Artists from Nebraska

ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS AWARENESS WALK (Unofficial and by myself) 7KMs Penang 21 August 2015

Yesterday, 21 August 2015, I decided it was time to attempt the 7 kilometer walk from my house to my late parent-in-laws house, here on Penang Island, Malaysia.  This was my ‘unofficial’ AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis) walk, which had two main purposes: 1) To raise awareness about AS; and 2) I would raise awareness of my work by creating photographs along the 7KM route. I would take that series of photographs and formulate a new blog entry about Ankylosing Spondylitis and show the images I designed on my walking trip.  It has been quite some time since I wrote a blog entry on AS, and I thought it was time to write a new blog entry to explain AS, the arthritic disease that I own—although…many days it owns me.

Ankylosing Spondylitis
There is no need for me to give a definition of AS of my own when the Mayo Clinic does a better job:

“The signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis may include pain and stiffness in your lower back and hips, especially in the morning and after periods of inactivity. Over time, symptoms may worsen, improve or stop completely at irregular intervals.
The areas most commonly affected are:
The joint between the base of your spine and your pelvis.
The vertebrae in your lower back.
The places where your tendons and ligaments attach to bones, mainly in your spine, but sometimes along the back of your heel.
The cartilage between your breastbone and ribs.
Your hip and shoulder joints.”
(Source : http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ankylosing-spondylitis/basics/symptoms/con-20019766 )

SPONDYLITIS.ORG

“Ankylosing spondylitis (pronounced ank-kih-low-sing spon-dill-eye-tiss), or AS, is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. In the most advanced cases (but not in all cases), this inflammation can lead to new bone formation on the spine, causing the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position, sometimes creating a forward-stooped posture. This forward curvature of the spine is called kyphosis. More information on kyphosis and fusion can be found in the complications section.

AS can also cause inflammation, pain and stiffness in other areas of the body such as the shoulders, hips, ribs, heels and small joints of the hands and feet. Sometimes the eyes can become involved (known as Iritis or Uveitis), and rarely, the lungs and heart can be affected.”  (Source : http://www.spondylitis.org/about/as.aspx )

My Personal Experiences With AS
I can tell you that it is a horrible and painful disease that I’ve had since I was 15 years old.  It is often referred to as an “Invisible (or “Unseen”) Disease” because people who suffer from AS can appear, on the surface, to be perfectly healthy.  What people can’t see is the tremendous pain that “Spondies” feel on an almost daily schedule.  People can’t see our suffering as we try to manage living life and praying that the pain, the stiffness, and the physical damage would just go away—but it doesn’t go away. 

I have been putting off the 7KM walk for AS AWARENESS, for weeks because I have felt so painful and depressed.  And yes, there is a strong correlation proven that AS patients have a high level of depression.  I have lived with AS for 13,009 days!  That is a lot of “PAIN DAYS!” 

I get Anterior Uveitis usually twice a year.  The last very serious case caused Pigment Dispersion (PD) on the inside of both of my eyes’ lenses; PD causing some  ‘vision blockage’ in my right eye.  This has been a difficult and depressing eye disease because I depend on my eyesight as a Photographer, and now my eyesight is noticeably damaged; nonetheless, I move forward with my photography.

Due to the stiffness in my lower lumbar spine, when I had a fall from an accident in mid-2004, some bones in my lumbar spine broke off, causing Spondylolisthesis (a slippage of the vertebrate bones from their proper positions), which caused nerve pinching, and then I couldn’t walk properly.  Thus, I had to have a Spinal Fusion of my lumbar spine: a 10-hour surgery, metal implants, loss of flexibility, learning to walk again, and a recovery period that lasted ALL of 2005.

I have no more joint material in my sacrum, this is called Sacroiliitis.

When I wake up in the morning, I cannot move my fingers due to the AS affecting my fingers. 

When I go see a movie, I’m one of the last to leave the theatre: after two hours of sitting and my knees lock up due to arthritic damage in my knees.

Some days I can’t move my head very much because I have compression of discs in my cervical spine.

Those are a few of the things I go through: many of these painful feelings and symptoms cannot be seen by others—the “Unseen Disease“.  Some Spondies suffer so much that it comes to a point where they are unable to work any more.  A lost livelihood can also be a Spondy’s ticket to becoming depressed.  Depression also leads to an exaggerated feeling of pain.  It is a very vicious cycle that feeds off of itself—a trap for which many Spondies have the potential of getting stuck.

