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.
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 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:
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.
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!
Happy Birthday Silver and Miranda!
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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.