Monthly Archives

March 2012

Everyday, Up Close with Amanda Jasnowski

By | Artist Profile, Friends of Joby, Philosophy, Photography | One Comment

Ohio-based photographer Amanda Jasnowski shoots an inspiring mixture of film and digital photography. Her work has recently been featured by the Impossible Project and she is a contributor to Fixation Magazine. Also very active on Instagram, we caught up with Amanda to talk about her approach to iPhoneography, her inspirations and her tips for improving how we capture our everyday lives. Thanks Amanda for sharing your thoughts and photographs with us! 

First, tell us a little bit about your photographic journey. Where did you start? Where you are now?

My photographic journey began in high school (freshman year? somewhere around there!) and it began as something curious and tame. I liked the idea of being able to take a pretty photo and share it with others to see. It began as a form of expression, a way to deal with my angsty teenage heart. Although I still use it to express myself on a personal level, it’s grown and evolved into something much bigger now—something that has shaped my life. Now in my journey I feel like for the first time I have a level of work that I am confident in sending to places, showing proudly. I feel like it’s only uphill from here! The most exciting part is that I will continue growing as an artist, that growth is endless. Photography has consumed my life and not long ago I made the decision to stop denying the fact that this is something I want to do with my life. I still have so much to do and learn.

How do you approach your iPhone photography? What are you looking for when you’re composing a shot?  

My iPhone has grown to be my favorite point and shoot camera. It’s funny because I work in a camera shop and had been keeping my eye out for a good point and shoot camera, and although there are some good ones on the market, I realized that at the rate I use my iPhone I get more use out of it than any point and shoot camera I’d purchase. It’s always there, always ready. Not to mention, it fits in my pocket!

When I’m composing a shot, it’s either something already present and fleeting and so I quickly snag my phone to take a photo, or I pause and take a minute to look at what’s around me. I notice the placement of objects, people, the negative space. I notice the colors and the light and the shadows. I tend to see this way all of the time, as if I’m looking through a viewfinder composing an image, which can be frustrating and distracting at times. I’m always looking for interesting details, and how they look altogether as a whole.

What app do you shoot in? How do you edit your iPhone photography?

I shoot with the native camera app most of the time, and I normally edit in Instagram using their filters. Sometimes I use the Photoshop App to fix the brightness or straighten the image. I try to avoid over-editing; I feel it takes away from the pocket-camera-day-to-day aspect of my photography.

Your photographs beautifully capture the small moments that make up our everyday lives. What inspires you?

Everything in every day inspires me! I can’t remember the last time I went a whole day without seeing something or someone that struck me, inspired me. It’s never-ending! I think the honesty in documenting the personal, small moments in your day is one of my biggest inspirations. I enjoy interesting compositions, whether it’s balanced or not, minimalistic or full of negative space. I could go on forever with the things that draw my eye. I have always enjoyed the #fromwhereistand and #drivebyshooting hashtags on Instagram—both provide such interesting perspectives! I think most people overlook the views that are right in front of them so hastags like #fromwhereistand reinforce that there are interesting things all around us, all the time.

What photographers to do look for when you need inspiration or as references for improving your own technique?

It’s so hard to answer this question since there are so many artists out there and we have access to almost unlimited amounts of work. I created a blog to house things that inspire me  that I can share with folks when they ask me what artists inspire me. I draw inspiration from artists creating in all different mediums, not just photography. There is such a range in artists, all with unique perspectives, the inspiration never ends. Plus, there are so many insightful platforms that share the work of so many talented individuals; Booooooom, The Impossible Project’s blog, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr are just a few. However, I can confidently name off Duane Michals, Sally Mann, Vivian Maier and Tim Walker as never ending inspirations and masters. I really admire photographers who shoot large format and practice the collodion process.

If you could give one piece of advice to photographers looking to improve their photography, what would it be?

