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How To

JOBY GripTight Mount Sizing Guide

GripTight Fitment Guide – Which GripTight do I need?

By | GripTight, How To, iPhone, Uncategorized

The following guide below is designed to answer most GripTight sizing questions you may have. With or without a case, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Android, we have the right GripTight Mount for your smartphone.

Available in two sizes. Regular or XL

JOBY GripTight Mount Sizing Guide

GripTight Mount for smaller smartphones (Regular)
Adjustable grip fits smartphones between 2.1-2.8 in | 54-72mm wide.

GripTight Mount for larger smartphones (XL)
Adjustable grip fits smartphones between 2.7-3.9 in | 69-99mm wide.

 

Apple Smartphones 4, 4s, 5, 5s, 6, 6 Plus Mount Guide

Apple Smartphones

From the iPhone 4 to the 6 Plus we have a GripTight Mount for your current Apple smartphone of choice. The images in the guide below will help you choose which size GripTight is right for you.

GripTight Mount size guide for the Apple 4, Apple 4s, Apple 5, Apple 5s

iPhone 4 –GripTight Regular recommended (with or without case)
iPhone 4s – GripTight Regular recommended (with or without case)
iPhone 5 – GripTight Regular recommended (with or without case)
iPhone 5c –GripTight Regular recommended (with or without case)
iPhone 5s – GripTight Regular recommended (with or without case)


iPhone 6 with GripTight Regular and GripTight XL with iPhone 6 Plus side by side.

iPhone 6 – GripTight Regular recommended without a case.
Have a case? See additional images below
NOTE: GripTight XL will work, see images below.

iPhone 6 Plus – GripTight XL recommended without a case.
Have a case? See additional images below


iPhone 6 with GripTight Regular

JOBY GripTight Regular the perfect smartphone mount for the iPhone 6.


iPhone 6 with GripTight XL

While the JOBY GripTight XL will work for the for the iPhone 6 without a case the Regular size is recommended for a tighter grip.


 

iPhone 6 in OtterBox Defender case with GripTight Regular

The OtterBox Defender case is massive and is the largest case we could find for the iPhone 6. The GripTight Regular fits but just barely at it’s maximum opening width. Your case probably isn’t this large. With a case we would recommend the Regular size for the iPhone 6. NOTE: If you do have the OtterBox Defender case you should use the GripTight XL.


 

iPhone 6 Plus in OtterBox Defender case with GripTight Mount XL

The JOBY GripTight XL if perfect for the iPhone 6 Plus with or without a case. It even fits easily with the massive OtterBox defender case.

 

Android Smartphone GripTight Mount guide. Nexus, Motorola, LG, HTC, Samsung

 ANDROID Smartphones

On the Android side there are a few more options of smartphones to choose from, yeah! We have a few sizing examples of the current leading Android mobile phones (as of 2/15).

Moto X 2nd Gen with GripTight Mount Regular compared to Moto-X 2nd Gen with GripTight Mount XL

The Moto-X 2nd Gen is 2.85in | 72.4mm wide. Fitting both the GripTight Regular and XL fit. If you have a case or not will depend on which is best for you. See the images below.


 

The GripTight XL the prefect smartphone mount for the Moto X 2nd Gen.

Recommended – The GripTight XL fits the Moto X 2nd Gen with plenty of space between the jaws. Perfect for use with or without a case.


 

Moto-X 2nd gen with JOBY GripTight Mount Regular

Possibly Recommended? – The GripTight Regular fits the Moto X 2nd Gen with a small amount of space to spare between the jaws. This is preferred by some of our JOBY staff as it provides a very snug fit. Only recommended without a case.


 

GripTight Mount guide for the Samsung Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 is 2.85in | 72.5mm wide. The GripTight XL is recommended and has plenty of room for most cases.

The Galaxy S4 is 2.75in | 69.8mm wide.
Without a case we recommend the GripTight Regular.
With a case we recommend the GripTight XL.


 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Note 4 GripTight Mount sizing guide.