So anyway…I have been putting off this walk because 7KM IS AN EXCRUCIATINGLY LONG WALK for someone with AS.  Nevertheless, and what the hell, I needed to do this thing! 

Here is a word of caution.  One reason I often hesitate to walk far from home base is because I always have to consider that if I walk somewhere, maybe just 1.5KM, to go to Gurney Plaza, for example, if my knee gives out on me while I’ve only gone halfway, it will be a vicious and slow walk back!  However this is not 1KM…it is 7KM!  That is crazy-far for a Spondy!  Don’t let AS stop you from moving about, but be aware of what your AS is telling you everyday: their are bad days, there are better than bad days, and surprisingly, there are some good days too!

THE AS WALK
I knew that the results of this AS Awareness Walk would give me a chance to produce a new series of abstract art photographs to accompany this discussion.  It is important for me to share what I know about my disease, and what I live with because of it.  I know that people who are newly diagnosed with AS can feel alone and depressed:  AS will change your life, and usually not in a good way.

I started out on my walk under partly sunny conditions; however, a thick dark wall of clouds were hovering over the hills…I should have known to take my umbrella.  However, I didn’t want to have more to carry and keep track of, so against my better judgement, I left my umbrella at home—BIG mistake!  The time was about 3:15PM.

Along my route, I found more than 20 interesting subjects to photograph. Each time I stopped to photograph was a blessed break from the walking.  I could take a photo, stretch a little, and then move forward on my way.  Nevertheless, I didn’t stay at any one spot for too long. 

Halfway along my route, after passing the Gurney Tower, the dark clouds were on the move and it started sprinkling. I knew I was in trouble at that point.  Within 5 minutes, it as raining.  Luckily, I had my trusty plastic courier bag with me for such occasions: I stored my camera in my camera bag, and then I put my bag inside the waterproof courier bag and tucked the bag under my arm. 

I stowed my camera away just in time because the rain began to pour down abruptly from that point onwards during my walk: my camera was safe but I quickly became a soaking mess with half of the journey to go…in the downpour.

I look back today, the day after the walk, and I’m glad I got enough photos to create a series, and that series of images are below.  I’m  also happy to share some words about AS with my blog readers: maybe it will be helpful for others struggling with this horrible form of arthritis. 

I’m not so thrilled about the extra pain I’m feeling today because of the walk, but I went into this adventure knowing from past experience that any exertion will cause suffering for one, two, or more days afterwards. 

By the way, my knee did give out about three blocks from the finish line: it was the most painful and wet three blocks of my life as I tried to take one good step with my left leg, and then having to pull my gimpy right leg forward.  That part of the walk was madness-in-pain!

It took me approximately two hours to walk the 7KM.  I guess being in pain makes me know that I’m still alive:  I’ve got to look at the bright side of this disease the I own.  Another ray of hope during the drippy day was toward the end of the walk, one lady seeing me drenched offered her umbrella to me. I thanked her—I was indeed touched by her kindness. However, I told her that I was OK and that she should keep her umbrella or we would both be sopping wet.

This is the AS AWARENESS WALK PHOTO SERIES.  All images are the copyright of me, Nawfal Johnson, and they were created on 21 August 2015.  All Rights Reserved.  These images will eventually be available as photographic prints at my Imagekind sales gallery.  My link is: http://nawfalnur.imagekind.com

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Nawfal Johnson Nur ~ http://nawfalnur.imagekind.com/

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BLUE ICE ABSTRACT, EDIT D, Abstract Photography by Nawfal Johnson

ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY DESCRIPTION: Title: "BLUE ICE ABSTRACT, EDIT D”.  Creation Date:  14 DEC 2014. Series Name: “ABSTRACT ICE”. Series Year: 2007 TO PRESENT (On-Going). Collection:  ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY. Collection Years: 2013 to Present (On-Going). [This series was only added to this collection around 2013]. Mediums: Digital Photography. Influence:  n/a Material:  ICE Dimension: n/a Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson. All Rights Reserved. Penang, Malaysia. No Unauthorized Use!
ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY
DESCRIPTION:
Title: “BLUE ICE ABSTRACT, EDIT D”.
Creation Date: 14 DEC 2014.
Series Name: “ABSTRACT ICE”.
Series Year: 2007 TO PRESENT (On-Going).
Collection: ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY.
Collection Years: 2013 to Present (On-Going).
[This series was only added to this collection around 2013].
Mediums: Digital Photography.
Influence: n/a
Material: ICE
Dimension: n/a
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.
No Unauthorized Use!
PRINT SALES GALLERY URL: http://www.imagekind.com/BLUE-ICE-ABSTRACT-EDIT-D_art?imid=3673d4c4-181c-41ee-89e6-c3baf89d6733

REDIRECT TO FIELD OF FLOWERS on 1 NOV 2014, EDIT F by Nawfal Johnson

http://nawfalnur.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/field-of-flowers-on-1-nov-2014-edit-f-by-nawfal-johnson/

Please click on that link to go to my other Photo-Art Blog to see one of my latest works – and PLEASE BOOKMARK that blog too.  I’m having a hell of a time getting photos to upload (media to upload) to my smokephotographist blog.  I was so frustrated with it this morning – I decided to upload the new photo to my “BEHIND THE LENS” blog – and the media uploaded.

Thus, I may start to use that blog more – why – I don’t need any more frustrations in life and if one photo-blog is easier to upload media, then I will use it more often.  So, please bookmark:

http://nawfalnur.wordpress.com/

Thanks!  🙂

9103, Number 15, Edit C

Description Title: '9103, Number 15, Edit C'.Creation Year: 2014.Series: 9103.Genre: Abstract Expressionism.Mediums: Colour Pencils, Enamel Paint.Material: 360gsm Acid-free Art Paper.Influence: Jackson Pollock.Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.All Rights Reserved.Penang, Malaysia.No Unauthorized Use!

Description Title: ‘9103, Number 15, Edit C’. Creation Year: 2014.Series: 9103.Genre: Abstract Expressionism.Mediums: Colour Pencils, Enamel Paint.Material: 360gsm Acid-free Art Paper.Influence: Jackson Pollock.Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.All Rights Reserved.Penang, Malaysia.No Unauthorized Use!

4-KNOBBY SQUARES, EDIT C

Title: "4-KNOBBY SQUARES, EDIT C". Creation Date: 6 Oct 2014. Collection: PHOTOGRAPHS DESIGNED WHILE WANDERING AROUND PENANG. Genre: Urban Colour Field; Abstract Photography; a bit of Cubism. Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson. All Rights Reserved. No Unauthorized Use!

Title: “4-KNOBBY SQUARES, EDIT C”.
Creation Date: 6 Oct 2014.
Collection: PHOTOGRAPHS DESIGNED WHILE WANDERING AROUND PENANG.
Genre: Urban Colour Field; Abstract Photography; a bit of Cubism.
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
No Unauthorized Use!

URBAN WALL DECAY , #819, 19 SEPT 14, EDIT C by Nawfal Johnson

Title: "URBAN WALL DECAY , #819, 19 SEPT 14, EDIT C." Collection: PENANG WALL DECAY. Collection: 2013 to Present (On-Going). Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson. All Rights Reserved. Penang, Malaysia.

Title: “URBAN WALL DECAY , #819, 19 SEPT 14, EDIT C.”
Collection: PENANG WALL DECAY.
Collection: 2013 to Present (On-Going).
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.

PURPLE-GREEN-BROWN COLOUR FIELD, EDIT E, 14 SEPT 14

Title: "PURPLE-GREEN-BROWN COLOUR FIELD, EDIT E 14 SEPT 14". Creation Date: 14 Sept 2014. Collection: MIRRORED ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY Collection Years: 2010 to Present (On-Going). Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson. All Rights Reserved. Penang, Malaysia.

Title: “PURPLE-GREEN-BROWN COLOUR FIELD, EDIT E, 14 SEPT 14”.
Creation Date: 14 Sept 2014.
Collection: MIRRORED ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY
Collection Years: 2010 to Present (On-Going).
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.

