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How to Shoot Fireworks with Your Phone

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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 or Galaxy SIV, right?

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So here we go …

1. Don’t forget a tripod!!! Bust out your iPhone or Android smartphone + GripTight phone tripod 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. If you have an iPhone, use out our iPhone camera app GorillaCamPro. If you have an Android, check out Lapse It.  Set yourself up for success, which means lots and lots of shots. Set up the apps to take photos at a 1, 5, 10 or 30 second intervals, sit back, enjoy the show and let your phone do all the work for you!

4. Use a self-timer  to avoid camera shake when you hit the shutter button.

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

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What are your fireworks photo tips? Have a favorite fireworks photo? Share it with us on Instagram. We’re @jobyinc! Happy 4th!

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 photographer Eric Wood uses his GripTight

By | Gorillapod, GripTight, 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. Eric Wood is a New York-based photographer who first inspired us with his HDR photography. He’s shared his HDR technique for DSLR photography on the JOBY Blog last year and now he’s back to share his thoughts on smartphone photography.

Eric Wood
Hoosick, NY | @snaplove on Instagram

What is your best advice for using the GripTight? 

The GripTight is awesome for holding my Galaxy SIII nice and still while I fire off a couple shots. One of the most valuable tips for succeeding with the GripTight has to do with your phone. Set your phone’s camera to fire using a timer. That way you can trigger the timer and wait for the shutter to fire without actually touching the phone. The result: super sharp photos!

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Can you share a time when the GripTight came in handy recently? 

Last weekend, I was walking around a New England church and there was the first red leaf of fall on the ground. I didn’t have my DSLR with me but I had my phone and GripTight. I set it up on the ground and got a great shot of the leaf.

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What is your best advice for new photographers? 

My best tip is to just shoot. I think lots of people have a belief that you need a big, bulky DSLR to take amazing photos. Any photographer will tell you the best camera you could have is the camera you have with you! In lots of cases that is going to be your phone. Don’t hesitate to use it.

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What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing?

If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop, Instagram is awesome. It’s quality, fun and social. If you prefer to break it up a little, grab Adobe Photoshop Express and use the sharing platform within. I love it! The new mobile Flickr app has some potential too.

 

Have you found any fun or unique uses for the GripTight? 

When I am on the road, I usually wrap my GorillaPod around my rearview mirror and put my phone in the GripTight so I can see the navigation in my view. Works awesome!

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How to take Better Phone Photos & Videos with Jay and Varina Patel

By | Gorillamobile, Gorillapod, 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.  Jay and Varina Patel are landscape photographers who teach photography workshops all over the globe. They also have a series of E-Books and tutorials to help aspiring photographers improve their shooting and post-processing technique.  Thanks Jay and Varina for sharing your experience and photos! 

Jay and Varina Patel
Twinsburg, Ohio 

What is the best part about using the GripTight? 

We’ve been really happy with the tiny combination of the Grip Tight Mount with the Micro. They fold up small enough to stick in a pocket or attach to a keychain, so I don’t have to carry around bulky gear. When I want to get some video of my kids when we go swimming in the river or hang out at the park, I can set up my phone quickly and grab a fun video of the kids having fun.

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When have you found the GripTight particularly useful? 

As landscape photographers, we often produce short, on-location educational videos with our mobile phones. The GripTight Mount and GripTight GorillaPod Stand provide a perfect lightweight solution that we can use to produce smooth videos with our mobile phones. We secure the GorillaPod stand on a tripod or stand it up on a rock, and we are good to go!

The Making of an Instructional Tutorial with Photographer Varina Patel from JOBY Inc on Vimeo.

Can you share a time when the GripTight really saved the shoot?

We planned to do a quick series of videos in a beautiful park several miles from our home, but we forgot our Grip Tight Mount. All our attempts to stabilize the mobile phone using our tripods or hands were unsuccessful. We shot a video anyway—but it’s completely unusable. The camera shake is pretty annoying! The following week, we took our cameras to the soccer fields to shoot another video. This time, we used a tripod topped with the GripTight GorillaPod Stand and the finished video is smooth and steady.

What are your favorite apps? 

We use SmugMug’s Camera Awesome app. Camera Awesome allows for independent control of focus point and exposure. It’s great for macro shots and producing on-location videos. We edit our movies with iMovie, which allows us to put clips together quickly, add audio and music, and create a decent finished product. We love Snapseed for processing photos. This app has “U-Point” technology that allows us to make selective adjustment to our photographs.

 

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.

 

How to take Better Phone Photos with Allan Hinton

By | Gorillapod, iPhone, Photography | No Comments

We sent our new GripTight smartphone 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. Lodon-based photographer Allan Hinton does wonders with an iPhone. His photographs first caught our eye a year ago because of his knack for capturing the atmosphere and emotion of a scene. He also has an amazing eye for color. Thanks Allan for sharing your thoughts and photos with us! 

Allan Hinton
London, England | @chaiwalla 

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What is your best tip for using the GripTight?  

My biggest tip is to always have the GripTight in your possession, in your bag or chained to your key ring.  It is portable enough to not take up too much room in your pocket. Most of my photographs are spontaneous while I am on the go and I’m often inspired by moments in time that I cannot plan for.

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Tell us about a time that you really stretched yourself creatively because of the GripTight?

I haven’t done this yet but I was thinking the GripTight would be perfect for taking photographs at my local swimming pool. I have a bulky waterproof case for my phone and the GripTight would have no problem in gripping around my iPhone and its case. I could then place the phone steadily at the edge of the pool and get creative with multiple exposure shots!

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What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing? 

My favorite app to edit photos are Snapseed, PicFx and Blender. Blender this is a great way to blend two of the same image together if you can’t pick which edit you prefer – sometimes a slight blend of the two can result in a perfect finish.

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What is your advice for someone just starting out as as photographer? 

Be brave enough to try something new and enjoy being a beginner and making early mistakes. You will feel proud when looking back at early photos and seeing how far you’ve come. It’s very easy to feel insecure when comparing your photos to someone with many followers on Instagram. It’s likely that they’ve been photographing for years and have had their own time to grow.

 

 

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.

 

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.