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Rat Cat

All elements: cat on pot, flowers and rat shot separately with Fuji Reala print film on Canon EOS-100 SLR. Each shot scanned and blended in PS CS2. SEE `BEHIN...
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All elements: cat on pot, flowers and rat shot separately with Fuji Reala print film on Canon EOS-100 SLR. Each shot scanned and blended in PS CS2. SEE `BEHIND THE SCENE' BELOW...
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Top Shot Award
Contest Finalist in Kittens vs Puppies Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Covers Photo Contest Vol 26
Contest Finalist in Cats Being Cats Photo Contest
Winner in Krazy Kittens Photo Challenge
  View more
Peer Award
Outstanding Creativity
Superb Composition
Varyen mariehlnejulien karenjohns abug4pc FlorenceDinah PeterMaz jodiwilson +61
Absolute Masterpiece
luiginespeca Steve_Thomas bonjoy ricrog raffaellofanti annaphillips oshaughnessy_ +39
Top Choice
suzannedurant SolangeChouinard florence thatunicorngal piathelandersonsmith davidbasson hafeedz +38
Magnificent Capture
SusiStroud karinmcfarlane Captzach Cainey1958 juanbalv debbietintle joycelifsey +6
All Star
nederfilms Ulla_Have mjbranscome Dacemac ChrisLahoda YakovAflalo terilbrisendine +5
Superior Skill
Tanners juancarlosamorgonzalez shaundasmithroberts Albert-Serra-Photography dereksouter PhotosbyJLR fotokzg +2
lovelymountains mcampi Ka7thy FrankSomma

