Meet Cringer, or Battle Cat, He Answers to Both.

Meet Cringer, or Battle Cat, He Answers to Both.


Meet Cringer! Sometimes he turns into Battle Cat when he gets feisty.

Today I wanted to share some images I took using my Nikon D5100 with the standard 18-55mm kit lens and the macro setting (I was using the 55mm setting). I’m still learning all of the features, but I think some of these turned out pretty well.

Note: I learned that it’s probably easier to do macro-style shots when your subject is stationary. Trying to get my cat to sit still was like, well, herding cats. I don’t usually think about how fast he is until he shoots out of the frame. I ended up having to wait until he saw a bird or was chasing bugs outside the window. Seeing his tail wagging so rapidly was pretty hilarious.

I’ve been looking at getting a Nikon 35mm or 50mm lens with an F Stop of 1.8, but I’m thinking about holding off until I really get a handle on everything the kit lens can do. Unfortunately I can’t seem to get my F Stop below 5 when shooting 55mm, so getting enough light into the lens is an issue. I also really like the look of having the subject in focus and the background blurred. Which settings and lens would you suggest to get that effect?

What do you think of the shots? Does anyone have any tips for using the Nikon D5100 that could help? Perhaps you have some tips for getting a cat to sit still? 😛

Extra Fun Facts:

– Cringer just turned 1!
– Cringer is a tiny cat. Seriously. He’s pocket-sized.
– Cringer likes sleeping in his cubby hole (don’t ask), cuddling, and scratching the couch even though there’s a scratching post right there…
– He responds to no less than eight names. Not that he listens to any of them.
– Cringer always looks surprised. Always.

Making of the ‘Dirge of the Corsairs’ Music Video

Making of the ‘Dirge of the Corsairs’ Music Video

Music Video Desert Filming

On Friday morning, I decided to film a music video.  I took a stroll up into the hills outside Sparks, Nevada to scout for a location. I was hoping to find a desert landscape that would serve as the Planet Garuda, which is a fictional desert world that I created for my science fiction series, The Corsair Uprising. It was a beautiful day and I found that the desert landscape wasn’t as barren as I’d thought. There were lizards, spiders, crickets, jack-rabbits, birds, and a number of other small creatures.

I hiked about a mile up the side of a large hill (I guess where some people live they’d call them mountains, but living near the Sierra Nevadas means they get downgraded to hills). I didn’t know this before going out on my little journey, but there are some seriously massive rocks just jutting out of the Earth all over the high desert.

Desert Filming Music Video RockI continued walking up the side of this hill, realizing that running a few days a week was no match for the kind of workout I was in for. My pack had about 15 pounds of gear in total, which isn’t a lot, but became far more noticeable the more I walked. Apparently being in shape and being in ‘hiking’ shape are two different things.

Before filming my music video, I had made a list of a few shots I wanted to get, but on the whole I was pretty open to just seeing what I could find. The song I had created was about two and a half minutes long and I needed quite a bit more footage than that for the editing process. It took just an hour or two to get the shots I needed, but I hung around a while longer just to see what I could find. I’m really lucky I did, because I found this little guy (at right). At first he was a little skittish, but I followed him and he let me get my camera within a foot of his face. Pretty brave!

Desert Lizard Music Video

After walking around a little more, I found another lizard of the same species that was a little smaller, and that one did not cooperate so well. I decided after that it was time to head home and start editing. On the way back down the hill I saw something zip past me. It was a fairly large jack-rabbit and it was fast. Though I had my Nikon D5100 in my hand, I wasn’t fast enough to get it on film. This thing was tearing by!

All-in-all I think my little adventure was a blast. I didn’t see any tarantulas or rattlesnakes, so that always makes for a good day. I really lucked out seeing this photo-friendly lizard as well. To see the results of my project, I’ve embedded the completed video below. I added a yellow filter in the editing process to make it look more like the alien planet I had imagined, with a sun far more intense than our own. Enjoy!

To see the finished music video and more of my videos on writing, social media, and the publishing industry, visit my youtube channel.