Miranda’s Arrow Attack

Pale blue banner with pale circuitry graphic

Friday is not a day we want to relive again, ever. It was the most traumatic day since Dash Kitten was killed.

Discovering Miranda

I heard a couple of cries early in the morning 5.30 a.m. but did not realise what it was until I went and checked outside. Miranda was hidden beneath a large tangled bush and when I moved it out of the way I realised she had a ‘stick’ near her shoulder. This stick turned out to be an arrow that had stuck in her body. I am not going to publish the photos the vet took of Miranda with the arrow in place but these have been sent to the press.

I shouted to Paul, “Get dressed, get the car out. We need to go to the After Hours Vet Now”

Between us we lifted Miranda from the foliage as gently as we could and carried her into the car and laid her on blankets. Then we were off like lightning to the emergency After Hours Vet. We telephoned ahead to let them know to expect us. No time to wash, we just threw on clothes and ran.

Image Credit © indexximagebank.com

The Emergency Vet

The vet staff were ready and whisked her into the back for an assessment and immediate urgent treatment. Miranda’s body temperature was dangerously low and she had lost a lot of blood so she was warmed up and given strong pain relief. We were told she would be going into surgery after her blood pressure increased and she would need a blood transfusion.

After this the vet, Dr Sally, came out and gave us her initial assessment. Miranda was touch and go. Arrow wound survival depends where the arrow goes in, what damage it does and if it can be removed safely. They would need to take x-rays (you can see one of them above). We nodded and tried to ask sensible questions.

tuxedo cat side profile
Arriving at the Vet

Cat Blood Transfusion.

This is a ‘did you know’ moment. Because we had no idea about this.

  • Miranda had a transfusion to replace her lost blood and it was donated by the vet’s dog. Yes, you read that right – dog blood can replace cat blood for transfusions.
  • Dog blood lasts longer. Cat blood only lasts two days! It does not keep.
  • Miranda (and every cat) can only have ONE dog blood transfusion because of antibody build up.

We were told to go home and come back at After Hours closing time (9 a.m.) to collect Miranda for transfer to our own local vet. The After Hours surgery works overnight, not during the day and we were happy to transfer her to our vet as he is a real cat man.

We arrived to find that Miranda had come through her surgery successfully and Dr Sally explained the surgery they had performed as well as showing us an x-ray of the arrow in place which had been taken after Miranda was anaesthetised. Our blood ran cold.

The arrow had entered in front of her shoulder, travelled along damaging her shoulder blade (scapula) and clipping off the tops of some of the bones on top of her spine. She had been unbelievably lucky and the vet had been able to take the arrow out safely.

  • We took the arrow with us to report to the police. I am not sure they would be able to do anything but we needed Miranda’s attack to be on the police records.
Tuxedo wrapped in blankets with wound on neck.
Entry wound on Miranda’s neck.

Taking Miranda To Our Vet

Miranda was transported to our own vets and placed in the kitten incubator. Dr Alix said she would be resting at a cosy C28/F82 and they would monitor her throughout the day before deciding if she needed to stay overnight.

Thankfully after a very long and traumatic day we were able to collect Miranda to bring her home at 6.30 p.m. The vet surgery believed she was strong enough to cope with cage rest at home. She has strong pain killers to be administered twice a day.

Miranda had been shaved while at the After Hours surgery. She looks dramatically ‘punky’ from her front shoulder across her back, dramatically different from our tuxedo girl’s usual confident and sleek black and white self. On the positive side, we saw her first sign of recovery when she hissed at Toulouse as he passed her crate. (Toulouse teases her when they are out in the garden and she hadn’t forgotten!)

Cat licking her lips. looking to the right.
On the road to recovery.

Miranda at Home

While we waited for Miranda to be out of surgery I informed my local lost and found pets group on Facebook. I gave a general area of the attack’s location to warn as many people as possible. I wanted everyone to know that pets were at risk after dark. It was at this point a neighbour told me their beloved cat had been found dead some time before. So, this was not the first attack, and I have a good idea of the direction the killers came from so I will be contacting the relevant people over the coming days.

I am also updating the After Hours vets about Miranda’s progress as dealing with the event must have been as traumatic for them as it was for us. I was able to tell them that alongside her pain relief she had managed to eat a portion of smoked salmon this morning. We also think that she seems to be planning her first escape from her crate.