My Print and Canvas Sales’ URL for this Photographic-Art is: http://www.imagekind.com/PURPLEGREENBROWN-COLOUR-FIELD-EDIT-E_art?IMID=c239c7f1-371d-4fb8-8ac3-bf0f7c03d5b5

PURPLE-ONE Edit C on 13 September 2014 by Nawfal Johnson

Title: "PURPLE-ONE, EDIT C". Creation of Edit C: Date: 13 Sept 2014. Collection:  URBAN ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM PHOTOGRAPHY. Collection Years: 2013 to Present (On-Going). ** Note:  I found this bit of old wall with chipped and layers of paint, along Jalan Berek, in Penang. **

Title: “PURPLE-ONE, EDIT C”.
Creation of Edit C: Date: 13 Sept 2014.
Collection: URBAN ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM PHOTOGRAPHY.  Collection Years: 2013 to Present (On-Going).
** Note: I found this bit of old wall with chipped and layers of paint, along Jalan Berek, in Penang. **

Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.
Fine art print sales site is:  http://www.imagekind.com/PURPLE-ONE-EDIT-C-13-SEPT-2014_art?imid=92047af5-278c-47cd-8dd3-37f29c1c97a5

THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH, EDIT F, by Nawfal Johnson

THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH, EDIT F

“Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?” suddenly came into his head. “But how not so, when I’ve done everything as it should be done?”
― Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Title: “THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH, EDIT F”.
Creation Date: 12 Sept 2014.
Collection: ABSTRACT PAINTED PHOTOGRAPHIC ART.
Collection Years: 2013 to Present (On-Going).
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.
** When I created this Abstract Expressionism artwork, I thought of Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”, and the famous words of Ivan before his death, “Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?” Those words haunt me. And, if you look deeply into this artwork, you see two main containers. What if you spent your life in the small one, but really you could have lived a much more fulfilling life in the big container; however, you were afraid to make that journey to the bigger container because everything in the smaller container seemed right for your life, but things were missing – many things – you were just conforming to your environment. But, you had an idea that there may be something better and more fulfilling IF ONLY you would make that first step outside of the small container and then the next step, until you reached the bigger container, then you find out how much time you wasted in some comfort zone that was really a trap keeping you from moving forward to a better life. However, you suddenly discover that your life is coming to an end, and you realize that you never stepped outside your horrible comfort zone to explore new things – adventuring to the bigger container for example. That is why I feel comfortable about the title of this artwork and how it fits perfectly to make the story about the two containers in this artwork. **

Many Colors, v.1, Edit B

Many Colors, v.1, Edit B

ESTEE LAUDER Cosmetics Case and crayon shavings.

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 27 Jan 09, 12.52PM MYT.

This is a One-Light Setup: A technique of lighting that I prefer if possible.

I can fully respect Photographers who use a truckload of lighting gear to get a shot, to light and fill 15 people for an Ad Shot at a Bar, or something.  Nevertheless, when it is just for me, for my portfolio, and going Macro, NOT getting too complicated with lighting allows me to put a single light (or two lights) strategically where I need them to get the look I want.

I like graduated shadowy areas in my shots; the shadows give a certain amount of atmosphere to a shot making it have depth, show texture, and express the interest that I want.

For this shot, an ESTEE LAUDER Cosmetics Case is the main subject, and Crayola Crayon shavings in the foreground provide a colorful filler.

A single VIVITAR 2800 THYRISTER Flash (left of camera) was used with a DIY Light Modifier (Silver), and a single white Styrofoam board (opposite).

I’ve had this VIVITAR flash for YEARS…at least as long as I’ve lived in Malaysia, and that is 15-years. On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being “poor” and 5 being “OUTStanding!” – I’d give the 2800 a BIG 4.5!

.5 of a point taken off for NO Swivel.

The refresh rate on rechargeable batteries  is good and this flash unit is sensitive to my remote firing system…MUCH better than the Canon Speedlite I have, which seems to need much more battery power to trigger.  My Canon Speedlite works best with NON-rechargeable batteries.

My favorite small flash unit, however, is made by METZ! My 32-Z2 is my all-time favorite flash unit. Nevertheless, I made my DIY Flash Modifier specifically for the 2800 unit, the one used for this photograph.

Over all, I like this single, small setup for Macro, Still Life Photography: It sets up fast, easily transportable, low power to run and can be moved in and out quickly and effectively for good end results.

Happy Shooting!

