animals

Best Friend

“The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”
Proverbs 12:10 (NIV)

Someone glued angel wings onto the back of this dog figurine before placing it at the grave of their loved one. I liked the way this particular token of remembrance provides a glimpse of the character of the person at rest here. I couldn’t help but find significance in the dog’s upward gaze toward the heavens. I look that direction a lot, too.

"Best Friend"

“Best Friend”, Nikon D800, ISO 320, f/2.8 at 1/4000 sec., 28mm
Click the image to view larger size and available print options.

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Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings.

Booking family, personal, business and pet portrait sittings throughout Central Florida

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A Public Bath

“Let me guess, dearie. You’re looking for a husband.”
— Foghorn Leghorn

"A Public Bath" [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/13 at 1/125 sec., 200 mm

“A Public Bath” [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/13 at 1/125 sec., 200 mm

 

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Find me on Instagram at @EarlHarrisPhoto, where I am posting photos captured and edited solely on my iPhone. If you like cats, I seem to be posting a lot of photos of them there… #instagramcats

Government Specifications

An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.
– Robert A. Heinlein speaking through his character “Lazarus Long”

Nikon D300, ISO 640, 1/160 sec at f/18, 200 mm

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Please support your local no-kill animal shelter(s)
with volunteer efforts and donations.

Mini Cooper

A kitten is, in the animal world, what a
rosebud is in the garden.

― Robert Sowthey

“Cooper”, Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/60 sec. at f/2.0, 50 mm

Looking for a kitten? Please visit your local shelter.

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Pride is Humane

Today marks the last post in this week’s series from the 2012 Utah Pride parade and festival (if you’ve missed them, start here). It is, therefore, with great pride that I devote today’s post to the wonderful staff and volunteers at the Humane Society of Utah and their presence and participation.

My regular readers know of my commitment to working with HSU to promote pet adoptions and serve adoptable pets through my photography. There are so many ways you can help, too – and many of them don’t require your valuable  time! Please contact or visit HSU to find out what you can do to help.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
― Mother Teresa

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.
― Stephen R. Covey

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Thank you for stopping by I Shutter At The Thought!
Please come again tomorrow for another new post and photo(s)
and thanks for sharing this post with others.

Earl Harris Photography is proud to serve and photograph Utah’s GLBT community and its supporters.

Blessings of Love for Your Home

Yesterday, I put in a few hours doing my volunteer photography at the (independent, non-profit) Humane Society of Utah, so don’t be surprised today’s post features cats. I photographed 27 cats; not even half of the total number now available for adoption. If you’re looking for a cat (dog, rabbit, or …) please choose the adoption option and visit your local shelter.

What do you think of the photos? Do they capture anything you would consider reflective of the animal’s character? It is truly important to me that I do this work well.

Here’s a small sampling of the love waiting to bless your home.

Dancer, Kennel 137, Animal ID A054549

Dash, Kennel 108, Animal ID A053418

Fluffers, Kennel 104, Animal ID A054088

Kitty We, Kennel 113, Animal ID A054021

Little Mama, Kennel 104, Animal ID A054087

Londyn, Kennel 108, Animal ID A053419

Marco, Kennel 110, Animal ID A054395

Marley, Kennel 111, Animal ID A053161

Nermal, Kennel 100, Animal ID A054212

Paul, Kennel 132, Animal ID A053199

Shadow, Kennel 115, Animal ID A054156

Zoe, Kennel 139, Animal ID A053840

Egypt, Kennel 107, Animal ID A054143

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Brushing The Cat

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/2 sec at f/11, 60 mm micro

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for allowing me to share my love of photography with you.

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Angels (with Whiskers)

Kittens are angels with whiskers.
~Author Unknown

Nikon D200, ISO 400, 1/60 s at f/2.8, 50 mm, fill flash

A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys.
~Barbara Holland

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OK, OK… I’ll get off the animal kick I’ve subjected my readers to over the last week, but today was my volunteer day taking photos at the shelter. You’ve got to admit this little guy is the cutest.

Thanks for stopping by I Shutter At The Thought! (Please tell your friends by sharing using one or more of the buttons below.) Your comments and feedback help me improve my skills, so I hope you’ll let me know what you think of today’s photo.

A Prize Fighter Named Rocky

Over 1.5 years ago, Rocky appeared on the back doorstep begging for food. Cats seem to know that the suckers residing at my address will give them a good meal if they are on the street and hungry; we’ve adopted two that came into our lives that way. When Rocky showed up, he was skittish but demanding. He would eat the food we’d put out and disappear again.

After several days of this, he trusted me to pick him up. People are impressed by Rocky’s size; he’s a big cat and pretty darn strong, too. I couldn’t help but fall in love with him, so Rocky got to experience a trip to the vet to get neutered, checked out, vaccinated and tested for FIV and Feline Leukemia (FLV).

