Tuesday 29 April 2014

Tuesday Tail #10

During outdoor playtime, Bobbit does chow down on grassy delights, but mostly he likes to stretch his legs:

Whereas, while we do get the odd stiff-old-bun binky out of Anouska, mostly she uses her time for filling up on foliage:


Monday 28 April 2014


BHV: Erm...show me?

BHV: Yup, you're right Soufflé, you DO have grass in your teeth.

Sunday 27 April 2014

Yesterday Revisited

A couple of pics from Whisky and me celebrating 6 years of photo's yesterday...

"This is much better than fruit btw..."

"Hey, can I grow some nettle bushes in my room?"

Saturday 26 April 2014

My First Whisky

I recently ran out of disk space on my laptop, having filled it full of bunnies, so a significant amount of time over the last week has involved having a clearout and re-organisation of my old photo's. Feeling all nostalgic, yesterday when I was looking for something to post to make up for missing the morning, I went looking for my first ever photograph of Whisky.

Sure, I've shown you how he was the first bunny I took a picture of after I bought myself a proper camera, but that was in May 2008 and I was sure I had an earlier one I'd taken either on my phone or the mini camera I had before. As you might remember, Whisky and I first arrived at the Rescue around the same time several months before that. Well anyway, here is the earliest pic of mine that I can find of him:

Not a very good picture I'm afraid, and it shows me giving him fruit which, I have since learned, makes his bottom explode, but there you go. Just as I was going to post it yesterday I spotted it was taken at 08:17 on 26th April, which means today is the anniversary of me taking it! (And is why you didn't get it yesterday!)

My special little baby, I have been photographing you for exactly 6 years today. Happy photo-anniversary Whisky Bunny!

Friday 25 April 2014

Wait For It...

Sorry there was no post first thing today - I was at the Rescue last night dishing out dinner, after a last minute request from Caroline for "emergency cover", so unfortunately I didn't have any time to prepare a blog post for this morning. Couldn't leave you bunniless for the day though, so here's Nelson to further apologise on our behalf:

"What? Why do *I* need to apologise for *you* not posting? Oh hang on, I just remembered who's making my breakfast in the morning... Yes, apologies from all of us! (That's extra snacks for me tomorrow, right?)"

Thursday 24 April 2014

Twice the Flavour

"'ere, I fought you woz bringing me some parsley?"

What are you talking about Pudsy, I just gave you a big piece each??!!

"Eafr? Uhroh."

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Mr and Mrs Moodychops

Benson and Patty are two of the moodiest, most stroppy bunnies I have ever come across.

When it comes to breakfast, talk about snatchy and ungrateful, however quick you move these two will have the food out your hand (and a few fingers along with it if you are not careful) before you can give it to them. When they've been in sheds with open outdoor grass areas, when you try to let them out they'll barge past you with a headbutt and a glare that suggests the speed of your door-opening leaves a lot to be desired.

Patty has been single for some time. Besides her behavioural quirks, although she's pretty healthy she has funny leg issues which means she needs monitoring and is probably not suited to be rehomed to just anyone. But even amongst our many other special needs residents, she has not been keen on any potential new partner.

Benson, with his strong personality and hilarious antics, has won the hearts of a number of volunteers, but again he is not the sort of rabbit you would re-home to just anyone. You get the feeling that his quirkiness could easily turn into actual fear-aggression if he found himself in an environment he wasn't entirely comfortable with. So rather than leave him single for a while as an available partner for an owners rabbit, Caroline decided it best to find him a new partner straight away.

Which is all good. However, when I found out she was putting these two characters together, I figured there could only be two possible outcomes:

  • Their personalities would clash and they'd never accept each other OR
  • They'd bond together into a pair so densely packed with mutual grumpiness that no volunteer would survive near them long enough to clean or feed them without being sucked into a vortex of emotional destruction.

I figured it would be the first one. Looks like I might have been be wrong.

"Oh yeah, we're getting on now. Is that surprise or fear I see in your eyes?"

"FYI? Domination plans: these snacks, this Rescue, world. Any questions?"

I'm sorry people. We are all doomed.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Tuesday Tail #9

So much to do,
But I'm hindered today,
There's a tail, some feets
And a fat butt in my way.
Could maybe step over,
Or perhaps go around,
But this beast might awaken
If I dare make a sound.
So I turn and I tip-toe
To back whence I came
Now the carrots I carry
Will be safe once again.


Sunday 20 April 2014

No Easter Bunny

"No, I'm NOT the Easter bunny. YOU'RE supposed to bring ME tasty treats! So where are they??!!"

Saturday 19 April 2014

Soldiering On, Tucking In

Boadicea's repeated offering to "help out" may be somewhat of a transparent ruse, but I'll give her this - she certainly puts her all into the part!

