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05-08-2010, 08:27 PM   #1711
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I just discovered this thread. Some amazing cat photos!!! I have had little success capturing our cats on camera. This is an effort with our newest addition, Earl Grey but I was using the on-camera flash so of course he is squinting.




I would welcome advice for catching more natural shots, especially with one of my cats who is nearly albino... her pupils are always dilated and red if she is looking into any light at all.
-Joe


Last edited by jmschrei; 05-08-2010 at 08:30 PM. Reason: try to insert smaller picture
05-08-2010, 10:34 PM   #1712
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Last edited by kevinfox203; 05-08-2010 at 10:50 PM.
05-08-2010, 11:22 PM - 1 Like   #1713
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That is seriously funny Kevin!

ovim, fantastic results w/that @ ISO1600. Which body do you have? Was it wide open or stopped down a bit? As you may have read in my OP of this thread if you saw it, I'm handicapped by my one dog who's insanely & irrationally frightened of the camera because she equates it to lightning & thunder.

To the participants, please pardon my breaking of my posting guidelines set forth for this thread in my OP. But I have a few I want to use as an example in this reply so hope you will look past it this one time.

Joe, I'd recommend following ovim's lead. Pump-up the ISO and open-up the aperture [using Av or M mode]; and get close! Getting close w/a wide aperture results in a nice soft mushy OOF area; of course you have a really narrow DOF to contend with as well, but that's part of the art.


You might want to pick up an old MF Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4. So versatile and such and incredible performer. A bit better than the A 50/1.7 and much better than an A 50/2. This taken w/my 50mm f/1.4 stopped down a tad @ f/2.0, ISO400:




Of course, I see you have one excellent lens that would suit just fine; the DA* 16-50/2.8. Using f/2.8 or just a few fractions of a stop down can yield excellent results as well. This one was taken w/my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, wide open @ f/2.8, ISO1600:




Even f/3.2 will do. This was my Voiglander 125mm f/2.5 used @ f/3.2, ISO400:



Of course I should add, shooting in RAW and post processing in something like Lightroom or other, offers you a lot more flexibility in getting the shot with exposure a bit off [underexposed], and making it right w/o amplifying noise, getting the perfect WB, making the photo pop vivid color, as well as getting rid of high ISO noise while maintaining detail much better than it can in the camera.

Last edited by m8o; 05-08-2010 at 11:41 PM.
05-09-2010, 01:38 AM - 1 Like   #1714
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote

ovim, fantastic results w/that @ ISO1600. Which body do you have? Was it wide open or stopped down a bit? As you may have read in my OP of this thread if you saw it, I'm handicapped by my one dog who's insanely & irrationally frightened of the camera because she equates it to lightning & thunder.
I've got a K200D and although it doesn't excel at high ISOs correct exposure and resizing helps

It was shot wide open as the lens used doesn't have an aperture at all. It's a manual focus lens based on the Russian Helios-40 1.5/85mm. It was originally built for a night vision device but it has a M42 thread so it can be used with a DSLR. There has been some threads about it in the Lens forum. Focusing is really difficult as the dof at the closest focusing distance is about an inch. I've got a split screen but I have to bracket focus a lot.

Our cat is very skittish but at least she's not afraid of the shutter sound. I haven't even tried a flash yet.

Here's another shot of her from last night, went for B&W as this was a heavy crop with a lot of visble noise.



Last edited by ovim; 05-09-2010 at 01:40 AM. Reason: added a pic
05-09-2010, 02:28 AM   #1715
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote

Joe, I'd recommend following ovim's lead. Pump-up the ISO and open-up the aperture [using Av or M mode]; and get close! Getting close w/a wide aperture results in a nice soft mushy OOF area; of course you have a really narrow DOF to contend with as well, but that's part of the art.

......

Of course, I see you have one excellent lens that would suit just fine; the DA* 16-50/2.8. Using f/2.8 or just a few fractions of a stop down can yield excellent results as well. This one was taken w/my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, wide open @ f/2.8, ISO1600:




Of course I should add, shooting in RAW and post processing in something like Lightroom or other, offers you a lot more flexibility in getting the shot with exposure a bit off [underexposed], and making it right w/o amplifying noise, getting the perfect WB, making the photo pop vivid color, as well as getting rid of high ISO noise while maintaining detail much better than it can in the camera.
m8o, thank you for all the excellent advice. I see that what I need to do is pump up the ISO and get closer. The photo I posted was taken at f2.8 but I could have been much closer. And the ISO was 100! Normally I am shooting landscape/nature type subjects and my instinct is to keep the ISO low. I do shoot in RAW but my processing skills are hit and miss. But now I know where I need to further push my own comfort zone and hopefully end up with some cat pictures as nice as these. Thanks again!
-Joe
05-09-2010, 03:09 AM - 1 Like   #1716
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@ovim: Pretty cat. The K200D is not that bad at ISO1600, here is an example (ISO1600, 1/8th, Tamron 28-75 at 75mm wide open):

05-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #1717
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05-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #1718
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Tons of great cat photos there! Very nice.

