cat photo techique
Cat-photo-technique – any budding photographers, amateur or professional cat join the group, of course. You’ll be in the best company. The company of Helmi Flick, probably the world’s best cat photographer.

This page on cat photography technique is in association with a Yahoo Group I started called cat-photo-technique (new window).

If you’d like to submit a photo + description on this page please use the form – it will be published as a page on this website. Update Oct 2012 – form closed – sorry. This is due to moving the site to a new host…Michael


So, what’s it all about? Well, this is why I formed the Yahoo Group:

  1. There are a lot of photographs of cats on the internet and on the Flickr website. Some are excellent, some are not. I thought if there is an interest in cats and photography there could be an interest in the technique of cat photography, a specialized form of photography. Which leads me nicely to the next reason:
  2. The best cat photographer, Helmi Flick, has given permission to use her photographs on this website. I have had the opportunity to see Helmi and Ken work in America. I have worked with them. The gives an insight into the best cat photography technique.
  3. I used to be a photographer in the early 1970s. Although not cat photography I still have an interest in photography and getting to know Helmi and Ken Flick I also have an interest in cat-photo-technique.
  4. In the interests of trying to create quality content on the internet this page and the Yahoo Group are my small contribution.

The cat-photo-technique group is evolving as they all do so things will change as the months go by. At Jan 2009, I have decided to post the following photographs that have also been posted to the Yahoo Group webpage. These images can also be seen in the slide show feed from the Flickr website that heads this page. The feed, of course, updates automatically. The photos I select will also be updated (but less regularly!).

Photo by jewdan_jorcobs

Cat-photo-technique employed in the words of the photographer:

“My camera syncs at 1/200’th of a second and I needed every little bit of it to catch this shot. To say Tomcat is “fast” is to say that the universe is “big”. Sometimes it seems he just walks around on the floor because the walls and ceiling don’t have anything fun up there.

Strobist Info: One 285HV behind camera-left with a shoot through umbrella on 1/4 power. Rim-light is a snooted 285HV deep camera right also 1/4 power. Triggered with PW.”

Nice cat-photo-technique
photograph by Wesley Oostvogels (link broken)

Wesley says this about the photograph above – I have quoted him verbatim for accuracy. If he wants a summary, please say.:

Camera: Nikon D40
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 360

This is a perfect example of what cat photography makes it so interesting and worth the time. Personally I love the window on its left and the blurred couch on its right. It makes me very much think of people’s portraits. In fact when you notice a certain scene in your house or garden, try to get the cat there and you can get great results.

Here you see the curious look in her eyes, after I silently aimed the lens in front of her. For cat photography I will most preferebly use the NIKON AF Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens. Why I use f1.8 lens? Simply because you then have a great range of DOF to choose from, which can get your picture very intimate.

One very important tip: when shooting cats it’s very good to shoot the picture at the proper height. Preferably at the cat’s height (of course depending on what pictures you like). But this way you will get very intimate portraits. 

photograph by Wesley Oostvogels

The photo above – the photographer’s comments: A cute little cat I found in Ghent. I followed it all around the garden to shoot photos. Eventually this photo I liked best. It was drinking from this ceramic pot filled with rainwater. Personally I like the DOF which makes the foreground look so touchable and intimite. It fits the look in his eyes.

Camera: Nikon D200
Focal Length: 50mm
Exposure: 1/250
Aperture: f/2.5
ISO: 320

Because the cat was running around all the time I used aperture priority so I could make sure the DOF was the way I wanted it. I used Continuous-Servo AF settings to keep up with him.

Because I only had a 50mm objective on my Nikon, and I had no others with me I was forced to use this one. Normally it would be my first one to use when shooting cats, but this little critter ran around all the time and didn’t seem to like my camera too much. So I wished I had a short telezoom lens with me to make the job easier.

However after a few minutes playing around he got used to me and came to me to play. That made it a lot easier. I followed this little guy around the garden and it seemed to like it more and more.

When he got tired (at last) I got to take this shot of him drinking from the bowl. You can see he was still careful when people were walking near us but his look made the image look much better! 

I love the elegeant simplicity of these images.

photo by JoeZeppi  — Camera: Fuji 20D, lens 50mm f1.8.
I think that this picture shows good cat-photo-technique; nice lighting, excellent expression.

cat photo technique
photo by JoeZeppi

For me this spells dangers lurk outide. But it’s enticing.

cats feet
by GillianSpring

Gillian Spring lives in Indianapolis, U.S.A. and is gaining experience in photography.

Sweet simplicity would sum up this photo for me. Without showing more than the cats’s paws we learn at lot about the cat. It has a nice radiant lighting probably because in part of the color of the fur, a gorgeous silvery grey.

by tracey morgan illustrations

Tracey lives in Redditch, England (2008). Drawing  is my Tracey’s passion

I like this because the cat’s tabby fur matches the fabric. Nice simple cat-photo-technique.

cat photo tachnique
by 1409972710244
Once again a clean simple arrangement counts for me. Nice expression and composition.

cat photo technique
by electricapril

This photographer employs a lot of photographic technique. This is a wide angle image probably ambient light and I’d like to know a bit more about her techniques. She uses film rather than digital, I suspect, sometimes.

cat photo technique
by kerrie.

This photo was criticized a bit by other Flickr members but I disagree. Firstly it is different and that is hard to achieve. Secondly it has a nice luminous feel and the expression is other worldly too making the picture stand out. I don’t know if Kerrie employed good cat-photo-technique but if not good fortune played a role.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…

White Cat Reaching Out  starstarstarstarstar
This is a fine cat picture that quietly roars disapproval of the abusive practice of declawing cats – one of my pet hates. The photograph was not taken …

Cat Photography Texture and Color  Not rated yet
This isn’t a Helmi Flick special but then it is an informal photograph of a cat rolling contentedly on the ground and yawning. Nothing special there but …

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