Everyone here knows how amazing their vets are when put to the test. We are deeply grateful to Dr Sally and Sam at the After Hours Vets, and Dr Alix and the staff at Valley Cottage Vets here in Stokes Valley.

I want to end on a positive note. Miranda is home, and on the road to recovery. She will get the best of care and the insurance (thankfully) covers a portion of the large bill. Here is our girl in her summer prime.

Tuxedo cat looking to the right

A Quick TwoFer

Black cat on a pale blue background, looking to our left

It is not very often I get the chance to grab an ussie with two of the Dash Kitten Crew cats but today you have a special quick ‘twofer’ of Teddy (front) and Thomas. The linkytools display is not working right now!

Two tuxedo cats looking at the camera

The spring gales are hitting New Zealand at the moment and Teddy dislikes the sound of the winds. He’s also afraid of thunder so he has learned to come through to the bedroom and ask for a helpful snuggle (yes, at 4 a.m.)

This morning Thomas wanted in on the snuggle as well so you get the pair of them together.

They are the cutest pair!

The Cutest Scritch Scratch Capture

Camera outline on a plain background

I have to share this lucky capture of our neighbour Taz! A scritch scratch from cat dad Paul brings out a purr of kitty pleasure from our friend. It certainly makes me smile.

The weather has been unseasonably warm here this weekend and we were able to sit out on the front deck weeks ahead of when we usually start doing so.

Also, the builders were not working across the back fence on Saturday so we made the most of the quiet time. Of course I took my camera out as well as a glass of wine and a good book. This may not be the purrfect cat capture but it gets a cute and sleepy look.

black cat having his head scratched
‘The Scritch’ – ISO 200 55 mm f 4 1/200

I also need to confess the day was not an entirely idle one of sitting in the sun. We worked in the garden and cleared some of the raised beds with a bit of help from the cats before they decided it was too warm and they went to nap in the shade.

Hutt Valley View

On Friday we had to take our car to a specialist mender in another suburb. We went for a walk around Naenae suburb while they took a look to see what work needed doing. As it was a chance to see a new part of the Hutt Valley I took my camera along too.

Paul commented that this is an excellent view of the Hutt Valley where we live. The flat and fertile lowland greenery of gardens and playing fields contrasts with the sweeping valley sides; much of which is filled with houses as some people pay a fortune for a view (but sometimes not so much garden).

Landscape view of the Hutt Valley from Naenae

Ten Years Ago Today

Banner for Cat Photography Posts (Dark)

On the 6th of September 2013 Dash Kitten was killed by dogs in his own back garden. Life has not been the same since and a lot of the lustre disappeared from our lives and home. This post is a tribute and a thank you to all the friends who supported us all after I lost my muse and greatest gift.

We were so stunned that a friend had to point out to me that the great Sockington himself had tweeted about Dash’s loss. The tweet went around the world. To be noted by a cat who was renowned himself before cat influencers became a ‘thing’ was a huge tribute to Dash. We were so proud and it remains a stunning tribute.

Friends Felix and Jasper (who do not blog anymore) gave Dash a Best Friend Award which made us smile so much. They were kind cats and good friends, thank you boys.

Our friend Puppy Number 7 on Twitter send us some beautiful memorial cards that still sit by my computer where I look at them daily for inspiration. Thomas himself is now a Bridge resident and his vibrant personality is missed.

A group of friends under the supervision of Newt the Cat created a wonderful blanket that still comforts us today. So much skill, care and love, especially by Newt’s Mum Lise who joined the squares together.

Dash Kitten Memorial Blanket Newt The Cat
Thankful Thursday Graphic at Dash Kitten

Best of all our friend NikePurrfektCat quietly arranged a memorial collection for Dash Kitten and raised $600 for a local cat rescue in his honour. A stunning tribute to a cat who threw himself into fundraising and helping others when Twitter had amazing parties to help the less fortunate members of our cat community, which included Bootsie, left in a trailer park with chronic ear issues – saved thanks to fundraising after Brian Frum alerted the world to his plight.

Dash Kitten in Beret #wlf

Friends worldwide created memorial graphics for Dash and we finish our post with a slideshow of these lovely tributes.