Galaxy Note 3 is 3.12in | 79.2mm wide. The GripTight XL fits the Note 3 & 4 perfectly and has plenty of room for most cases.

The Galaxy Note 4 is 3.09in | 78.6mm wide. Use the GripTight XL

 


Basic Rule of Thumb:

Smartphones without a case:
Under 2.8in | 72mm wide use the GripTight Regular.
Over 2.8in | 72mm wide use the GripTight XL.

Smartphones with a case:
iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s with a case use the GripTight Regular.
iPhone 6, 6 Plus and similar size Android smartphones with a case use the GripTight XL.

 

Don’t see your phone? Still have a question?

First see if a phone above is a similar size to yours and follow the guide for that phone. If you still have questions email us at community@joby.com and we’d be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

How to Take Slow Shutter Photos of Water with Chris Burkard

By | How To | No Comments

Chris Burkard is a California-based travel and surf photographer. As a staff  photographer for Surfer Magazine, he spends a lot of time taking photos in and around the water. After just a few minutes of looking at Chris’ work, you can tell that his love for the ocean runs deep. Today, Chris shares one of his favorite ways to take photos of water. Be sure to follow him on Instagram to see some incredible shots from all over the world! Thanks for sharing Chris! 

Exposing Water by Chris Burkard

Tripods can be cumbersome and tough to lug on trips.  Or they can be small and awesome like Joby.  I have attached my Joby tripods onto boats in Alaska, atop a military vehicle in Russia, at the base of the waterfalls in Iceland, and used in many places in between.  The tripod is great for run and gun shooting when you want to stay light and mobile. One of my favorite applications of the Joby tripods are around water when I am looking to shoot slow shutter speeds.

Shooting around water gives you a lot of creative options.  You can freeze the action of the water with a high shutter speed resulting in great detail making every water droplet sharp.  Aiming for the opposite, using a shutter speed 1/25 or lower, results in an image that has a milky blurred water trail. To me it’s a bit more dreamlike.  It’s also a great way to convey the movement involved in a setting like a waterfall.  I’d recommend placing the GorillaPod at a low angle to convey the magnitude of the waterfalls and landscape.  I’d also recommend shooting either early in the morning or around sunset for light that isn’t as harsh.  This image is taken about a half hour after sunset. I used a wide lens and an exposure of 6 seconds.  I also used a lamp to cast some interesting light on the subject.

2013, ICELAND, LAND ROVER, ERIC SODERQUIST, MIKEY DETEMPLE,

You can apply this same technique to rivers and the ocean.  In this river shot, the long exposure showcases the flow of the water.  The river is true to its mood with the mossy rocks still as the water moves around them.  I shot this with a wide lens and an aperture of f13 to keep the background in focus as well.  This helps to showcase the entire scene rather than just the river.  The exposure was 2 seconds.

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This image of the shoreline looking out across the ocean is shot at a lower angle, giving a dramatic sense of scale bringing you closer to the water.  With long exposures you often can shoot well after the sun goes down.  Often times water moving around objects will make for a more interesting image.  The exposure was 30 seconds.

2013, ICELAND, LAND ROVER, ERIC SODERQUIST, MIKEY DETEMPLE,

On all the shots I try to keep my ISO low, under 200 and adjust my exposure depending on the water movement.  Have fun trying your hand at photographing water in your area and on your travels.

2013, ICELAND, LAND ROVER, ERIC SODERQUIST, MIKEY DETEMPLE,

Better Lighting Setups for Action Sports Photography

By | Camera Straps, Gorillapod, How To, Photography | No Comments

Photographer John Rathwell is an action sports photographer based in Ontario, Canada. Long hikes, wild weather conditions and tight set ups are all in a days work for John. We caught up with him to chat about how he uses his GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and  GorillaPod Focus on a typical shoot. 

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Three-fingered Assistants

With more and more photographers working alone these days, and lighting as a key aspect of professional photography, it becomes clear that you need to have your lighting systems down.

