Tag

how to

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.

 

How to Shoot Photos of Fireworks with Your iPhone

By | Gorillamobile, Gorillapod, iPhone, Photography, time-lapse photography | 2 Comments

With Independence Day upon us, I thought it only proper to give a quick tutorial about the how to best capture the fireworks displays that will be shooting up all over the USA. You don’t want to miss the shot because you’re fumbling with your iPhone, right?

Fire at Night

So here we go …

1. Don’t forget a tripod!!! Bust out your iPhone + GorillaMobile or GorillaPod and position it appropriately to capture the action. Watch out for trees, buildings and other spectators who might block your shot.

2.  Turn off the flash! 

3. Use out our free camera app Frame X Frame.  Choose the Time Lapse setting. We’d set it to take 1000 shots at 2 second intervals to capture the most of the show as possible. Set yourself up for success, which means lots and lots of shots. Sit back, enjoy the show and let Frame X Frame do all the work for you!

4. Use a self-timer (also a feature on Frame X Frame) to avoid camera shake when you hit the shutter button.

5. Test out long exposures. An app like SlowShutter will do the trick.

the forth of july

What are your fireworks photo tips? Have a favorite fireworks photo? Share in the comments and we’ll add them into this post.

Hot New Hues! GorillaPod Original is Lookin’ Mighty Fine!

By | Gorillapod, New Product Launch, Photography | No Comments

We’re happy to announce four exciting new colors of our award-winning camera tripod GorillaPod Original for point and shoot cameras!  Just in time for summer, GorillaPod Original is now available in fuchsia, lime green, sky blue and charcoal. Can’t you agree they’re looking fresh!

In honor of our four new colors, we created a brand new GorillaPod Original demo video! Follow the JOBY Team as we bend and wrap GorillaPod Original all over San Francisco!

 

 

To keep the GorillaPod color celebration going, we’re also hosting Wrapped Up In Color, a color inspiration contest on Pinterest. Share the colors that inspire you this season for a chance to win a brand new GorillaPod Original (or even a set of all four!). All the details on how to pin and win right here!

Blogger? Member of the press? Here is our GorillaPod Orginal press release and additional images.

 

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! 

 

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.

 

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.

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.  


How to Effectively Organize Images on Your iPhone or iPad

By | How To, iPhone, Photography | 17 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!

If you are like me, then your iPhone camera roll is a mess. Maybe it looks a little something like this …

 

… for miles and miles. And, whenever you want to share a photo with a friend, you have to scroll through thousands of photos searching for the right image. Maybe you find it, maybe you don’t.

Well lucky for you and I, Carlos Arrieta is here to make our lives easier! Carlos is a San Francisco-based photographer and photography instructor at RayKo Photo Center and in this video he shares how to easily and effectively organize images on our iPhone or iPad. With these tips and tricks, your messy photo stream will be gone forever! Watch the video below for instructions.

 

If you cannot see the video embed, you can watch the video on Vimeo here.

If you’re also based in the Bay Area and interested in learning more from Carlos or the other instructors at RayKo Photo Center, please visit RayKo’s website or follow them on Facebook.

The Best (and Easiest) iPhone Photography Tip

By | How To, iPhone, Photography | 2 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!

Off we go! If you read nothing else from this series, read this. This super simple tip will transform your iPhoneography, guaranteed.

Auto-Exposure / Auto-Focus Lock in the Native Camera App

So you want to take a picture of your kitchen table and and the pretty tulips sitting on top of it. But,  it looks like this—dark, with emphasis on the brick wall behind your subject instead of the subject itself. Here’s what you do …

Tap on the tulips to focus on them. Hold down and the camera will lock both focus and exposure on those tulips, instead of the wall behind them. This will bring your tulips into focus and correctly expose them all in one swift move. Click the camera shutter and you’ve got the perfect shot you envisioned.

It’s that easy and that awesome.

Here’s another example. The camera focused on the red brick wall in the foreground, but at this exposure, sky is totally blown out. Bummer.

So I locked focus and exposure on the lighter buildings in the background, bringing back in the sky.  Now I have a more balanced photograph with more information. Plus, it’s much closer to what I saw in the moment.

 

Auto-Exposure / Auto-Focus Lock in Camera+

If you want even more control over the focus and exposure, Camera+ allows you to separately lock focus and lock exposure.

First, tap to choose the focus point. Then hit the + icon in the upper right corner of the focusing square. Your focus and exposure controls will separate. Move the focus square onto the main subject of your photo, and then move the exposure circle around the frame until you’ve found the exposure that suits your fancy.

You should end up with something like this—focus point where you want it and an exposure that brings out the best in your subject matter.

Very nice.

Update! SmugMug’s new FREE app Camera Awesome also allows users to separately lock focus and exposure.

Stay tuned for more awesome tips from the JOBY Team and our smart photo friends! Happy shooting!

Vitec Group