05-09-2010, 10:51 PM   #1719
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(note, they are here to stay)
05-10-2010, 08:38 AM   #1720
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Taken with my K20d IR, my dog learning the hard way not to mess with the buzzing insects who carry stingers.. He snatches them out of the air and then screws with them for awhile.





05-10-2010, 08:53 AM   #1721
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmschrei Quote
m8o, thank you for all the excellent advice. I see that what I need to do is pump up the ISO and get closer. The photo I posted was taken at f2.8 but I could have been much closer. And the ISO was 100! Normally I am shooting landscape/nature type subjects and my instinct is to keep the ISO low. I do shoot in RAW but my processing skills are hit and miss. But now I know where I need to further push my own comfort zone and hopefully end up with some cat pictures as nice as these. Thanks again!
-Joe
Glad I can be of some help Joe. If you haven't already and you are open to it, hope you can click the + next to my id in theleft margin and gimme some 'rep'. I've been here a while with a post count to match, but with Adam only recently activating the rep system (actually it also seems as a result of a thread & conversation of mine in the suggestions section) I really really need my rep to catch-up w/my post count!

p.s. I should have also mentioned the importance of the light. There was a really nice strong afternoon light coming in the windows, but heavily diffused with white curtains, in the shots I took. The third photo had the least light coming into the room, and it really shows IMO in regards to the 'contrastiness' of the photo.

@ovim, fantastic use of that Helios. I only knew the name. I had no idea it didn't have a variable aperture. Very interesting 'art making' device. The follow-up B&W is nothing less than stunning with an ethereal feel; makes me think the cat just finished materializing from a ghost.

@clou, you succeeded where I failed in the examples I posted. You nailed the eyes really well.

@kevin, that's incredible. When my dogs do that it is always related to activity that results in lost teeth, punctured and/or torn lips & gums, and a $1000+ visit to the vet or animal hospital!

@yeatzee, lol... tastes like chicken!

@Jeff, great capture of a notable moment in time.
05-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #1722
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05-10-2010, 10:09 PM - 1 Like   #1723
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
Glad I can be of some help Joe. If you haven't already and you are open to it, hope you can click the + next to my id in theleft margin and gimme some 'rep'. I've been here a while with a post count to match, but with Adam only recently activating the rep system (actually it also seems as a result of a thread & conversation of mine in the suggestions section) I really really need my rep to catch-up w/my post count!

p.s. I should have also mentioned the importance of the light. There was a really nice strong afternoon light coming in the windows, but heavily diffused with white curtains, in the shots I took. The third photo had the least light coming into the room, and it really shows IMO in regards to the 'contrastiness' of the photo.
Um, I think I did give you some 'rep' when you responded, but good on you to take the initiative to build your count!

Here are the results of my first efforts to apply your advice. Not the best light I realize but the models were fickle.

Miss B, our oldest, was least cooperative. This was the best shot and I felt it looked better in black and white.

Earl Grey, the kitten, was the most curious.

This my favourite. Casper is a near albino whose eyes are actually a lot paler than they appear in this shot and I have never been successful capturing her in photos. The other day I actually got several that I like for the very first time.
All shots were taken with my DA* 16-50/2.8 at ISO 800, f 2.8.
-Joe

Last edited by jmschrei; 07-05-2010 at 09:59 PM. Reason: correct missing link (again)
05-10-2010, 10:31 PM   #1724
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Wow, dramatically different results! Kudos! I really like the 1st shot the most, and I see what you mean with Casper; amazing & striking. I look forward to more. Sounds like we got you hooked! I probably have a few thousand shot lead on you of my 3, but no doubt you'll catch-up!

I realized where it is that Adam shows our rep comments and I found yours only after I posted my 'hint hint nudge nudge'... glad you didn't take offense to my boldness.
05-10-2010, 10:52 PM   #1725
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And now that a moment ago is now yesterday and this is currently today...
Another day, another dog.
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