To give you a little background on myself, I am the owner and photographer for John Rathwell Photography. I shoot action sports for commercial and editorial use. Lighting is key and is what sets me apart from a lot of action sports shooters. I often have to hike into areas and work in non-ideal weather. Keeping my gear to a minimum in size and weight is key for me. It must also be rugged and stand up to a lot of abuse as well as be quick and easy to work with.

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I decided I would give GorillaPods a try, and in a way you wouldn’t think. Light stands have always been one of the most frustrating things to me. They are bulky, heavy and always fall over in windy conditions. Plus hiking in with sand bags just isn’t fun.

I use a GorillaPod SLR-Zoom with a Lastolite Triflash bracket and 1/4-20 adapter. These work great for holding my secondary lights or anytime you need one direct flash. Quick and secure setup and they go low on the ground or high in a tree branch in seconds.

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When I need more power, I turn to my GorillaPod Focus. I have had up to 5 lights on it in heavy wind and it held fine! I have also used it with a softbox and umbrella and no issues at all. I never had to worry about it blowing over like a light stand!

I have started considering the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and Focus my new 3-fingered assistants. They are flexible  small, lightweight and strong. If you shoot anything outside and are into lighting they are worth a try!

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I’ve also been using the UltraFit Sling Strap. I have used sling straps for years. Any sling strap is better then the traditional neck strap, but the Joby strap is the best one I have ever used. The issue with most sling straps is that when the camera is hanging at the right level at your hip and your bring it to your eye, especially when shooting a vertical shot, the strap is never long enough. So you lengthen it. Then it hangs way to low when you put it down. The Joby designers must have known this and were truly innovative in the design. The strap automatically looses when lifted and can tighten back up instead of just hanging at your hip. Perfect for shooting in tricky locations.

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This shot uses 2 main light sources. The main light sits camera right and is mounted to a tree using a Focus. There are 3 flashes attached to a tri-bracket and a softbox on it. On camera left there is a bare flash held up by an SLR-Zoom on the ground.

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This shot used almost the same setup as the mountain bike shot but both GorillaPodsPods are attached to a chain link fence and both are high above the subject.

Check out more of John’s awesome work on his website or see a video of him in action here

Thanks John for sharing your awesome lighting tips! Need to squeeze a flash into a tight spot or tired of carrying heavy sandbags and light stands all over the great outdoors, check out our GorillaPod SLR-Zoom or GorillaPod Focus

How to GorillaTorch Flare for Photo & Video Lighting at Night

By | Artist Profile, Gorillatorch, How To, Photography | 4 Comments

Oakland-based photographer/videographer/rock climber Austin Zimmerman used our GorillaTorch Flare 125 to light an awesome video of his recent trip to Yosemite. The great part about using a GorillaTorch on a camping trip? It also doubles as a photo and video light in case you decide to film your friends climbing at night!  

High Adventure Weekend from Austin Z on Vimeo.

We caught up with Austin after his trip to hear what he thought of GorillaTorch Flare and also get some tips for how to use GorillaTorch Flare to light your nighttime photos and videos. 

Tell us about your project. 

This short film was shot with a Canon DSLR and a Joby GorillaTorch Flare 125 during a weekend trip to Yosemite. A few days before our trip, a member of the Joby crew brought a box of Joby torch lights to the climbing gym where I work. We hooked up a few lucky members at our gym with a Joby light, but a co-worker and I decided we had to take one with us to Yosemite for some “field testing”.

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Tell us about your experience using the Joby GorillaTorch Flare 125.

I was blown away by the quality of light the Joby put out. The Flare 125 provided a crisp, clean beacon of light which really illuminated every detail of the boulder. Everything from the curvature of the rock all the way down to the obsidian crystals inside the granite. I have used external lighting to capture rock climbing footage at night before, but on this trip I decided to leave the bulky L.E.D. panel at home, with no regrets.

 

Tips for using the Joby as external lighting?

Much like uplighting or downlighting in home landscaping, having a powerful concentrated beam of light allows you to pick out the natural features you would like to highlight. The Joby is perfect for filming boulders at night because of the way it accentuates the beautifully sculpted prows and ledges. Those are the types of features that really lend themselves to the camera. The trick is not to point the light straight at the rock, but to pick an angle which highlights those features.

