictures so I have to use my iPad and Kindle Fire.

    I really need to upgrade my photography skills and equipment, but yours look great to me!

  7. Deziz World says:

    Mommy has a iPad air dat she won last Christmas and finks da fotos awe pawful. Since we have to use it fur instagram cuz we don’t have a smarty pants fone, all our fotos there awe yucky. She much purrfurs da cameras we got but sez da new iphones wuld fur sure make fings easier in social media, but we can’t afford them eever. MOL

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

  8. Glogirly says:

    Well you probably know I’m a purist. Though when I started blogging I knew little about photography and relied on an old point and shoot for my pictures, I learned that a lot can rub off on you when you live with a photographer. I used to want the tiniest camera I could find, but I fell in love with the process and the results I can get with my fancy camera. So now have a DSLR always within reach.

    I do have an iPhone 6 as well. As long as there’s good light, it does take beautiful pictures. It can even do an ok job of creating a narrow depth of field when I zoom in and shoot close to my subject, but light must be my friend. For me (and I know I’m in the minority) it comes down to whether I want a pretty good snapshot or a really good photograph.

    So now I use my iPhone for quick videos, photos of ideas I come across when I’m out and about and for keeping records of checks I deposit. (because I’m too lazy to write anything down in a check register.) HA!

    But Deb, your phone photos look wonderful… especially the Galaxy ones! And it’s all about capturing the moment so it will live on in our memories forever, no matter what we’re taking the pictures with.

    : )

    • Deb says:

      Glogirly – I always love and admire your pictures – between the clarity you get, along with capturing such perfect moments, you are really able to weave a compelling story with very few words!

      Thank you for your kindness – coming from you, it means a lot!

  9. Personally, I would love to be able to take pictures like some do (Debbie, Connie, Robyn, etc) but don’t have the money for the expensive camera. Honestly, so long as you love the subject, I think that comes through and sometimes that outweighs the high quality.

    • Deb says:

      Oh gosh, me too, Random Felines!! I am very blessed to have Dan take great pictures for me, but I would love to be able to do it myself as well! But I do agree with you, sometimes the love that shines through outweighs everything!

  10. CATachresis says:

    I think your photos are perfectly fine!!! I have an iPhone 6 (latest is 6s) and use it for most of the pics, but realise I’m not really a very good photographer of black cats! Cats are always moving anyway unless they are napping and there are only so many sleeping kitty photos you can take. Taking pics of a mainly black cat is a nightmare because the back ground is often more noticeable than the cat! Also a tuxie’s white bits do tend to be overexposed! I have found the iPhone 6 does take a pretty ok picture though and the videos are good and of course so easy to work!

    I like the Jazmine photobomb picture best, but they are all lovely! xx

  11. I thinks your photos are purrfect! You should see the photos my camera takes… mol.

  12. Well personally, I think your pictures are wonderful. Very beautiful, in fact. Jazmine taking her cat nap is divine and the squirrel? Well he’s adorable! Peep #1 wants to know about those flowers. Were they blooming just recently or back in the spring? Any idea what they are? purrs

    Purrs,
    Seville

  13. I think your photos are great. I have a iPhone 6 and use it but have yet to master it. If I happen to take a good photo with it, it’s pure luck. Same goes with my digital camera. ~Island Cat Mom

  14. meowmeowmans says:

    I really like that photobomb picture, and the one with Rolz and the stuffies, too. 🙂

    Deb, I think your photos are great! It really is about capturing the spirit of the moment, and you’ve done that!

    When I don’t have my DSLR with me, I use my phone — a Motorola Droid Turbo, which does pretty well (for a phone).

    Hugs!

  15. Kitty Bliss! sure enjoyed that first photo…thanks for sharing your photography experiences. We use iphone occasionally, but better luck & quality with ipads, our iphone stuff comes out yellowish for some reason. We are currently looking for something to capture some fun sounds and motions in addition to stills. . Let us know if u have any ideas. Thanx for posting your pix! we ourselves are taking a “Selfie Vacation” today!

  16. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    rolz….we gotta give all de fotoz 984 paws up, but an extree one two yurz….we like yurz best

    de food serviss gurl doez knot own a camera N uses her fone frum 1935 ta take fotoz…sure they look
    grate IN de fone……. but take em outta de fone & send em ta email or shutterfly N …….blah…….

    they bee sew blah…….even…… ewe noe whatz…… look good

    🙂 ♥♥♥

  17. Kitties Blue says:

    The photos you took outside in the natural light are much better than the indoor ones. I take mostly lousy photos as I am unable to stand still and not shake. Luckily, Tom is a much better photographer and has appropriate cameras to do the job. I am always in awe of Julie (Sometimes Cats Herd You), Lisa, A Tonk’s Tail, and Glogirly’s photos, but I have seen the super fancy cameras they have, and they absolutely know how to use them. I have had to console myself over crummy photos by reminding myself that I started my blog to “write” about the cats. I always felt that your blog was created for the same reason. I say to do the best with what you have. You know that we are all going to like the photos even if they are a bit blurry. The subjects are cats! What’s not to like? I really loved the photobomb photo. Thank you so, so much for joining and promoting our blog hop. Having you join us is a huge honor. Hugs, Janet