And, to my Chinese friends and readers, “Gong Xi Fa Chi!” Happy New Year!

By the Way…If anyone wants to give me “Ang Pao” (Red Packet), then I will graciously and humbly accept, OK!

BLADE BLUE HAND-667, No.1, Edit F

Blade Blue Hand, 667, No.1, Edit F, by Nawfal Nur

Blade Blue Hand, 667, No.1, Edit F, by Nawfal Nur

Title: “BLADE BLUE HAND, 667, No.1, Edit F”
Series: “BLUE HAND”
Number in Series: No. 1.
Genre: Abstract-Geometric-Expressionism
Mediums: Painting & Photography

Painter: Nawfal Nur
Photographer: Nawfal Nur
Art Direction: Nawfal Nur
Model: Nawfal Nur

Investment in Time:
* Prep Time for Equipment Set up: 1/2 Hour.
** Painting: 5 1/2 Hours.
*** Photography: 1/2 Hour.
**** Clean-up: 1 Hour.

Paint Supplies Used:
-1- Schmincke PRIMAcryl (Feinste Künstler-Acrylfarben).
-2- ZIG – KURECOLOR Permanent Alcohol based Ink.
-3- BUNCHO Water Colors.
-4- ALBRECHT DÜRER, Watercolour Pencils by FABER-CASTELL (8200 Series).
-5- Crayola “Brush Tips” Markers.
-6- Artline 70 High Performance Markers.
-7- MonAmi ACCU Liner Permanent Markers (Metallic Series).
-8- Pentel Permanent Markers (N850 Series).
-9- ESTĒE LAUDER Artist’s Eye Pencil – (01 SOFTSMUDGE BLACK).
-10- ESTĒE LAUDER Artist’s Lip Pencil-Crayon – (08 SPICE WRITER).

Camera:
CANON Powershot A620 with Modified Internal Flash Bounce Attachment. Aperture @ f/8.0 and Shutter Speed @ 1/80 sec. (I think…) ;^)

Lighting:
One 600-WATT SYSTEMS IMAGING Studio Flash with 2′ x 2′ BOWENS Softbox. MIRA Hydraulic Light Stands. Modeling on Cont., Power @ 1/16th Output. Distance to Subject, approx., 3-feet.

Additional Lighting or Lighting Aid Gear:
One 3′ x 3′ White Foam core bounce.

Support:
* bogen 3001 Professional Tripod.
** bogen 3025 head.
*** Manfrotto #352 Ball & Socket.
**** 3kg weight.

Computer Software:
* PhotoImpact X3.
————————-
As I mentioned in the text of the photo above, this will be my last photo addition to my Photostream at Flickr.

I have made a promise (to myself) to keep the “F-DEPRESSION” Series Images as close to the TOP of my Photostream as possible. Because with each new image addition, the older images get pushed deeper and deeper into the photostream. And that means, that these “F-DEPRESSION” photographs would eventually get lost in the masses of photos.

The ONLY way these images may help someone who is suffering from Depression, Anxiety or Chronic Pain is to see them, feel the shock value, read the text and GET HELP!!! And, that was the main reason I ventured into this very negative and self-expressing Photo & Text Series.

One of the key components of this type of work (body art), and one that I experienced firsthand, is that IT (the artwork) IS NOT LASTING!

Paint – Photograph – Wash – Rinse – Repeat the Wash & Rinse. Then, the painting is gone for ever! The final product, the actual artpiece is the Body Painted Photograph Portrait: The photograph – that is the lasting art work. The Painting is just part of the preparation! Get it!

This is NOT Airbrush, so the artwork is NOT smooth or finely detailed. I used Acrylic and Watercolours, along with Art Markers and applied them normally, and also with brush and artist’s knife. Some parts of the artwork are smooth and other textured. As the paints dry, the work cracks, so speed is important.

It was extremely painful for me to stand for that length of time – the arthritic A.S. types like myself usually can’t sit-stand-walk-or lie down for very long periods. However, I had to see if I could do it. After the completion of this work, it felt like someone had tortured me (kind of), like someone had been hitting the bottom of my feet with a metal ruler. If you have A.S., you may know that feeling: It’s No fun!!!