  • Dash Kitten Cream Coloured Cat Photograph 3/4 length
    Dash Kitten Portrait
  • Dash Kitten Memorial Image
  • Angel Dash Kitten Memorial Image 1
  • Dash Kitten Memorial Image Love
  • Dash Kitten Memorial Image 6
  • Dash Kitten Memorial Image 5
  • Dash Kitten Memorial Image 1
  • Dash Kitten Memorial Image 2
  • Meow Out From Sockington
    @Sockington not an award but much treasured as it commemorated Dash and means a huge amount to us.
  • Dash Kitten Memorial Nikau Palm 2013
  • Dash Kitten Blog Founder Cat
    Dash Kitten

Revisiting ‘In the Nip of Time’

black and white cat jumping on a blue background

Back in 2015 Savannah the Cat, Nissy from Nerissa’s Life and Silver from the Dash Kitten Crew got together and collaborated on a three part adventure.

The project involved much discussion on Facebook Messenger, exchange of information and the creation of special images for the story ‘In the Nip of Time’. I want to share the special story again as it was such a joy to create and so much fun.

Teamwork discussions, laughter and fun all played a part so I know you will love to read the work of three bloggers having fun. There was a giveaway, and there are links on the other parts of the story for Savannah and our late much-missed friend Nerissa whose blog has been continued to the impish Seville.

We are an official Amazon affiliate which costs you nothing but allows us to donate to our US rescue Place for Cats since Amazon Smile has been removed..

Collaboration Is Creative

Getting together with friends who have blogs to create stories, or collages is a great way to add enjoyment to your blog and a lot of fun. We know our friends the Kitties Blue and Friends Furever are having the best fun every week with magical stories.

In the Nip of Time Part One

Savannah the Cat plots to boost Seville’s sales after a recent book launch (2015). There are toasters that send messages and catnip paper!

Rescued the Cat Book

In the Nip of Time Part Two

Silver from the Dash Kitten Crew is hard at work plotting a break-in at Fitcat the publishing home of the recent Rescued book a collection of dramatic and touching rescue stories that includes some familiar faces. A break-in – isn’t that illegal?

Rescued the Cat Book

In the Nip of Time Part Three

Nissy of Nerissa’s Life faces problems with their paper caper at the publishing house Fitcat. Will he think his way around the rolls of paper before ‘Rescued’ is published?

Dash Kitten Silver Kitten the Business Cat

Is Collaboration Fun?

You bet it is, and if you have an idea it might be worth approaching a few colleagues to see if you can create your own fun adventure or story. Don’t give yourself too tight a deadline, gather your images and have some fun!

'Rescued' from Great Plains Rescue
Image used with permission of A Tonk’s Tail ©

The Character of a Cat #Portfolio

Shadowy cat on blue background

This week I want to present a selection of images that show Toulouse growing from newbie family member with his first portrait, to his recent balancing excursions as a ‘character of a cat’ series.

The first photograph was taken on his very first day with us. He is sat in a window ledge and (if you look closely) you can see that the window is slightly open on a catch. Toulouse was curious about outside but didn’t venture out of the cat flap for 18 months.

Cat in a car looking out of the window. Back of a man's head.
Look closely and you can see Toulouse looking forward.
Tabby cat looking out of a window
Toulouse the Tabby First Day at Home.

Cat Posing Expert

It did not take Toulouse long to decide that Marjorie with her camera was something he could ignore. This meant that he spent more time looking elsewhere than at me as I focused me new telephoto lens on him!

Toulouse Portrait with Telephoto Lens a character cat
Showing off his Bokeh Background.

The ability to zoom in from a distance means I begn to learn to capture bette shots of Toulouse further away, like this first peep between two branches of a small tree. He is definitely showing his character cat credentials.

Junior Tabby Cat Toulouse climbs a tree on an adventure
Not perfect but high up and the ‘whut’? look.

As you can see from the last photograph, I got a bit better and Toulouse didn’t hide away quite so much.

Outdoor Tabby Cat Pleasures

This trio show Toulouse’s increasing confidence as he ventured outside for some summer sun, where he made friends with his neighbour Wyatt and played with brofur Thomas, a tuxedo who is the master of quiet mischief. He loves to come sneaking up on Toulouse so they both to tumbling wildly across the grass.

Autumn Cat Posing for Blog
Tabby cat in motion. Stalking his friend Wyatt.
Two cats crouch by a fence
Wyatt and Toulouse playing.
Two cats tumbling in the grass
‘Action’ Tumbling tabby (Toulouse) and tuxedo (Thomas).

