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Photographing Cats

Tips From the New York Institute of Photography


Have you forgotten to photograph the four-legged members of your family? The family cat, for instance? These tips from the New York Institute of Photography (NYI), America's oldest and largest photography school, will show you how you can capture your favorite feline on film. Don't think we're taking sides in the four-legged realm. We'll be running an article on tricks for photographing dogs in the near future!

One of the most important elements for good cat photography is to try to capture the personality of your animal on film. This can be accomplished by taking photographs of your pet in action - doing the kinds of things they like to do - be that sleeping in their favorite chair, chasing a cat toy, or rolling in the freshly washed laundry. Remember to get down to your cat's level for an interesting angle and be prepared to shoot fast since you never know what may happen.

Just like other members of your family, the cat in your life may need to be cajoled to stand still long enough for you to push the shutter button. The easiest way to do this is to use the time-honored tradition of treats. Who wouldn't do just about anything for something yummy? Just remember to shoot fast as your cat is not likely to stand still for long!

Veteran NYI Advisor (and long-time cat owner and photographer) Jerry Rice recommends using either telephoto (85mm to 135mm) or a regular 50mm lens to get as close as possible to your pet. "You will not often need a wide angle lens. Even a basket full of newborn kittens can be covered with a normal lens in most cases." Get the two-legged members of your family involved too. Kids and pets are a natural picture opportunity and a whole lot of fun to watch in action also. The trick here is to try to get the attention of both the child and the cat so that they are looking in the same direction. Yes, that's easier said than done, but if you can convince them to cooperate, you'll have a great photograph.

For many more tips on photography including NYI's complete article on "Photographing Cats", visit the NYI Web site at www.nyip.com or http://www.nyip.com/tips/cats0204.php.

Reprinted with permission from the New York Institute of Photography Web site at www.nyip.com. ___________________________________________________________

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