Use Photo Magic to Trick Your Eyes And Play Pranks With Friends

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Last week when Jen of team Photojojo went to New York for a few days, we wanted her to know how much she was missed.

We thought long and hard about how we could prank her upon her return…

…Fake parking tickets on her car?
…Stapler in a Jell-O mold?
…Cover everything in post-its?

It was a hard decision, but in the end we knew the best way to prank her would be by using what we all love best: Photography!

What did we do? Read on to find out and try it yourself!

How to use photography to prank your friends and coworkers!

p.s. Hey, Hot Shot!, is choosing one grand prize winner to win $10,000, a solo exhibition, and representation at Jen Bekman Gallery. Deadline is 8/31, so get your hot shots in!

How to Make a Tilt-Shift Lens for $10 (Plus Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Tilt-Shift!)

And now for a non-dictionary of photo terms:

Tilt-shift: not the crazy-legged move we bust on the dance floor.

Selective focus: not the clever strategy used against parents.

Maybe we’re better off referencing our pal Bhautik’s incredible guide to tilt-shift and DIY lenses! It’ll teach you all sorts about tilt-shift, like –

What the heck is a tilt-shift lens anyway? (A lens that can tilt and shift its planes to focus selectively and make the subjects in your photos look miniature, too!)

Isn’t tilt-shift only for 19th Century men with pointy mustaches, cloaks, and large, fancy cameras? (No! Anyone with an SLR can do it!)

Can’t I just fuzzy out parts of my photos using Photoshop? (Yes, but the real thing is so much more fun. PLUS, you can make videos, like this miniaturized San Francisco vid!)

Where do I get one? (Make your own, it’s easy! 3 tutorials teach you how to make your own plunger- and bendy-cams for about $10!)

Now, select your focus and tilt n’ shift til the cows (photos) come home!

Selective Focus: An Illustrated Guide to DIY Tilt-Shift
[Bhautik’s Selective Focus Gallery]

p.s. Bhautik is a Research Engineer at Industrial Light & Magic (Lucasfilm!!) and the guy who wrote those amazingly popular plunger-cam tutorials!

p.p.s. The Selective-Focus guide is also available in print via Magcloud.

Photo credits: Bhautik Joshi

How To Make Instagrams, Hand-made Exposures on Instant Film!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Did you know that history’s first photographic images were made without a camera?

It’s true!

Way back in the 1830s, William Fox Talbot discovered he could place objects on photo-sensitive paper to make images called “photograms.”

We’re going to show you how to make them with instant film, so we call ’em “instagrams!” (We also call them “awesome!”)

How To Use Your Instant Camera to Make Instagrams!

p.s. On Friday we sold out of our new Camera Lens Mugs faster than you could say espresso. But more are on the way, so order now for a mid-August delivery!


Turn Your Instant Photos into Reusable Notes, To-Do Lists, and more!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

We love instant photos. They’ve always been fun to make, fun to share with friends, and pretty darn nice to look at.

Now they can be functional too!

We’re going to show you how to make your Polaroid or Instax photos into erasable noteboards that you can use to make your lists, reminders, and other notes so much fun that you’ll almost forget you’re getting work done!

Read on to find out how…

How to Make Instant Photos into Reusable Noteboards


How to Make a Pop-Up Photo Diorama!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

We’ve come a long way since 2nd grade with our Instapaper iPhone iPad apps and our acquired appreciation for oil barons who drink other people’s milkshakes.

But just because we’re “grown-ups” doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy an occasional crustless PB&J or even a serious diorama-making session!

Dioramas are an original way to show off your photos when you don’t have a frame handy (or even if you do).

All it takes is a pair of scissors and a few drops of glue to get your photos from flat to pop.

How to Make a Pop-Up Photo Diorama!


Scissor your Shots to Make a Photoweave

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

Have your photos been looking a bit flat? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Grab those scissors, it’s makeover time!

We’re gonna slice up your photos to assemble a feisty photo weave — a simple, handy way to make even the dullest photos pop.

Follow our simple steps and a winsome weave you’ll have in no time.

How-to Make a Photoweave

p.s. We’re hiring in San Francisco!


How to Grow a Photo Pinwheel Garden

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Does your work desk have an over-abundance of adult stuff?

Have the piles of paper sap the exuberance and whimsy of younger days?

Your remedy awaits in photos! A bit of drilling, bending, and twisting, and voilà — a carefree pinwheel garden is born!

What better way to remind yourself of simpler times, before reply-all emails, conference calls, and voicemail.

How to Grow a Photo Pinwheel Garden

p.s. Your best friend’s DREAM JOB is available. You should tell ’em.


Finesse your Flash with a 60-second Snoot

Slipping over the business-end of a flash, snoots are shaped like the cones worn around the necks of Elizabethan royalty… or recently neutered terriers.

While a naked strobe disperses light far and wide, a besnooted one will narrow your beam to a dainty spot — perfect when you need a spotlight effect.

It takes less than a minute to fashion your snoot: curl up some cardboard or grab a paper towel tube — and ka-flash, you’re done! Really!

Queen Elizabeth would be utterly bemused.

10 more Quick-Easy-Cheap Photo Hacks
(String tripod, cereal box softbox, tin can ringlight, etc.) Photo credit: mycael

p.s. Your best friend’s DREAM JOB is available. You should tell ’em.

p.p.s. We just gave away a freaking Drobo on that Twitter thing. How are you not following us? Fix it!

Make a DIY Fisheye Lens from a Peephole and Soda Can

It’s ugly, green, and it’ll make people stare at you.

And that’s why we love it.

Our pal Bhautik is no stranger to camera hacking, so we were excited when he told us about his newest creation: an adjustable-focus fisheye lens you can make from a peephole and soda can.

Follow the step-by-step tutorial for an afternoon of fun photo hackery. (For an inexpensive readymade version, see: The Fisheye Lens Adapter.)

Make a Tin Can Fisheye Lens

*NEW* in the Photojojo Store: Smoke Drops! Pro-Grade Special Effects at home. A 4/20 special!

Make a Clever Lens cap Keeper in 5 Minutes

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Oh, lenscap, wherefore art thou? Seriously, where the heck did you go.

Like socks in the wash, we’ve misplaced more lenscaps than we care to admit.

That’s why Swedish inventor Benny Johansson developed the SkottiRotta, a DIY lenscap-keeper that cozies up to your camera strap.

Now you can put the kibosh on dust and scratches — not to mention on buying a new cap almost as often as you have to buy new socks.

Make a Clever Lenscap Keeper in 5 Minutes

p.s. We’re hiring a Marketing Jedi in San Francisco! Must write sharp copy, know how to spread ideas, and eat social media for breakfast. Tell your friends!