I think the most valuable advice I’ve found is to shoot often, and to take a minute to stop and notice the details around you. I think everyone can train their eyes to become more observant and then they’ll begin to see things differently—both of my suggestions reflect that belief. I read somewhere that communities like Instagram have helped people shoot more often, and they’ve found themselves observing details like light and shadows like they never had before! That to me is so exciting, knowing that people’s eyes and senses are being awoken, evolving.

To view more of Amanda’s photography visit her website or follow her on Instagram @hokaytokay. And for more frequent updates, outtakes and random tidbits, check out her blog.

 

Phone Photography Contest: Winners Announced!

By | Contests, Gorillamobile, iPhone, Photography | 14 Comments

First, we’d like to extend a huge “Thank You!” to everyone who participated in our contest! You thrill and inspire us, and also make our job a lot of fun!

We received over 300 entries to our Phone Photography Contest. We are absolutely blown away by the quality of the photographs and inspired by your creativity! It was incredibly difficult to choose our favorites and almost impossible to narrow it down to just three winners of a GorillaMobile for iPhone 4/4S. Over the past week, our judges debated, deliberated and fought for their favorites. Now for the winners!

GorillaMobile for iPhone 4/4S—the fabulous prize for our contest winners—takes in San Francisco

 

First Place: Human Rides by Piyasil Kalayanakoul

From the photographer: I took this image from a bus when I was in Vienna for leisure. The app I used is QuickPix with the burst snap.

Piyasil Kalayanakoul


Second Place: Trying to Beat the Ocean by Eelco Roos

From the photographer: I shot this with the native iPhone 4 camera app, used crossprocess app with the basic settings, over to snapseed app to adjust colors and contrast. Used the “selective adjust” function in snapseed to highlight the boy a bit.

Eelco Roos

Third Place: Critters by Ninotchka Beavers
From the photographer: Unplanned shot, as some of the best ones tend to be; kids were splashing in the inflatable pool on a hot summer day and playing with my collection of creepy animal masks.

Ninotchka Beavers

Honorable Mention: Aftermath—Tsunami Tohoku, Japan by Remo Camerota 
From the photographer: This photo was taken one year ago while I was in Tohoku, Japan just after the earthquake. This is what is left of Kesennuma train station, holding a Freighter 4km inland. Being armed with my phone camera I documented the devastation that went on as far as the eye could see. The feeling to be at ground zero is indescribable.
Honorable Mention: Cemetery by Chris Heath
Here are a few more images that inspired us.

Aleh Dabrynski

Alfarzhi Jainul

 

Amgad Makarem

 

Anna Kozyrina

 

Ashley Shack

Charlie Stephens

Federico Rojas

 

Federico Sardi

Francesco Zavattari

Geoff Yale

Hans Jorgen Lindeloff

Juan Ozuna

Kevin Hosford

Luis Mendoza

Lynne Fox

 

Marco Supini

 

Mark Erickson

Nicola Guida

Niels Guiller

Sid Pena

Spiro Bolos

Yep, there’s more! To view many more amazing photographs, check out the Phone Photography Contest Album on our Facebook Page.

Galileo: Your iOS in Motion

By | delightful design | 2 Comments

The founder of JOBY and original brain behind our famous GorillaPod has started a new venture—Motrr. JoeBen Bevirt along with JOBY Alum Josh Guyot have come up with a revolutionary new design that fuses robots, photography and your iPhone. It’s called Galileo.

The Galileo is a revolutionary, iOS-controlled robotic iPhone platform with infinite spherical rotation capability. Just swipe your finger on the screen of your iPad or other iOS device and Galileo reacts, orienting your iPhone or iPod Touch accordingly.  With applications in areas of photography, cinematography, social networking and video conferencing, Galileo gives iOS devices endless possibilities of remote-controlled motion. Capable of infinite 360° pan-and-tilt at speeds up to 200° per second in any orientation, Galileo is an invaluable tool to everyone from an amateur photographer to the professional cinematographer, and vastly improves the experience of video chat for anyone needing to stay connected.

 

 

If you’re interested in supporting the project, check out their Kickstarter campaign and get in on the ground level.

 

iPhone Portrait Studio on the Cheap!

