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Shooting Wabbits

I had the opportunity to do a shoot to produce photos for the House Rabbit Society of Singapore 2010 Calendar. The plan was to photograph different rabbits in different poses and with different props to put across 12 Common Myths that people might have about caring for rabbits. E.g. “Myth : Rabbits are dirty and cannot be toilet trained”. The shoot went much harder than I imagined it would. I borrowed various lighting equipment from 2 extremely generous friends of mine and treated the project like a product shoot . . . but with uncooperative furry moving products. It was next to impossible to try to control the rabbits. I could not say to them “Ok, sit still and look here. Tilt your head a bit to the left”. The shoot lasted over 2 full days leaving me quite drained and aching all over. I told my wife, “It’s more tiring compared to shooting a full day wedding!”.

The following are 3 photos that did not make the cut but which I personally like. The little toilet bowl prop in the 1st photo is actually a mustard pot (i.e. you store mustard in it and scoop it out with a spoon when needed). It was on loan to me by my granddad from his personal collection of mustard pots shaped like toilet bowls. A very quirky hobby I must say. 8P

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For the techies out there. The following photo shows the lighting setup. It was done inside a big empty cage room that was used to house cats at Mutts & Mittens which is place where the rabbits are housed. Main light used was a Jinbei battery operated strobe light (with softbox) loaned from my friend Ian. The secondary light I was using to light the background was a Canon 580EXII flash (shot through an umbrella) loaned from my friend Danny. I tried to setup 2 flashes to light the background to get it more evenly lit but could not get them to synchronise properly so I made do with just one. Backdrop was white mahjong paper. Used a Canon 5DM2 with a 24-70/2.8L lens for the shoot which was also loaned from my friend Danny. Flash was triggered using an Elinchrom Skyport system.

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Our “cage” was surrounded with other neighboring cages housing lots of cats! I had to wear a face mask to prevent myself from sneezing non stop because my sinuses go crazy when exposed to too much cat hair. Many of the cats were tracking the rabbits with their eyes during the shoot as you can see from the following photo. They all had this intense hungry look on their faces.

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Mutts & Mittens also houses many dogs. I enjoy playing with dogs so it was quite interesting being around so many dogs of all breeds. There was one particular dog that hangs around in the main office of Mutts & Mittens that was quite interesting. He’s a Labrador named Yellow (2nd photo below) and is one of the most “nua” or laid-back dogs I’ve ever met. He was sleeping most of the time and when I tried to get him to pose with a rabbit he walked off with a demeanor of “Don’t bother me!”. He actually looked a bit scared of the rabbit . . . maybe that’s why he’s called Yellow.

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