Cat & Kitten Photography Tips For Cat Lovers - Photographing Your Pet & Cat Picture Taking Tutorial
- Personality: Is your cat playful? Lazy? Curious? What makes your kitty special? Try to incorporate that into your photographs. Your photographs will have a more natural look if you photograph your cat doing what it does best...sleeping by a window in a warm ray of sun, or patiently waiting to pounce on that elusive ball of tin foil. Shots like these are easier to get when your cat does them naturally.
- Your cat's eye view: Get down on your hands and knees if necessary. Shooting from your kitty's level will bring an intimacy to your photographs and create a relationship between the viewer and your subject. Shots looking down at your cat will make them look smaller and distort proportions.
- Zoom in close: Fill the whole frame with your kitty's cute face! This will bring attention to what you love most, and leave out distracting details.
- Watch your backgrounds: Sometimes plain backgrounds are the best. A nice green patch of grass, a white kitchen floor, your cat's favorite blanket. Avoid backgrounds that are distracting. Watch out for background elements that seem to "grow" out of the back of your pet's head, like trees, telephone poles, chair legs, etc. If you have a manual setting on your camera, a larger aperture ( like f/2.8, f/4 etc.) will give you a nice blurred background, thus accentuating your subject. When using larger apertures, accurate focusing becomes more critical so be sure and focus directly on your pet rather than any background or foreground area.
- Lighting: Use natural lighting whenever possible. Flash lighting can create "red eye" and will tend to over expose white or light colored pets. Be sure your camera's White Balance option is set to match the type of light you are using. If your indoor shot comes out extremely blue, chances are you have your camera set on "Daylight" rather than "Tungsten". If your outdoor shots come out extremely orange, chances are you have your camera set on "Tungsten" rather than "Daylight". More than one source of light such as 3/4 light plus a little backlighting will give more rounded results. Light only from the front will tend to give your shots a flat look.
- Freeze frame: Kitties are playful and often the best shots are when they're on the move. Avoiding blur in your action shots means using higher shutter speeds. Higher settings mean that the shutter on your camera will open and close faster, thus "freezing" the action. If you have a manual setting on your camera, use faster shutter speeds such as 1/250, 1/500, or 1/1000. If your camera has preprogrammed settings, use the "Sports" setting. But be aware that faster shutter speeds require more available light, so don't try this is low light settings.
- A little overexposure is a good thing: Fur tends to absorb light, making photos darker and flatter. Err on the side of overexposure for more detail in your furry friend.
- It's all about relationships: Pets bring love and joy into our lives and it's in the relationships that those feelings are best conveyed. What does your cat best relate to? What does it care about? You...another pet in the family? It's favorite toy...it's food dish? Including these things in your shots will bring out your cat's personality as well as adding interest and emotion to your photographs.
- Print vs. web: How will you be using your photos? If you intend to make large, high quality glossy prints of your pet, make sure your camera is set on the highest resolution possible. This will allow you to enlarge your photographs for print without the dreaded "pixelation"! If you are shooting primarily for posting your pics on the internet, using a lower resolution on your camera will allow you to store more photos on your memory card as well as eating up less space on your computer.
- Keep pushing that button: With the invention of digital photography came the ability to take hundreds of photos without the expense of having the film developed. So take lots of pictures! Try different camera settings, experiment with different lighting, just have fun! It's free, and you will increase your chances of getting exactly that shot you're looking for.
Kimberly Lunning is an artist, photographer, and owner / creator of Tuff Kitty Designs. If you love cats and the funny things they do, please visit our online gift store. Tuff Kitty Designs: Funny and irreverent gifts & t-shirts for cat lovers. http://www.tuffkitty.com
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