9 Ultimate Tips You need for Sharp Cat Photos with your Smartphone
With our modern smartphones, it has become quite easy to make clear and sharp cat pictures, but only if you do it the right way.
When I scroll through Instagram accounts and I look at all those cat photographs, I often see blurry images of cats and then I think by myself: it is really not that hard to do better.
If you want people to enjoy and like your cat photos, then your cat pictures really need to be clear and sharp. The clearer your photos are, the better we all can see those wonderful cat expressions.
SHARP CAT PHOTOS AND NO MORE BLURRY PICTURES
Unsharp pictures are also called blurry. Blurriness is basically caused by slow shutter speed, camera movement or movement of the subject (your cat) in the frame. The shutter speed of your smartphone camera is set automatically by the camera itself and can’t be directly controlled. This means we need to avoid camera movement as much as possible.
My smartphone is an IPhone SE. I use it all the time to take cat pictures and cat videos. My explanations below are often specific for IPhones but the functions and features don’t differ that much for other smartphones such as Samsung. My very first advice to you if you still feel unsure about the things your camera can do: learn to work with your smartphone’s camera and get to know the features!
Here are my 9 best tips to avoid blurry cat photos using your smartphone from now on.
TIP #1 – CHOOSE YOUR OWN FOCUS POINT
For me, the focus of a picture is the most important element in a picture. The focus draws the attention to the most important part of your photo, which is the subject. If this subject isn’t sharp then for me the photograph is a bad one and I will never use it.
If you open the camera mode the camera will autofocus on the elements in the frame. Autofocus can be good enough in many cases, but it is better to manually set the focus point. It gives you more control of your shot and reduces the chance that your subject will be blurry (out of focus).
Most people interested in making cat pictures with their smartphone will probably have found the focus feature of their smartphone by now. Nevertheless I regularly meet people who still haven’t realised there is a focusing feature on their smartphone.
For the IPhone you need tap on the screen to focus.
Good composition is the basis for great photography. If you want to change the composition and you have already tapped the screen to set your focus point, your smartphone will detect a change in the frame. It will go back to autofocus mode.
I usually first make the composition and then tap the screen to choose the focus point. But there is another way:
Tap and hold on the screen where you like to focus, AE AF lock will appear on the screen, and when you recompose you will see your autofocus doesn’t activate and you don’t loose focus on your subject of your shot. If any background movement occurs it won’t affect where you are focusing.
TIP #3 – ALWAYS KEEP YOUR LENS CLEAN
The camera lens will pick up a lot of dust sitting in our bags or pockets. The dust will build up on the lens and will interfere with the focusing of your smartphone.
In addition it can also cause spots on the photograph. Make sure you use a soft cloth (the ones for cleaning glasses are ideal) to clean the lens and not to scratch it.
TIP #4 – AVOID USING THE DIGITAL ZOOM FEATURE
Please stay away from the zoom feature of your camera. When you use the digital zoom the pixels will become bigger and you will loose value and quality of the shot.
The bigger pixels will create a less sharp image.
The best way to zoom in is to use your feet and get closer to your subject (if this is possible of course)
I still see a lot of people using the zoom function nowadays. I think it is ok for a quick candid shot but for quality photographs this feature is a nono.
TIP #5- AVOID CAMERA SHAKE
Keep yourself and your hands as still as possible to reduce camera shake. The slightest movement of your camera can result in blurry images, especially in lower light situations. In lower light situations, the shutter speed will be automatically lower and the impact of camera shake is even bigger.
To make a picture, you best stand still, well balanced and hold your arms or elbows against your body to reduce possible movements of your arms. I don’t advice to stop breathing as a trick to stop movement, but rather breath and hold your breath a couple of seconds after breathing out. Then take the shot. A two-handed grip is best to stabilize your camera.
Practice shooting in different situations to determine what works best for you.
TIP #6- USE THE OBJECTS AROUND YOU TO STABILISE THE CAMERA
You can push the side or the bottom of the smartphone on a pole or surface as a horizontal or vertical support to better stabilize the smartphone and avoid camera movement. This will increase the sharpness of your pictures very much!
In most situations there is always a fixed element that can provide a good support for your smartphone. Make it a habit to look for a good stabilizing support it in every situation and the sharpness of your pictures will improve dramatically.
TIP #7- USE YOUR HEADPHONES AS A SHUTTER RELEASE
A lot of camera shake occurs when the camera shutter button is pressed using the screen. So how can we avoid it?
On an IPhone there are four possible ways to activate the shutter without touching the screen.
First, when you plug in your earphones you can use both of the volume buttons to trigger the camera to take a picture. The benefit is that you will remove the small camera movement that occurs while pushing the trigger on the screen. Using the headphone shutter button reduces the physical contact with the screen, which results in clearer pictures.
Secondly, you can use the countdown timer feature of your camera.
The next option I know is to use the Apple watch if you have one to trigger the shutter of your camera.
And finally the last method to activate the shutter is to press the volume buttons on the side of your camera as the trigger to take the shots.
TIP #8 – MAKE YOUR CAT PHOTOS IN WELL LIT AREAS
I mentioned above that the shutter speed of your IPhone is calculated automatically (if you are not using an App that has a manual mode).
This means that well lit situations will lead to higher shutter speeds of your smartphone. The higher shutter speed will make your photos sharper because the impact of camera movement will be dramatically lower at high shutter speeds.
The take away here is always take your cat pictures in well-lit situations: by day, close to windows or add more light in the room by putting on the lights. The latter will have an impact on the colour tone of your picture but that is not as bad as unsharp cat pictures.
TIP #9 – SHARPEN YOUR PICTURES WHEN EDITING
You can easily sharpen your pictures on any photo App installed on your smartphone. There are plenty of great photo Apps available for smartphones. I can recommend Snapseed and VSCO. You can also do some post-processing in the Instagram App.
In the Instagram App the editing functions ‘Structure” and ‘Sharpen’ contributes to sharpen your pictures. I must add to be careful not to overdo this, because your pictures become unpleasant to look at.
It remains impossible to un-blur a photograph that was too blurry in the first place. Post-processing is more an optimization tool than a correction of serious photography mistakes.
BECOME MORE POPULAR ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH SHARP CAT PHOTOS
Armed with these 9 easy and actionable tips, cat lovers can dramatically improve their cat photos by capturing sharp and engaging pictures with their smartphones!
I am convinced that these tips will help you, as they have helped me, to make better, clearer and more focused pictures of your cat with your smartphone. If you want people to enjoy and like your cat photos, then your cat pictures really need to be clear and sharp.
Your photographs will be much more likeable and engaging on social media. Your social media account, such as Instagram, will benefit of these better cat pictures. You will be able to better promote your fur ball and you will be more popular on social media.
Taking sharp cat photographs has to become your second nature from here on.
Download our Beginner’s Guide to Cat Photography
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