Statistics from Cats Protection show that it can take finding a black cat or black and white cat a home up to 22% longer than other types of cat. For many reasons, black cats can often be overlooked by prospective owners - a shocking 45% of the cats in the care of Cats Protection are black (or black and white) as a result.
Jellybean. Courtesy of the Happy Healthy Pets gallery
With National Black Cat Day taking place this week, we are joining the celebrations with Cats Protection to champion black and black and white cats, focusing on what makes them unique, and helping prove that ‘beauty is more than fur deep’ – the heart of Cats Protection’s 2017 campaign.
Through our I Heart My Pet campaign and the Happy, Healthy Pets gallery, we’ve seen first-hand what makes black cats unique through all the fantastic images uploaded by owners and it’s got us inspired.
To celebrate National Black Cat Day, challenge preconceptions about the difficulties of taking pictures of black cats and to encourage owners of black cats to show others exactly why they make fantastic pets, we’re sharing top tips, simple strategies and tricks from Cats Protection and photographer Kathryn Collinson on how to capture your beautiful black cat on camera and create the perfect picture:
Looby Loo. Image taken by Kathryn Collinson
Tip 1 – Prepare your cat:
Before jumping into your photo shoot it’s important to get everything prepared before bringing in the star of the show – your black cat! Cats tend to have a low attention span and get distracted by the environment around them, not to mention the fact that they don’t tend to sit still for long periods of time, so making sure that you’ve sorted everything you need to before-hand will optimise the time you spend photographing your pet.
Tip 2 - Prepare your background:
Having a good background is key to taking the best possible picture of your black cat. Make sure that your background is as uncluttered as possible as it will help your pet stand out. A busy background is likely to deflect the focus away from your pet and he or she will get lost in the shadows. If you can’t avoid a busy background and you are taking your photos with an SLR camera, widening the lens aperture should help to blur out the background and help your cat stand out as the focal part of the image. It’s also important to avoid an all-white background as although a black cat on a white background might look good to the naked eye, in photography, the strong black colour you’re already working with will create too much contrast which can affect how your camera tries to focus and accurately expose the image. Try and pick a neutral coloured background to get the best out of your photo.
Oxo.Image taken by Kathryn Collinson
Tip 3 - Let there be light – but not too much:
Careful lighting is imperative to capturing the best photo of your black cat – not enough light and your image will look like a big black blob, too much light and your cat will just look like a fuzzy grey one! Play around with the lighting to see what looks best for your cat, just make sure you don’t dazzle them with it! Using natural lighting from outside brings out the detail in the fur of a black cat so try and use it when you can. Try not to over-expose or under-expose your photo - if the cat looks grey rather than black, this means you have over-exposed the image. You need to decrease the exposure by letting less light in. If your image turns out to be a black mass with no distinguishable features, this means your image is under-exposed and you need to increase the exposure to let in more light. Play around with exposure to get the best lighting for your photo.
Lucas. Image taken by Kathryn Collinson
For further information on National Black Cat Day visit www.cats.org.uk/black-cats. In the meantime, why not try out these top tips with your black cat and share your pics with NOAH and Cats Protection via Twitter (@CatsProtection @IHeartMyPetUK), or upload them to our happy, healthy pets gallery.