Thankfully no harm is ever done and Toulouse can stalk away with his dignity and young man-cat pride intact. This portrait of him striding confidently down the path is one of my favourites. I focused on his face, withsoftly focused grass behind him and a determined look on his tabby face and a splendid show of whiskers.

Striding Tabby Cat Walks towards Camera
Striding Confident Tabby Character

Up To Date Toulouse

I finish with recent portraits of our now ‘so grown up’ tabby. He still plays like a kitten but has gained confidence and often visits our neighbour (Wyatt’s mum and dad) claiming he has not been fed for days, (and days and weeks!) and is very hard done by.

As we are usually still alseep with this happens (!) we can hardly be accused of neglect and Wyatt’s mum laughs at his antics. We try to reciprocate by offering Wyatt a bowl of our Royal Canin ‘Exigient’ which is the Dash Kitten Crew’s all-time favourite snack. He accepts our treat graciously.

Tabby cat walking across grass looking to our right
Perfect Tabby Portrait.
Tbby cat looking dwon from a high point in a tree,surrounded by green leaves.
Tongue Out Tuesday and Up-A-Tree-Thursday combo!

This is a lovely collection that shows the character of a cat called Toulouse. Mischief maker, cheeky tree climber and handsome tabby.

Have you ever done a set or series of cat portraits that capture your cat’s personality? Were you pleased with the result? Or, is this something you would like to try from the digital cat photographs you have saved? Remember you can crop, and edit your cat photographs to make them brighter if you think they will look a bit better.


Bonham of our friends and lovely regular colleagues in the selfies the Lone Star Cats passed suddenly this week, with no indication of ill health. Needless to say he leaves behind a family heartbroken by his abrupt departure and there are dozens of grief-filled comments on this blog post.

Portrait of a Tree Climber Cat #Short

Blue background and image of a camera on the right-hand side.

Ever had a day when every cat photo you take is a total disaster? That was my thought when I downloaded the captures of our tree climber cat Toulouse! The downloads looked like black ink – terrible. How could I put them right? Let me tell you.

Don’t be in a Hurry

I was, but to be fair, I had to act quickly as Toulouse almost seemed to fly up the tree like he had wings. I grabbed my DSLR for a chance of some potentially cute, fun shots! But this happened…..

ISO 400 100 mm f5 1/1000

As you can see from the first capture, the cat and the tree are almost impossible to see. But, as I had shot the photos in Camera Raw I hoped I might be able to rescue some of them when I downloaded the photos to my computer.

It is important to get the exposure within at least one stop of the ‘correct’ in-camera exposure. This is because if an image is overexposed the highlights ‘blowout’ and the detail cannot be rescued. [The same applies to under exposure – detail is lost]

Digital Camera

Why Camera Raw Saved the Day

If you look at the quote from Digital Camera, this is why my photographs were under exposed. I was more than one stop away from a good or correct exposure setting. Thank heavens for Camera RAW when I totally fluff the settings on my Canon!

RAW saves each cat photograph as data, not as an image. You can imagine it looking a little bit like computer printouts full of figures you can’t figure out. Shooting this way means I was able, this time, to adjust the images in Affinity Photo afterwards.

TIP: The one thing RAW cannot do is take photographs using Continuous or Burst mode because there is so much data being processed the camera ‘trips over its own feet’ and stops taking photos.

Check out cheeky Toulouse

Tabby cat looking down from a branch through leaves
ISO 400 100 mm f5 1/1000 (Edited)

To rescue this cat photo from blackness I had to:

  • Increase the brightness substantially.
  • Sharpen the clarity of the cat photo a lot.
  • But, I realised that the editing was worth it.

Look what Toulouse was doing! Not only is he surrounded by gorgeous dappled leaves, he is sticking out his tongue!

I was able to take a lot of photos but only a couple are worth sharing. I also want to share this second cat photo because it shows a cat’s intensity as it navigates along a branch using all its tree climbing skills. I had half my attention of focusing the camera and half ready to catch him if he fell.

Again, I had to edit like a crazy person as the original was sooty black but, with adjustments to exposure and sharpness a rather fun and dramatic image appeared.

Tabby cat looking down from a branch through leaves
ISO 400 100 mm f5 1/1000 (Edited)

Why were the photos so dark?

I had left my camera set to Shutter Priority after practising some movement shots of Toulouse the previous day.