"Boadicea Bunny, reporting for veg-guard duty, SIR!"

Friday 18 April 2014

Easter Break

Well, Easter is upon us, so it's time to celebrate.

What are we celebrating? Well, a bunch of things depending on our own individual religious beliefs (or lack thereof), but one of the things we celebrate here is how astute and compassionate we are as human beings that we DON'T buy live rabbits as gifts. We understand that they are not fluffy toys, they are sentient beings with a whole bunch of complicated and expensive needs.

How do we celebrate? By stuffing our faces with chocolate eggs and anything that falls out of them when we break them apart!

So with these things in mind, here's a couple of Whisky's pals to wish you a happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday 17 April 2014

Choccy Loppy Stand-Ins

"Oh, hello! BHV is busy with work this week so asked us to come speak to you about cameras in his place. Here goes:- Erm...they...um...don't taste as nice as pellets and snacky grass! Any questions?"

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Lessons in Earth Science

"Did you know that the Earth is not in fact flat, like this floor, but round, like my food bowl? Oh you did? Just the one mistake then..."

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Tuesday Tail #8

Whisky is busy making "modifications" to allow passage to the Land Behind the Sofas. I'm sure his fat behind did once fit through this gap. Will you tell him he needs to lay off the carrots or should I?

"I don't know what you're talking about back there, but I definitely heard someone say carrots..."

Monday 14 April 2014

Mega Monday

Move over moufs, it's time for Mega-Binky Monday!


Sunday 13 April 2014

Saturday 12 April 2014

Nelson Nose Best

"If you know what's good for you, you should eat your greens! You hear me? You should eat YOUR greens! These, incidentally, are MY greens."

Friday 11 April 2014

Thursday 10 April 2014

Crop Rectangles

So, you are taking nice steady pictures with your awesome bunny camera. But they still don't look as good as they could and you are starting to think it's something to do with how they are composed. Maybe you just don't have the 'artists eye' needed to spot a good picture? Or maybe you do (Hint: You do!) but you just haven't figured out how to realise it? Or maybe all you need is this week's Fursday Foto Tip! And this fifth tip is without doubt the most important tip I will give you...

Bunny Photo Tip #5

When you start out with bunny photography, don't worry about perfectly composing pictures. This is the digital age - just make sure you have everything in the picture and crop it later.

Yes that's right, this weeks tip is simple. After you've taken your lots of pictures and chucked out the ones with nothing interesting in, crop the rest to show off the interesting things.

So first of all, what is cropping? Well, quite simply, it's when you draw a rectangle somewhere in the middle of your picture, cut round it and throw the outside bit away - the aim being to leave you with a well balanced, better-looking (if a little smaller) picture! It's the most basic tool in all photo-editing software(Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Gimp...), most photo-organising software (iPhoto, Aperture, the free ones that come with your camera...) and is even built in to most other software that allows you to insert pictures (like MS Word and Outlook).

Why do we want to crop? Well, actually, ideally we don't! And the longer you do this bunny photography thing the easier it gets to spot exactly what picture you want and where to put the camera to get it without messing around with it too much after. But that only comes through experience and occasionally a bit of luck. Of my pictures you see on this blog and Facebook, although some are cropped in some way I'd say these days about three quarters are the full picture that I took. To figure out where in the picture I wanted the bunny, how far away, with how much of the background etc, this I worked out through experience taking lots of pictures and cropping in lots of different ways until I found the ideas I liked.

Try it. There are no rules (well...), it's all down to 'art' and personal taste. Take a picture, make a copy (IMPORTANT! Don't accidentally destroy your original!!!), open it in your favourite photo editor and try cropping it in lots of different ways.

If you are not sure where to start, here are some ideas:

  • Crop so the bunny takes up all the frame with just a small gap around the edges, with the gap the same size at the top, bottom and sides
  • Crop to just the face
  • Crop to half the face, like if you added a mirror it would look like a whole face again
  • Crop to just the eyes/nose upwards so it's like bunny is looking over something
  • If the bunny has lots of space around them in the original, try cropping from each side so they are in each of the corners

Cropping a picture so that the subject is on one side or in a corner can help the picture tell a story. Take this uninteresting wide shot of Anouska and Bobbit in the garden yesterday:

It's OK, but it doesn't really speak to me. However, if I crop the picture leaving Bobbit off to one side like this:

Suddenly the picture has meaning - it looks like we have caught a moment where Bobbit has spotted something just out of shot - is he going to chase after it? Now we have drama. If we crop from the other side:

Now perhaps Bobbit is looking across the garden admiring the grass. Notice also that having him down in one corner makes him look smaller in the overall scene - you can start to see how doing this sort of thing (with the right picture) can be used to emphasise how small, cute and vulnerable bunnies are for example.

