Today is all about black cats.
As well as Black Cat Appreciation Day, and celebrating some of the most misunderstood cats in real life and literature on the 17th of August, I want to share some of my progress photographing black cats so I can encourage other camera newbies.
Especially if you have black blobs, not cats in your pictures.
I wanted to do everything right immediately but this isn’t how cat photography works – you need to practice and build your skills slowly. J
So, Black Cat Appreciation Day is my celebration of one particular photography challenge –
Black Cat Photography Success
My first black cat photos were just black blobs or silhouettes and I could not work out what I was doing wrong. So I set out to check sites on the internet, and YouTube videos. The is the perfect place to go hunting for questions about how to photograph black cats.
There is plenty of free photographic information for newbies online, and several sites focus purely on pets. One of the most important things I read on a number of sites is: when photographing dark fur:
I also recently began a course called Digital Camera Mastery which is not too expensive and packed with information.
The course takes you through using a digital camera step by step with projects and advice. There is also a lively Facebook group for sharing pictures and learning more about settings.
Make Sure The Light is GOOD!
This picture is of Po, who I wrote about here.
I am really pleased with this photo. I did not lighten it but cropped a little bit of empty space around her gorgeous black face. Po is alert, her fur glossy and she paused just long enough to pose before relaxing into the boxy cushion again.
I was curious about how the photograph would look without the cushion Po was laid on, so I used Affinity Photo to ‘clone’ out the bright red on one of the other photographs I took at the same time.
Do you have a preference? Does the red cushion help brighten Po, or do you like the second portrait?
This is a repeat showing for a popular picture of visiting alumnus kitty Jake. He was climbing down the very tall scratch post at the cat cafe. I had to grab my camera and hope.
My hurry to grab the camera meant the scratch pole was actually slanted so I needed to straighten it, but I didn’t change Jake’s crazy action or face. It’s quite amazing what you discover in a cat action photo.
I am sharing this wonderful close-up of Phoebe again after my recent post encouraging photographers to get closer to their cats. As you can see, it makes a real difference.
This picture was taken not long after I got my DSLR so you can see that the focus is not sharp enough but it’s close and captures her curious nature.
To be thankful for Black Cat
- Black Cats are NOT bad luck. This is ignorant superstition. If anyone says this politely but firmly tell them that they are mistaken. Black cats are the same as every other cat.
- Mariners often wanted a black cat on their ships for GOOD LUCK.
- Black cats have been found to have lower odds of adoption in American shelters compared to other colours except for brown, although black animals, in general, take more time to find homes. People think the colour is ‘boring’, this puts them at risk of
euthenasiamuch faster than other cats.
- Adopt a black cat first, not last. If you have room Do Not Hesitate!
- August 17 is “Black Cat Appreciation Day.” Wayne H. Morris created the day in honour of his late sister, June, who had a black cat, Sinbad. The day was chosen in memory of June’s passing.
- Be Proud. Stand Tall for BLACK CATS!
Black Cats to Treasure
One of our favourite books ever is Black Cats Tell All. Edited by gifted writer Layla Morgan Wilde it is packed with wonderful Black Cat biographies and the most lovely photographs. You will find several familiar faces from the world of blogging, Twitter and Instagram including Bruce the Kiwi cat.
I often browse my copy as I never tire of reading about the rescue stories, the strong characters and the many
tails tales. It is a treat of a book and my go-to gift for friends and family.
If you are a newbie with black fur, keep trying. Photographing near windows is a quick win for black fur so give it a try.
Did you think the picture of Po is a good one, or does crazy Jake catch your eye more? Let me know!