Of course, I didn’t check to see if I had my favourite Aperture Priority on which might have helped. If I use Shutter Priority I find I need to bump up my ISO to 400 or even 800 for a decent cat photo, whether it is a tree climber or not.

Mr Puddy Worldwide Blogger

Blue banner with Dash Kitten logo and blue paw prints

I had a post ready to go for the selfies but I have set it aside. I heard the news this morning that our long time friend and cat blogging colleague Mr Puddy has crossed the Bridge.

We are saddened and upset. Puddy was one of our first features on Dash Kitten’s blog and in his honour I am republishing his lovely interview which still makes me smile. He has been part of our life for so long, losing him is a sad moment for so many in the cat blogging community.

Rest in Peace beloved friend. 

Welcome to our interview with worldwide pet blogger Mr Puddy who recently moved to an amazing new home! We have been following his trip and arrival in his new, and rather different, home. This must be one of our most exotic locations yet, so let’s meet the long-haired tuxedo star!

Mr Puddy rolling in the grass

Where in the world are you?

I’m Mr. Puddy, an original handsome Aussie cat. I Lived in Melbourne, Australia for 7 years. Me got a lovely home, Pawsome backyard, huge territory and great neighbours. And then…… my pawrents are sneaky! They packed their luggages and ME! … POOF! … We disappeared from Australia. Seriously!!!  My cat friend, Smudge who lives next door didn’t even know Now, Me, MR. Puddy lives in Bangkok, Thailand. * shakes headDo anyone here used to be kidnapped by your own pawrents?

Mr Puddy

What I can tell you about Bangkok… It is HOT and da Hot boy like me…. licks paw (Wow Mr Puddy!)

What is your favourite part of running your blog?

Best part of running my blog is… we all kitties got to share everything to each other like endless.. Like.. loving, caring, learning, helping, laughing, crying, information about how to train the human * grin * and blar..blar..blar… Oh and we are on Facebook if you need us! 

But the most impawtant is… we all turn to be da pawsome friends to each others  =^x^=

Mt Puddy

What kind of readership have you discovered enjoys your blog?

Most of the kitties, Crazy cat ladies and Human who want to be the cat ..tee..heh

What are the joys and challenges of International Worldwide Pet Blogging?

I think we all are world-wide Kitty bloggers and we got massive meow networking! 

The challenges? How we kitties can keep the secret from our human? It’s no way we can read or write. Sure, we kitties still depend on our human to do this kind of stuff so we kitty bloggers need to help each other by commenting. To back up catitude, and the secrets stay with us, CATS!


Mr Puddy

Capturing Cats: A Photography Project Collection

banner of blue and grey stripes

If you are a beginner cat photographer and looking for fun projects to improve your skills, you are in the right place. I have created a fun photography project collection that you can try. I began them a couple of years ago but they have been helpfully revised for you to enjoy in one place today.

These projects are designed to inspire you to explore new or different techniques while capturing your cat’s looks and peersonality. It doesn’t matter if you are using a professional DSLR or Mirrorless canera, or your favourite smartphone, I know that these projects will help you boost your photography confidence to create fantastic and artistic cat portraits.

You do not need to be a professional to succeed in taking great cat photographs with this photography project collection

The choice of project, and the time you take is up to you. Your cat will be the perfect model whichever project you start with. I am a cat photographer and you can be one too!

How to Create a Fun Cat Photo

A fun challenge for beginners using their cameras. How to create your own cat portrait and do it well. There are lots of easy photo suggestions and tips bundled together to make a fun challenge for you and your cat.

Nothing says ‘I am a Cat and Proud’ more than a cool portrait you took yourself. I help you find a good place to start, tell you how I took my own cat photographs (it might help) and how to try out taking an abstract cat photo. This works really well if you have an uncooperative meowdel you are trying to capture in a successful portrait.

A Tabby Cat on profile with a soft focus background in this photography project collection
Toulouse – DSLR portrait with bokeh

Creative Fantasy Filters Photos With Cats

You will have some fun with your cats and your camera and you don’t need expensive new equipment to do it. Compacts and DSLRs are welcome in this camera projectm and I spotlight some great ideas for smartphones too. You may need to download your photos to a computer or tablet via a cable, card or wifi to work at a bigger scale, if you want to, but this is also a fun smartphone project with inspiring ideas.