Submitted to Photo Contests

Top ClassTM

The Swag ProjectTop 10 class
The Swag ProjectTop 10 class week 1
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 class
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 class week 2
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 class week 1
Kittens vs Puppies Photo ContestTop 30 class
Kittens vs Puppies Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Covers Photo Contest Vol 39Top 30 class week 2
Covers Photo Contest Vol 39Top 20 class week 1
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 2Top 20 class
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 2Top 20 class week 2
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 2Top 10 class week 1
Layered Compositions Photo ContestTop 30 class
Layered Compositions Photo ContestTop 20 class week 2
Layered Compositions Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Cats Being Cats Photo ContestTop 10 class
Cats Being Cats Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
30 Comments | Report
GigiJim08 PRO+
GigiJim08 January 29, 2015
hahahaha kill it...
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Billyboy January 30, 2015
Done :-)
travelfaraway January 29, 2015
OMG..this is too funny! Very creative!
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Billyboy January 30, 2015
When kitty's hungry, you gotta feed him.
JDLifeshots February 08, 2015
Great creativity!
joeehlen February 14, 2015
Love this...brilliant
joeehlen February 14, 2015
Creative genius.... opened up my head to possibilities and I love your work looking forward to seeing more
FrankSomma PRO+
FrankSomma February 25, 2015
Cuteness and death in a flowery pot. That's a juxtaposition that just mesmerizes Billboy. I quickly became a Big fan!
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Billyboy February 25, 2015
Gotta say Frank, of all my manip pictures this one probably holds the biggest chunk of real estate in my heart. Thanks so much for stopping by !
kellycoventry March 12, 2015
The colours, the composition, the innocence, the harsh reality, the instinct, WOW! Just WOW!!!!
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Billyboy March 13, 2015
Cool that you picked up on the innocence kelly, it`s what made the shot. Apart from the dead rat and stuff... Thanks for the WOW`s !!
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Billyboy March 13, 2015
Nope, I`m not done yet... for all the reasons you mention, this is possibly my all time personal favorite. So yeah, your WOW`s kinda made my day :-)
PhotoOwl April 10, 2015
Ferocious I'm Are! Too cute.
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Billyboy April 11, 2015
Thanks for that, and for all your comments and awards. So cool to see you today !!
Karine April 16, 2015
soooo cute!
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Billyboy April 16, 2015
Thanks Karine, the kitten's kinda cute too :-)
Kimbrat November 26, 2015
Now how in the heck?! Very creative! Fantastic imagination. You are extremely talented!
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Billyboy November 26, 2015
Not wanting to make light of your compliment Kim, the true talent is with the kitten... that he sat so perfectly still with a whopping rat hanging from his chops while I messed with the camera settings will never cease to freak me out :-) But thanks for the appreciation, it was an inspired moment for the three of us !
RhondaMcD November 29, 2015
Wow, great one..Congratulations.
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Billyboy November 30, 2015
Cheers for the congrats Rhonda, and for the award !
acglock PRO+
acglock November 29, 2015
What outstanding skill and creativity to put all these elements together! Well done... I am in absolute awe!
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Billyboy November 30, 2015
It as one of those rare events where I had a wacko idea and it actually panned out… it's not every day I get a dead rat that's as photogenic as this guy was :-) Thanks so much for the compliment !!
pattack November 30, 2015
Great black humour - I love this simple treatment rather than the overworked composites you see a lot of, because they hide sloppy extractions :)
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Billyboy November 30, 2015
Cool of you to say that. For me, a successful composite is one that makes you look close to make sure it's not real, and still have doubts when you're done looking. Keeping it simple keeps it real, and that's what I've always aimed for from the start. I'll spend hours on getting shadowing and direction of light the way it needs to be… getting a comment like yours makes it worth the effort !
nandicmb December 09, 2015
Congratulations on both your Awards!
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Billyboy December 09, 2015
On behalf of Rat Cat and myself, many thanks for the congrats !!
leonidmamontov December 13, 2015
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Billyboy December 13, 2015
Leonid, I will totally take that as a compliment :-)
dereksouter PRO
dereksouter December 18, 2015
that is an amazing piece of work - I applaud your work!
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Billyboy December 19, 2015
Thanks derek, it was one of my earlier attempts at photomontage and I was pleased how realistic it looked in the end. It will always be one of my personal faves so many thanks for that appreciation :-)
very good future hunter, so small and yet got a so big mouse ;-)
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Billyboy January 03, 2016
Tout est dans la sourire Christiane :-) Merci !
poddy46 January 02, 2016
good job (Y)
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Billyboy January 03, 2016
Cheers for the appreciation :-)
rturnbow PRO+
rturnbow January 04, 2016
Congrats for the contest showing BB, well done!
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Billyboy January 04, 2016
Cheers for that Randy, just found out minutes ago. I'm kinda blown away at the attention this picture's had considering it's had only moderate attention on RB. I'm kinda starting to dig this place :-)
chrisccrowley January 05, 2016
Join the conversation. Add a comment or even better, a critique. Let's get better together!
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Billyboy January 05, 2016
Cheers Chris, I'll take that as a compliment :-)
mauricioramirezguzman October 02, 2016
Jaja a good one
juanbalv October 02, 2016
The law of the jungle. Magnificent capture.
danettezak January 14, 2017
You have some amazing compositions! I really wish I was as creative as you! Awesome!
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Billyboy January 15, 2017
Thanks for the appreciation :-) To be honest, when you have pets like this little guy around the house, creativity is not hard to come by. The rest is just knowing Photoshop!
aimebennett August 06, 2018
I’m surprised & dismayed at all you morbid creatures who enjoy looking at this.
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Billyboy August 18, 2018
Unfortunately, this stuff does happen in life. I don't know that most would even get enjoyment out of this image, but it's human nature to be drawn to it and that is probably why it gets views, likes and awards. Having siad all that, I am sorry if you are offended. Probably best just not to look.
Varyen PRO
Varyen August 06, 2018
Great photo! Having ha pet rats in the past I feel sorry for it but it's the cat's nature. Also have pet cats and they would have never posed like this.
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Billyboy August 18, 2018
You do realize the rat and cat are two separate photos... don't think any of oyur cats would have posed like that either :-) Thanks for the appreciation !!
aimebennett September 03, 2018
If I photoshop a picture of a baby sitting on a corpse, would that be met with acclaim? That’s what we’re looking at, just different species. This photo will haunt me for years. I guess that’s a compliment.
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Billyboy September 05, 2018
I don't think you've really made a fair comparison. And in fact if it had been the other way round and the rat were hanging a dead kitten from its chops, I'd probably be haunted by it myself. I'm just saying that kitten lovers and rat haters are abundant on the planet and this is why the image possibly works for most. Having said all that, you are obviously a compassionate person and a lover of life, and so I can understand the pain that this and a gazillion pictures of this nature could inflict on the innocent soul. Again, probably best not to look
RhondaMcD September 09, 2018
OMG, this is priceless..Congratulations
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Billyboy September 09, 2018
Thanks Rhonda, your comment is kinda priceless too :-)
mihrt October 12, 2018
fabulous shot - so well deserving of all the Awards !
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Billyboy October 13, 2018
Thanks for that appreciation! Some seem to have a problem with the theme. But in the end it’s only rock & roll and I’m glad you like it ????
mihrt October 12, 2018
haha awesome
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Billyboy Mar 12
Yeah. the little guy had a busy day ????

