Today is the penultimate day of 2020 and I wanted to share a short post to help you capture that special cat moment in 2021. More importantly, how will you choose that special memory from a whole handful of almost identical shots? How do you decide which is best?
- TIP: I have created an entire page of inspirational How-Tos for newbies if you need them.
Taking Those Special Photos
You will need to operate burst, sport or continuous shooting mode on your camera. With this setting activated, your camera will keep taking photos until you either lift your finger off the shutter or you fill your memory card.
For a smartphone, burst mode can be activated simply by pressing your shutter, on a compact or a DSLR check your manual as each brand of camera is different.
I have not noted the specific camera settings in this post. I tried and decided that adding the settings overloads the photos with ‘too much information’.
Using Auto on your camera keeps it low stress for you, Av (A) or ‘sport’ works on a DSLR too. The aim here is to explore and focus on one skill, capturing a special photo using Burst or Sport mode and having fun. This is your photoshoot and your cat(s), so enjoy yourself.
By pressing and holding the camera shutter for a short period you will find yourself with approximately 6 – 24 photos and each of these photographs will be slightly different. It is these tiny differences that can give you a winning shot letting you capture a special moment and celebrate your cat’s quirky character.
TIP: If you are using sport mode on your DSLR and are taking photos in RAW mode, turn it off. This type of image is processed much more slowly. See my RAW post for a detailed explanation.
Selecting Your Special Moments
Let me give you two examples of how I chose a special moment from a series of photographs. My best advice is to take lots of photos then wait a while before you edit. Let your mind clear. It might sound crazy but you can be too close to your photos and sometimes you need to take a break.
Connor Gets a Clean
While visiting my local cat cafe two of the resident cats were doing some gentle grooming. Tiger Lily, the golden tabby, felt that Connor needed a spruce up so she set to work. The two cats were sat in a spot of sunshine which also darkened the background nicely and I crossed my fingers and began shooting.
After shooting I had a series of about 15 photographs. Nine were nice enough to keep and 6 of which were overexposed due to the sun. I sat and looked carefully at these images as the differences in the photographs were small.
Two look cute and make you smile but the third is the cutest moment ever. Connor’s eyes close in sheer pleasure as Tiger Lily grooms him. After cropping the photo in closer – it’s the perfect happy capture.
Action Moment With Dot Kitten
The shot that won me a Muse® Medallion at the CWA awards was one of a series of 8 I took out on the front deck. Dot is a chatty cat and loves to vocalise and this is exactly what she did when I was taking her photo outside. She began by looking thoughtfully and then, when I spoke to her, she answered.
The third shot was the charm. Dot opened her mouth and meowed right on cue! She was the best chatty tabby ever and I am glad I captured some special moments of her outsized personalty.
My top tips for capturing a cute or super fun action cat shot
- Set Burst or Continuous Shooting mode. This may already be set up and once its active you don’t need to worry again.
- Be patient but ready to fire off a burst of shots as quickly as you can.
- Don’t stress if your photographs are tilted, crooked or your cat isn’t perfectly placed. You can edit later.
- Keep trying. My sample shots are a small selection of the dozens I take and the hundreds of ‘not quite right’ photographs I delete.
- Keep Trying, and have lots of fun.
This is my last post of 2020 and the Pet Parade Crew hopes to see you all busy taking pictures in 2021.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!