5 and 1/2 hours for one Right Arm! It’s the first work like this I’ve done. And, I can say that it was a really good experience and quite interesting to attempt painting oneself and working the camera. Strange feeling!

FROM NOW ON, PLEASE VISIT ME AT:

“BEHIND THE LENS!” (My Photography Journal where I’ve been writing, and where I’ve been exhibiting my Photography, since 2005).

smokephotographist.wordpress.com/

Nawfal Nur
“Behind the Lens!”
smokephotographist.wordpress.com/
27 Nov 2008

PS: “667” refers to what I ‘have seen’ termed as, “Neighbor of the Beast!” HOWEVER, my interpretation is different than probably the person who thought up this novel saying. Here’s how I see it:

“This world is Where the Wicked NEVER Rest, and the Righteous Struggle to just Stand their Ground!” Therefore, I am a ‘neighbor of the beast’ – evil that surrounds us all, daily – it is there, you don’t have to go far to find it.

Of course, perhaps it is much better to pretend that the world is a perfect place, so that you can sleep well at night, but this is just what people who don’t do anything to change it, want you to believe! Or, perhaps, it is what people who have it “made” want others to believe because they have all the resources available to them to ‘escape’ most of the evil that perpetuates itself daily, and around the world.

All you have to do is pick up a newspaper: There must be a lot of “evil” out there, or, the newspapers would NOT be so thick! News of Disasters, Crimes, Chaos, wars, famine, cruelty, and Injustice…this shit sells the News! I STOPPED reading the news a couple of years ago because it just perpetuates in a bad way, whatever stuff you got going on, that isn’t so good.

It is time to go…

Good night Moon!

Good night People!

pss: BTW: The “667” tattoo, I designed by computer software, but I may just have to ink myself with it one of these days!

MAYSA’ ,October 01, 2008,#1a

Maysa’
Cat Portraiture.

"MAYSA" by Nawfal Nur

"MAYSA" by Nawfal Nur

Photographed by Nawfal Nur

Formal Cat Portraiture: It is a skill just as much so as human portraiture. Maybe not as glamorous, of course, but perhaps more difficult. With humans, at least you can reason with the unruly model who had to get up too early for a photo shoot and she “just can’t do a damn thing with her hair!” Right. These types of issues can be smoothed out when reasoning with another human being.

Animals, well…they are a totally different ball of bee’s wax!

There is no reasoning with animals: They either do what you need them to do; OR, in most cases, they do whatever they damned well please!

And of course, this can be fun the first 50 times you request that they stand properly on the “mark” so you can take a good shot. On number 51, a patient Photographer begins to wish he had listened to his mother and become a weapons demolition expert, because that job would have been less stressful.

Meanwhile, back in the human studio, the photographer is going: “Oh yeah, Baby, that’s it! Right, just a little turn to your left, BEAUTIFUL! Awesome! You are looking HOT! Alright, we killed it!”

And, back at the animal photography studio, the Animal Portraitist is going: “Maysa’….Maysa’….MAYSA’ are you listening to me? Sit here…no…NO….NOOOOOOO, HERE….Ah, good! No….MAYSAAAAAA’, Get up here on the mark, no, that’s not the mark, that is some old cat food that you dropped two days ago, leave that alone, you stay here, MAYSA’! Are you going to cooperate?”

30-minutes later…

Maysa’! No…Please, just stay there. Ah, yes!!!!! OK, READY…….NOOOOOOOOO, DON’T JUMP OFF THAT!!!!!

45-minutes later…

After several cat food bribes, a lot of patience, 127 “Maysa’s”, 153 “Don’ts”, and 182 “No’s”, we accomplished a few good cat portraits.

Did I say that Animal Portraiture was a little tough, hahahahahahahaha!

Tip #1: “Use the Force!”
Tip #2: Prepare a mind calming mantra before you begin the photo session, and repeat it throughout the session.
Tip #3: Use Bribes with all subjects!
Tip #4: If you get too impatient, angry, upset, discombobulated, irate, silly-brained, or go stark raving loony-toons. then use the ‘ol standby, a tranquilizer gun…ON YOURSELF! It could be a lot of fun, it will make you feel all good all under, and your kitty subjects might just cooperate better if you are not so uptight!

There you have it! Another fine lesson in Cat Portraiture!

Good Luck! Stay Calm! And everyone will be happy.