 

Favorite attribute of the Flare 125?

This light is efficient to the max. After three long nights of climbing and gathering footage, the batteries hardly seemed fazed. Even the batteries in our headlamps, which produce less light, had to be swapped at least once each.

 

Best part about filming rock climbing?

A boulder problem is like an intricate and delicate puzzle. I really enjoy that moment of discovery when you unlock the sequence of movement that allows you to ascend a line edges in a rock face. I gain a lot of inspiration from that moment when you see someone transcend mental barriers. For me it is really motivating to watch a film that captures those moments.

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Tips for people new to filming climbers?

Shoot at every chance you get! Even when your friends burn you for it!

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Going camping this summer and need some versatile flashlights? Check out our GorillaTorch line, especially our GorillaTorch Switchback – a handy two in one flashlight that converts from lantern to headlamp! 

How Photog Jordana Wright uses her GripTight Phone Tripod

By | Gorillamobile, Gorillapod, GripTight, How To, iPhone, Photography | No Comments

We sent our new GripTight phone tripod to a few of our favorite photographers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog.  Jordana Wright is a photographer and teacher based in Chicago, Illinois. We first met Jordana when she embarked on a photography trip across the entire USA by train, taking photos, meeting people and teaching along the way.  Thanks Jordana for sharing your experience and photos! 

Jordana Wright
Chicago, Illinois | @jordanawright on Instagram
What is your favorite thing about the GripTight?  

The GripTight is super helpful, wonderfully compact, and totally versatile. I can really punch up my mobile photography by positioning my phone literally anywhere. Google hangouts and video chats are so much easier to do on-the-go, now that they can be TOTALLY hands free. When I’m shooting with my DSLR, the GripTight lets me pull up a shot list or other important information that I can easily display without fumbling with my phone.

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What is your best tip for getting great photos from a smartphone? 

My best tip is that it’s not always about the app! The angle, lighting, and subject matter can make or break a cellphone photo—just like every other type of photography. Play around because you never know what sorts of AWESOME you may capture. One of my favorite tricks is putting a piece of colored gel in front of my phone’s camera for a moody, colorized photo.

What are your favorite apps?  

My favorite apps are Instagram and Pudding Camera. Sometimes I shoot in one camera app, then open the photo and process it with another. In airplane mode, you can process photos through Instagram as many times as you want to get a unique look.

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Have you found any alternative uses for your GripTight?

I’ve used the GripTight to keep my phone safe and in sight on my desk and on the kitchen counter. It makes my cell phone into a lovely bedside alarm clock, and it even came in handy for my husband who works in theatre. He borrowed it to more easily film actors auditioning for a show. In a pinch, you can even use your cellphone (when the screen is dark) to touch up your hair or make-up. The GripTight lets you angle it however you may need!

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Can you tell us about a time the GripTight really saved the day? 

I was driving using Google Maps on my phone, and the phone kept falling over in the car. At a red light, I realized I could use the GripTight Micro Stand to keep the phone exactly where I needed it on the dashboard for easier navigation. Fewer fumbles + knowing where I’m going = the happiest photographer.

 

How to Scout in Crowded Cities, plus UltraFit Sling Strap Review!

By | Camera Straps, How To, Photography | No Comments

Professional travel photographer Elia Locardi shares how he scouts and shoots in busy European Cities with his favorite gear configurations, including the new UltraFit Sling Strap! Learn how to scout and shoot in very crowded cities, plus check out a great review of our new strap and enjoy some awesome photography of Venice from Elia on his website Blame the Monkey!

Questions about our camera straps? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

How to Share Photography with Kids

By | Artist Profile, Gorillapod, How To | No Comments

Summer days are getting longer and after a few weeks out of school, your kids are starting to get on your nerves. Need something to keep them occupied? How about photography?



Photographers Varina and Jay Patel share how a few point and shoot cameras paired with GorillaPod Original provided hours of summer fun for their family.  After a few hours of playing around with cameras and GorillaPods in the woods, their kids learned quite a bit about photography. From self-timer to macro shots, they were able to express themselves and share their parents’ passion. Happy kids enjoying your favorite hobby—now that’s a win-win!

