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Friends of Joby

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.  


Cinesquid! Awesome New Product from Cinetics

By | Friends of Joby, Photography | One Comment

Our friends at Cinetics launched the next product in their line of awesome video capturing accessories—the CineSquid Suction Cup Camera Mount System.

CineSquid Suction Mount from Cinetics on Vimeo.

The CineSquid is a super strong, versatile suction cup camera mount system, which allows filmmakers to capture previously unthinkable shots by attaching their camera to smooth surfaces, from any angle. Cinetics has already built a huge following of filmmaker enthusiasts with the launch of CineSkates, an innovative camera tripod dolly that made great use of our GorillaPod Focus.

The CineSquid system combines powerful suction cup technology with the flexible GorillaPod Focus Tripod and BallHead X to create a portable and modular system that filmmakers can take anywhere. Different from other suction cup mounts on the market, the flexible tripod attaches to contoured, multi-level surfaces, and users can even manipulate the camera frame once the suction cups are mounted.  The triple suction cup design ensures CineSquid will not lose its grip.

Not unlike us here at JOBY, Cinetics founder Justin Jensen is “encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive support from our community of users to create a simple, interchangeable system that replaces their bulky gear.”

In case you’re curious, here are a few examples of what CineSquid can stand up to …

* High-speed chase or automobile cruising scenes
* Aerial views from the belly of an airplane up to 200mph
* Scenic or landscape shots from a boat, train or any moving vehicle
* Time-lapse video with a rock-solid connection to any smooth surface

To celebrate the launch of CineSquid, Cinetics is hosting the CineSkates Showdown Video Contest. The winning videos will be featured in future Cinetics videos, and the winners will each receive the new CineSquid component along with a GoPro® HD HERO2 Camera.

Congratulations to our friends at Cinetics on another fabulous product!

Tips from a Pro: Sports Photography Secrets

By | Friends of Joby, Photography | One Comment

Robert Beck is a staff photographer for Sports Illustrated magazine. For over 20 years, he has been behind the lens shooting sporting events all over the world. From golf to baseball, surfing to skiing, Robert captures athletes in action. He shared his secrets to great sports photography with us yesterday in a webinar hosted by our friends at Lowepro.  

©Robert Beck http://www.robertbeckphotography.com

Robert’s Gear for Sports Photography
Musts
-DSLR Body – He uses a Nikon D3s
-70 – 200 mm lens with f2.8 aperture
-Lens hood to protect his lens (instead of a filter)
-UDMA CF Cards in the fastest available speed, 4 GB – 8 GB

Nice to have
-200 – 400 mm lens, f4
-24 – 70 mm lens, f2.8
-16 mm fisheye lens
-Flash

©Robert Beck http://www.robertbeckphotography.com

 Which Camera Settings to Use

1. JPEG and RAW – Shoot camera RAW to capture the most information and have the most flexibility in post-production
2. Autofocus ON – You can change how fast your camera acquires the autofocus info. Set the speed of autofocus to correspond with the sport your shooting. Primarily uses the center dot as the focus pointHas the back button set up so he can focus first and then shoot a general area without the camera re-focusing
3. Vibration reduction software OFF
4. Auto white balance ON. Auto white balance is pretty good on new DSLRs Outdoors set it to “cloudy” to add warmth. Indoors match the light type. in the arena
5. Exposure mode MANUAL.  Robert shoots completely manual to have the most flexibility. Underexposed is better than overexposed
6. ISO as low as possible for the lighting conditions. For example, if it is sunny use 100 ISO, cloudy use 400 ISO.  The higher the ISO, the more noise (pixilation) will occur

©Robert Beck http://www.robertbeckphotography.com

What Makes Sports Shots Good?

 Every published photo is one out of 100s or 1000s of photos taken. This is where practice comes in. The more you shoot, the higher percentage of the photos you take will be good ones. Bottom line: if you want to become a better photographer – SHOOT! SHOOT! SHOOT!

©Robert Beck http://www.robertbeckphotography.com

Backgrounds are the most important thing to pay attention when you’re shooting sports. Find a background that is the least distracting possible to bring your subject out. You want it to be obvious to the viewer what the subject is.

