Wednesday I shared some fun cat photos. I mentioned that I love photographing cats outside. There are so many neat backdrops and props and the lighting is generally better. But our cats don’t go outside, so I have to stalk the neighborhood cats when I want an image of a cat in the grass, snuggled up against a plant, hiding in a tree, peering out from behind a plant or down from a perch on the roof.
What’s the secret of great outdoor shots of cats? Find a cat and start shooting. Yes, sometimes it’s that easy. One of my favorite shots (and voted people’s choice at the Ventura County Fair one year) was a picture of Smokey (aka Rags) leaping into the photo frame after a bee. All I wanted was a picture of him peering out from a planting of pink flowers. But he set up a great action shot. Thank you, Smokey.
I look for cats with interesting coat patterns, cats surrounded by foliage or some sort of textured background. I shoot cats doing unusual and usual things—stalking a bird, staring at a butterfly, looking up at a giant cement dog statue, lazing on a tree branch, or simply strolling down the street past a cartwheeling newspaper or a planter full of flowers or a wall reflecting his shadow.
It’s all in the eye and in the will of the cat.