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Photo Taking Tips Needed

MyJezebel

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Since I have seen so many great pictures of your kitties on this site, I'm reaching out for any help/advice/suggestions that you guys can offer so that I can get some good shots of Jezebel for my Christmas card this weekend. Among the problems that I have with her are:
1. She HATES wearing anything - shirts, collars, hats - I mean anything. I have a cute holiday collar and santa hat that I want her to wear for this.
2. She does not stay still/in position for more than five seconds if I'm lucky.
3. She always blinks when the flash goes off, so her eyes are more times than not closed in the photos I have taken. When I take shots without the flash, they are too dark.
Please oh wise ones, let me in on the secrets to your success.
Thanks.
 

TotenEngel

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lol, glad its not just me thats ends up with crappy pics! Our biggest problem at the moment is Smeagol has discovered the dangly carry handle thing on the camera so everytime the camera comes out, he wants to play with it!

Good luck!
 

MyJezebel

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Jezebel attacks the camera strap too. She really is a hot mess when it comes to getting her picture taken.
 

ypvsypvs

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Avoid flash always when possible and use longer shutter time instead. If you have a fully automatic camera it should reset for this when light is poor.
You do need to keep camera still for a second or two and the cat also need to be absolutelly still for same amount of time. The better light you have the shorter time to keep still.
If you do use flash for animal pictures you can't use anti red eye flash with many flashes in a sequence since the cat then will close it's eyes.

The most important thing with photoing animals however is to shoot MANY many pictures because out of 100 you will never get more than a handful really good ones.
I have like 900 pics of mine since a month and a half and still only about 30 are really good. Not from my camera being bad (which it is as well) but from cats being very unpredictable to shoot pics of. One tenth of a second is very often the difference between a good one and just another cat pic, nothing special.

The success you see are the result of many many pictures being scrapped for the benefit of one or two.
 

klreese

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i always have those problems too!!! i have just started yelling for John when i want a picture (ex- kitty and i are snuggled)... his cell phone has a GREAT camera! So i'm always like "Dadda, take our picture" :) he cant resist because, hello, we're too cute LOL!:ThumbsDown:

but really, i always take crap pictures too! we were trying to take some nice ones of our puppies and just CANT! they wont sit still and my camera takes too long to stabilize a picture! :ThumbsDown:
 

abbyknitter

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Maybe you could give your baby a treat so she will sit still for a min. wait until she is just waking up from a nap-She wont even see it coming lol. I really agree with the others though...you just have to take a lot of pictures:ThumbsUp: It also helps if your baby is a ham like Abigale is lol.
 

Gizzymom

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I am experimenting with my new digital SLR this weekend.... YAY!!!!!...

But as for regular digital cameras, you do need them to sit still for a few seconds. Go for natural light... whether outside or near a window on a bright day... Then you will not need a flash. Also, I have found, when Giz was younger, he was not as nuts when he was in a strange place. So bring your kitty outside or to someone else's house - They may be a bit calmer since they are unfamiliar with their surroundings. Gizmo now will sit still and be a good boy, but when he was younger, he was a maniac at home... not many good kitten pics :Sad:

But as for "good" photo tips... we will leave that to Night Spidy. She is going to be my guru.... LOL:LOL:
 

holly_savage

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I agree, that the most important thing is the lighting, near a bright window...I usually leave my flash on, so the camera can decide wether it needs it or not.

It is A LOT of trial and error, I have taken over a thousand pictures in the last year and may 10% are "awesome" then the rest have either been deleted, or not displayed. My camera has a MACRO feature, that I like to use, with the flash, I don't really know why, but it tends to give me more luck and getting good shots, at least of the face close-ups.

As to sitting still...good luck...I have learned that you basically take what you can get, and a teaser toy, held by someone else, just above the camera, seems to enthrall mine the best, for when you want them to be looking at you,
 

tessblack

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Yeah it can be hard. Mine are pretty good. Try and do it during the day in a room with a lot of natural light. The flash is a hard one if you have a regular digital. I bought a new canon and it can get great shots but I really do not know how to use it so it is all trial and error. Maybe even a tripod would help and you can get then for around 20 bucks, I find it helped alot and also try the continuous shooting if you have that feature. The thing I found is if they are in a playful mood it is hard, there ends up being costumes everywhere and cats rolling around all over the place. I waited till they are sleeping on the couch then put the outfits on them and put them where I want. Like in my christmas pic the best ones were when they were tired. They literally just sat there and I clicked away for about 4-5 minutes. Overall they are pretty good though. Good luck.
Another thing is have someone with you to help and the tripod helps too. I think mine are just posers.