©Robert Beck http://www.robertbeckphotography.com

Light – pay attention to the lighting conditions and work them to your advantage.

-The golden hour when the sun is low in the sky (early morning or late afternoon) is a great time.
-If you’re shooting in the middle of the day, put your subject against a darker background.
-Keep shooting even if its cloudy, rainy, snowy – let the action speak for itself!
-Play the light – Good front light is also good backlight. Try and get both perspectives.

©Robert Beck http://www.robertbeckphotography.com

Aperture – Set it to F2.8 or F4 for a shallow depth of field. This makes the background drop out dramatically so the viewer focuses on the subject

Composition – shoot a mixture of tight and loose shots. When in doubt, shoot looser. You can always crop-in during post-production.

Shutter speed – 1/1000th of a second is the slowest speed if you’re shooting action sports.

©Robert Beck http://www.robertbeckphotography.com

 ***

If you’re interested in viewing Robert Beck’s work, please visit his website. If you’d like to be in the loop for Lowepro’s next webinar, follow them on Facebook.

 

Fall Photo Contest 2011!

By | Contests, Friends of Joby, Photography | One Comment

Here are the beautiful entries to our Fall Photo Contest 2011. We had so many great submissions that we decided to award additional prizes! Congratulations to our Fall Photo Contest winners!

Fan Favorite: Rebeka Drahos! Wins a GorillaPod Focus!

Rebeka Drahos

JOBY Favorite: Kerry Griechen! Wins a GorillaPod Focus!

Kerry Griechen

Voters: Janca Dániel, John McCoy, Ryan Breeden and Meredith Adelaide each win a GorillaPod Original!

And the rest of the amazing entries …

Alex Boone

Cassio Magalhaes

 

Christian Farkas

Christina Harness

Danielle Dearborn

Janca Daniel

John MccoyMarie Routledge

 

Meredith Adelaide

Rebecca Starrett

Rick Ohnsman

Ryan Breeden

Semion Bourakevich

Susie Szeto Price

Terry McGraw

 

Timo Ryttari

Tony Phimister

Travis Fisher

Yashaswi Manjunath N

Stay tuned for future contests and giveaways! I see a Winter Photo Contest on the horizon!

Fall Photo Love

By | Friends of Joby, Gorillapod, Photography | No Comments

Here are a few new fall photos from our Pro Team member *Safe Solvent to get you in the mood. The first three are self-portraits from his Instagram feed and were shot using a Gorillapod.

These last three are from his Fall photo shoot for Citizen Vintage. They are so beautiful and capture the essence of fall.

The Ranch (part 4)

The Ranch (part 4)

The Ranch

If you’d like a daily dose of *Safe Solvent, follow him on Instagram (Martin Reisch) or Twitter (@safesolvent).

And if your photos don’t quite look like these and you need a few tips on how to best photograph fall, check out my post on the subject.

Gigantic GorillaPods + Free Photo Classes

By | Events, Friends of Joby, Gorillapod, Gorillatorch | No Comments

If there is one thing that JOBY couldn’t be more thankful for it is our amazing customers. We really lucked out! Maxwell, our distribution partner in Australia, is a long-time supporter of JOBY and a very creative one at that!  We really appreciate all of the fabulous things that they’ve done to promote our GorillaPod and GorillaTorch lines. For example …

… this fun image shot using both a GorillaPod and a GorillaTorch.  A GorillaPod Focus supported the camera and a GorillaTorch Flare was used write the text. I say that is doubly awesome!

And even more impressive is this super-sized model of the GorillaPod Original that they built from molded Styrofoam! Originally used to promote JOBY tripods at a tradeshow, the Godzilla of GorillaPods now lives on the main sales floor of Australia’s largest independent camera store, Michaels of Melbourne. How cool is that?!?

Thanks Maxwell! You rock! Now if you could just make another 8 foot GorillaPod for us to display at the SF Office …

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Now is your chance to improve your photography with a free webinar hosted by our friends at Lowepro. Professional photographer Jack Atley from Australia with share his advice on how to take award-winning shots and also answer any of your photography questions. The webinar is on Wednesday October 19th from 4 pm – 5 pm PST or 8 pm – 9 pm PST (EDIT: If you missed it, here’s the recorded Jack Atley Webinar). Sign up and more information are here. I’ll sure be there! And below are a few of Jack’s amazing photos to get you psyched on the class.

