I have some sort of revelation and I want (no, I HAVE) to share it.

The message is simple – cats will save film. For like forever. 

There is no point in arguing with it. I invite You not to go arrogant way by questioning this truth, instead I’d suggest to accept it fully without arguments… We don’t need any discussion — it would distract us and take time that we must devote to shooting cats on film.

Did we just agree? Good.

5 Frames... Of Cats that will (apparently) save film forever (Yasuhara T981, Nikon Nikkor H.C. 5cm F/2 + Kodak TRi-X 400) - by Aivaras Sidla

Let’s move on to some points that every film shooter has to know from now on. It’s not an argument to cover my points (because there is no need for any, we already agreed), I’m just trying to be polite here and give you some directions and motivation to do what is necessary.

I’m talking not only about the core thing — shooting cats on film, but I do foresee that in our future way we will encounter similar examples: somebody shooting dogs with a digital camera or worse — making selfies with our phonesphone.

Not only we must take our own responsibilities on making good cat photos, but we have to educate the population. You still with me? OK, take into account that analog photography depends on the demand for film and analog services and let’s dive into the main building blocks of bright analog future:

First. Cats are cute. Their purposeful evolution, the way they used it to conquer and enslave mankind to serve them, can be used to save film. Good cat photos will be cute, people will think that it’s because “it’s a film photo” (I’m sure about it, believe me, people are not that smart; see — we have been living under the despotic rule of cats for thousand years, and nobody noticed). Then folks will go into film photography, will create a strong and stable demand for film and the future is bright! 

5 Frames... Of Cats that will (apparently) save film forever (Pentax MZ-S, Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4, Kodak Portra 400) - by Aivaras Sidla

Second. Shooting cats requires insane discipline, patience and amazing focusing skills. We, as photographers will become better, more professional, our motivation will be higher and we will be more active as film shooters those creating bigger demand for film, related services and will keep things alive.

5 Frames... Of Cats that will (apparently) save film forever (Norita 66, Noritar 80mm F2, Ilford XP2) - by Aivaras Sidla

Third. We will shoot more. Can shoot a cat everywhere. More shots – bigger demand – more safety.

5 Frames... Of Cats that will (apparently) save film forever (Pentax MZ-3, Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9, Kodak Portra 400) - by Aivaras Sidla

Fourth. Cats are extremely handy for finishing those last remaining frames on film roll. Faster turnaround keeps us going.

5 Frames... Of Cats that will (apparently) save film forever (Pentax MZ-3, Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9, Kodak Portra 400) - by Aivaras Sidla

Fifth. If you look close into cat eyes, you’ll see that their retinas contain grain that is similar to grain in film. Still don’t know how this will help, but I’m working on it. 

5 Frames... Of Cats that will (apparently) save film forever (Pentax SuperA, Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, Ilford Delta 3200) - by Aivaras Sidla

Like I said in the start – it’s very simple and effective.  

I don’t expect any awards or honor, saving world is enough for me. Just shoot more cats on film! That’s all.

Special thanks for Justin Rosenberg for inspiration

~ Aivaras

P.S. This article contains 6 frames with cats. Just because cats don’t like rules. 

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About the author

Avatar - Aivaras Sidla

Aivaras Sidla

Photography is my hobby. It lets me see the world differently, to notice small miracles in dull environment, to detach from daily life, to recreate inner balance and to remain constantly positive. To sum up photography is a drug for me, and as I mostly shoot...

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  1. My cat performs all of those functions, as well as pouncing on my dark bag when I am loading film, supervising my film processing by checking the water temperature (tongue test), and approving successful prints, by sitting on them.

  2. Thank you for the invitation. It was a rewarding exhibition! In picture and in writing. And yes, I don’t shoot enough cat pictures. I must change.