iPhone storage full? Too many cat photos! Tips.

Here is a funny cat meme pic from I can haz cheeseburger. Remember that website? It was big once when pictures of cats was big too. That was in around 2008. The site is still going. The pics look a bit tired nowadays but this one struck a chord with me as we do like to take pics of our cats.

iPhone storage full because there are too many cat pics on it
iPhone storage full because there are too many cat pics on it. Pic: social media and in the public domain.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

It would be nice to do a survey of the genre of photos on smartphones. I think we’d see the domestic cat dominate many phones. For me the most photographed subject is my cat.

Here are some reasons why cats are photographed so often:

  • Family: They are part of the family. When you photograph your cat companion you are photographing a member of the family and creating memories which you can bring up in the future and smile.
  • Smile: Cats make you smile. They can look goofy.
  • Goofy: We sometimes dress them in goofy costumes. More smiles. They can look goofy sometimes without costumes.
  • Beauty: The cat is a beautiful animal: perfect predator (getting serious now). Perfect shape for a ground-living animal.
  • Ever-present: The cat is our companion and always there for us. They are ever-present and therefore always ready to be photographed.
  • Athletic: Cats are amazingly athletic. They can do things humans can’t. They impress us. They make us take a pic when they do some amazing things.
  • Great subject: The cat pic has dominated social media for getting on for 2 decades. The cat is a great social media subject both in still image and video.
  • Glamour: Internet users are still fascinated with some glamorous purebred cats. They are particularly photogenic and their pictures find their way onto social media bigtime.
  • Size: People are fascinated with size. The Maine Coon can be big. This breed is one of the most photographed of all cat breeds but they have to be big to feature. They often are.
  • Memes: Many memes were created around the domestic cat. A meme is: an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users, often with slight variations. These were and are ‘funny cat pics’. They still feature but they’ve faded in popularity. They had a long life though.
  • Enduring: Perhaps cat pics are the most enduring of all genre of cat photography published on the internet. ‘Pictures of cats’ was the most searched for item on Google for many years.
  • Cuteness: This is a big one. Cats are widely considered to be adorable creatures, from fluffy kittens to majestic Maine Coons. Their big eyes, playful antics, and soft fur trigger feelings of affection and amusement in many people.
  • Stress relief: Studies have shown that looking at pictures and videos of cats can actually lower stress levels and improve mood. This makes them perfect for a quick break during a busy workday or a way to unwind after a long day.
  • Humor: Cats can get into all sorts of funny situations, and their unpredictable nature is a source of endless entertainment. This is a goldmine for creating memes and funny captions that spread quickly across social media.
  • Relatability: People can project their own emotions and personalities onto cats. Their independent streak and curious nature resonate with many internet users.
  • Shareability: Cat photos and videos are easy to share and don’t require a lot of explanation. They provide a universally understood source of amusement or relaxation that transcends language and cultural barriers.
  • Historical Context: Cats have been shared via email since the internet’s rise in the 1990s. The first cat video on YouTube was uploaded in 2005, and since then, cats have become an essential part of online culture.
  • Uniqueness and Quirkiness: Individual cats like Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub achieved online fame due to their unusual appearances and funny videos. Their distinctiveness captures our attention and makes them memorable.
  • Positive Emotions: Research suggests that viewing online cat media is related to positive emotions. Some even consider it a form of digital therapy or stress relief. Additionally, feelings of guilt when postponing tasks can be reduced by viewing cat content.
  • Instant Gratification: Cats provide a quick pick-me-up on a sad day. Their cute and often humorous antics change our mood rapidly, offering instant gratification.

How to reduce storage! Serious stuff

There are two main approaches to reducing photo storage on your smartphone: deleting photos and optimizing storage. Here’s a breakdown of both methods:

Deleting Photos:

  1. Review and Delete: This is the most straightforward approach. Go through your photos and videos and delete any that are blurry, out of focus, duplicates, or simply unwanted.
  2. Cloud Backup and Delete: Utilize cloud storage services like Google Photos or Apple’s iCloud Photo Library. These services back up your photos to the cloud, allowing you to delete them from your phone’s storage while still having access to them online. Make sure the photos are fully uploaded before deleting them from your phone.
  3. Manual transfer: Connect a portable hard drive to your laptop (USB normally). Connect your phone to the laptop (also USB normally). Access you phone photos on your laptop. Move the photos accross to the attached portable hard drive on your laptop. Disconnect both devices. Your phone’s photos will be on your portable hard drive. This should be a SSD.

Optimizing Storage:

  1. Resize Photos: Most photos taken on smartphones are much larger than what’s needed for social media sharing or viewing on the phone itself. There are apps like “Image Size” that allow you to resize photos to a smaller dimension without significant quality loss.
  2. Compress Photos: You can compress photos, reducing their file size. This reduces quality slightly, so find a balance between acceptable quality and storage savings.
  3. Use “High-efficiency” Mode (iPhone): iPhones have a setting for “High-efficiency” photos which use a more space-saving format while maintaining good quality.
  4. Auto-delete: Enable automatic deletion of photos and videos after they’ve been backed up to the cloud. This ensures you don’t have redundant copies on your phone.

Additional Tips:

  • Identify Storage Hogs: Use your phone’s storage menu to see which apps and files are taking up the most space. You may find large videos or forgotten downloads eating up storage.
  • Disable Live Photos (iPhone): Live Photos capture a short video clip along with the still image, using more storage. Consider disabling this feature if you don’t find it valuable.

By employing a combination of these methods, you can significantly reduce the amount of storage taken up by photos on your smartphone and keep snapping away!

Ken Flick using a cat tease to grab the attention of a Bombay cat in a studio session at a cat show
Ken Flick using a cat tease to grab the attention of a Bombay cat in a studio session at a cat show. Photo: MikeB using film. This is how it is done by a professional.

How to take good cat photos!

This is a big topic but I’ll summarize very briefly.

  • Two people: Best to have two people if possible – much easier. One is the ‘wrangler’ holding a cat tease to stimulate interest in your cat and to attract her attention which will last for about ten minutes max! The wrangler can also position the cat before teasing. You are looking for activity. No problems for a Bengal. Problems sometimes for the more static Persian.
  • Plain background: Try and find a location with a plain background.
  • Well lit: Try and chose a well lit site. Flashlight is fine but on-camera flashlight is not a good look unless it is a ringflash. Try that if you want to be serious about this. But ringflash will not work with a telephoto lens. Above all don’t use a wide angle lens as it will distort the face.
  • Slight telephoto: Use a slight telephoto lens to allow you to stand away from the cat and to create a better perspective and reduce distortion. If you are using your phone: zoom slightly. This also allows a cat to be feel more comfortable. A camera thrust into their face is offputting.
  • High shutter speed: Use a high shutter speed to freeze motion. Use your phone’s camera settings for this. It will require some input and avoid auto mode. I know this is troublesome but no choice I am afraid. You will have to adjust ISO (ASA) settings too in order to wllow for a hight shutter speed. The F-stop should be wide open or towards that end of the spectrum.
  • Choose a good time: Better to take the photos when she is normally active to ensure that she is animated. They key or the hard bit is to capture an animated shot.
  • Alert: I mean the photographer! You have to capture a fleeting moment. You have to be alert to this moment.

RELATED: Good cat photography can save lives

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