Read the entire article and learn how you can recreate the experience at home with your family here. And for some quick tips on how to explain photography basics to your kids, check out this DIY guide, also by Jay and Varina.

 

HDR Photography with Eric B. Wood

By | Artist Profile, Gorillapod, How To, Philosophy, Photography | 2 Comments

A few weeks ago, we asked New York-based photographer Eric Wood to share some of his tips and tricks for HDR photography. We were curious about HDR and he was stoked to share with us. Instead of a simple list of tips and tricks, he came back to us with this awesome discussion about his HDR philosophy, his gear, how he post-processes and how he prints. Get ready to delve into the controversial world of HDR photography with Eric!  

As I’m sitting here trying to decide how to begin this post I am thinking of all the wonderful tutorials, amazing websites and awesome photographers devoted to HDR. There are lots of them…and most of them are very, very good. In fact, I learned (and still learn) about HDR from these very same resources. I’d like to think I came from the school of hard-knocks when it came to HDR but the truth is a simple Google search landed me a wealth of information from which my own passion for it grew. The base of learning this technique is already out there so rather than simply regurgitating information that already exists, I’d like to take a new approach and address a few things that aren’t out there yet. My hope is that I can shine some new light and make your life a little easier as you comb through this awesome, yet controversial technique.

Location: Cambridge, New York
Gear: Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20
Shot: 3 Exposures (-2, 0, +2)
Tripod: GorillaPod SLR Zoom with Ballhead

Awesome HDR Tutorials
Stuck in Customs HDR Tutorial
Cambridge in Color High Dynamic Range Tutorial
Farbspiel Photography

Develop your Philosophy
So, here’s the issue with HDR. Some people love it and some people hate it. Some people think it is the future while some people think it should die where is stands. Some people think it is photography while others argue it is no such thing. Everyone has an opinion. Understanding these issues and knowing what your answers are goes a long way toward developing your HDR belief system. Notice I said “knowing what your answers are” and not “what the accepted answers are”. To use the old cliche, there is no right answer.

Since we are talking about philosophy,  I suppose this is a great segway to introduce you to my HDR beliefs. When I hear people talking smack on HDR or I read a heated blog post where HDR is referred to as a virus, I can’t help but chuckle to myself. But I also understand their point of view. For hundreds of years people have been capturing scenes with cameras and portraying it as reality, then along comes HDR. When someone views an HDR image with their photography goggles on, that person is compelled to conclude that the image is not a photograph. It doesn’t capture a scene or a moment in time and so it doesn’t have a place in the photography community. And you know what? I agree!

What? Did I actually say that? Yes, I believe that HDR and it’s process is not photography, and should not be passed off as photography. To me, HDR is imagery. The fact that the same tool—a camera—is used to create the foundation of the process isn’t the most relevant point.

When I go out shooting, I don’t strive to create a photograph, I strive to create an image—a scene that represents the way I choose to remember it, not necessarily the way I saw it. I want to feel free and not constrained by the shackles of traditional photography dictate as correct or proper technique. Basically, I want my imagination to be free to create what it was intended to create—an image.

Camera Setup
I’ve always been a stubborn guy when it comes to camera setup. I prefer to run a minimal operation when I’m out shooting; I don’t want to lug 50 pounds of gear around all day. So here’s what I do. First, I develop a concept of what I want to shoot. For example, a couple months ago I had the idea to shoot a retro railroad passenger car from the inside. I wanted to create a dramatic, almost ghostly image. Having a clear vision in my head allowed me to develop the right setup before I left. Railroad cars are fairly narrow and I knew I wanted to capture the interior seating in a very bold and symmetrical way. The only lens that was going to give me the results I envisioned was my 10-20mm. I bolted it on my body (a Nikon D90) and considered it done. I also knew I wanted to shoot brackets (-2, 0, +2) to cover the dynamic range of the image. No problem. Most all cameras have the option to turn on exposure bracketing. I always want the option of having all the luscious details in both the highlights and shadows (even if I don’t use them).  To make your life easier when bracketing, don’t forget your tripod and remote shutter release. Finally, I slip a lens cloth and an extra memory card in my pocket and I am ready to go. I usually shoot with a battery grip and have 2 batteries in camera. If you are gripless, toss an extra battery in your pocket or bag.

