Tag

tips and tricks

How to Take Better Phone Photos with Halley Roberts

By | Gorillamobile, Gorillapod, iPhone, Photography | No Comments

We sent our new GripTight phone tripod to a few of our favorite Instagrammers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog. Portland-based photographer Halley Roberts creates beautiful images of everyday life, capturing beauty in the natural and man-made world around her. Thanks Halley for sharing your thoughts and photos with us! 

Halley Roberts
Portland, Oregon | @halleyroberts 

What is your best tip for using the GripTight? 
The first time I used the GripTight was when I set up a shot of me preparing and eating breakfast and I attached it to a spider plant I have hanging over my kitchen table. It worked great! With the lifestyle-type photography that I shoot, attaching the GripTight to objects above me is perfect. Attach the GripTight to something directly above you, use the self-timer and voila, you’ve got a beautiful top-down shot.

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What do you like best about phone photography? 

I use my iPhone mostly for snaps of my life, but I also use it to test out compositions that I think will look good when I shoot with medium format film. It’s great when I’m outside, which I am a lot, exploring and hiking. I’ve also found that I use it often for self-portraits when I don’t have a model or someone else to place in the photo.

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What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing? 

Finding the right editing apps is crucial. My number one photo editing app is VSCO. I also use Camera+ for doing self-timed shots and Squaready to bypass Instagram’s square format. Also, try to be selective about what you’re shooting. I often see people simply stabbing at their iPhone screens taking hundreds of snaps. The more discerning you are, the better your photos will be and you’ll save memory!

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Have you found any non-photography uses for your GripTight? 

I also like to use the GripTight GorillaPod stand to prop my iPhone up while I’m working on my computer or listening to a podcast. That way I can look down and easily check my phone.

 

 

How to Take Better Phone Photos with Matej Smucr

By | Gorillamobile, Gorillapod, iPhone, Photography | No Comments

We sent our new GripTight phone tripod to a few of our favorite Instagrammers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog.  Matej Smucr is a iPhone photographer based in the Czech Republic. He captures beautiful images of the world around him, natural and man made. His curiosity and desire to discover and share his world through photographs is inspiring.  Thanks Matej for sharing your experience and photos! 
Matej Smucr
Czech Republic | @matescho 

How did you begin as a photographer?

I wasn’t interested in photography before I got an iPhone 3GS in 2010. Because there are so many apps for editing photos, I began to enjoy photography. In the beginning it was hard because I knew nothing about photography. I found some basics online, but the best way to really improve is just to shoot. I take photos everyday, everywhere and of everything. I also recommend looking at other photographers’ work. I have friends on Instagram who inspire me everyday.

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What do you like best about the GripTight?

From the first time I used the GripTight Micro, I fell in love with this amazing gadget. If I’m walking through the city and find an amazing spot, I just take my GripTight from my pocket and take a photo. I set it up with my iPhone, set a self-timer, focus on the spot where I plan to be when the timer goes off, press the shutter button and run, run, run. GripTight is really perfect for self-portraits (and also for people with shaky hands)!

Before I got the GripTight Micro, I used a GorillaPod SLR-Zoom for my iPhoneography. But it is a little big and I wanted something smaller that I could carry in my pocket the entire day. GripTight Micro is light, small and I can attach it to my keys. It’s a universal holder so I can use it with my iPhone with or without cases or lenses. Plus, it has rubber legs so it can’t slide down from any surface.

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Photographer Matej Smucr & his JOBY GripTight from JOBY Inc on Vimeo.

 

What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing? 

I like retro and vintage photos so I edit my photos in this style. My favorite app is VSCO Cam, which I use almost for every edit. I like filters 02 and 05 the best. I also use PicFX, which has so many filters that can be combined. Photoforge2 is good for layering. Camera+, EasyTitler and Gorillacam from Joby are also favorites.

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Have you discovered any other uses for your GripTight?

When I’m not taking photos, I also use the GripTight Micro to surf the Internet, watch movies or just as holder for my phone.

 

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!