 

JacksMom

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Well, I will tell ya, I was a wedding photographer for years, and Jack, well, it's a whole different ball game with pets! He's really not that bad, but what I have found works for me, and I am a mean momma for this, but, I don't really care! Ha! I wake him up from a nap, he's calm, easy to work with, and much more compliant with poses, clothing, props, etc,.because, hey, he's half-out-of-it! If you have an SLR (larger camera with removable lens AND a mountable flash) (which even some point and shoots have a bracket for a mountable lens),anywho, turn the head of the flash toward the ceiling or wall/ceiling behind you and cat (so that flash is not directly facing cat), which will produce a more balanced natural lighting and some shadow control (called bouncing the flash—bouncing off another wall, ceiling). If you do not have a swivel mountable lens, then I really suggest extra lighting, be it a window, AND, I also use a clamp aluminum light shade with a 250 watt bulb,you can attach it to something and have it shine on kitty when you are ready to start shooting,it's bright, but just move it back some,warm, too, and kitty will love that! Will also help with shadow control depending where you place it (for example high up aiming down toward cat). You can get the aluminum clamp lamps for like $10 at Lowes or probably even Walmart, too. I use the lamp in conjunction with my swivel flash for natural balanced lighting and control of shadows. I know it sounds complicated, but once you've practiced and played with it, you'll find what works for you and let me tell ya, lighting is everything,.well, almost! To grab or keep kitty's attention, teaser toys (with feathers, bells at the end) work great,of course held at a distance and higher up so that they don't try to grab it, but hopefully, kitty will still be kinda out of it! A second person helping will make this process easier!

Yes, yes, yes, you have to shoot A LOT! When you see these awesome pics of the cats looking like they are posing, that is one of many terrible pictures produced in the same session! Ha ha! Angle is everything too, if shooting just kitty, get down low, like at their level, instead of shooting all from up above. The straight on level shots, well, they look more professional than taken from higher up looking down at the subject. Be creative, try taking different angles, don't always have the cat centered in the picture. I love love love photography, and have gotten out a couple backdrops down from my attic in anticipation of mine and Jack's Cmas pictures this weekend! I will be doing the timer thing, unless I can find a good Samaritan to come and snap the shots! Ha! It's gonna be interesting!

Here's the type of clamp thing I was referring to...
 

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JacksMom

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Yeah it can be hard. Mine are pretty good. Try and do it during the day in a room with a lot of natural light. The flash is a hard one if you have a regular digital. I bought a new canon and it can get great shots but I really do not know how to use it so it is all trial and error. Maybe even a tripod would help and you can get then for around 20 bucks, I find it helped alot and also try the continuous shooting if you have that feature. The thing I found is if they are in a playful mood it is hard, there ends up being costumes everywhere and cats rolling around all over the place. I waited till they are sleeping on the couch then put the outfits on them and put them where I want. Like in my christmas pic the best ones were when they were tired. They literally just sat there and I clicked away for about 4-5 minutes. Overall they are pretty good though. Good luck.
Another thing is have someone with you to help and the tripod helps too. I think mine are just posers.


I agree...I think T&T are just posers!
 

ranalashae

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I take TONS of pictures of Nala, but definitely make sure you take a lot. Out of 100 or so maybe 20 turn out alright. One thing I do when trying to take her picture is just to fallow her around. I don't pose her ever, I don't think that would really work for her. I try to put her by a window or lamp if I can, and if not I do use the flash. Nala doesn't like clothes either, so in most of the pictures where she has a shirt on she usually looks stiff and uncomfortable. I have however put a pearl bracelet around her neck and she hardly noticed! I have some that I have taken in my album on here. Just make it fun and I bet they will turn out great! Nala also likes to play with my camera's neck strap, so I let her in between shots to make sure she is having fun too!
 
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