Winner of the Open Section of The 2011 Moran Photographic Prize …

And a few that caught my eye …

Have an awesome weekend folks!

Friday Finds: JOBY at Comicon and on vacation

By | Friday Find, Friends of Joby, Gorillapod, Uncategorized | No Comments

Happy Friday Creactives!

After our weekend in Tahoe with minimal internet access (but with maximum water balloon fights, bear sightings and boating adventures), I’ve got a lot of fun things to share.

First, the GorillaPod Focus made an appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego last weekend. Tony Amat, one of the premier photographers for Comicon and a JOBY loyalist, shared this image from the festival with us. Is it just me or does the Focus look just as good as that lovely lady in lace?

Photographer Leon Oosthuizen also send us a beauty shot of the Focus in action, but in a very different setting— on a busy street in South Africa supporting a vintage Rolleiflex Camera. Gotta love the versatility of that adapter screw!

Gorolleipodiflex

Since summer is in full swing, our GorillaPods have been busy vacationing all over the world. Here are a few beautiful shots from the GorillaPod Love flickr photostream from the past week or so. Ahhh, summer!

Morning

Greece, Lefkada

The Týn Church in the Old Town

 

So many beautiful places just begging to be visited and photographed! Keep the photos coming guys!

As for news in the photo world, photographer Sacha Goldberger just published his series of photographs cataloging the before and after appearances of joggers in France. You might remember Sacha from his Superhero Grandma series. First, he took photos of joggers while they were out exercising in Paris’ Bois de Boulogne park.  He then asked them to come into his studio a week later for a studio portrait wearing their street clothes. Sacha said that he “wanted to show the difference between our natural and brute side versus how we represent ourselves to society. The difference was very surprising.” Below are a few of my favorite portraits.

More than just highlighting differences, I think the project beautifully catalogs the more subtle similarities in the way we present ourselves to the outside world despite different contexts – our posture, the colors we choose to wear. Read more about the Sacha and the series on My ModernMet.

That is all for now! Enjoy your weekend!

Patrick Trefz Idiosyncracies Screening at Joby Labs

By | Events, Friends of Joby, Joby Inspired, Office, Photography | No Comments

Last Thursday, Joby was thrilled to host the screening of Joby Pro Team member, Patrick Trefz’s new film Idiosyncrasies. As the latest unveiling of the Joby Inspired: Wall, we also were able to refresh our walls and have added some of his awesome and inspirational surf art to our office for the next few months.

In advance of the event we spent time cleaning up the space and sprucing it up to make it look just right for the intimate event. Heidi and I bonded as we hung pictures and struggled to get it just right (yes, it is harder when the floor is uneven).

And so the event begins….

Eric shoots fabulous shots… which unfortunately will never be seen due to a theft in our office:(. Boo to thieves.

Forrest introduces Patrick Trefz and his beautifully filmed work.

Patrick sets the tone…

…and the film begins!

Some seats are better than others.

Check out more photos from the event in our flickr pool!

FOJ (Friends of Joby) – Rewarded at International Contemporary Furniture Fair

By | delightful design, FOJ, Friends of Joby, Office | No Comments

Last month the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) which seeks to be a global summit of what’s best and next in design took place in New York City. Capping off the event of fabulous and innovative design was the ICFF Editors Award. This year the ICFF proclaimed panel of the “hippest and most in-the-know U.S. and international editors” included;  Arlene Hirst, Anniina Koivu of Abitare, Jessica Johnson of Azure, Stefano Casciani of Domus, Sam Grawe of Dwell, Gilda Bojardi of Interni, Chantal Hamaide of Intramuros, Susan S. Szenasy of Metropolis, Benjamin Kempton of Wallpaper*.

We were thrilled to see some of our closest friends in the design community take home top honors. It doesn’t hurt that two of them in particular have been integral to making our new office space so amazing. Last year, the brains and skill behind our great white table; Council Design, took home top prize for furniture design. This year, Joby friend and designer of the wonderful orange lights that illuminate our space, Peter Stathis won for the lighting category.

Congrats!