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How To

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.

Sharing Your iPhoneography

By | Gorillamobile, How To, iPhone, Photography | One Comment

Now that you’ve taken all of these amazing photos with your iPhone, you’re going to need a way to share them with the world. We’ve compiled a short list of some of our favorite ways to share photos in the digital world and in the real world too!

In the digital world … 

Instagram: Like we’ve mentioned before, Instagram is an great way to share your photography and little snippets of your life with your family and friends. Plus, with the incredible community of photographers using the app, you’ll most likely make some new friends along the way.

Instagrid:  A nice online photo library of all your instagram photos that you can share with friends and family that don’t have an iPhone, plus you can check out the boards of other Instagrammers too.

Amazing iPhoneography and other Flickr photo groups dedicated to iPhone photography are also a great place to share your work and get inspired by others.

iPhonegraphy.com is great source for the freshest news in iPhone photography and also posts a weekly round up of iPhone Photos taken by their Flickr group Through the Lens of an iPhone. Share your photos for a chance to be featured or simply visit to get inspired.

And last but most certainly not least … US! Share you iPhoneography with JOBY on Facebook or on our website in the In the Wild section. We love seeing what our friends are up to!

Here are a few great ways to share your iPhoneography in the real world as well!

Postalpix: With Postalpix your favorite iPhone photos are delivered right to your door! They have a variety of sizes available, and you can even get your photo printed on an aluminum plate or a mousepad. Fancy!

 

Printstagram: Turn your Instagram photos into posters, stickers or a book. Keep them for yourself or share with friends. And all are between $10 – $25.

Postagram: Turn your photos into custom postcards to send to friends and family for just $0.99. Not a bad deal considering a stamp alone is $0.45.

Casetagram: For $34.95 you can create a custom iPhone case featuring all of your favorite photos. They have several layouts to choose from and an intuitive interface. It’s a lot of fun and you end up with a great personalized case!

 

 

Now get sharing! And maybe send your mom a postcard while you’re at it.

Almost Analog—iPhone Apps that Mimic Analog Effects

By | Gorillamobile, How To, iPhone, Photography | 6 Comments

I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t one of those people that gushes about the certain quality of analog photography—the warmth, the authenticity, the nostalgia. I’d also be a liar if I claimed to shoot more film than I do digital pictures. I love the look and feel of analog, but adore the ease of digital photography. Well, it turns out lots of other people feel the same way I do and those people know how to code. Here is a selection of some of our favorite almost-analog iPhone apps.

NoFinder ($0.99): Put all the guess work back into photography with this app. There is no preview, no focus and no flash. What fun! Plus, you can shoot in three different aspect ratios with a variety of different film types and lenses. NoFinder has quickly become my new favorite camera app. It just feels so gloriously Robert Frank.

ShakeItPhoto ($1.99): With this nifty app you take a photo and up pops a Polariod. You can even shake it to make it develop faster. Simple and totally satisfying.

Instagram (free): Multiple photo filters, plus a fabulous community of photographers. There is no reason not to love Instagram.

Incredibooth ($0.99, with additional booths for $0.99): It’s a photo booth right in your pocket! The app shoots four photos in quick succession and you end up with the classic photo booth film strip.

Hipstamatic ($1.99, plus additional film packs for $0.99): Yeah, yeah, Hispstamatic is old news. Regardless, it is still a fun app with lots of analog love to offer. You can swap film, lenses and flashes to get that perfectly imperfect look you’re after. I was really interested in this discussion about the role of photo apps like Hipstamatic in photojournalism, and how their effects impact the fidelity of the story the photos tell.

Photo 55 ($0.99): This app mimics Type 55 4×5 sheet film and produces a black and white  image with the iconic border of the original film. Another very simple but very neat one.

Dotti (free): It’s a disposable camera for your iPhone. Snap 12 photos to fill the roll and get real 4×6 prints delivered to your door for just $4.99 ($5.99 International). Don’t worry, the photos also save to your camera roll. You get the best of both worlds! Once you’ve snapped 12, Dotti loads up another roll.

What are your favorite analog-esque iPhone camera apps? Share your favorite apps and corresponding photos on our Facebook page or in the comments below.

 

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!

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