You don’t have to be a cat lover to enjoy this portrait of William the cat by Sherie Dowsett. This striking close-up of William won the LexJet Sunset Award for Outstanding Print & Presentation at the Plymouth Center for the Arts competition in February.
Take any random group of people – say, print competition judges – and you’re sure to have a mix of cat lovers and those who are, at best, ambivalent about them. The recognition of this cat capture as an award-winner has less to do with the subject and much more about how the capture brings out the subject’s character.
When asked if she was surprised by the award, Dowsett replied: “Yes, absolutely. You’re always surprised, right? But I spent a lot of time thinking of the presentation. I used a rustic frame in an attempt to bring out that wild cat feel. I have a local framer I work with closely and we spent a lot of time discussing how to frame it. It captures a lot of attention, and not just cat lovers.”
The key to this capture, like most captures, is the lighting. Taken indoors on a winter day with the sun low on the horizon the interplay of shadow and light creates a depth that brings out William’s dual nature as he looks out the window.
“I was playing with this macro lens and was very close to William. He’s so used to me taking shots of him that he completely ignores me,” Dowsett recalls. “I love this shot because you can see the wild cat in this image and the softer side of him; it just depends on how you look at it. I see it differently than other people might because I know what he’s like as a cat. He’s always faithfully at my side looking for attention, never catches anything and can only clumsily climb trees, but someone else may just see his wild side.”
Dowsett is a part-time photographer who lives in Amherst, N.H. A native of England, she moved from the Midwest a few years ago to take advantage of the great outdoors that surround her home in Amherst. Since most of her photography is nature-focused using only natural light, it was the perfect fit.
For more information about Dowsett’s photography, go to: http://sheriedowsettphotography.com/Home.html