By | Gorillamobile, Gorillapod, How To, Photography | 6 Comments

Kurt Manley is professional fine art photographer  based in San Francisco. He primarily shoots medium format color film in night environments, but you’ll also find him snapping away with his iPhone. 

Just like us here at JOBY, Kurt is all about creating amazing art with with little gear and limited resources. In this tutorial, Kurt shares how to shoot studio quality portraits without the studio set up. All you need is an iPhone, a clamp light, a GorillaPod and a few creative backdrop and diffuser materials and you’re in business! Thanks Kurt for sharing your portraits-on-the-cheap secrets with us! 

Joanna
For Joanna I wanted a low-key look and soft light. First, I draped a black table cloth over a door to use as a neutral backdrop. I then hung a thin, white bedsheet in front of the clamp light to act as a diffuser to soften the light. Placing the clamp light approximately 45 degrees camera left and about 12 inches higher than her eyes gave me the lighting I was looking for. I attached the clamp light to the GorillaPod and used the GorillaPod as a handle to maneuver the light while I snapped a few frames using Camera+—one of my favorite unintended uses for the tripod. To finish, I processed the image using the Black & White filter in Camera+. The whole portrait session took just 10 minutes.
Liz
For Liz’s portrait, I used the same bedsheet diffuser technique against a neutral white background as I used for Joanna’s portrait. The only difference was this time the clamp light was positioned camera right and approximately 16 inches above her eyes. I also angled her body away from the light, providing a more dramatic effect to the lighting on her face. I shot with Camera+ and edited the image with the Camera+ Silver Gelatin filter.
Carlos
For Carlos’ portrait, I tried to emulate a ringflash look. Using tinfoil, I first flagged center of the clamp light to produce a round light source. Then I used a GorillaPod to secure my iPhone in the center of the light so that the area completely surrounding the camera would be illuminated. I used a ladder to secure the clamp light and attached the GorillaPod to a C-stand, but a stool or back of a chair would work just as well. Because of the brightness of the light, I could not see the screen of the iPhone so I fired off a couple dozen shots and hoped for the best!  It took a few tries to get the composition right but it was fun to create something that I had never seen done with an iPhone before. I used Camera+ to shoot and processed with the Camera+ Low-Fi filter. The final effect is high contrast and high saturation—perfect for the fashion look this lighting technique suggests.
Michael
For Michael, I used the same ringflash technique as I did with Carlos’ portrait. Again, I shot against a neutral white background and then processed with Camera+ Ansel filter. The lighting and filter combination gives a harsh, high contrast look that I think works great with this particular shot where I caught him with his eyes closed. He looks like he’s transcending to a higher place.
Thanks Kurt for sharing your tips with us! If you’re interested in viewing more of Kurt’s work, visit him online.  Photos of Kurt in action by Carlos Arrieta. 
Update: For this tutorial, Kurt used a 2700k 23w compact flourescent bulb. He says that something in the 3000-3500k range would be good to try as well.

Sharing Your iPhoneography

By | Gorillamobile, How To, iPhone, Photography | One Comment

Now that you’ve taken all of these amazing photos with your iPhone, you’re going to need a way to share them with the world. We’ve compiled a short list of some of our favorite ways to share photos in the digital world and in the real world too!

In the digital world … 

Instagram: Like we’ve mentioned before, Instagram is an great way to share your photography and little snippets of your life with your family and friends. Plus, with the incredible community of photographers using the app, you’ll most likely make some new friends along the way.

Instagrid:  A nice online photo library of all your instagram photos that you can share with friends and family that don’t have an iPhone, plus you can check out the boards of other Instagrammers too.

Amazing iPhoneography and other Flickr photo groups dedicated to iPhone photography are also a great place to share your work and get inspired by others.

iPhonegraphy.com is great source for the freshest news in iPhone photography and also posts a weekly round up of iPhone Photos taken by their Flickr group Through the Lens of an iPhone. Share your photos for a chance to be featured or simply visit to get inspired.

