Photojojo finds the best photo DIY projects, tips, and gear.
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Your camera’s just as badass as you are in the kitchen.
With your sleeves rolled up, you can both take on a little batter, and you can both definitely take on some cocoa dusted Belgian chocolate anything.
With this mid-holiday season insanity, there’s nothing that sounds better than taking a little break from it all with your camera in one hand and a spatula in the other (okay, maybe not at the same time).
Here’s a little roundup on tips for shooting in the kitchen, camera gadgets for better photos, and an extra-special section down ‘low on edible photographs and cameras. Yep, you heard us.
Photos and cameras you can eat. Go. read. now. ↓
1. Tips for Taking Better Food Photos:
Your two main perpetrators are 1) not having enough light and 2) having the wrong white balance.
To combat the the low light issue:
- Shoot with a wide aperture
- Raise ISO to capture more light
- If your shutter speed < 1/60, use a tripod or flash.
- Direct flash is too harsh for food (makes too many shadows & makes food glisten in potentially unappetizing ways), so you might try a flash bounce or a diffuser.
To combat the white balance issue, try these white balance settings:
- In natural light, go with a daylight setting.
- If it’s especially cloudy or shady with a blue cast, use a cloudy or shady setting.
- If you have lamps on inside, set your white balance to Tungsten to offset the orange shade.
- Or set a custom white balance using a grey card or something like a white balance lens cap.
Onward! Here are a few guides full of really handy tips for shooting in the kitchen and hey, even at the table.
- Photojojo’s Ten Tastiest Food Photography Tips
- The Serious Eats Guide to Food Photography
- How to Start a Food Blog
2. Gadgets for Better Food Photos:
There might be a couple reasons why you have a camera in the kitchen. Y’know, besides proving to everyone that you look really good in an apron.
It might be to document the process (maybe you have a blog!) or you’re simply a foodie that appreciates what goes into making something that looks as good as it tastes.
These gadgets are not only the extra hand you’ll need if you’re playing with flour, kneading dough, or whisking eggs, but they’ll help you get better shots, too!
- A camera holder. Something like this Camera Capture Clip lets you wear your DSLR on your belt, keeping your camera safely out of the way.
- Shutter triggers. The iOShutter lets you set off your DSLR’s shutter via sound, motion triggers & more. Helpful for when your hands are full.
- A tripod. To prevent motion blur, so your photos are nice and sharp.
- A phone stand. When you’re not using as a tripod, you can use it as a stand for reading recipes on your phone. Also check out the Gorillapod Mobile.
- A level. Saves you time from having to go back and edit.
- A mini camera crew. The Swivl is a phone stand that follows your every move via a remote sensor. Shoot vids of yourself or set up a video-chat.
- A flash bounce or diffuser. Direct flash is too harsh. With the right amount of diffusion, you can take flash photos that don’t even look like they were shot with flash.
- A grey card or white balance lens cap. Set a custom white balance to measure the temperature of the light that you’re shooting in. It’ll make your shots look more like they were shot in natural lighting.
3. Blogs & Photographers That’ll Inspire You:
You’ll love these guys if you don’t already.
- Smitten Kitchen — Simply great photos showing the process
- Evelina and Carl Kleiner — The photographer & stylist behind Ikea’s cookbook
- Delicious Days — Thoughtful photos of food
- The Last Appetite — A global food blog
- TasteSpotting — An aggregated best of from around the net
- I Love Fika — Beautiful photos of coffee adventures in Portland and beyond
4. Camera Geek Wares for Your Kitchen:
Your kitchen’s the one room in your house that’s missing that photo geekery you’re so well-known for! There’s a chance you didn’t know some of this stuff even existed.
A kitchen timer that looks like a lens and camera bag that you can use as a lunch cooler? Totes.
The f/60 Lens Kitchen Timer — A timer that looks like a lens.
Camera Cookie Cutters — For true photo geeks. Rangefinder, TLR & SLR shapes!
Ceramic Lens Mugs — For the classy coffee drinker. Ceramic with fine lens detailing.
