Advice for Shooting Cats

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Muddee's picture
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Advice for Shooting Cats

I have two cats and they both like to sit in windows and sun (or sometimes in partial sun/shade), I've been having problems getting pictures of them that aren't completely blown or underexposed in spots, I'll try to get my SOOC shots online tonight as examples. Any advice on getting a good happy medium? Right now all I have is the on board flash, 18-55mm IS Lens Kit and 50mm f1.8.

KatieWillis's picture
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Do they have any blankets or things they like to sleep on? You could put those by a window that's out of the sun to try and lure them to sleep where you want Smile

If that doesn't work, maybe meter the brightest spot on the cat and adjust your exposure for that area. Then you wouldn't have blown spots and you could pp later if the cat seems underexposed.

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Yes, meter for the brightest spot on the kitty. Also, try at different times of the day. If you have direct sunlight coming through the window, then it's probably not the best time to shoot. It will be better with nice even light coming through. You could always try to get a silhouette, since they won't work with you.

I would use your 50mm. I don't think that you'll get enough light in with your kit lens. I typically can't use that lens indoors unless I'm using my speedlite. Post a couple of shots with your settings, and we'll figure it all out Smile

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:lurk:

I about spit out my coffee when I read this title!!!! Smile

Amy_&_Eva's picture
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I've taken a few "backlit" shots of my kitties when they're lying in the sun, by metering on them because if I metered on the brightest spot the cat would be silhouette.
I have to dig up the one I am thinking about where Tigger was lying in the sun on the floor.

But for better shots, I just get out the 50mm 1.8 when they're sitting close to me, looking up at me, or sleeping on the bed....

and one more of someone else's kitten just for kicks...

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Woah, I totally had a brain fart there for a minute! Ha! Don't meter the brightest, meter the darkest. I must need some sleep...lol

KatieWillis's picture
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Haha, yeah I had it backwards too! Sorry! Good luck and show us the shots you get!

Muddee's picture
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Ok so these are all SOOC, and I didn't have too big of a window to shoot in, cats being cats and all.

#1 This is in my kitchen we get decent light, one of Silver's favourtie spots to nap is on the chairs and often they are tucked under a bit, obviously moving the chair would make her move. This is what I came up with with the different light levels on her.

f/2.5
ss 1/1000
ISO 100

#2 I felt I was getting close to what I wanted here but she moved after that shot, I would have liked to try to get a bit more brightness in her eyes.

f/2.5
ss 1/80
ISO 200

#3 CC not required but welcome, this is just a snap just wanted to show off my big boy (Mal) almost 15lbs and a little over 11 months old.

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I think you've done a good job with these! Do you mind posting your settings?

#1 - I would have tried from the other angle. Could you have moved to the other side of the table? I would have liked to see more of the chair to give it a little more context.

#2 - I love where you're going with this one. I think that next time you shouldn't angle yourself to the window. I would suggest trying at least one where you're standing straight toward the window. Expose for your kitty. You'll get the blown background like this, but I like the effect. It really showcases the cat.

You have some really beautiful kitties here! I love cats........if they're not living with me. Wink

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I love animal pictures. And your kitties are just adorable! The second one is a great setup, love the dark broody mood it creates. Have you tried it in B&W? I think it might do it well that way. My dog loves laying in sun spots around the house too.

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"DrakePlusOne" wrote:

I love animal pictures. And your kitties are just adorable! The second one is a great setup, love the dark broody mood it creates. Have you tried it in B&W? I think it might do it well that way. My dog loves laying in sun spots around the house too.

This is a great idea. I also really like where you are going with this one and think a b&w would look great!

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Added some of the info.

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On #2, I would suggest raising your ISO. Your shutter speed is quite low. I'm thinking that you may want to up it to 400 to both get more light, and raise your SS.

Muddee's picture
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I did a conversion of the second today, thoughts?