Although these are tough times, they are also exciting times. Each day can help you and I discover new aspects about our cats that we can capture and celebrate in photographs. Yes, you can do this too!
I want to share how my new EFS 22-250mm telephoto lens allowed me to take this lovely portrait of affectionate cats Tiger Lily and Connor at the cat cafe. I was able to zoom in from further away and not disturb their tender moment.
The first photo was, I thought, sweet and cute but I was taking a lot of shots because you know that you might capture something amazing if you keep shooting.
How I got my portrait of these affectionate cats
Afetr checking the pictures, I realised that the final picture was an absolute delight, even though the bright sunlight made taking the picture a real challenge. I was trying to use manual and keep an eye on my through the lens meter.
The sun is bright and this makes the shadows behind the pair very dark. My cgallenge was to make sure the cats were not over exposed so they looked colourless.
My top tip in this kind of situation is:
Be conscious of your exposure settings at all times.
Remember that although the light is bright and the shadows are deep, you can take chances. Try adjusting your exposure as you go. Take a series of shots making sight adjustments to your settings (aka a bracket of shots) which will give you a better chance of success.
I did this with Connor and Tiger Lily’s portrait and I was lucky to capture Connor’s cutest moment of delight as he is groomed.
A closely cropped version of the picture has real impact. The photograph was circulated by the cat cafe’s popular newsletter in October 2020..
I turned on manual mode and judged the exposure through the lens. If you have a Canon camera, on the screen you will see a bar (marked here in blue). Once you learn to check your exposure this way it will boost your confidence when you want try your hand at manual photography.
- There will be a setting to help you judge exposure regardless of your camera type, so check your camera guide.
The Adjustments I Made Using Affinity Photo
I gently adjusted the contrast and then with several light layers ‘burned‘ Connor’s fur slightly using Affinity Photo to soften the over bright highlights. Most up-to-date photo software will allow you to burn highlights as long as they are not ‘blown out’. The term literally means that the details are destroyed or blown out due to over exposure.
- TIP Always adjust an image in small steps and know how to undo the adjustments you make. Edit>Crtl / Cmd>Z is a good place to start.
I think my small adjustments work, and Connor does look like a kitten who got the cream!
It is thanks to the Cat Writers’ Association Kuykendall Award that I was able to discover and explore this new lens, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share the journey with you all over coming months.
Coming soon lens report
I will report on the telephoto lens in another post and admit that it will be the perfect compliment to the 50mm ‘nifty fifty’ lens which I recommended previously. This is a good next step if you are building your DSLR lens collection.
Have you taken a picture with dramatic contrasts like this? Were you pleased with it?
- Don’t forget the Dash Kitten Holiday Gift Guide 2020 Just published.