My Best Kept Secret

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My Best Kept Secret

Updated 4 years, 1 Month ago

I can't start a fire with two sticks. I can't play any musical instruments. I can't catch a fish with my bare hands (although I'm not half bad with a fishing rod). I'm slow, I have terrible upper (and lower) body strength and I have pretty poor aim, so I'm useless at anything mildly physical.

But I can take a damn good photo of a cat, if I do say so myself...

I wasn't born with this essential life skill, but I've spent many an hour cat-whispering, scratching stray kitties behind the ears and feeding tidbits under the table to get my subjects on side so I can practice getting the perfect shot on my travels.

It's a learned skill basically, and as you can see in this photo of a teeny kitten in Morocco, my efforts in the beginning left a lot to be desired. An out of focus face does not a perfect cat photo make!

The Greek Islands are a cat photographer's paradise! I saved some delicious pork fillet from dinner one night to feed these two strays near where I stayed on Paros - it's just good kitty karma and on the plus-side, it keeps your subjects occupied while you snap away and practice getting the shot...

I met this friendly stray in Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic during a Christmas break. Trying to capture a black cat in white snow is a bit of a photographer's nightmare as it can confuse your camera and throw your exposure out, so it was excellent practice on my journey to cat photography perfection!

In France last year, I honed my cat photography skills further when this very friendly local took a shine to our cottage...

You don't have to get too close to capture a decent cat photo though. Sometimes it's worth including some of the surrounding environment that the cat is 'posing' in - especially if it's in, say, the Sultan's palace in Istanbul...

Earlier this year I struck cat photography gold when I flew to Kenya for a wildlife safari trip in the Maasai Mara. Although they're obviously a lot bigger and a bit more scary than your average domestic cat, watching them sprawled out, rolling on their backs in the sun and mooching their faces into the nearest tree makes you realise how similar their behaviour still is.

A second trip to Marrakech and there were cat photography opportunities galore, another perfect place for feline fans. Bonus points for spotting and photographing this little guy (awww!)...

This photo of a Spanish cat at the Alhambra in Granada isn't a classically perfect shot but it was a valuable lesson to learn that you don't need your subject looking straight at you in order for it to be a favourite. Be creative!

Finally, after years of research and gruelling practice to hone my skill, I took my favourite photograph of a stray cat to date...

I absolutely love travel photography and believe it or not, I do take photos of other things besides stray cats when I'm on an adventure (dogs too!). This little story is really about my journey to become a better photographer on my travels: thinking more about the photos I wanted to take, learning from my mistakes along the way and then practice, practice, practice to get the images I wanted. This growing collection of cat photos from my travels over the past 4 years, really just sums all that up...and I can't wait to add more on my next adventure.

 

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