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Tip-Top Tips for Shooting Fireworks

With the 4th of July fast approaching, you’re probably already searching for the best ways to shoot them ‘werks.

We’ve got you covered here with a few quick ‘n dirty tips and an excellent article covering more depth.

Quick Tips

  • Prime Location: Scout out the best location for the show in advance – downwind of the fireworks and free of obstructions.
  • Manual Focus: Your auto-focus is gonna have a rough time here, so don’t rely on it. Manually set your focus to infinity (or a bit closer for Canons.)
  • Low ISO: You’ll want the blacks to remain black, so keep things at or under ISO 100.
  • High Aperture: Wide aperture is key with fireworks, since they’re just made of burning embers. Shoot at f/8-f/16.
  • Low Shutter Speed: Use bulb mode if you have it. If you’re bulb-less, go for the longest shutter speed you’ve got.

Check out even more tips in this article at Digital Photography School.

Photo by Micah Goff

Poptography

You may have noticed that photography has increased in popularity in the past decade, you know, just a bit.

This photo boom can almost entirely be attributed to the photoing power of mobile phones. We’ve entered a new golden age of photography and it’s fascinating to watch current culture mix up the art a bit.

In this article on ImageBrief, Avril Delaney (whoa, cool name!) covers what she believes to be the top five ways pop culture is influencing photography. She presents some interesting challenges artists face as a result of these influences, and we’re always up for a challenge … or 5!

5 Ways Pop Culture is Influencing Photography

Photo by Ozzy Jaime

Surf’s Up!

Capturing the drama, movement, varied textures and colors of the sea is something almost every artist attempts. We’ve come a long way from mixing pigment on cave walls. These days we can snag a wave with a tap of our finger.

Technology has elevated our ability to catch waves, and in more ways than pop-out boards. Waterproof casings, almost infinite storage capacity and lightning fast shutters make for stunning photos when combined with daring photogs.

Take a look at this article with gallery on three such surf chargers.

Been craving to carve out some of your own photos? Check out the waterproof iPhone Supersuit. You could snap a photo, edit and share all before taking the drop. Epic!

 

Photo by Clark Little

Gramming for Good

Your Instagram presence is a superpower just waiting for that perfect opportunity to shine in selfless acts of kindness.

Welcome to your Hero moment. Gramming for Good is a new project that matches up talented ‘grammers with non-profit organizations, so you can use your visual power for good.

Sign up to participate here. Gramming for Good will match you up with a non-profit organization that suits your style and interests. Take over their account for a week, donate old gems from your photo collection, or spark a long-term collaboration and extend your impact.

If you’re in the Bay Area, check out Gramming for Good’s event coming up on June 11th.

Villains need not apply (we’ll keep you updated on when Tinder for Minions launches.)

Photo by Gramming for Good

Last Chance
Mother’s Day Ideas

Mother’s Day is less than a week away, and we’re compiling every idea we have for your perfect gift.

We know our own shop is stuffed full of fun goodies for Mom and we’ve already handpicked the best handmade gifts for her too.

But we’re so pumped about Mother’s Day this year that we decided to scour the ‘net for juuuust a couple more awesome gifts.

  • This Wood Block Cleat from Artifact Uprising is our favorite way to show off their signature prints.
  • These personalized Stickers are super affordable, unique and ripe with possibilities.
  • Personalize this Spa Box to showcase your favorite mom-time photo while also giving her a way to enjoy spa-time.
  • Who doesn’t love cookies? Gift Mom a Cookie Box Subscription … and, uh, grab us one too while you’re at it. Mmmmm….cooookies.

Sometimes the best gift is time. Take her out to dinner, a movie or both! Spend some silly time taking instant portraits or making a photo recipe book. You’ll have a great time and create something to remember.

Mom rocks, and you do too! Make this Mother’s Day a blast for you both.

Photo by Artifact Uprising

Turn Your Photos Into Beautiful Photo Narratives With Exposure

Extra photos for bloggers: 123

There are plenty of places on the web to post a photo your friends will “like.”

Our pals at Exposure have created a way to share photos that’ll make your friends straight up marvel!

Exposure is a super simple way create a photo narrative with your photos. Drag and drop your very best shots onto the page and an algorithm arranges them for you.

Type in a few words and you have a beautifully laid out photo story ready to share.

It takes the tricky out of making a stunning spread so you can concentrate on having adventures and taking great shots.

For inspiration, check out the very best Exposure photo stories already created.

Exposure is rolling out invites as we speak and we’ve got a link that’ll get you to the front of the line.

Sign up for Exposure, Share Your Photo Stories

Sharon Montrose Answers What It’s Like to Photograph Lions and Other Incredible Animals

When was the last time you got to snuggle a wolf puppy at work?

Never? Us neither. Sharon Montrose, on the other hand, can raise her hand to that one (and we’re green with jelly).

Sharon’s the photographer behind The Animal Print Shop. You might’ve spotted her portraits of wide-eyed baby giraffes, raccoons looking smug, and baby bears being baby bears.

We asked about how she discovered her awesome talent for photographing animal personality and what working commercially is all about.

While wolf pups might not be next up on your model list, you’ll get inspired to sit your pet down for a session!

Sharon Montrose on Animal Photography
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Face to GIF — The Fastest Way to Make a GIF on Your Laptop!

We’re avid Tumblr GIF-ers. We’ve done it all. Time-lapse GIFs, film scanner GIFs, wiggle GIFs.

So you can trust us when we say Face to GIF is the quickest way to make a GIF of your face.

It all happens in your browser. All you do is hit the “make a GIF” button, and it’ll record you via your computer’s webcam. Almost instantly, it’ll deliver a GIF of your face sitting behind the screen.

Now that you have the power of instant GIF-ing, you can shoot reaction GIFs (for forum and commenting fun), show Tumblr your pop n’ lock moves, and maybe even sit your favorite cat in front of the camera.

Life’s too short to not be making GIFs of your face… or pets, so have a blast.

Make a GIF of Your Face [via The Verge]

How to Use Photography to Help in Natural Disasters — Operation Photo Rescue


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?

Operation Photo Rescue

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.

100 Cameras — How to Improve Kids’ Lives Through Photography

Photo by Brooke Schwab

Photography is a solo sport. It’s just you and your camera out there!

You’ve asked yourself a million times how you can make a difference with your photo skills, and 100 cameras figured it out.

This non-profit gives cameras to kids in developing communities around the world. Which is so great!

The kids are then able to sell their own photos giving them educational resources, healthcare, and lifeline supplies. Even greater!

These new photogs also learn about empowerment — they first-hand experience their own talent and skill positively affecting their communities.

Remember the first time you felt you could make a difference? Suddenly you felt like you could do so much! One empowering experience is all it takes.

BTW! 100 Cameras is actually raising funds to launch 100 Cameras 2.0, which will let anyone start their own photo community. Helping kids with photography? Sounds like a no-brainer!

Help Kids via 100 Cameras

p.s. Attention gadget lovers – we’re hiring for a Buyer aka Treasure Hunter. Apply here.