How to properly take photos of cats?


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CatByTe

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Nov 4, 2008
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#1
Hey guys, I've been trying to take photos of cats with my Nikon D60 55-200mm recently. However, I realized that my camera's 3 focus point limitation cannot allow me to take a clear sharp and focused face of the cats. This is because I tried to focus on their face and recompose the shot to get the image of the whole cat instead of cutting it off at sides of the frame.

Well it could be due to handshake and the constant movement of the cat's head. However, there are cases that if the focus point is constantly painted on the cat's face, I would get a clear and sharp image of the face. So the question is, are there anyway to get a sharp and focus image of the cat face without painting the focus point on the face of the cat to re-compose the shot?

Thanks in advance for any advice :)

This image below is one that the face is OOF.


This image below is one that the face is clear with the right focus point painted on its face.
 

Diavonex

Senior Member
Sep 23, 2008
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#2
Try using a mini tripod or bean bag to steady your camera. Be prepared to go down on all four to make your shots.
 

CatByTe

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#3
In fact alot of times I went down to proning position like how I held my M16 rifle with arms as support. I still get the OOF result. Some of my friends told me that the shutter speed was too slow. But I felt it looks more like focusing issue. So wondering what is really the cause lol... I also wan to recompose the shot to get the whole cat instead of juz parts of its body..
 

CatByTe

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#5
Wow u must be real close to the cat. Your cat? if u realized the top left ear of the cat was cut off. Tat's my problem when I need to recompose the picture to include all the features of the cat. But most of the time in order to do that, the focus point will be off the cat's face which will result in an OOF look. To make the matter worse, I am shooting stray cats lol...they'll either come towards me, or walk away or even hyperactive..
 

CatByTe

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#7
Those are strays...but I dun noe abt Diavonex's cat.. :)
 

jasonlcs

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Apr 11, 2008
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#10
Hi,

Most of the time when I shoot cats, I also aim first and try to get a focus
lock and recompose. For most of my cat shots, I usually use f/2.8 (50mmf f/1.4)
and ISO varies according to available light. I use the centre focus only. I think
that AF lock must be fast enough to recompose.

One way to allow more space in your frame and crop to compose your
shot. That is, aim, lock and shoot. You may need to re-look at the way
you press the shutter if the speed is too low.

Exert force on the button and not on the body.

I practise a lot to get it right when I started out.

Keep shooting and more cats please. :)
Start a thread in the Nature forum.

 

#11
Hey guys, I've been trying to take photos of cats with my Nikon D60 55-200mm recently. However, I realized that my camera's 3 focus point limitation cannot allow me to take a clear sharp and focused face of the cats. This is because I tried to focus on their face and recompose the shot to get the image of the whole cat instead of cutting it off at sides of the frame.

Well it could be due to handshake and the constant movement of the cat's head. However, there are cases that if the focus point is constantly painted on the cat's face, I would get a clear and sharp image of the face. So the question is, are there anyway to get a sharp and focus image of the cat face without painting the focus point on the face of the cat to re-compose the shot?

Thanks in advance for any advice :)

This image below is one that the face is OOF.


This image below is one that the face is clear with the right focus point painted on its face.
i think you're suffering from camera shake due to slow shutter or incorrect shooting technique.

remember your live firing techiques. hold breath, half press, gently squeeze shutter.
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#12
Remember that if you're shooting in large apertures with thin DOF, do not use the recompose method... the slight difference will make the pic look blur.

I believe your problem is a slow shutter speed coupled with the fact that you're using a long lens, any slight movement will give it motion blur. Try practising with the shorter lens first. You'll see it's easier.
 

CatByTe

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Nov 4, 2008
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Punggol
#13
hey thanks guys! I realised large aperture will also cause OOF.. haha will shoot wif smaller aperture den :D yea..will try to start a thread of cats too hehe thx!! I juz went out to take some cats again after the comments and it works!
 

CatByTe

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#15
Old neighbourhood towns should have :) like Bedok and Tampines. Perhaps can ask others.

I juz realized my Lens have a backfocusing issue of 2cm too :( so sad..
 

Leong23

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2007
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within myself
#16
I usually shoot at wide open.....f1.4 to f2.8 depending on lenses.

For AF lens, i will move the AF point to fix on the eyes.

Nowaday, mainly i'm using MF lenses to shoot, either 85mmPC or 100mmf/2. I personally find it easier and faster to focus on the right point thru practice.

Recompose focusing technique wouldn't really work if you are shooting close up portrait or shooting at wide open.
 

CatByTe

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Nov 4, 2008
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Punggol
#17
Any idea how to reduce redeye for cats at night using Flash?
 

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