Is this the world's cutest kitten?

Ben Torode is an Australian translator living in Japan; he's not a professional photographer. But Torode's photos of his very teeny, very fluffy kitten, Daisy, look like they took years of training to achieve. He gets super-cool action shots and effects: water in mid-splash, Daisy airborne in mid-pounce. Even more impressively, he somehow got the kitten – whom Torode and his wife adopted on impulse from a pet store – to cooperate on "stories" like sitting quietly while bubbles fly past; wriggling through a leg of jeans; peeking out from under a hat; and napping in a mixing bowl.

According to My Modern Met, Torode deliberately sets up his compositions to emphasize how teeny Daisy is (in one shot, she's next to a miso soup bowl, which is only about 10 cm across – and she's not a whole lot bigger). But how does he get a kitten, not exactly the most trainable creature in the animal kingdom, to collaborate? My Modern Met interviewed Torode over the weekend, and based on his comments about Daisy, who "doesn't like to be held or even petted that much," his achievement is that much more impressive.

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Daisy does like being near her humans, and to chase a laser-pointer dot until she's exhausted. Observing her natural behavior helps Torode to craft photos around Daisy's personality – in other words, make Daisy think the shot he's trying to get is her idea. "I have learned that it's nearly impossible to make a kitten do something and have it understand what it's doing in the process, so you cannot present human motivations and expect the cat to act accordingly," he told My Modern Met's "alice." Capturing the moment means "play[ing] to the kitten's own instincts to provide the motivation for it to go somewhere or act in a certain way that feels natural to the cat."

Any other tips for those hoping for an Ansel Adams moment with our own felines? Try to get it on the first attempt: "As soon as a cat decides it doesn't like something, you are going to lose the shot." Another trick Torode uses is pre-focusing the camera on what he calls a "killing zone" – the area where he hopes the cat will play/move – and then playing with Daisy in front of the camera, using a remote control to take the photos. He's gotten really good at it, we must say, and he chalks it up to practice: "Fortunately I work from home, which gives me ample time to play with and photograph my two cats."

For "behind the scenes" shots, or more specifics about shutter speeds, click right here. Got your own pro tips for getting a museum-quality kitten photo? (Yes, "wait until they're sleeping" totally counts.) Let us know in the comments.

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