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About Everything Wiki » Photography » How to photograph cats: 19 tips from a professional

How to photograph cats: 19 tips from a professional

13 Jun 2023, 00:03, parser
0 comments    1 Show
Zoran Milutinovich
A professional photographer from Serbia specializing in pets.

1. Always keep your camera ready

This is the only way to capture an animal in an unusual situation. You never know at what point you will stumble upon a cat of a rare color doing something incredibly funny.

2. Attract attention

Cats have different character traits and react differently to the same actions, but they are all insanely curious. So this is one way to get the animal to follow you and do what you want.

Tap your fingers, rustle paper or dry leaves, throw a pebble so that the cat is where you need it. After that, just attract his attention with some sound and take a photo.

3. Be patient

The probability of getting the cat to do what you need is 50%. So don't be upset if it doesn't work out the first time. Remember: if your model doesn't want to follow you, you can't force her. So just wait.

4. Think about what you want to remove

But again, accept the fact that it may not work out the first time. Accept the fact that cats are not always ready to cooperate with you — this is their nature.

5. Set up the camera in advance

You should initially know what effect you want to achieve. No matter how well you handle the camera, cats are always one step ahead.

If you are photographing an animal in a stationary position, it is better to use manual camera settings. If you shoot a running or jumping cat, then you can switch to automatic mode.

Perfect settings for shooting in motion:

  • focus mode: 3D tracking;
  • excerpt: 1/1,000 seconds or faster;
  • aperture: f/5.6.

6. Select the appropriate lens

One of the best options to shoot a moving cat is a lens with a focal length of 105 millimeters and an aperture of f/2.8. If the animal lets you close to it, then a 35— or 50-millimeter glass with an aperture of f/1.8 is perfect.

7. Use natural light

It is best suited for shooting cats climbing trees and playing in the grass. If the sun is low above the horizon, the light will be soft, and there will be no shadows on the muzzle and fur of the animal.

8. Try not to use the flash

It can easily distract an animal and even scare it. If there is no way without a flash, then use an external one — remove it from the camera or point it up. Do you have a softbox? Excellent. It will help to get rid of unnecessary shadows.

9. Do not feed the animal

This applies to cases when you want to shoot a cat in motion. Who would like to run and jump on a full stomach?

10. Focus on the eyes

This is the first thing we look at in the photos, so it is very important that they are sharp. If your eyes are caught in the viewfinder, focus on them.

11. Think about the environment

Use the available items so that the picture does not look empty. If you take a cat between the trees or, for example, coming out of his house, it will add depth to the photo.

12. Achieve the bokeh effect

Take a picture of the animal against the background of small illuminated details — for example, the foliage of a tree — to achieve a blur effect and highlight the main subject.

13. Remember the contrast

It is important that the cat's fur does not merge with what surrounds it. If, for example, the animal is light, let the background be dark.

14. Take photos from a low point

Try to show the world around you through the eyes of the person you are filming. If you lower the camera low enough, you can capture the beast in the role of a real hunter who tracks down his prey.

15. Remove the yawning cat

When the cat wakes up, he yawns about 34 times. This is the right moment to take a memorable picture.

16. Don't make noise if you want to take a picture of a sleeping cat

Even if it seems that the animal is sleeping soundly and nothing is able to wake it up, it is not so. The slightest noise can ruin everything. If the pet has woken up, it is very unlikely that he will return to that funny position that you liked so much.

17. Keep your distance

If you see a cat or a group of cats playing, do not interfere. Just find the best place to shoot and wait until the right moment comes to press the button.

18. Experiment with camera angles

Try taking photos from different angles so that each next picture is different from the previous one. Be ready to fall into the grass or mud, climb a tree. Give your best to get the desired result.

19. Come up with a name for the photo

To make the picture memorable to everyone who looks at it, come up with a good name. So a simple image of a cat will immediately turn into a full-fledged story.

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