And last but most certainly not least … US! Share you iPhoneography with JOBY on Facebook or on our website in the In the Wild section. We love seeing what our friends are up to!

Here are a few great ways to share your iPhoneography in the real world as well!

Postalpix: With Postalpix your favorite iPhone photos are delivered right to your door! They have a variety of sizes available, and you can even get your photo printed on an aluminum plate or a mousepad. Fancy!

 

Printstagram: Turn your Instagram photos into posters, stickers or a book. Keep them for yourself or share with friends. And all are between $10 – $25.

Postagram: Turn your photos into custom postcards to send to friends and family for just $0.99. Not a bad deal considering a stamp alone is $0.45.

Casetagram: For $34.95 you can create a custom iPhone case featuring all of your favorite photos. They have several layouts to choose from and an intuitive interface. It’s a lot of fun and you end up with a great personalized case!

 

 

Now get sharing! And maybe send your mom a postcard while you’re at it.

Almost Analog—iPhone Apps that Mimic Analog Effects

By | Gorillamobile, How To, iPhone, Photography | 6 Comments

I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t one of those people that gushes about the certain quality of analog photography—the warmth, the authenticity, the nostalgia. I’d also be a liar if I claimed to shoot more film than I do digital pictures. I love the look and feel of analog, but adore the ease of digital photography. Well, it turns out lots of other people feel the same way I do and those people know how to code. Here is a selection of some of our favorite almost-analog iPhone apps.

NoFinder ($0.99): Put all the guess work back into photography with this app. There is no preview, no focus and no flash. What fun! Plus, you can shoot in three different aspect ratios with a variety of different film types and lenses. NoFinder has quickly become my new favorite camera app. It just feels so gloriously Robert Frank.

ShakeItPhoto ($1.99): With this nifty app you take a photo and up pops a Polariod. You can even shake it to make it develop faster. Simple and totally satisfying.

Instagram (free): Multiple photo filters, plus a fabulous community of photographers. There is no reason not to love Instagram.

Incredibooth ($0.99, with additional booths for $0.99): It’s a photo booth right in your pocket! The app shoots four photos in quick succession and you end up with the classic photo booth film strip.

Hipstamatic ($1.99, plus additional film packs for $0.99): Yeah, yeah, Hispstamatic is old news. Regardless, it is still a fun app with lots of analog love to offer. You can swap film, lenses and flashes to get that perfectly imperfect look you’re after. I was really interested in this discussion about the role of photo apps like Hipstamatic in photojournalism, and how their effects impact the fidelity of the story the photos tell.

Photo 55 ($0.99): This app mimics Type 55 4×5 sheet film and produces a black and white  image with the iconic border of the original film. Another very simple but very neat one.

Dotti (free): It’s a disposable camera for your iPhone. Snap 12 photos to fill the roll and get real 4×6 prints delivered to your door for just $4.99 ($5.99 International). Don’t worry, the photos also save to your camera roll. You get the best of both worlds! Once you’ve snapped 12, Dotti loads up another roll.

What are your favorite analog-esque iPhone camera apps? Share your favorite apps and corresponding photos on our Facebook page or in the comments below.

 

Tips from a Pro: Iconic iPhone Self-Portraits

By | Friends of Joby, Gorillamobile, Gorillapod, iPhone, Photography | 3 Comments

This month on the JOBY Blog, we’re all about iPhoneography. We think phonography is totally rad—three cheers for creative expression on the go! Plus, nothing beats a lightweight and decent camera that you always have with you.  We put our heads together with some other phone photography experts to bring you tips and tricks, awesome apps, video tutorials, and maybe even a contest or two. Stay tuned!

JOBY Pro Team Member photographer/videographer Martin Reisch (aka *safesolvent) has been a GorillaPod-enthusiast for several years and is one of our biggest fans. Armed with a GorillaMobile for iPhone 4/4s, his unique iPhone self-portraits have become quite iconic. Recently, he was featured on the Instagram Blog and we cannot deny that he’s taking the digital photo world by storm.