So there are all sorts of interesting things you can do, it's best to just play until you start to see what sort of things work for you with what pictures.

Lastly, as you are cropping, you may notice (depending on what software you use) that the crop box is split into smaller rectangles, three across and three down.

This is a very deliberate aid. Because the first thing you are supposed to learn about when composing shots for visual media is the rule of thirds. This is quite a simple concept, you are basically aiming to get key points in the picture on the lines or in the middle of a box. For example, in close ups, try getting the eyes on the upper horizontal line and the nose or mouth on the lower horizontal line. (This is almost certainly what I did in that picture of Jemima I used in my remembrance post last month.) Or if you have an ear sticking diagonally up and off to one side, try cropping so it sits in the middle of the top corner rectangle.

Well there you go, another simple and hopefully useful tip as well as some ideas to get you started. As always, please feel free to add your comments and questions below, otherwise I'll see you back here tomorrow for another Tiny Tale!

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Okily Dokily

"Er...OK, but presentation aside, I believe this dish traditionally also comes with a side of broccoli?"

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Tuesday Tail #7

Destroying cardboard tubes and floor mats is tiring work...


Monday 7 April 2014

Me Me Mimi

"...so I was like, 'Why should you get all the best snacks, maybe I want the biggest bit of carrot sometimes', and Tintin was all 'Blah blah blah' and I could tell he knew I was right, but that boy needs to know that I'm special, I have needs, why should I be the one to compromise, so then he was all 'Well I'm going to be a big baby and sulk', so I was like 'Well I'm going to go chat to that human over there' and he was all..."

Saturday 5 April 2014

Choccy Loppy Do Dah

I could go into a long and winding excuse involving my busy schedule and lack of new photo's for why there was no post for today (before now), but the truth is, I ran out of time to sort it out last night because I am an addict. Blame me and my weak will, blame the friend who introduced me to the pointless time-sucking evil, but one thing is for sure, until I get 2048 I can't stop playing that wretched game. [sigh]

Sorry about that.

Here's some choccy lop youngsters enjoying eating snacks in a shed rather than floating away in a river. See you back here tomorrow.

Friday 4 April 2014

On Friday's News...

My spare bedroom has a laminate floor. When occupied by indoor foster bunnies, for whom slippy floors can be dangerous, it is covered wall-to-wall in rubber backed mats and runners for grip, with a large washable rug on top for added foot comfort.

However well behaved and well trained the foster bunnies are, at some point they realise they are not alone in the house and will leave the odd message around the edges of the room. These are so anybun else who might wander nearby will know whose territory they are approaching. The area directly in front of the doorway will usually take the brunt of this, so underneath those mats is placed a thick layer of absorbent newspaper ready for the inevitable.

Newspaper. Just in a small area. Underneath the mats. In the corner. Out of sight. So you wouldn't know it's there.

Uh huh. Somebunny has a new project. What are the chances of working out who?

"Hey! Can you get me today's edition? I still need to cover a spot of floor over by the window."

I guess I won't need to call Sherlock Holmes in to figure out this one then.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Top Gear (Part 1)

So there you are with your camera nice and steady on your foot taking lots of pictures, but frankly you are starting to feel that your current camera just doesn't cut it.

Well that's OK, because this weeks Fursday Foto Tip is all about choosing a new camera. And, you will not be surprised to hear, this fourth tip is without doubt the most important tip I will give you...

Bunny Photo Tip #4

"Well, I've got the camera now, so let's see how YOU binky!"

This week's tip:

Buy a good quality camera. A good camera may cost a lot of money but our memories of our bunnies are priceless.

Yes it's that simple, buy a good camera. But before I go any further I need to give you a serious warning:

If you don't have lots of money spare to buy fancy electronic toys, you may wish to stop reading right now.

Any amateur photographer will tell you that buying camera gear is addictive. No, seriously, I mean REALLY addictive. Once you've started, you will soon find yourself chasing the next new thing, or a different kind of lens that you are convinced will revolutionise your photography. Until the next one. It's a slippery, slippery slope. YOU. HAVE. BEEN. WARNED.

So anyway, what is a good camera and why do you need one? Well the "why" is easy - with a better camera you can take better photographs and photographs are memories. We all want to capture good memories of our bunnies to treasure forever, right? Right. So now the "what".

The invention of camera phones means that everyone is now carrying a camera round in their pocket. But once you start trying to use it to take pictures of bunnies, you soon discover that it doesn't cut the mustard. Outside, during the daytime, sure it's not bad at taking pictures of the garden, but it doesn't do so well in lower light or with moving subjects, which bunnies invariably are. The problem comes down to size - engineering a lens and sensor (the thing that receives the picture, where the film would be in an old camera) that small is bound to result in a compromise in quality.

