mercredi 24 juillet 2013

How To Take Cute Photos Of Kittens

By Amy Renfrey

A short time ago I had the pleasure of partaking in some photography for a pet rescue organisation. They wanted me to photograph quite a few kittens and cats at the same time. This was a dream come true to me. Not only am I a photographer but I love all cats and kittens. I found this duty was a lot of fun yet very challenging.

You may have heard that cat photography is very challenging. It's difficult to think that taking photos of sweet little kittens could be very tricky. What is so tricky about this kind of photography? It is the similar thing that makes other types photography difficult; quick movement. Let's talk about tricks and techniques to overcome some of these frequent issues.

Kitten photography

If you are photographing kittens the foremost thing to realize is that you will be photographing an unpredictable subject. It is very unusual for a kitten to just sit down and look at the camera. You must use aids to lead your kitten with no intimidation or anxiety. It is imperative to keep the kitten as relaxed as possible. A bouncy kitten is very hard to photograph. A relaxed kitten is ideal.

How can you calm a kitten? One of the ways that kitties relax is by letting them spend as much energy as possible. Once they start to fatigue then you will have a better chance of gaining the photographs you need. You can ask a friend 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 give them a little bit of special kitten food and the minute they pull their head up after eating, shoot the photo. Strive to get them to look at your camera if viable. This can be tricky if they are still in play mode. This is why I say it's more intersting to take photos of them when they are beginning to relax.

If you would like a spontaneous and entertaining playful photo then it might be at a lovely idea to let your kitten play. You can take some wonderfully natural and fun photos this way. You can take a photo of your kitten stretching up and trying to reach for a toy with toy. You can also take a shot of your kitten being very interested in something. These spontaneous and honest shots work very well as an choice to the standard pet portrait photo. I have taken many spontaneous pictures using this method.

Professional Pet Photography Tips

What are the right shooting modes to use for kitten photography? People who have not understood manual mode suitably tend to take photos using semi-automatic shooting modes. I do not trust you can get the correct exposure when the camera dictates the controls for you. You are smarter than the digital camera. I always shoot in the manual setting mode for absolutely everything. Kittens included.

Why is this? It is beause I comprehend more than the camera does. I understand what will work. I want to have absolute control over my aperture because I want to control my own depth of field. If you let the camera dictate your aperture then you are letting the camera to control your depth of field. Your camera will not be aware of how to capture a good image, it simply knows that it needs to expose for lighting and capture depth of field. It does not know how to get sharp photos of moving kittens.

I typically place myself about a meter away from my kittens. As the focal point shifts all the time I use auto focus. (Due to the motion of the kittens). Making use of manual focus can take too long for your kitten to move into the plane or focus, if at all. I pursue the kitten about with my finger on the button, constantly focusing and refocusing. To assist me to get clarity of the kittens eyes I am careful and precise about what aperture range to use. I tend to use an f-stop somewhere between F5 .6 and F8. This allows me to have a reasonably short depth of field without focus difficulties.

I use a shutter speed of about 200th of a second or more. Your kitten can move about very fast and you want to be able to capture the speed of motion without blur. If you are making use of the flash you will see that you do not need to worry about shutter speed. Flash will stop the action at about 250th of a second. This is pretty practical to work with due to the fact all you have to do then is set your f-stop knowing the flash will manage the shutter speed, in effect.

If you set your f-stop to a wide setting, like F2 .8 or F4, you may find sharpness eludes you. This might be due to the fact your kitten has jumped out of the focal range and the image is no longer sharp. However, if you use a slightly smaller aperture you might find you usually do not undergo this predicament. Aperture and depth of field are intimately related. It is vital that you get the true f-stop for the distance away from your kitten. In other words the bigger the aperture the closer to your subject you need to be. Think about this when you are photographing your kittens.

What happens when you can't use the flash?

Just prior to one of the photography sessions my flash then began to fail. Fortunately I was shooting with continuous lighting. I decided to take my flash off the camera. I then produced my shots at 6400 ISO, 200th of a second and F 7.1. I shot with a very high ISO to compensate for the soft light. I had to get as much light as I possibly could. I also wanted to use a high ISO so that I could use a fast shutter speed. Using an F stop of 7.1 allowed me to get some clear and tack sharp photos.

How to photograph kittens

I shot a mixture of standard and candid, yet playful, photos. I made the decision to create a series of these photos in monochrome. I call this my "Black and White Kitten Series".There are lots of chances to capture some very inventive pictures of kittens. You might capture some intentional blur, side profile photos, extreme close up shots or even use aids such as baskets or flowers.

Just remember the secret to taking photos of kittens is light and motion. It is best to get as much light on the scene as possible. Window light is good but you also want to light up the scene from the opposite side. You may need to use reflectors but it might distract the kittens. Otherwise you may want to bounce the light from the flash off the roof as I did. (Before my flash stopped working.)

Bounced flash is great. It is also effective to have a white card on top of your flash unit. This white card aids in pointing the lighting from the roof downward onto your subject. It is not ideal to blast your kitten with direct 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 photograph from a low angle. This may help you to focus on the eyes. Be prepared to move around with your kitten. It is important to provide them praise as you go. After you photograph them offer them a small indulgence. Animals understand when they are valued.

Photographing kittens requires practical skill and good light. It also demands the photographer to be calm about the shoot and happy. Some days are more productive than others. Now and then your kittens are not frightened by your camera. They will look at the camera with curiosity and even move toward you start sniffing the camera. This is a great image if you can get it. If you are working with scared kittens then be very gentle and very enduring.

Photographing kittens is a pleasurable and interesting experience. Always take care of your animals with highest respect and love at all times. Kittens and sensitive little beings and need to be treated with respect.

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