Though Martin is Montreal-based, he has been traveling all over the US and Canada on a variety of photo and video projects. We’ve been following his travels on Instagram (@safesolvent) and Twitter and we caught up with him to chat about his unique approach to photography. To take part in iPhone Photo Month here at JOBY, he recorded video tutorials that illustrate how he uses the GorillaMobile for iPhone 4/4s in his iPhoneography.

How has the GorillaPod changed the way you shoot with your iPhone?

The GorillaPod has changed the way I shoot in so many ways it’s hard to really put it into a single context. It’s like the first time you take your camera off automatic mode and realize that you can trick it into exposing for one area and then shooting another. Gorillapod essentially removes the “I have to be holding it” part of the photo equation and yet adds this “ceilings and fences can be surfaces too” element. In fact, most of the time, I’m actually putting equal amounts of effort into finding interesting places to shoot as well as finding a place to put my Gorillapod. I’ll often see a potential spot that I can hang or grip my Gorillapod onto and THEN see what it gives through the camera. For most photographers, it is usually the other way around. It certainly opens up a lot of opportunity for uniqueness in my photography.

What is your best usage tip for the GorillaPod?

It’s maybe not the best tip, but certainly something I’ve learned from using it over the years (wow, it really has been a while I’ve been using em!).I’ve noticed that often you only need two legs to grip, you can use the third one to sort of give the stability by bending it into an angle and having the foot rest/push off to counter-stabilize.

 

 Aside from the GorillaPod, what are your favorite apps or tools for iPhone photography?

Clearly I’m a fan of Instagram, but i don’t consider it a tool because for me it’s more of a platform to share. I’m a huge fan of @taptaptap’s Camera+. It’s essentially the first thing I open when I’m shooting and also often the only app I use to edit. I have started to play with the Slow Shutter app for nighttime shooting and iI’m very impressed by Photoforge 2 app for masking and heavy duty, complex edits. But for the most part, I like a clean image with a bit of contrast boost and a little cross process filter both of which can be done in Camera+.

Your locations are always breathtaking. How do you find the locations for your photography? What location inspires you most?

I’ll be honest, it’s not usually THE location or A location that inspires; it’s really a combination of the music on my iPhone while I’m wandering around, the light and architecture of a place, and whether or not I’m in a rush. Actually, the time factor doesn’t change anything. If i’m in a rush, I’ll USUALLY be late because for some reason that’s always when all the other factors come in to play and just blow me away, like a lensflare from the sun hitting a building and reflecting onto the ground. People have started to comment that “*safe solvent™ time” is 15-20 minutes behind reality.


 I know I get camera-shy when I’m shooting in public places. What is your advice for the aspiring self-portrait photographer?

It’s the same advice I always receive when I tell people I can’t dance … Pretend like nobody is looking and nobody care. Though I still don’t take that advice in regards to dancing, I often pretend like nobody is around when I’m taking my self-portraits because I know how being self-consciousness affects the final shot. You can tell—even on a small iPhone screen—if someone is not in the moment.

We’ve noticed that in most of your portraits, you’re wearing headphones. What are you listening to when you shoot?

I can’t deny how big of a Ghostly  and Moodgadget fan I am. During the last year or two, I’ve been listening to A LOT of their releases and even had the chance to meet and work with a few of them. The best part is they are almost all also on Instagram! I really like including the music that I was listening to while shooting in my photo tag. For me, it’s as important as the GPS / Foursquare check-in data. When people look at my photos, they always ask, “Where the hell was that?”.  And the follow up question is usually, “What were you listening to?”.  Actually. the REAL number one question is,  “Aren’t you worried someone will steal your iPhone/Camera while you shoot those super far away self portraits?” I’ll save that answer for another time!

To view more of Martin’s photo and video work, visit his website. And be sure to follow @safesolvent on Instagram!