Lens Shot Glasses — That bread pudding could do with a little shot of a brandy, and so could you.
The Egg Carton Film Case — This thing is made to keep your 35mm rolls of film fresh in the fridge. Just make sure your roomie doesn’t try to make a scramble with ‘em.
The Camera Cooler Bag — This is a camera bag that can double as a cooler bag!
5. Photos & Cameras You Can Actually Eat!:
Yes, finally! Here are all the delicious photos and cameras that will happily digest in your tummy.
Gingerbread cameras — Our DIY tutorial for making TLRs and even a Mamiya from cookie dough!
Instagram chocolate — Cocoagraph will turn your phone photos into chocolate.
Photo cupcakes — Printable icing sheets means you can print a photo onto icing and eat your own face.
Camera cookies — Cookies that look like cameras. Glass free!
Photo lollipops — Same idea as the cupcakes. Lick.
Photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3; Pictured: Instabook
Maybe it’s your mom that’s always asking for prints to hang up in the family room. Or your high school friends who want copies of all the great photos you shot at your last party.
The point? Peeps want your pix!
The best gift you could give your family and friends has been right under your nose this whole time. Here are a few ideas for giving your photos in gifty ways.
1. USBs – Tiny & Reusable
This one’s perfect if you’re sharing lots of photos. If you don’t have photos to share from a particular get together, pile together photos of the two of you. Ahhh, memories! It’ll hit ‘em right in the heart.
2. Mailable Photos
Snail mail is the best. You totally get that rush when you find a letter with your name on it. You can give your friend 2x that rush by not only mailing them something, but making it a photo they’ll love, too.
3. A Camera with Your Photos on It
This one gets brownie points because it’ll give them a chance to take their own photos! You can go two routes with this one: digital or film.
Since you can’t just plop any photo onto a film camera, you’ll need to get a little craftier. You can shoot a roll that spells out a message or photograph places you’ve been together.
We like the Ultra Wide & Slim 35mm camera for this because it’s affordable and super lightweight.
Digital’s a goodie, too, because you can fill up a memory card with photos of the two of you and put it in the camera for your friend to find.
These three mini digital cameras are affordable options if you’re not looking to get your friend a DSLR or a point-and-shoot: the Classic Mini Digital Camera, the Nanoblock Camera (rad for Lego lovers), and the Zumi Triple Plus.
4. Prints, Delivered in an Album or Photo Box
We love the idea of curating a small gallery of your favorite photos as a gift. Instead of simply handing them over, place your bundle of prints in a photo box or album.
The box itself doesn’t have to be exclusively for photos. You can hand pick one or break out your DIY chops. You could even place the photos inside a rad camera case.
5. Hang-Ready Prints
Last year, we showed you how to one-up those mall elves in the holiday photo game.
This year, we’ll show you how to spin circles around them. Pretty soon those guys are going to be asking *you* for photo tips (and who knows, maybe Santa will hire you as his new photog).
We’re sharing a slew of photo ideas that your family will actually have fun doing! Even the most stoic of teens will crack a smile.
From creative backgrounds to great group photos that take less than 5 minutes to all the holiday lights fun you can imagine, you’re bound to find an idea that’s both creative and a blast.
Those mall elves might have speedy printers, but you have JoJo on your side.
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3
Back before Snapseed and Instagram, photographers used lens filters to add snazzy effects to their snapshots.
But filters can cost you a pretty penny, and you’re quite happy keeping your pennies, thankyouverymuch.
Well, we’ve got you covered because we’ve rounded up 10 DIY photo filters that won’t cost you.
In fact, most of these things are probably just lying around the house!
So follow along with our roundup as we accentuate the analogue and re-imagine the digital.
p.s. Our pals at Mosaic make some seriously beautiful photobooks you can create right from your iPhone! Take a look-see here.
photoBot photo by Claudine Quinn
No, they won’t.
But they’ll take over when you want to take a break from shooting at a party or want to document your day without having to stop what you’re doing!