  • Filters in smartphone apps get better and better all the time, so explore some fun apps after you check out this post.
Smartphone photograph filter app changes a photograph into a drawing
Toulouse with a smartphone filter

Create Stunning Bokeh

What is bokeh? It is the lovely softness or blur that you can create, or add with a filter, to allow your cat’s face and figure to stand out from the background. It is one of the favourite photography effects every DSLR user enjoys. The effect is different from ‘soft focus’ which gives the whole photo a hazy blur. Wikipedia describes bokeh as “the quality of the blur produced in out-of-focus parts of an image”.

The effect can be replicated by a compact or smartphone camera so it is within the grasp of every camera user. Enjoy the photo tips!

Portrait photograph of a tabby cat
Dot Kitten

Create A Fun Free Collage

One of the favourites in the photography project collection! There are lots of versatile apps that can help you create a collage so I went with the free version on Canva which will allow you to make something the size of a greetings card or a poster with just one template. This is aimed at the absolute beginner with few ideas about what to do and where to start, so give it a try.

My theme was Christmas for this post but the free backgrounds and decorations give you lots of scope to be creative. I included a short how-to video too.

A cat collage with a blue bokeh background

I hope you find a project you will try in this week’s post. If you have sany questions email me at thecrew AT dashkitten DOT com or comment below the post.

Video Basics for Cat Moviemakers

Blue banner showing a hand holding a smartphone, with a cat tapping the had.

If you’re a pet lover or a blogger looking to capture the best cat or dog videos you can, but you don’t know where to start with pet video, let me help. I have compiled a selection of video tips and tricks to help you build your moviemaking confidence, in your own time and at your own pace. If you get stuck, please comment under the video, I am happy to help.

We are an official Amazon affiliate which costs you nothing but allows us to donate to our US rescue Place for Cats since Amazon Smile has been removed..

I am including my own videos that have been shot with a smartphone and edited in both iMovie (free) and Screenflow (paid) software to show you that video making is not intimidating. I know that if I can do it, you can too and have a lot of fun.

I have lots of tips to share so let’s get started.

Whether you’re shooting videos of cats or a product for a sponsor, this helpful advice is applicable to all aspiring pet movie-makers.

Starter Smartphone Movie Tips

Smartphone film making basics are easy to learn. I look at everything from the beginner’s perspective because I was a beginner once and I love sharing the tips that will be short-cuts to your skill building journey.

To get better faster, adopt the attitude of a good film director from the start. Learn your smartphone’s tools and make good use of them to crop, add captions, edit video clips and add suitable. After all even Stephen Spielberg had to start somewhere and I believe he would have loved making smartphone movies!

Kitten tapping on a computer while owner edits

Be Patient as You Learn

The first and most important thing for your smartphone filmmaking kit is patience. A cat stalks its prey patiently, you study your smartphone apps in the same way. Research has shown that you can learn anything at any age and it takes the same amount of time. [Real science that, not senior cat wisdom!]

While you think kid’s pick things up super fast, they aren’t tech wizards. They simply apply themselves and work and work at it until they can use technology. Turn your smartphone on, find the movie-making app – and learn all you can.

Mobile movie making is something we can all do.

How to Make a Video On Your Phone

Even as a newbie you can achieve a high level of video excellence when you make a short movie with a smartphone. Smartphone video production is not scary, you just take it step by step! If you feel uncertain and want more security try a tripod like Joby. Their smartphone tripod is small and very portable.

Remember that when you start movie making, your first short films may be for your own pleasure, or sharing with family and friends. With a relaxed pet movie there is no pressure, just the pleasure of showing off your pet as you learn to frame shots, judge sound and keep your smartphone camera steady! You might want to show off a new kitten and make people laugh or showcase a foster to help with adoption.

This short video for Beloved Pet cat steps is the result of a bit of practice and cat fun. It combines stills and video clips from a smartphone which were planned in advance. I had an idea of what I wanted; a simple video showing our favourite cat stairs in action – with cat models. It is a supplement to a product post that was not sponsored the cats just love the steps.

How to Hold Smartphones for Video Recording

There should be a plenty of tips about holding your phone, its ‘orientation’ for different types of movie making.  If you need a couple of examples, we shot our Duckling movie by holding our phone upright (portrait mode). We turned our smartphone horizontally (landscape mode) in our fun Tabcat movie!

TIP Many popular smartphone video recording apps including Instagram and Facebook allow you to hold your phone in the portrait position.

