Purina® Pro Plan® True NatureTM is all about bringing out the extraordinary in cats. That’s why we’ve partnered with filmmaker Darren Dyk from YouTube’s BeyondSlowMotion and Adam Hartman, creative mind behind Instagram’s super-popular Pouncey (@professor_pouncey) – two masters at capturing awesome images of cats. Check out their tips for taking memorable videos and photos of your cat, then share them with cat lovers everywhere using #CatsTrueNature.
Darren Dyk is a cinematographer with expertise in high-speed slow-motion video. He began experimenting with slow motion by capturing skateboarders in action before expanding his horizons to work with a wide range of world-class talents. Darren’s popularity on YouTube has grown exponentially since he joined in 2006. His current channel, BeyondSlowMotion, has more than 5 million views, and he has shot or produced videos that have well over 50 million views. Darren continues to expand his cinematic repertoire, bringing both the everyday and the extraordinary to life in dramatic fashion.
Watch these video tips from BeyondSlowMotion’s Darren Dyk on how to capture the extraordinary nature of your cat with everyday equipment like your smartphone. Then share the awesome footage at #CatsTrueNature.
TIP #1 – Change Your Perspective
To make a shot more interesting, think about changing your shot angle. Get down low, get up high. Try something different – like being at your cat’s level – to give your shots more impact.
TIP #2 – Attention to Environment
If it’s too bright or too busy, you’ll miss the awesome nuances of your cat’s action. So always be aware of what’s happening behind your cat and whether the light on and around your cat is helping make your shot better or worse.
TIP #3 – Get Up Close
When your cat fills the frame, you’ll capture all of those brilliant qualities like the eyes, the fur, the anatomy. So don’t be shy – ease your cat into the idea of your camera or camera phone so he or she doesn’t mind when you get up close and personal. You can miss a lot when you’re too far away.
TIP #4 – Slow It Down
Most phones and cameras these days are capable of shooting in slow motion…use it! I find it’s better to vary “real time” with slow motion, but don’t be afraid to capture some cool athletic motions using the slow motion feature to add variety to your video’s pacing and increase the wow factor.
TIP #5 – Be Ready
Of course, half the battle of capturing stunning video is being ready when the great stuff is happening. So be ready and be comfortable with how to get your phone or cameral “rolling” in an instant. Then, when you feel a cool moment is about to happen, you’ll be able to grab it.
TIP #6 – Toys & Treats
The right toy or treat can be the perfect thing to help make a memorable moment happen. So don’t be afraid to use these things to create fun, special – and filmable – awesome moments.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADAM HARTMAN
Adam Hartman, creative genius behind Instagram’s Pouncey (@professor_pouncey), knows a lot about capturing stunning images of cats. It all began when his technical knowledge of photography intersected with his love of the outdoors and, of course, the perfect subject matter: Pouncey. This male Bengal cat joins Adam on his outdoor adventures and, through active observation and a keen sense of timing, Adam captures moments that are candid, spontaneous, and memorable. Explore these tips from Adam:
TIP #1 – IT’S ABOUT TIMING, NOT THE CAMERA
Sure, a fancy camera can help, but your eye is your greatest asset. You can capture awesome photos using your phone or a simple point-and-shoot. Capturing great photos happens by being in the right place at the right time. I let Pouncey do what he wants and I capture it.
TIP #2 – GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR POV
Adjusting your point of view so you’re shooting at the eye level of a cat instills images with a “larger than life” dramatic quality. Get on the ground to get a great shot.
TIP #3 – MAKE THE LIGHT WORK FOR YOU
Pay attention to where the sun, or other light sources, are in relation to your cat – generally speaking, the more light the better. It will help your shot if the light source is behind you so your cat is painted in light, but be careful not to cast your own shadow into the image.
TIP #4 – TAKE MORE THAN YOU NEED
Amazing things happen quickly – great action photography is just about capturing one moment in a series of moments. So take more photos than you need by using “burst mode” or snapping as fast as your camera will allow. Remember, it’s free to delete and fun to sift through a series and find a true gem.
TIP #5 – MINOR ADJUSTMENTS, MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS
Sometimes simple edits like cropping to improve the composition of a photo or small adjustments to exposure or contrast – things you can do right on your phone or with free photo editing apps – can make a good photograph great.
*A note from Purina® Pro Plan®: Cats who are not used to the outdoors can easily get startled or distracted and can be exposed to danger. If you’re going to allow your cat to be outdoors, make sure the environment is safe, your cat is under close supervision, and he or she is wearing a break-away collar with ID tag and is micro chipped.
Check out Adam Hartman’s photos on Instagram and share some of your own at #CatsTrueNature