Holiday Photos: The Top 10 Most-Fun-Ever Ideas

Rounding up your family for holiday-time photos is a feat intended only for the super-human (i.e. Elves at your local mall. They’re little, but mighty).

Obligatory sweaters are the least of it. You’ve been through creepy santas, herds of costumed dogs, and unfortunate awkward poses.

It hasn’t always been pretty, but this year, that’s all going to change!

2010 is THE year for the holiday photo you’ve always dreamed of, whether you’re sending them ‘cross country to friends and family or just want to grab a shot of everyone while they’re all in one spot.

No more awkward blank stares and no more heart-breaking sobbing children. It’s all uphill from here!

Top Ten Holiday Photo Ideas

p.s. We’re putting on a lil’ photo contest with our pals who run that lil’ conference called CES! You’ve got one week to enter!

(continued…)


   
   
Re-Animation: Turn Found Photos into Mesmerizing Videos

Did you know you can make an animated video without picking up a camera?

Cassandra C. Jones creates mesmerizing animations using her method “Snap Motion Re-Animation.”

It started one day when she realized that if she collected enough photos of one thing, she could put those photos together in just the right sequence to make an animated movie.

Take a galloping horse: she was able to create a movie of a single galloping horse using photos of 12 different horses in mid-step. (She sifted through 5,000 photos to find ones that perfectly matched up!).

A few of her other animations include: 97 photos arranged to show snow melting in a person’s hand, 900 photos to show the moon waxing and waning across the screen, and 17 photos showing a car spinning while on fire.

With a whole lot of patience and an eye for movement, Cassandra has combined photo-hunting and animation into a whole new craft!

We’ll leave you with these two hypnotizing re-animation videos. May they inspire you to make your own: “After Muybridge” and “Stripes (Lightning Walk).”

Snap Motion Re-Animation
[Bonus! An awesome interview with more re-animation vids.]

p.s. Our pals Animoto make rad videos out of your uploaded photos, and they’re giving a free video (normally $3) to every Photojojo reader! Just use code “PHOTOJOJO” this week only. We even made our own video! Check it out: “A Day in the Life of Photojojo!”


   
   
How to Turn a Photo into 175 Hours of Solar Power

SPONSORED EMAIL (?)
Like Robin to Batman, your camera is your trusty sidekick, always by your side.

You’ve dreamed of the day you could help mankind with Photon (that’d be your camera’s superhero name). And, guess what? That day is finally here.

Simply upload a photo to Flickr through GE’s Ecomagination Photo Project site and tag with “Wind,” “Water,” or “Light.”

In turn, GE will donate:

  • 4.5kW hours of wind energy for every wind photo
  • 175 hours of solar power for every light photo
  • 480 gallons of drinking water for every water photo

(They’re working with three charities to make it all happen.)

Cool, right? Your photos combined will build wind turbines to power clinics in rural Peru, give families in East Timor solar-powered lanterns, and build wells to provide clean water.

In other words, it’s an easy breezy way to turn your photos into positive action. World, meet the best photog super action team this side of Gotham City: You (and Photon).

Upload a Photo, Help Mankind: GE’s Ecomagination Project

p.s. Check out the Ecomagination Flickr group with photos people have submitted so far!

Photo credit: Albert Valles, Xiahui, and Katie Kuberra.


   
   
Halloween Special: Dust Off Your Camera for Killer Ghostly Photos

We had always pictured ghosts as levitating hole-punched bed sheets, but apparently, we were wrong. Ghosts come in all shapes and sizes!

Some are transparent and grumpy, some jolly and made of marshmallow. Others float and induce sadistic sneezing sessions.

…Like the spooky figures in Ujin Lee and Tom Edward’s “Dust” series. Their powdery explosions take the form of ghostly figures photographed in eerie locations, like abandoned playgrounds and empty museum halls.

Another photographer, Marie Hanhnhon Nguyen, experiments with flour, creating images of floating clouds and phantom-like human figures.

The flour envelops her subjects in a white transparent glow, giving the photos a deliciously haunting mood.

If you’re inspired to try your own powdery phantom photos, we rounded up a few more projects to whet your appetite!:

  • Use smoke drops, which are perfect for spooky-fying your photos (example: The scariest photo you’ll ever see).
  • Use mystifying color smoke balls, like those in Ólafur Arnalds’ music video.
  • Take a look at The Flour Hour Flickr pool, which is packed with flour photo play.
  • Check out Wizard Smoke by Salazar, a short video featuring phantom-esque skateboarders dressed in flour and tempera powder paint. Their movements leave ghostly trails of human-shaped clouds behind them.

Ujin Lee and Marie Hanhnhon’s Powdery Phantoms


   
   
Jean Francois Rauzier’s Hyper-Detailed Photos, Creating a Dreamworld with Thousands of Shots

A game!: Inception or Not Inception?

Mad man constructs faux reality by assembling deceivingly realistic structures that are maze-like when observed too closely.

Surprisingly, not Inception! Jean Francois Rauzier’s Hyperphotos are photographic reconstructions of real places often created from between 600-3,400 individual photos.