Same photographer See all

Behind The Lens

Think the original shot of the kitten alone on the pot without the flowers and rat was taken on the coffee table in our living room.
It was shot in the evening with no natural available light.
The lighting in a photomontage such as this is the most important parameter to get right. All the added elements, flowers and rat in this case, needed to have the same quality and direction of light as the original shot.
All elements were taken on Fuji Reala color print film, negative scanned to digital with a Canon FS 2700 film scanner. Camera was Canon EOS 100, tripod mounted, with Canon EF-100 mm Macro lens. I used a single 250 Watt flash head with 60 cm softbox on the right side at about 45°, full power Exposure probably 1/120 sec, f 11 set with Polaris manual exposure meter
I'd taken the kitten's portrait sitting on the dirt filled pot with black paper backdrop. It wasn't till another cat dragged a dead rat in through the flap that I had the idea to make it look as though the little kitten had taken his own trophy. I strung the rat up by its tail from a stand (waited till the wife and kid were in bed natch :-) and used the same flash set up to do his portrait. The flowers were an idea that came the next day… I bought them on the way home form work and photographed them on the pot in the same way as the other elements. I rested my flash meter on the flowers to simulate the weight of the kitten sitting on them, knowing that when I isolated the flowers for the comp, the flash meter would not be imported with them. Also did a bit of arranging to make the flowers look disturbed by the kitten, and to strengthen the overall composition.
Of course this was all about arranging the individual elements to make them fit together convincingly. The flowers and rat were carefully selected in Photoshop and placed on the original background image. I did a bit of manipulation to get the tip of the tail right in the kitten's chops, and as mentioned above I created shadows and reflections where necessary to make it look as though everything was shot together with one light source.
In my camera bag
Since I converted to digital shooting, my bag has my Canon EOS 5D MkIII with EF 24-105L IS kit lens, EF 100 mm f 2,8 macro (which serves beautifully as a portrait lens in spite of the clunky pre-USM autofocus) and my favorite EF 16-35L. Other gear is a 580 EXII Speedlight flash with my latest purchase: a Gary Fong diffuser which works fabulously. I also carry my Polaris exposure meter, spare battery packs + charger, spare memory cards, a flashlight, mini tripod, dust brush and some filters I haven't used since discovering Photoshop. My two Elinchrom 250 W flash heads with 60 cm soft boxes and Benbow tripod live in separate bags.
My procedure above is my advice to get composite images looking realistic. I place a lot of importance on selecting the elements, going in at 100% magnification (or more) and using several selection tools in PS, mainly lasso and erasers to create the masks… and of course the lighting with creation of shadows and reflections is essential to get right. And patience. Lots of that helps. An image like this generally takes me several days :-)

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