Meet the anthropomorphic party cameras:
- photoBot is a ‘bot that uses an ultrasonic ranger to detect where people are in a room. Like an adorable T2, he detects people to shoot and shoots them.
- NAO is a humanoid robot that can shoot based off the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. It actually learned what makes a good photo based on these two photography principles.
These robo-photographers are meant to be worn, so they’ll document your day from your perspective:
- The Autographer has 5 sensors that use a super smart algorithm that decides when it’s just the right moment to take a photo.
- The Memoto comes with no buttons because it simply shoots a photo every 30 seconds. Similar to the Autographer, you clip it on and have your day documented!
It’ll be a while before humans are completely replaced with robots, but we wouldn’t mind handing over the duties when our hands are full. How about you?
p.s. Win a JPEG necklace to wear around your neck with pride, just follow our Pinterest today!
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3
As photographers, we plan and plan for big shoots.
But, we all have those days. The ones where that black cat that crossed our path, or we accidentally walked under a ladder.
Despite our best efforts, things can go wrong from time to time.
We’ll show you how to ward off those photoshoot nightmares. Our tips will prevent scary photo scenarios like garlic chases vampires away!
If you could make your own photo hack, what would it be? Personally, we’d figure out a way to make CatPaint real life.
Over a hundred developers dreamed even bigger at Photo Hack Day Berlin last week!
With judges from Facebook, Getty Images, and EyeEm and participants like the Loopcam & InstaCRT team, competition was fierce and yielded some amazing apps that we actually wish we had on our phone right now.
These were the top three winners!
1.Helmut: The fastest scanner in the world! A simple box in which you place a film negative. The accompanying app shoots a photo of the film & inverts it into a positive image. We watched them scan a frame in under 5 seconds.
2. Tourist Eraser: Kinda like Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill for your phone. It detects tourists in your photo and erases them without you having to do any work.
3. Visual Weather: Pulls together Flickr photos of what the weather looked like on a day similar to today’s. (To figure out what to wear & such!)
EXTRA COOL THING! We helped celebrate with an online photo challenge with EyeEm. See the winners’ photos, which were actually shown at Photo Hack Day!
p.s. Looking for even more of the best DIY photo ideas on the interwebs? Follow us on Pinterest!
Last week, 180,000 photo fans from all over the world came together in Cologne, Germany for Photokina.
What’s a Photokina? It’s Disneyland for photo nerds!
It’s the world’s biggest photo conference that comes around only every two years. Along with the conference came camera announcements.
And with it, a flood of tech specs.
If it seems to have blurred into an indecipherable cloud of hyphenated terminology, allow us to translate!
Haunting, dreamy, and gorgeous all at once, double exposures of silhouettes are the kind of photos that make you stare a while.
It’s been on your projects-to-try list, so here’s a friendly nudge with a few tips on this ethereal brand of portrait-taking.
- 1st image: Shoot your subject with the sun or a bright sky behind them.
- 2nd image: Shoot a well-lit textured backdrop, a landscape, flowers, grass etc. This fills in the silhouette with that image!
If you’re shooting with your phone or a digital camera
If you’re shooting on film:
- Use 200-400 ISO. Underexpose by 1 stop, since you’re exposing the film twice.
- Shoot a roll of silhouettes. Then, rewind and reload to shoot over those exposures with textures.
- Or line up your frames more precisely by marking your film when you load it and writing down what you’ve photographed on each frame.
With methods ranging from 35mm to iPhone, there are a handful of photographers who have really mastered the double exposure portrait. Check out their work below for inspiration!
(Photo above by Japser James)
p.s. We wanna see your double exposures! Follow us on Tumblr and post your double exposure with the tag #photojojo. We’ll pick our favorites to post on 7/13!
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3
Prom, graduation, senior trips. It’s the end of the school year, and you’ve got the pictures to prove all those feats of studying, playing, and saying goodbye!
The only downside to summer? Everyone disperses!
Here’s how to keep in touch with your friends using what you love most — your photos.
Don’t let those photos just sit and gather digital dust. Check out these tips for creative ways to share those kodak moments from the past year and through the summer.