Tips from a Pro: iPhone Stop Motion + Timelapse

By | Friends of Joby, Gorillamobile, iPhone, Photography, time-lapse photography | 3 Comments

This month on the JOBY Blog, we’re all about iPhoneography. We think phonography is totally rad—three cheers for creative expression on the go! Plus, nothing beats a lightweight and decent camera that you always have with you.  We put our heads together with some other phone photography experts to bring you tips and tricks, awesome apps, video tutorials, and maybe even a contest or two. Stay tuned!

Cinematographer/Photographer Zach Settewongse is the creative mind behind COLORFULgrey, a video production company that specializes in commercials for television and web. His motto is “Live life, capture it”, which is something that JOBY can definitely get behind. A big fan of the GorillaPod for both personal and commercial work, Zach was also the winner of  JOBY’s Stop Motion Addict Contest from 2010. We’ve asked him to share his insights on creating stop motion and timelapse videos using the iPhone.

First, here is Zach’s award-winning stop motion video.

JOBY Frame X Frame contest: Zach Settewongse from COLORFULgrey Zach Settewongse on Vimeo.

Hi Zach, can you share a bit of what’s behind your stop motion video?

The video looks simple enough, but actually it took a lot more work than I originally thought. There was a ton of planning and staging of props. I started planning at 10am and finished at midnight. First, I looked at all my stuff lying around for ideas. Then I sketched out the sequence. Next I mounted the iPhone to the ceiling of my garage by the attic hatch so I could still see the screen with my head in the attic. Once I started the time lapse, I realized couldn’t do it alone. So I recruited my wife to help me and I started again. All the clothing and items were pre-staged just out of frame so I could get to them fast. Then I edited the video in Adobe Premier adding titles and sounds. Sorry for the cheesy music, I wanted to make sure I used open source (non-copyrighted) midi files.

What is your advice for folks who are interested in creating a stop motion video?

1.  Draw up a story board. Advance planning helps make your video seamless.
2. Secure your iPhone using a GorillaPod and take test photos to find the edge of the photo area. (You want to make sure the camera doesn’t shift during filming because that will ruin the stop motion effect).
3. Stage all of your props just outside of the photo area.
4. Set the camera to thirty second intervals in JOBY’s Frame X Frame App or recruit a friend to trigger the shutter.
5.  Editing! I used Adobe Premier to edit my video, but my best advice would be to keep your videos short—about 90 seconds or so.

JOBY Note:  If you’re planning to devote some serious time to your stop motion video, we also recommend you put your phone in airplane mode (Settings > Airplane Mode) and connect your phone to a power source. 

Another JOBY Note: Check out Photojojo’s Ultimate Guide to Timelapse Photography for a super detailed explanation of this whole process from set up through editing. 

 You’ve also used your phone to make timelapse videos.  Tell us a bit about that. 

LA to Reno from COLORFULgrey Zach Settewongse on Vimeo.

I love to break the rules and a camera phone is a great friend in mischief. For a while I was on a timelapse kick with my iPhone. I would create timelapse videos using JOBY’s Frame-X-Frame app while flying. Before I took off, I would start the app and place the phone in the plane’s window facing out, start recording, then shut the shade so the flight attendant could not see it. At the end of the flight you end up with a cool timelapse of your journey. Just don’t forget your phone in the window! I know, I know you’re not supposed to have your phone on during takeoff and landing. So here’s where I’ll say, “I’m positive JOBY, Inc does not approve of breaking FIA rules.”  But, I don’t work for Joby, I just love their products and I never had a problem.

What other ways do you use phone photography? 

My phone is my publicist! What do I mean? Well, I always take a photo of myself taking video/photos on location and using my sponsors’ products. Not only do my friends enjoy seeing what I’m currently working on, but my clients do as well.  It only takes a second to ask someone to snap a quick camera phone pic of you working or snap a self-portait using a timer and a GorillaPod. I usually post these photos to Facebook or my blog. Photos help me to create a more personal relationship with my clients and I have found that every one of my clients like seeing their company’s name in post. For me social media marketing is where the majority of my leads come from and camera phone photography is a big part of that.

Thanks Zach!
To view more of Zach’s portfolio, please visit COLORFULgrey or follow him on Facebook.