“Patience Is What You Need to Take Cat Pictures”

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Ralph Steiner, “Patience Is What You Need to Take Cat Pictures,” PM Weekly, July 13, 1941, pp. 48-49 (photos by Thurman Rotan, Torkel Korling, Ruth Bernhard, and R.L. Doty, etc.)

Cats are like children in that most people like them. Many people photograph them. They both are easy to photograph: they aren’t camera shy, and they assume an infinity of expressions and positions. There should be a wealth of good pictures of cats and children, yet there isn’t. It has taken a long time and a lot of searching to assemble the few good cat pictures you see here.

To make good photographs of cats the photographer does not have to be a great mind, a deep thinker, or a super-sensitive artist. He (or she) just has to be patient enough to wait until his (or her) subject is most expressive of some cat quality that appeals to him (or her). Cats can be wise, foolish, elegant, awkward, playful, serious, tame, wild, social, independent, active and passive. They can react like humans to a situation, and some of their expressions can resemble ours.

Cat photographers should use their own observation to add to this catalog of cat facets. They should then use it as a guide to more interesting and more cat-like pictures.

(Patience is what I need to make blog posts, this post was started about six years ago… More importantly, PM was typically prescient and helpful…)

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