Cat Reviews and News

Stunning Black Cat Photography: A Showcase

Today we celebrate the black cat in photography. The black cat pictures you can see here showcase the challenges and the joys of capturing black fur and how natural light is your friend when you try.

Let me introduce you to some of my favourite black cat images selected from the Dash Kitten collection. Several were taken by me at home and others were photographed at Neko Ngeru Cat Cafe. All will, I hope, indulge your love in all things feline and black.

Lucky Black Cats?

Black cats are seen, in many parts of the world, as a good luck symbol and sightings are greeted as positive events. It is only the misguided and ignorant who view this beautiful feline as ‘bad luck’.

  • My late mum had a silver horseshoe with a black cat and tiny flowers on it. She carried is as a wedding favour when she got married. – Marjorie
Action photograph of a Cat climbing vertical pole
Jack (smartphone photo)

First of all, meet adventurous Jack who was adopted to a forever home from Neko Ngeru. He is slightly shady but there is enough light from the window to light his cincentrated face as he climbs the pole! My camera settings were not fast enough or sharp enough but, it is a really fun action shot and I have not spoiled its spirit by attempting to sharpen the image.

Here are some positive black cat beliefs

  • In Asia and the UK, owning a black cat means a lucky life
  • Egyptians held black cats in the highest esteem. They kept the rats out of the grain harvest and had special privileges.
  • Giving a black cat as a gift made sure the marriage was a happy one in some areas of Great Britain.
  • In Europe, sailors believed that having a black cat on board ensured a safe voyage.
Photo portrait of a black cat adjusted with Affinity Photo
Pan – ISO 200 f/4.5 1/40

This is Pan. She was a beautiful black cat who was at Neko Ngeru Cat Cafe for quite a while before finding the right home. This is a favourite photo and although it came out quite sharp, I did use a little bit of lightening (burning) in Affinity Photo in some of the shaded parts of her portrait. See where the light falls falls, how it defines her face?

Interestingly, cats in ancient Egypt were revered highly, partly due to their ability to combat vermin such as mice, rats. Cats of royalty were known to be dressed in golden jewelry and were allowed to eat right off their owners’ plates. The goddess of warfare was a woman with the head of a cat named Bastet.

Days of the Year – Black Cat Appreciation Day
Black Cat before Overlay is Added
Jet – ISO 200 f/1.8 1/250 50mm lens

Some of my readers will remember Jet the kitten who, with his sister Tibby, was fostered by the Dash Kitten Crew. This photo shows how effective a 50mm (prime) lens can be. I wrote about the ‘nifty fifty’ lens and I hope this cute image shows you how the lens can soften your background while keeping your cat sharp. Jethro, as he is now, charmed a couple so much he was instantly adopted.

  • Here are my tips on dodge and burn (or how to transform a sightly too dark or light photo).

An irresistible a black cat video

This short movie was shot eight years ago using an iMovie template that used drag and drop* to add photographs and video clips, no editing. It was shot not long after we adopted Phoebe so she is very cute and kittenish.

My video skills needed some improvement back then, and the photographs from an old smartphone are not my best but it captures a special period of Phoebe’s life, including the first time she stepped outside into the garden.

  • TIP: I always tell beginners to make videos, make more videos, and more. Your skills will improve with practice. Try it!

A black cat portrait of neighbour Taz

This image is from a recent post about exploring layers in your computer program and I added it here as it is a great black cat example for you. The sun is behind me and slightly to the left as I shoot and it shows off Taz’s glossy fur to perfection.

Black cat with radiant green background

*I use the term Drag and Drop when speaking about my black cat movie so I am finishing with a brief descriptin from Wikipedia for those who are not sure what it can do.

For those unfamiliar with the term, the basic sequence involved in drag and drop is:

  • Move the pointer to the object
  • Press, and hold down, the button on the mouse or other pointing device, to “grab” the object
  • “Drag” the object to the desired location by moving the pointer to this one
  • “Drop” the object by releasing the button
  • Neko Ngeru Cat Cafe will be opening soon. Please keep an eye on their website for details.

Resources on Black Cats

18 thoughts on “Stunning Black Cat Photography: A Showcase”

  1. Getting a good picture of Plush is so hard – if he’s combined with someone else it’s even harder. If I fix the picture so he looks like he has a face I lose the proper look on his friends

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  2. Oh my, that portrait of Pan is gorgeous!!! I have always love black kitties! My childhood cat was “TC” after the cartoon Top Cat and was a beautiful solid black cat that was my buddy (even though I’m allergic!) I sure so miss our “adopted” neighborhood feral tuxedo boy, Binx, but he is loving his outdoor life with the folks who bought our house and all the neighbors he visits (he’s a neighborhood vagabond cat!) These portraits are so beautiful! Pinning to share your talent and info with others! 🙂

    Reply
  3. I admit I am somewhat influenced by the black cat superstition. Fortunately, only when a black cat runs across my way.

    Otherwise, given that I love black dogs, I can take black cats too–as long as they don’t run across my path 😉

    Reply
  4. I love that you pointed out all the positive stories about black cats! I feel like everyone always hears the “bad luck” stigma, but never any of the more positive ones! Beautiful portraits. 🙂

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  5. I absolutely Love black cats! They’re so strikingly beautiful. Thanks for sharing all those great positive black cat beliefs, they’re so interesting and wonderful. That photo of Jack is amazing, what a black beauty!

    Reply
  6. Oh my goodness, how wonderful to celebrate black cats! It makes me remember my silly black cat, Daffy. She was as goofy as Daffy Ducky, but with fur that would make you laugh. It was beautiful fur. But she liked it going every which way as if she’d just be struck by lightning. She was with me from the day she was born until the day she passed. She and her sister, Winnie. Sweet little souls! Thanks for these gorgeous photos and for allowing me to go down memory lane. I’m sharing this with all my pet parents!

    Reply
  7. Such wonderful photo Marjorie! Black cats are really wonderfully special. Thanks for joining our Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

    Reply
  8. Pan is very photogenic! What deep golden pools of thoughtful eyes she has:)

    What a good idea about taking lots of pet pictures during all these closures and loss of entertainment/eating venues.

    But…not so for petcretary, as she works in a nursing home and she IS needed there…however the whole place is in a kind of lockdown…sigh…

    Reply
  9. OoooOOOOOOOOoooooo! Taking better cat photos! I gotta tell you, me and Mommy will be stopping by every morning!
    Purrs
    Marv

    Reply

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