I had the opportunity to take some photographs of our neighbour cat Honey. She is a small tabby with a fiery attitude as you might remember from this fierce cat post last year. I wanted to take some portraits that included spring type greenery and she paused behind the flowering vine on top of our fence so I grabbed my camera!
I had to stand very quietly, Honey may be a strong character but, like any cat, she will run if afraid. My favourite setting for cats if they might move is Aperture Priority (Av). If there was a risk of sudden movement Av (Nikon A) has always served me well.
You might prefer to try a manual setting. As long as you are still and able to judge your light and shutter speed you should be able to take a great photo in this type of situation.
Honey The Tabby Strikes a Pose
The first photo I took is this one of Honey looking up and away from me. The composition is really nice and I was able to hold my zoom lens steady and keep her eyes reasonably sharp. There is not too much foliage around her features and she is framed by the leaves not ‘hiding’ within them.
Honey stayed on her perch, and I thought it would be nice to show you the different types of photographs I was able to capture. You can decide which ones you think worked best.
I have given each a title so that you can look for them rather than me say ‘the one above’, or ‘the one below this paragraph’ which might make you go cross eyed. Each is interesting in its own way, I think.
As you can see, Honey was surrounded by leaves and it was a challenge to keep my focus point on her and not on dozens of leaves and flowers around her. If you have a DSLR or compact you will realise that the focus points might struggle to find Honey amongst the leaves and keep leaping for a white flower or a group of leaves instead.
Two Shots Close Together But Different
‘Honey’s Watchful Stare‘ and ‘Watchful Stare Closeup‘ were taken very close together. I just zoomed in a little bit for a more dramatic look at her intense eyes. You can see lots of out of focus leaves around the face but this allowed me to focus clearly on her fur and eyes. I am not sure the closeup photograph works really well but she has such an intense look I had to try and capture it. Do you think the leaves add to her portrait?
I was pleased to be able to show you a selection but want to finish with one smartphone photograph. Can you see the difference between the ‘phone colours and the DSLR? I did not make any colour adjustments, my only changes were a bit of sharpening in Affinity Photo RAW. The distant photo is useful because it shows you how high up Honey was!
Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can create impressive cat photographs and fun movies with the camera they carry.
She is a Professional Member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.