Location: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway, Alna, Maine
Gear: Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20
Shot: 3 Exposures (-2, 0, +2)
Tripod: GorillaPod SLR Zoom with Ballhead

That’s it. A setup that has everything I need and nothing I don’t.  I would prefer to have a refined, reliable setup than lug around gear that inevitably will not be used. If I had instead envisioned shooting the water flowing through a nearby stream, I may have opted for my 50mm lens with a neutral density filter. But again, that’s it. No extra lenses, no bags of cords, flashes, batteries, or other apparatus. Just an idea and the essential tools to execute it. I know what you are thinking. What if you came across a situation that required a lens you left in your bag at home? I don’t let it stop me. It is the perfect opportunity to hone your creativity and execute a unique image that others would might pass because they didn’t have the “correct” tools.

Wait, this is the JOBY blog, right? Yep, I love my Gorillapod and I truly feel it is an invaluable part of HDR imagery and photography. I know there are HDR professionals out there that can get reliable results handholding the camera through the brackets, but that’s not me. I really prefer to have a tripod for stabilization. Here is the problem though: tripods are not allowed in so many areas. Rather than fight with a security guard, I just get creative with my Gorillapod. I do one of two things:

1. Attach the GorillaPod to my camera and wrap the legs up the side of the camera so it resembles a flash handle. You are no longer carrying a tripod but a trendy handle accessory for your great camera. This is even easier if you run a smaller, compact setup.

2. Sling the camera around you neck like any other tourist and slip the GorillaPod in your back pocket with your shirt untucked. That’ll cover it nicely. Careful though! In this day and age, the odds of you passing through a metal detector in an area that forbids tripods is actually pretty high, and that super-durable Ballhead or Ballhead X is made of metal. That is going to bring attention to this mystery item that resembles a tripod. Just try to get through security at the Empire State Building and you’ll know what I mean.

Both of these approaches have worked well for me in the past, so choose one and get some camera stabilization going for those killer photos! It definitely makes a difference.

A Quick Example

Location: Cinderella’s Castle, Disney World
Gear: Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20
Shot: 3 Exposures (-2, 0, +2)
Tripod: GorillaPod SLR Zoom with Ballhead

Here’s the deal with this example. I was wandering around Cinderella’s Castle all the while knowing I wanted to capture an image that was different than what I’d seen in the past. Images of the castle are commonly taken from the front of the castle or the side over the small pond. But I wanted something different. I wanted to capture the imagination of the castle; the hustle, the environment, but most of all, the legacy. Yes, the legacy. Seriously, this place is iconic. How could I be there, with all my gear (again, lens, camera, Gorillapod)  and shoot the place the same way millions of others have? I couldn’t. I dropped my GorillaPod on a bench, composed the shot and fired off 3 photos in 2 stop increments. A side note though, I didn’t have a problem in Disney World with my full-size tripod; they just suck to carry around all day.

Post-Processing
Now the fun begins! The first thing I did was pull the photos into Lightroom 3 and organize the 3 exposures. Next I export the 3 exposures to Photomatix 4.1 to generate the HDR image. Once some minor adjustments are made in Photomatix, the image is imported back to lightroom and developed. There is no standard set of processes for the development; it is whatever the specific image calls for. Typically, I adjust the Luminosity, Gamma and White & Black Points. Strength is almost always set to 100 and the Lighting Adjustment is usually on Natural+. Again, there are lots of amazing tutorials out there on Photomatix and HDR so don’t hesitate to check them out.