Beginner Smartphone Movie Tips
Portrait (upright) is now a popular format.

Unsteady Smartphone Clips

Everyone wobbles, so don’t sweat the small stuff! It happens. What you can do is avoid too much distracting shake video with this simple idea. 

  1. Brace yourself against a wall, 
  2. A doorway, or 
  3. The back of a chair.  

A little movement isn’t so bad, it shows you are really there. Point your ‘phone at your cat(s) and start practising. Don’t let something small like worry about a wobble stop you from making cat movies, and you don’t need a fancy smartphone outfit like influencers use! One suggestion I do have is a Joby Gorillapod. I am getting one for when I start presenting to camera, they are so versatile and lightweight.

20% Discount on full online catalogue Coupon: JOBY20WG

Good Light Makes For Good Video

Smartphones are called smart for a reason, the quality of your images will be great and with new improved ‘phones the quality can be amazing. Practice shooting outside in natural light. If it’s an indoor pet movie, try working inside near a window or on a bright day. Bright doesn’t men sunshine, it means a diffused light you are comfortable in.

Many smartphones now have an exposure lock. Let’s see how this can help. An iPhone or Android will automatically focus and check the exposure of your image. This is a big help for a quick still shot but when you are recording one person, or a pet it might make your clips look jerky so turn on the autofocus. Here’s the iPhone how-to:

  • Lightly press your iPhone screen
  • The words AE/AF LOCK and a yellow square will appear (they remain on the screen)
  • Shoot your movie clips
  • Lightly press the screen again to clear the autofocus from the iPhone

ANDROID EXPOSURE LOCK: Tap on the area of the screen where you want to focus. This will cause the camera to adjust the focus and exposure to that point. Once you’ve got the focus and exposure set to your liking, press and hold the screen with your finger. This will lock the focus and exposure in place.

Quora Question

Sound in Your Smart Movie

To get clear and clean audio, even as a beginner, you need to either have the smartphone close enough to record your pet or person clearly or, invest in a portable microphone. You will find plenty of deals online, don’t just look at Amazon.

A smartphone user who has busy stretches of time offered me a tip. If you don’t want to be interrupted while you are shooting video see if you can turn of ‘airplane mode’.

Aeroplane modeaeroplane modeflight mode, offline mode, or standalone mode is a setting available on many smartphones, portable computers, and other electronic devices that, when activated, suspends radio-frequency signal transmission by the device, thereby disabling Bluetooth, telephony, and Wi-Fi – Wikipedia

Editing On Your Smartphone

Take your time when you are learning to edit your movie. Words like cutting and trimming are used when people refer to smartphone movie editing as well as editing on a computer. I recommend downloading your first clips to a computer and editing using a larger screen although this is not essential. Use the software that comes with your computer like iMovie or the Windows equivalent and get the feel for editing.. 

If you are on the move and want to edit using your ‘phone screen, take time to familiarise yourself with your smartphone’s software functions and any limitations before you start working. It will take away a lot of the stress if you can create a short impression of a pet show or a cat doing agility trials using software you are familiar with.

Practice Video Skills

No one learns to drive a car in five minutes, and no-one becomes a good movie maker that quickly either. My best tip is to sit down with your smartphone (any type, any price bracket) and focus in getting to know what it does. Take a video of your cat’s paw in closeup, learn to zoom in on whiskers, point your smartphone outside, inside, upside down. Shoot a cat in motion, or sit them beside a product you are doing a sponsored post for.

Practice = confidence, even for a novice movie maker.

Check my other video posts in the links at the bottom and boost your own video skills. Once you practice a little and learn a little, you will take bigger and bigger steps towards video confidence.

Video Skills For Pet Lovers – Top Tips Links

If you only have a smartphone, this is great for movie making. We used a combination of iPhone6 and GoPro for these videos! So check up on what skills you need and jump in pet people!

Popular videos that hit the spot may not be perfect but they have one thing in common, they tell a story. We need the basic storytelling skills and then we can fly. Read on to find out how.

As films shot on smartphones are a huge part of social media for personal stories and rescues, let us help you with that right now. Take it step by step with us. We hope we can encourage everyone who loves their own cats to make a movie and have some fun. Let’s have some pocket movie fun!

How We Used Our Video Skills – Inspiration

Other video making skill builders:

You cannot copy content of this page or use it to teach AI. © Marjorie Dawson © Dash Kitten
Verified by ExactMetrics