Recently I had the joy of partaking in some photography for a pet rescue organisation. They wished me to take pictures of quite a few kittens and cats on the same day. This was a fantasy come true to me. Not only am I a pro photographer but I love all cats and kittens too. I felt this task was a lot of fun yet especially difficult.
You may have heard that cat photography is very challenging. It’s hard to think that taking photos of sweet little kittens might be very difficult. What is so tricky about this sort of photography? It is the similar thing that makes other types photography difficult; quick motion. Let’s discuss tricks and techniques to work with some of these common difficulties.
If you are photographing kittens the initial thing to realize is that you will be photographing an unpredictable subject. It is very exceptional for a kitten to just sit down and look at the camera. You must use toys to guide your kitten without intimidation or concern. It is imperative to encourage the kitten to be as relaxed as possible. A playful kitten is very hard to photograph. A relaxed kitten is ideal.
How can you make a kitten feel chilled out? One of the ways that kittens unwind is by letting them burn off as much hyper-energy as possible. Once they start to fatigue then you will have a better likelihood of gaining those cute photographs you have in your mind. You can ask someone to tinkle a toy or blow a whistle over your shoulder so that the kitten looks in the direction of your camera. You may also offer them a little bit of food and the moment they raise their head up after eating, shoot the photo. Strive to get them to look in the direction of your camera if doable. This can be difficult if they are still in play mode. This is why I say it’s better to take pictures of them when they are beginning to calm.
If you would like a spontaneous and enjoyable playful photo then it may be at a nice idea to let your kitten have some fun with a ball of string or toy. You can take some splendidly natural and fun photos this way. You can take a shot of your kitten stretching up and playing with toy. You can also take a shot of your kitten being very interested in something. These natural and fun and honest pictures work very well as an alternative to the average pet portrait photo. I have taken many spontaneous pictures this way.
Professional Pet Photography Tips
What are the correct shooting modes to use for photographing kittens? Many who have not learned manual mode well are likely to shoot in semi-automatic shooting modes. I do not believe you can get the right shot when the camera dictates the settings for you. You are more clever than the digital camera. I always photograph in the manual setting mode for absolutely everything. Kittens included.
Understanding Your Camera To Get Cute Photos
What is the reason for this It is because I comprehend more than the camera does. I understand what will work. I need to have complete control over my fstop because I want to control my own depth of field. If you let the digital camera dictate your f-stop then you are letting the camera to decide your depth of field. Your camera does not recognize how to create a wonderful shot, it merely knows that it needs to expose for lighting and capture depth of field. It does not understand how to get clear photos of moving kittens.
Where To Position Yourself
I frequently position myself about a meter away from my kittens. As the focal point shifts all the time I make use of auto focus. (Due to the motion of the kittens). Using manual focus can take too much time for your kitten to jump into the plane or focus, if at all. I chase the kitten around with my finger on the button, continually focusing and refocusing. To help me to get sharpness of the kittens eyes I am careful and particular about what aperture range to shoot with. I am inclined to use an f-stop somewhere between F5.6 and F8. This allows me to have a fairly small depth of field without focus problems.
Shutter Speed and The Flash
I use a shutter speed of about 200th of a second or more. Your kitten can move very fast and you want to be able to freeze the fast action without blur. If you are using the speedlite you will see that you do not need to be troubled about shutter speed. Flash will stop the action at around 250th of a second. This is really handy to work with due to the fact all you have to do then is set your fstop knowing the flash will manage the shutter speed, so to speak.
If you set your aperture to a wide setting, like F2.8 or F4, you may find clarity eludes you. This might be because your kitten has jumped out of the focal range and the image is no longer holding sharp focus. However, if you use a slightly smaller aperture you might find you tend not to undergo this predicament. Aperture and depth of field are directly linked. It is significant that you get the right f-stop for the distance away from your subject. In other words the larger the aperture the closer to your subject you need to be. Contemplate this when you are photographing your kittens.
What happens if you don’t have flash?
Just prior to one of the photography sessions my flash decided to stop working. Thankfully I was using continuous studio lighting. I made the decision to take my flash off the camera. I then produced my photos at 6400 ISO, 200th of a second and F 7.1. I used a very high ISO to compensate for the soft light. I had to get as much light as I possibly could. I also needed to use a high ISO so that I could utilise a fast shutter speed. Using an F stop of 7.1 allowed me to get some clear and tack sharp shots.
How to photograph kittens in creative ways
I photographed a mixture of normal and candid, yet lighthearted, photos. I made the decision to create a succession of these photos in monochrome. I call this my “Black and White Kitten Series”.There are lots of chances to make some very inventive photographs of kittens. You might create some intentional blur, side profile photos, extreme macro photographs or even use aids such as baskets or flowers.
Always Aim For Lots Of Light
Just remember the secret to taking photos of kittens is light and motion. It is preferable to get as much light on the scene as possible. Window light is pleasant but you also want to light up the scene from the opposite side. You may want to employ reflectors but it may distract the kittens. Alternatively you may want to bounce the flash off the ceiling as I did.
(Before my flash stopped firing.)
Bounce The Flash To Create Soft, Yet Strong Light
Bounced flash is good. It is also helpful to have a white card on top of your flash unit. This white card aids in directing the lighting from the ceiling downward onto your subject. It is not ideal to blast your kitten with front-on flash. The flash may damage their eyes and frightened them.
You need to be ready to be flexible and open minded when you photographing your kittens. Always position yourself on the ground and shoot from an angle that’s near to the ground.. This will assist you to focus on the eyes. Be ready to move about with your kitten. It is important to provide them encouragement along the way. After you photograph them offer them a small treat. Animals know when they are treasured.
Photographing kittens calls for practical skill and good lighting. It also requires the photographer to be calm about the shoot and relaxed. Some days are better than others. Sometimes your kittens are not afraid of the camera. They will look at the camera with curiosity and even move toward you start sniffing the camera. This is a great shot if you can capture it. If you are photographing scared kittens then be very gentle and very patient.
Photographing kittens is a fun and challenging experience. Always treat your animals with greatest respect and love at all times. Kittens and sensitive little souls and have to be treated with respect.
Source by Amy Renfrey