Sony Cybershot, ISO 250, f/3.5 at 1/40 sec. (Auto Mode)

To make a long story short, Rocky was diagnosed with feline leukemia. His lymph nodes began to really swell up. It devastated me to be told he had maybe two weeks to live, at best. In fact, I refused to believe it. I even took him to another vet for a second opinion, only to have the first one confirmed.

I believe in miracles. When I was a child, my family and many family friends witnessed a miracle of healing that resulted in my father still being around to bless my life today instead of succumbing to doctor’s opinions and a hopeless prognosis. I have no doubt of the power of faith and prayer. Rocky’s vet still says she is at a complete loss to explain his miraculous recovery, though to me there is no question.

Rocky (aka “Little Buddy”) is a fighter. Though he’s confined to life in his own 2-bedroom basement apartment, his needs as an attention whore get satisfied daily and he enjoys being spoiled. He even likes – and demands by standing next to the sink and getting really vocal – a nightly bath so he can maintain his status as the world’s softest cat.

Rocky has blessed our home in ways I can’t even begin to describe. We’re so happy he chose us.

Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/60 sec., 82 mm

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It’s Probably Not What You Think Of

I usually try to keep my posts brief. Today I failed. 😛

Last November, I began volunteering at the Humane Society of Utah (HSU) as a photographer. You may or may not know that it has been repeatedly shown that the increase of adoption rates for animals with good, flattering photos is very significant. Out of a handful of photographers that volunteer, I’m the only one that isn’t allergic to cats, so guess where my efforts are focused? 🙂

I have learned a great deal since I started volunteering. Being an independent community-based and funded non-profit organization, HSU has a lot of challenges. Its name may lead you to assume an affiliation with the Humane Society of the United States, but no such affiliation exists. HSU survives on community donations, a skeleton staff and volunteer assistance. A recent expansion and construction project is giving the facility some badly needed space, while the animals will enjoy some major housing upgrades.

I strongly believe that every shelter should be a no-kill shelter. While progress is being made in this direction, this dream has a long way to go before becoming a reality. HSU has not euthanized an adoptable dog in over 3 years. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the cats. Despite mobile adoption programs, partnerships with retail stores to host staffed displays of animals available for adoption and on-going community outreach efforts, the facility simply cannot house forever the unsettling number of cats it receives. Alexandra, a beautiful solid black female with an attitude, has been at the shelter since I started volunteering. After more than 6 months, she has no known prospects of finding a forever home.

Unfortunately, when people think of an animal shelter, too often they get an image in their mind of a pet death camp. This distortion of the truth is founded on some very real horrors, but the distortion comes when we assume those horrors occur in every shelter facility. Because of this errant perception, I decided to use my camera to bring to mind the good things about a reputable, caring shelter. With one obvious exception, the photographs I took were unstaged and simply captured what was happening around me.

I obtained permission to photograph in the HSU clinic, which provides low-cost medical care and spay and neuter services. I was so very impressed with the compassion shown to the animals receiving care. The caregivers here really are angels – while I love animals, I don’t have the emotional strength to endure what these folks must endure every day. To do what they do with the love and care with which they do is to me an awesome, admirable and honorable thing.

Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.3 at 1/1000 sec, 22 mm

The HSU clinic provides expert care, ranging from vaccinations and spay and neuter procedures to life-saving surgeries.

Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/11 at 1/60 sec, 52 mm

Unaware of being photographed, this caregiver’s interaction with a sick cat truly yanked at my heart strings. Notice the expressions on both of their faces: there was communication of a higher level happening here.

Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.3 at 1/1000 sec, 22 mm

HSU services go far beyond just housing adoptable pets. These volunteers were really good sports about helping to
communicate that visually.

Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2000 sec, 32 mm

While the above shot was not staged, this beautiful canine clinic patient insisted on taking a moment out from her walk to pose and check out the guy with the camera.

Nikon D300, ISO 400, f/13 at 1/500 sec, 45 mm

Family members that volunteer together build relationships with the animals and each other.

Nikon D300, ISO 400, f/13 at 1/60 sec, 45 mm

In the end, it’s up to you. If you’re looking for a pet, please choose the adoption option. You’ll probably be quite surprised by the variety of animals and breeds available at your local shelter.

I commend HSU for all it does and for the way it does it. If you live in the area and are interested in volunteering, please contact Jamie Usry, HSU’s volunteer coordinator. Volunteering is on your own terms – do what you can when you can. There is a permanent link to the HSU website located under “Links” on this blog. You can also help through donations of cat, dog and rabbit food, cat litter (the clumping variety only, please), towels, blankets, newspaper, animal-safe toys, and of course cash.

Thank you to Jamie Usry and the HSU staff members and volunteers that made this blog post possible!

P.S.: Live local? Like cats? Like photography and the idea of volunteering your skills? Please contact me!

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who may also enjoy it.
It is encouraging to see the daily
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THANK YOU
for allowing me to share my love of photography with you.

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