Next I sent the image to Photoshop CS5 for the final adjustments. Typically some curves, saturation and levels adjustments are in order, but by making use of layers and masks I localized the adjustments to specific areas of the photos. Masking is really an invaluable part of HDR processing as it allows you to focus your adjustments on specific areas of the image. Next, I added some detail to the photo by using Topaz Adjust plugin and finally I blended an awesome vintage texture over the final image. There you have it. A unique HDR image of that captures the imagination and spirit of the scene.


Post-Processing Resources
Farbspiel Photography HDR Cookbook
Before the Coffee PhotoMatix Tutorial

Textures
I love blending textures with HDR images. Again, this goes back to my willingness to understand that HDR is not photography but rather imagery. An awesome texture is exactly the touch that takes an image from ordinary to extraordinary.

Location: Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Maine
Gear: Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20
Shot: 3 Exposures (-2, 0, +2)
Tripod: Tripod with Joby SLR-Zoom Ballhead

When I first arrived at this spot I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to capture. I knew the coastline here was treacherous. There are crazy rock-faces leading to the water, the waves are constantly crashing with amazing force and the area is covered with signs warning people to enjoy at their own risk. The scene was great. The sun had just come up and there was a great glow bouncing off the lighthouse itself. All I could think was how amazing it is that the lighthouse has withstood nearly 200 years of coastal rains, wind, rain and snow.  When I saw the final HDR image, I knew something was missing. The image was remarkably peaceful, but I really wanted to capture an image that was reminiscent of the tattered and torn coastline itself.

I jumped on Creative Commons and did a quick search for “grunge textures” and was excited to find one that would really make the image pop. I pulled the texture into Photoshop and simply dragged and dropped it over my original HDR. This process puts the texture on its own layer just above the HDR image. Pretty simple, right?

Now here is where the blending happens. All you have to do is make sure your texture layer is active and change the blend mode from “normal” to whichever mode gives you the effect you are looking for. In this example, “overlay” was perfect because this mode preserves the highlights and shadows the original image. You may find the texture too strong. In which case, reduce the opacity of the texture layer. One important consideration is that you don’t want the texture to detract from a significant focal point of the image. Here in this example you can see there are a few very distracting texture nuggets on the fence and lighthouse which I could have easily removed by healing the texture. Keep that in mind and you won’t make the same mistake I did. But on the flip-side, I was able to capture the scene in all its glory—rough & rugged, yet amazingly beautiful.

Texture Resources
Flickr Textures4Layers
Flicker Creative Commons Textures

Printing
It is amazing to me how the output of photography and imagery has changed over the last couple of decades. At one time, the only real output was photographic prints. You’d shoot a great shot, have it printed and enjoy it for years as it hung on your wall framed in all its glory. Over the past decade or so, the shift to a purely digital output has begun. No longer do we envision a final product to be one that hangs boldly on the wall but instead it is one that is displayed proudly across your website and social media outlets.

But don’t fret, printing is not dead. In fact, the ability to hold something tangible after a long day of shooting and a long night of post-processing is an amazing reward. Luckily, HDR images are remarkably print-worthy. In similar fashion to the rest of this post, I’ll save you the basic “get it printed professionally” speech and just jump right to a couple of print products that represent HDR very well.

1. Metallic prints. These are simply amazing! Metallic papers are typically available at any professional print shop and give your prints a “super-gloss” look. Technically, this paper has a pearlescent finish that renders amazing depth and bold color. And the best part, the cost is only slightly higher that standard prints

2. Metal prints. Whereas metallic prints are printed on a paper, metal prints are printed directly on a sheet of aluminum. In very much the same manner a car or a motorcycle is painted, a base-coat of white is applied to the aluminum sheet prior to your image being fused onto the metal. The result is a stunningly vivid piece with rich colors and bold detail that will beat even your LCD display.

The Future of HDR
I am a firm believer that HDR imagery is here to stay. After all, combining multiple exposures to create a scene has been around almost as long as camera technology itself.  Photography has evolved in the digital age, and HDR is just an expression of those expanded capabilities. When the open-mindedness of creative people combines with an increase in hardware and software options, more people experiment and change the way we see the world.

Have a  specific question for Eric?  Want to share your thoughts on HDR? Let us know in the comments! 

 

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.