Top tips for much better cat photographs kicks off the Pet Parade today.
My tips are sweet and simple so grab your camera (a smartphone is fine) and let’s get cracking. You can all improve your cat photographs today.
Meet our neighbour friend and ginger cat supermodel.
We don’t know his name but call him ‘Angus’ rather than “that ginger cat that drops by once in a while to say hello”. We guess he is about two.
Cat Photography Ideas
I wanted to take some ginger cat photographs and I tracked down tips from a paw full of websites to see if any of them would be a help with improving my own cat pictures.
One tip that immediately hit home was ‘get down at cat level’. I tried this and, thanks to Angus being passionate about rolling in the dust and showing off, I succeeded in taking some fun pictures.
Cat Photographs 101
Be VERY patient.
A cool cat picture may take some time. These are self-possessed felines after all and you work to their time scale. Sit still for two minutes and try not moving much. Time slows down a bit. This is the kind of time scale you are working with, patient and relaxed
Use a fast shutter speed
Even those of us new to the fancy camera game will realise as we learn, that shutter speed matters, because a faster speed ‘freezes’ your cat in action. If you are not sure about setting shutter speed experiment with Tv. mode on a Canon, or S on other models.
- Tv mode is new to me so I will be doing a write up on it.
If you check my post on athletic cat Spot, you will see that using the ‘sport’ mode is an alternative to adjusting shutter speed has allowed me to take a successful picture of an active cat in motion.
Adjusting shutter speed is something that takes time to learn. I am guessing that it will become second nature as like every new photographer I will take lots of pictures.
I checked the top shutter speed on my Canon 1300D and it is 1/1600. Your camera may be faster. The best way to check on your camera’s functions is to look at the manual. It’s is a great way to stay up to speed on terminology and basic camera operations. My Canon came with a small format printed copy. Yours may be similar or a downloadable pdf.
Find Good Light
All the professionals agree if you use a fast speed, you need good light. Indoors will not work for your cat photographs. Near windows, or outside works well. Use as much natural light as you can.
Use the Best Lens You Have
If you are like me use what you have. I have the kit lens that came with my Canon EOS1300D I don’t have lots of money to spend on extra lenses. No big deal my kit lens zooms in nicely. If you are lucky enough to have a telephoto lens or a macro lens to get really close, practice and use them so you get more and more confident.
Get Down at Cat Level
Be prey or cat toy. You see a whole new world through the eyes of a cat. The pictures have a real quality to them.
Get Up Close to Your Cat
Get close as you can. Sometimes filling the shot with your subject’s whiskers and eyes is the most beautiful shot you will ever take.
If the noise of your camera startles or scares your cat, do plenty of practising around them to the noise becomes normal and they stop worrying about it. While I love the satisfying clunk of my shutter, it took my cats a while to get used to it. Patience is key.
Automate Your Camera Functions
You may have to jump into action quickly, so if you can set functions on your camera ahead of time, do it.
On a smartphone, set focus to ‘Auto‘ if you have it, and camera to ‘burst‘ mode. For DSLR users if you are confident with manual settings use those. As a novice user, I used Av. mode, ISO setting of 100 and F8 for Angus.
Fast shutter speeds are typically 1/500th of a second or faster.Canon.co.uk
Top Cat Picture Tip:
Cats tend to strike random funny poses, especially when they’re lolling about half asleep. To capture these comical moments, it’s best to always have a camera handy, even if it’s a phone.Digital Photography School