Written by Marjorie

CATisfaction is Sunshine and a Black Cat

CATisfaction is Sunshine and a Black Cat

Black pets are a struggle for many to photograph. A black cat can become a black blob. But get sunlight and a black cat together and magic can happen. If I can do this, so can you. Here’s how.

Meet Black Cat Saxon

Saxon and his buddy Oscar have been adopted but don’t leave for their new home until early 2020. In the meantime, he enjoys all the cat and human company and loves the attention at the cafe.

black cat in the sunshine, posing in the warmth. Colour Photograph.
Saxon in Colour ISO 200, F5.6 1/125

A Black Cat Photograph That Went ‘Right’

I try to add the DSLR settings when these add to the photograph I post and this is one such image. Part of this photograph is good fortune, Saxon posed perfectly and I was ready with my camera.

The photograph works, and there will be times it will work for you too. The more you take pictures, the better you will get. So when things seem to look terrible do not give up.

This picture is the accumulation of weeks and weeks of practising and getting it wrong, and right and then totally wrong again.

Why did this photograph work? Let me explain:

  • The cat was sat still (yes, that makes a difference).
  • Saxon posed himself, and I didn’t realise how good the picture came out until it appeared on my computer. The lesson here? Don’t delete anything until you have reviewed your images on a larger screen.
  • The focus is on the eye. Pet photographers say this is vitally important.
  • There is plenty of natural light. In fact, its sunshine and I was a hairsbreadth away from being overexposed.
  • So, I was lucky.
  • The picture is sharp. This can be down to shutter speed e.g. mine was 1/125. You may even go faster using 1/250 or 1/320. Or, it can be down to exposure. Here the photo is F.56 the lowest I could go at the time.
Black cat in a sunny spot taking his ease. Black and White Photography
Saxon in Black and White

Black Cats in Black and White

As I am exploring black and white photography, I decided to use Affinity Photo to transform Saxon’s cat photo into a black and white portrait.

  • I explore taking black and white photographs in an earlier post for plenty of tips.

I used Affinity Photo because I am able to adjust the amount of shade and tone in a photograph. The temperature of the black and white image affects this and as you adjust an image of your own, be careful not to overexpose highlights or make shadows into unsightly smudges.

Oh, and who is Saxon’s friend Oscar you say? Here he is:

Closeup of a ginger cat photographed in day time

Silver & Miranda’s Gotcher Day 2012

Today in 2012 we went to find a successor to our beloved Little ‘Un. We didn’t mean to come home with two kittens but we did.

Miranda and Silver 2013 as small kittens. Photography gives you memories.

This picture was taken after Christmas, in January 2013. Silver tabby – Silver and Miranda – cheeky tabby, and today they are both seven. Miranda is the perfect model now, and Silver I try to grab a shot of when I can!

Miranda and Silver Kittens 2013 Small kittens take the biggest cute pictures

Happy Birthday Silver and Miranda!

More posts for you to enjoy

Marjorie

Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can shoot and edit wonderful pictures they love regardless of the camera they use.

She is a Professional member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.

12 thoughts on “CATisfaction is Sunshine and a Black Cat”

  1. Saxon is over the top handsome! His friend Oscar is a cutie pie!

    Right now I have 3 very dark faces to take pictures of, it does get hard sometimes.
    When I had Minko, still, it was awfully hard to take them together, cause Minko was a light blue colour and Pipo is seal point. Like you say, natural bright light is a big helpo. However I only have a P & S camera, (Canon sx40),, so its a bit harder to capture good images. Lately I have just been using my phone, cause its handy and bothers Pipo a lot less than the real camera. Not sure why, he just is shy I guess. I do not use flash…

    Reply
    • Maybe you can use a small reflector to add a little bit of gentle light to the darker fur? Even a sheet of white paper might help.

      Reply
  2. What a great photo of Saxon. The mom sometimes struggles to take good pictures of me. Happy Gotcha Day to Silver and Miranda! ~Ernie

    Reply
  3. Oh I love your pictures! They are all wonderful!

    You asked if I could add share buttons to the post I did for thankful thursday so you could share the auction. I dont know why I dont already have those! But there are share buttons on the auction site itself, perhaps you could share from the bid summary post until I can figure out how to change it elsewhere? And thank you thank you so much for wanting to share and help! https://winnieswishauction.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  4. Great picture of handsome Saxon. He did pose nicely, and you did a great job capturing the moment, Marjorie! Oh, and hooray for him and his new humans. That’s so exciting that he will go home in the new year.

    Happy 7th Gotcha Day, Silver and Miranda!

    Reply

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