Do you like cats? Are we sure you do? Do you photograph them often? We wouldn’t be surprised if you answered yes. Do you know how to properly photograph cats? We’re not sure. There are a few secrets that only professionals know about, and you can’t get the perfect shot without them. Today we will share them with you and you can improve your cat photography skills.
To become a professional photographer, you need to know a lot. Skylum’s blog has many interesting and useful articles. By visiting it you will learn about filters, lens flare, the best cameras, and many other things a photographer needs.
Tip 1. Be patient
Like many animals, cats rarely sit still and wait for you to get the perfect shot. That’s why you’ll have a lot of bad blurry photos. We advise you to take it as a given and not be nervous. Have fun watching the cat, and then when the moment is right, shoot.
If we are talking about a cat that lives with you, we advise you to always keep your camera handy. Very often she may strike a funny pose, but you will scare her off if you start looking for the camera somewhere else in the room.
Tip 2. Focus on the eyes
In photographing animals there is one simple rule, and that is to focus on the eyes. Look into the eyes of your cat. They’re gorgeous, aren’t they? Now you understand why it works so well.
If your cat is very active, it will be very difficult to focus on her eyes. Use our tips to get it right:
If your camera has an Animal Eye feature that automatically focuses on the eyes, try it.
Use AF-S mode. Wait until the cat calms down, use one AF point to lock the focus on the eyes, then recompose and take the picture.
Try the manual focus mode. It may not be easy for you to learn, but once you get comfortable with it, you’ll take great photos.
Another tip to help you focus on your eyes: narrow your aperture. This will give you the opportunity to increase the sharpness of the picture, and therefore the eyes will be seen much clearer.
Tip 3. Attract the cat’s attention with toys
We already said that the cat won’t wait until you’re ready to shoot her. However, you can get her attention with toys. We can advise a few options on how to use them:
Use something rustling, as cats are very attracted to these sounds. You can rustle behind her back, she will look back and you will get some great pictures.
Snap your fingers. This will have a short-term effect because the cat will realize very quickly what is going on and will stop being interested in it. However, you will be able to get some fun shots.
Use toys familiar to the cat. You can move them around on the floor or toss them up. Either way, lasting interest is assured.
Remember that in all cases you have to hold the camera in one hand, so be careful with it. This problem is easily solved if you have an assistant.
Tip 4: Avoid using the flash
Natural light will be your best friend if you want to take stunning feline photos. Your picture will look soft and clear at the same time. Never, hear me, never use a flash, especially if you’re shooting kittens. The flash can damage their delicate eyes, and the same goes for adult cats. If you need to shoot in a poorly lit room, consider how to provide extra light. Use wall lamps, swags, or up-lighting.
Tip 5. Be on your cat’s level
Photographing animals by being much taller than they are is a common mistake of all beginners. They don’t think about the fact that such pictures look impersonal and lose intimacy. Besides, this is where an unfortunate background comes into play. Ideally, it should be blurred, but if you are shooting a cat from a height, it will remain clear.
We advise taking the picture at the level of the cat’s eyes. First, this way you will be closer to the cat and it won’t get nervous. Secondly, you can make great pictures that look close and tender.
Tip 6. Set up your camera properly
Like other types of photography, cat photography requires certain settings for the best results. Here are a few tips:
Set the ISO to the lowest value possible.
Choose your apertures (wide is needed to allow you to blur the background, and narrow allows you to keep your features sharp).
Set the camera to continuous shooting mode.
Cat photography is great. Not only can you get great pictures, but you can have a great time with your favorite pet. We hope that our tips will be helpful to you. And if you want to learn more about photography, visit Skylum’s blog. There you will find information about what lens flare is, which photo editor to choose and how to shoot photos in a certain style.
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