So for taking decent pictures of bunnies, we need an actual purpose-built camera. But the technology can be confusing at first and to understand what you are buying you need to know quite a bit about aperture, ISO, shutter speed, focal length, megapixels, sensor size and a whole host of other things. It's all very complicated, and even if a camera manufacturer gets all the numbers right, the result doesn't necessarily result in a good camera. So here's a very important sub-tip:

NEVER buy a camera until you read expert reviews.
There are some great sites out there, like DPReview, TechRadar, ExpertReviews and many others, where they use and review large numbers of cameras and therefore have a good perspective of what works well and what doesn't, so use them. They will tell you much more than the reviews you see from customers on shopping sites that have very little to compare their new purchase to and may be comparing it more to their expectation than the other cameras on offer for the same price. Even if you don't understand the details, most of the reviews will feature a summary with the most important information.

On the expert sites, check out their "Gear of the Year" features, which appear regularly and are a good place to start. For example, Pocket-Lint's Best of 2014 article or DPReview's What To Buy feature. Even if they are listing cameras out of your price range, the issues they discuss will give you an idea of what sort of things you want. Once you have an idea, pick some possible cameras you can afford and just Google/Bing/Yahoo search for the model and the word "review". YouTube is also a good place to find camera reviews, though again you need to make sure you stick to the seasoned reviewers.

That's really all I want to say this week - you will really benefit from buying a decent camera and you should read the reviews before purchasing. To finish off though, it occurs to me that you may be wondering what I use. I have two cameras I use for the Rescue, but the camera I personally consider to be the best compact bunny camera currently available, and highly regarded by most of the sites I mentioned, is the one Whisky is modelling above - the Sony DSC-RX100. Sure, there are some bad things about it:

  • At around 380 quid, it's not cheap for a compact camera.
  • Being a couple of years old, it lacks some of the features we take for granted now in modern cameras, like WiFi and a flippy-up screen (there is also a newer version with some of these features, but it will cost you a whopping 530 quid).
  • It seems like no thought went into the practical design of the thing - it lacks any sort of grip on the front for your fingers making it necessary to always use the strap, the shutter button is flush with the top and can be hard to hit when you are trying to take a picture in a hurry and the video button is located such that your thumb will accidentally activate it when you are trying to take a picture.

But if you can look past those things, here is why it absolutely rocks as a bunny camera:

  • It is small, so you can have it with you in your pocket, bag or belt-pouch all the time, you need never miss a special moment again.
  • It is small (did I mention that?) and quiet so bunnies don't get spooked by it.
  • The picture quality is just amazing, thanks in the most part to the 1 inch sensor Sony somehow managed to cram into it.
  • It has a good maximum aperture of F1.8 at the wide end of the zoom, allowing you to capture stunning portraits with shallow depth of field and take reasonable pictures in relatively low light.
  • Once you get the hang of it, you can use it in manual mode and set everything yourself
  • It can shoot in raw format for maximum recovery of detail when you are processing photo's on a computer after.
  • It has a number of actually quite useful "effects". Normally I would ignore these on a camera, preferring to add them in Photoshop after, but some of the ones on here are quite fun and well implemented.

It is a truly great camera and one that I have really enjoyed using. Testament to it's awesomeness is that ownership of the thing has spread like a virus among my photography-enthusiast friends - once they experienced it, they all needed to have one. So that's something.

Well there you go, another hopefully useful tip and one which I may elaborate on in future posts. As always, please feel free to add your comments and questions below. See you back here tomorrow for more Tiny Tales!

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Waiting to Exhale

The sad loss of both Bumper and Purdy over recent months left two of our very special 'permanent' bunnies in a state of singledom:- Jubilee, our big stubborn giant, and Hoppy, a physically-callenged bunny with a duff leg. After other attempts of pairings failed due to personality clashes, these two bunnies so dear to all our hearts have now found each other. Sure, there were a few initial spats over who got to scoffle the snacks first, but as you can see from this picture, they are now very much together.


Jubilee:"Oh, was I on your foot?"
Hoppy:"Yes, it was under my face!"

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Bonus Topaz!

OK, this morning I accidentally posted a picture that I'd already used on our Facebook page back in 2012, so to make up for that here's a bonus pic of Topaz from December.

"Eh? We're doing whatnow?"

That's how I roll:- fresh. Like, you know, a prince or whatever.

Tuesday Tail #6

For todays Tiny Tale of Tails, I will now whoosh you back in time to those halcyon days of March 2012. Because yes, that's right, I've run out of new pictures. Hey ho.

Well anyway, here we go, back in time! (Cue trippy visuals and silly noises!)


"Oh hey, future peeps! I'm about to get stuck in here, so help me out - do I still look this cute in the future or do I eat too much of this grass and get a fat butt?"