Back Modifications (2)
Views: 54 (31 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By billmyl
Image of one of our cats. Looking for advice /comments on technical aspects, but all comments and critique are very welcome.

Tags: Cat Ginger Pets and captive animals

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


paulbroad 10 123 1244 United Kingdom
4 May 2014 9:09AM
Well composed, sharp and well exposed. The lighting needs help. You need a bit more light on the xats face to lift it and make it stronger. It is the focal point.


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Coast 10 1.6k 292 United Kingdom
4 May 2014 9:16AM
Good Morning Bill

Something a little different from the recent landscapes Grin

As it stands this is a nice portrait of your pet cat. Exposure is well controlled with lots of detail and texture. The back lighting makes for a pleasant modelling light to lift the cat and make it stand out.

What I would like to see is catchlights in both eyes as this brings life to a portrait of people or animals. You have a strong catchlight in one eye only here and this is down to the taking angle.

With animals, same goes for children too, try to get down on their level rather than shooting down. Eye contact is key in most portraiture and a good trick is to have a little squeaky toy or bell toy with you to gently create a little noise that will get most nonchalant pets looking at the source and into camera. Coming down to shoot onto the cat rather than down on it does mean you then need to consider your backdrop and for portraiture of this type a clean plain backdrop works best.

I hope that helps.

billmyl Plus
5 171 1 Scotland
4 May 2014 9:26AM
Thanks Paul and Paul.
I did not set up this shot and unfortunately the light was from a window behind. Should I perhaps tried to use something to reflect light back onto cat. Also I tried a shot form straight on but the background was untidy and parts were burning out.

As said this is a bit different for me and your advice is really helpful.


Coast 10 1.6k 292 United Kingdom
4 May 2014 11:00AM
Hi Bill

The backlight is good as it creates a rim light that helps lift the subject. In portraiture a back light or rim light is used to help seperate the subject from the background.

It looks like you must have had a light coming from behind you as there is a catchlight from a light source in the cats eye. You ideally need to get catchlights in both eyes.

You could have used a tiny bit of fill in flash to push light back into the cat and get some catchlights or as you say use a reflector or white card to bounce some light back in to the subject.

Putting a sheet or larger plain piece of card behind the cat perhaps at the end/side of the bed to lose the distractions and allow the light from the window to spill over the top of it to maintain the backlight onto the cat.

I hope that gives you something's to consider.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
4 May 2014 2:07PM
Its a really good shot. Sharp, detailed focused and well exposed.

The light was behind as we know, so the light on the cats face is a little less than ideal.

I cant see that cat sitting around in a pose waiting for a reflector to be placed though!

I wonder if is the difference in the light we are seeing in the image that makes the face look darker than it is, - there is light reflected from the bed into the face, but reflecting more would help.

I will take a look at a mod.


banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
4 May 2014 2:15PM
Mods uploaded. Darker by the window doesnt have a lot of impact, mod1, but all of the image brighter except for the window area works well.

So as the Pauls suggested.

mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
4 May 2014 4:25PM

Quote:I cant see that cat sitting around in a pose waiting for a reflector to be placed though!

The technical comments have been made, I'm just going to add my enjoyment of this as a cat person. I'm seeing a calculating look, reluctant patience on the basis that humans have to be indulged occasionally. But by God he'd better make this worth my while or I'm not doing it again...
billmyl Plus
5 171 1 Scotland
4 May 2014 7:43PM
Thanks Willie for your observations and your mod is spot on.

Moira, your comments about the cat are very accurate. You have him summed up perfectly.

Thanks again everyone for your help, I am off into the hills for a few days staying in a bothy and hope to get some decent shots.



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