The 52 Project, Week 36: Toledo Cat Show

By now it's probably becoming quite obvious...if there's an event in the greater Toledo, OH region that has animals, I'm there! Surprisingly enough, I never thought of myself as an animal person, but take all the casual animal pictures out of The 52 Project, and it starts to look pretty empty. Oh well, guess it wouldn't hurt to add a FEW more weeks of animal fun into the "pool". 


Judges carefully examine each contestant.



The weekend just before Valentines Day 2011, I dragged Lauren along with me to the Toledo area cat show titled, "My Stormy Valentine". Typically, this name is in reference to the god-awful weather Toledo experiences this time of year. Thankfully, I don't know a single cat show that doesn't take place indoors.



Personally, I attend the show for the Maine Coons.


If you've never been to a cat show before, it's an interesting time, to say the least. People from all over the region bring their domesticated divas to a large gathering of similarly aged/bred cats to be crowned "Champion" or "Best of Breed". Each breed of cat has its own unique, aesthetically aimed standards that judges coming from all around the country are trained to identify via inspection. The process looks as weird as it sounds, as you can see by the pictures littered throughout this post.


Check out the grain, pushed 400 -> 3200!


 Usually when attending this cat show, I set small goals for myself. In years past, I've set goals such as "photograph owners that look like their pets" or "capture as many different breeds as possible". This year, it didn't really feel like there was any such goal, but as the afternoon progressed, it became evident that I was on candid duty. More than years previous, I concentrated on the interactions between the judges and the judge-ees.



This Maine Coon was not a happy kitty.


 The lighting in this building was horrid, to say the least. Everything you see this week was shot with Kodak TMax 400 @ ISO 3200, pushed in D-76! Cats, like any other small animal, move fast and require the fastest shutter speed you can get away with. Most, if not all, of these shots feature a shutter speed at or above 1/125th of a second. Having already run out of Ilford Delta 3200, TMax 400, another modern "T-grained" emulsion, was my next logical choice.



Something Good: My initial meter readings were spot on! Everything was metered using an old-fashioned, non-electric Sekonic meter.

Something Bad: Given the immense amount of fall-off from the few large light fixtures in this building, I had to choose my shots wisely. There are a few shots from this role, not shown or uploaded to Flickr, that came out incredibly, incredibly thin!

Something Learned: Even in the most basic of film developers, D-76, usable results can be achieved in a push so long as time, temperature, dilution, and agitation are controlled to the "T".

Next Week: Pushing some more TMax 400, for more animals!