The Digital Photo Guy

My Buddy, Alf

by on Jul.10, 2011, under Lightroom, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing

The Heartache of Furry Buddies

My buddy, Alf, has been with us for 21 years. I first saw her at an animal shelter in San Diego while waiting for my car to be serviced. The shelter was nearby so I walked over to see what was happening.

All the cats had plastic collars except Alf. A worker told me no one wanted to collar her because she was a “biter.” I could tell she was feisty. All the other kittens looked shy and withdrawn but Alf came right up to the front of the cage and said, “Hey you. Yeah, you, the dumb looking one! Get me outta here.” I knew right away that she and I would get along well. That was 1991.

Alf has been slowing down for several years. I’ve always known she would leave us someday but it will still hard when that day comes. Yesterday, she suffered a series of seizures and couldn’t stand. Today, she had more seizures and kept falling while trying to eat. I’m told cats aren’t in pain when experiencing seizures but I’d feel better if Alf could confirm that for me.

I’m sure I’ll have to make the hard decision soon to release Alf from her worn out body. I hope I do the right thing. I don’t want to wait too long and have her suffer but, neither do I want to do it too soon and lose some more time with my cantankerous, obnoxious, geriatric buddy.

Non-destructive Editing

Lightroom is basically ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) on steroids. The same engine that runs ACR also runs LR. One of the coolest things about LR and ACR is that all adjustments are non-destructive.

What does non-destructive mean, you ask? I’m glad you asked. Non-destructive means none of the changes are baked into the original image. Imagine an oven with an “Undo” button. If you overcook your steak, just hit “Undo” and the steak is back to it’s original raw state. Nothing in LR or ACR is ever final, just re-open the file and hit “Undo.”

Let’s face it, we don’t always know what we want of a photo the first time we review it. At first, we may think it looks fine as-is but later, after a second look, decide we want to convert it to black & white or change the crop or increase the contrast or make any number of other changes. With non-destructive edits, the original is just a click away.


3 Comments for this entry

  • Gloria Hendren

    What a wonderful and heart warming story. The picture tells the viewer alot. I know what you are going through regarding your lovely cat.


  • Karen

    Your photo of Alf really shows some of the personality you describe. We had to make a difficult decision to help our aged dog leave this world last fall. It is never easy but you will eventually be able to enjoy your memories of her without an aching heart.
    My sympathies,

    • Lee

      Thank you, Karen. My condolences on your dog. It’s amazing how these fur covered meatballs worm their way into our hearts.

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