UPDATE 5/22: Due to an overwhelming response, Operation Photo Rescue has closed their volunteer registration. Check back later! We’ll update when it opens again.
You’ve run through this fire drill a million times over: first, you grab the family cat, then your family photos.
Sadly, it doesn’t always work out that way. While many are grateful to survive a natural disaster, they’re still left devastated from the loss of everything they own.
The worst of it might just be the loss of irreplacable family photos.
Operation Photo Rescue is a league of photographers and graphic designers who set out to help survivors get their treasured memories back.
OPR’s first mission was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since then, they’ve restored 9,000+ photos in other disasters like Hurricane Sandy.
If you’re itching to help, OPR’s always looking for skilled photo restorers and fundraising.
You can help folks get back photos from their wedding day, that regal portrait of their great of grandpa, and snapshots of their daughter’s first birthday.
Won’t that feel awesome?
p.s. WE ARE HIRING A WEB DEVELOPER. If you love photography and San Francisco and codes, APPLY HERE.
p.p.s. WE ARE ALSO HIRING AN EVANGELIST/BIZ DEV HERO. Creative deal-maker types, APPLY HERE.
Have you ever had a dream where you looked around the room and everyone looked exactly like you?
Wait, was that a dream?
Either way, you can turn your camera into the ultimate cloning device and make like a million clones of yourself!
With our guide, you can learn how to make carbon copies of yourself (the best photo subject around).
Lay on the couch while vacuuming, or build a human pyramid out of 10 versions of yourself.
You can make images where you (appear to) do it all. You’ve always wanted a stunt double, right?
p.s. Learn the elements of lighting and sweet power-moves you didn’t know your phone had in our Phoneography 101 course. All the cool kids are doin’ it. Sign up!
You tried running your DSLR photos through phone apps.
But the details got lost, and you were left with a tiny photo!
Cole Rise’s Litely might just have made the perfect preset actions for your digital photos. And it’s no wonder, have you seen Cole’s photos?
Each set comes with twelve presets that gracefully adjust the color and tone of your photos with a look reminiscent of film.
But what makes these so different from all the other presets out there?
They’re impressively subtle and keep the skin tones of your subjects looking natural, all without washing out the detail. Plus, they’re pretty as heck!
The best part is they were each made to work with nearly any kind of lighting. So you can use use them whether you shoot outside, in low light, or in a studio.
We might just call Cole Goldilocks ’cause these presets are just right.
You can check the presets out in action at Lite.ly’s blog. They’re available Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, or Adobe Camera Raw.
Cubist, Inception-esque, so-freakin’-cool! Call it what you will.
He collages Picasso-esque buildings by digitally breaking up buildings and rotating the pieces into a totally new structure.
It’s his way of seeing the world anew and pushing the limits of what’s possible. (Awesomely, he made it a reality with this real life deconstructed house!)
If you’re inspired by these deconstructed houses, try your hand at panography, make a digital Picasso, or take advantage of Photoshop CS6′s content-aware fill tool, which lets you pick up and move objects in photos super easily.
Getting a once-in-a-lifetime shot is every photographer’s dream, but having those shots tainted by blur can be gut-wrenching.
While you might not be able to choose when these prize shots come your way, you can make sure you’re ready for them with some choice equipment and a little technique.
Your photos will be so sharp you’ll be able to slice tomatoes with them! Odd? Yes. Sharp? Awesome!
Seen this 1940’s photo floating around the net with a “time-traveler” seemingly sporting an SLR, shades, and NIN t-shirt? Wondered if it’s real? So did we.
So, we decided to turn to photo forensics: the Error Level Analyzer!
Slip a photo URL into the Analyzer, and like a CSI computer, it instantly highlights possible alterations. Turns out our time traveler’s legit — there are no distinctive color differences. (Here’s the full story.)
Try this shark-meets-helicopter photo though, and the sharks show up pink and white. This photo’s been ‘shopped!
How does it work? The analyzer looks for decreases in the quality of a jpeg that happen every time you save it. Those areas are most likely to contain edits.
Sleuth away! Analyze internet photos that you’ve always wondered about: time traveler pics, anti-gravity photos, or fashion spreads.
p.s. Have you heard of Thrillist yet? It’s a rad free newsletter that tells you about one amazing new thing each day. They’re giving a chance to win a $1000 Apple gift card if you sign up!
Bored of photographing plain old water?
Try an Aquatopiary, the incredible photo trick that sculpts water into shapes. (If you can splash around in a tub, you can make an Aquatopiary.)
All you need is something glass or plastic, a bucket of good old H20, and some digital jiggery-pokery.
Soon enough, magical shape-shifting splashes will become a swan, an elephant, a train, a face.
Bending water and reality? All in a day’s work for a photo wizard like you.
p.p.s. Thanks to returning sponsor New York Institute of Photography for supporting Photojojo. Grab a free course catalog!
Do you dream of faster lenses, larger apertures, and ice cream?
We do too!
Too bad, brand new lenses don’t drop into our laps everyday.
Fortunately, photographer Ryan Brenizer has developed a way to get specular results from your thrifty fifty or a basic kit zoom lens. By stitching together multiple shots, Ryan makes impossibly shallow depths of field, possible.
Follow a few easy steps and you too can take photos with the look of a faster more pricy lens.
(And when you spend less on new lenses, there’s more money for sundaes!)
A million thanks to Ryan for letting us feature a few of his photos.
Long long ago, Black-and-White ruled the Earth.
Frosty white highlights frolicked with rich black shadows in the Meadows of Grayscale, and it was good.
Then came Digital, whose dingy whites and muddy grays nearly drove Black-and-White to extinction.
But now, like wild-eyed scientists cloning a mammoth, we’ve found the best ways to convert digital color photos into the REAL honest-to-goodness-that-looks-like-Ansel-Adams-took-it Black-and-White. NOT the pale washwater grays and off-white whites you get with “Convert to grayscale”. And we’re going to show you how.
Until recently, if someone said the word “sharpening” to us, we’d whimper and hide under the table.
We mean, what the #$% is a threshold anyway?
Well, we finally got fed up with it, so we did some research. And you know what? Sharpening’s actually not that bad, and it makes a HUGE difference on digital images.*
Here’s our no-nonsense, jargon-free guide to sharpening your photos using Unsharp Mask. It’ll change your life. We promise.
*If you’re printing directly from film, feel free to be smug at this time. You don’t need to sharpen a darn thing.
p.s. Hey San Francisco! Wanna help us out with the Photojojo Book? We need people to photograph and places to photograph them in. Check out our wishlist! We’ll make ya book-famous, baby!
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