A bit like Hockney, Jean photographs a single place for one to two hours. He uses a telephoto lens to collect close-up shots of his scene.

The compilation is where his vision or dream, if you will, takes over and the thousands of photos translate into Babylones, Voyages Extraordinaries, and Cités Idéales. We can take a gander at what most of these French titles mean!

Looking at a single image will have you lost in its architecture for hours! (Kind of hoping we’ll find a Leo or Juno if we stare long enough.)

Try your own dreamworld reconstruction, but don’t forget to set your kick and spin your totem and all that good stuff (’cause we hear those dreamworlds get craaaaazy)!

Jean Francois Rauzier’s Hyperphoto Constructions
[via My Modern Met]

p.s. We’ll be at Photokina in Cologne this week! If you’re going, too, and want to meet up, send us a message at photokina@photojojo.com.


   
   
Long Exposures + Facebook Albums = Gorgeously Layered Photos

We sign in, and within 10 minutes, we’ve seen photo albums of our our Art History professor’s gem collection and our crush’s trip to the Kennedy Space Center (swoon!).

Facebook hands us a magnifying glass, showing us see each others’ lives in an astoundingly close-up view.

Phillip Maisel got to thinking about that – about technology, photographs, and how memories are stored and shared.

He grabbed his digital camera, and setting it on a long exposure, took a photo of his computer screen while he clicked through a Facebook photo album.

The result? Gorgeously layered photographs that resemble double or triple exposures.

A day, a trip, or even a month’s worth of photos all relived in one photo! There’s something pretty magical there.

So, the next time you find yourself flipping through Facebook albums, see what happens when you set your camera in front of your screen! (’causewebetit’llbeamaaazing!)

Phillip Maisel’s Facebook Album Layered Exposures
[via Conscientious]


   
   
Photograph Your Friends From Five States Away!

Relationships, fragile packages, our feet. Long distance is hard on all of ‘em.

Life would be grander if we could just teleport. Well now we can, in a way!

Boltron (aka Nate Bolt), in collaboration with Paul Octavius, Steph Goralnick, and Laura Miner, created The Shutter Exchange.

It’s a simple yet ingenious method of photographing your friends from states away (and even further!). It gives you control of their camera via the internet!

Quickie tutorial:
1) Connect DSLR to computer via USB cable
2) Use Remote DSLR Pro software to view what your camera sees on your computer screen
3) Give control of your screen to your friends by using Skype or Adobe Connect’s screen-sharing features
4) With the combination of Remote DSLR Pro and screen-sharing, your friends can adjust your camera’s settings and release your camera’s shutter from afar!

Yes. Much easier than breaking our body into a million pieces and putting them back together again.

The Shutter Exchange, Photograph Friends from States Away
[Boltron's Shutter Exchange in Detail]

p.s. We’re on Tumblr! Follow us for a daily dose of amazing photos and stories!

Photo Credit: Collaboration of Boltron, Steph Goralnick, and Laura Brunow Miner


   
   
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


   
   
Laptopograms: Expose prints with your laptop screen!

Ah, the sun! The big, bright strobe-light in the sky!

We love our reliable ‘ol pal, but with so many new gadgets popping up, we’d be fools not to take advantage of their photo-gramming capabilities!

We’re talkin’ laptopograms.

Aditya Mandayam developed this exciting new way of making prints: press photo-paper against your laptop screen, flash the screen, and dip the paper in developer, stop, and fix.

If you don’t have a laptop, TVs, iPhones, iPads, and other illuminating gadgets work, too! What we love the most about laptopography is that it’s wide open for experimentation.

Curate a show of Facebook profiles, hold a photo-shoot of your friends via Skype, make prints of your camera-phone photos, or create photos from a paused Youtube vid!

Yup, it’s official. Digital asked analog to marry it, and they’re running off to Vegas.

Laptopograms: Expose Prints with your laptop screen!
[Aditya's Laptopography Tumblr]

p.s. Our pals at CanvasPop turn your most kick-ass photos into canvas art! PJ readers get a $25 gift card! Use code PJJlove to redeem.

Photo Credit: Madmolecule for black and white girl; Aditya for all others


   
   
Make a Masterpiece from Your Contact Sheets!

The scene: 9 am, you wake up. Your room is eerily silent. You sense something’s off, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

You run to your computer. Photoshop is gone! All that’s left is your scanner, camera, and film. WHAT DO YOU DO?

Create art IN your camera!

Martin Wilson did, and the results are incredible: each contact sheet is a self-contained work of art, made of cleverly-composed patterns and words.

It’s not easy — every time he picks up his camera, he has to know precisely what each frame should look like before he shoots it — a single roll can take months to shoot. But the product: a Contact Sheet Masterpiece, with nary a cursor in sight.

With a little patience and a pint of planning, may we all aspire to the Martinistic school of contact!

Martin Wilson’s Masterpiece Contact Sheets

p.s. Our BFFL’s at MOO are giving PJ readers 25% off their Mosaic Frames! Check. it. out.


   

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