10+ Awesome Ways to Upcycle Vintage Photo Gear

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They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

You say as long as it’s related to photography, there’s no such thing as trash.

You keep shelves full of broken cameras, expired film, and 1MP digital cameras from middle school. (Nostalgia alert!)

Because we wouldn’t dare give away our precious cameras, we thought we might try to see if we could find some crafty projects to do with our vintage equipment instead!

Read on to learn how to turn an old TV into a glowing photo display, the best way to bring plant life to a dead lens, how you can make jewelry from your broken camera parts, and more!

10+ Ways To Use Vintage to Your Advantage

p.s. Our buds at MOO just launched nifty new stickers that you can customize with your own photos. Head here to get 40% off all MOO stickers until 6/30.

Photo credit: Brownie camera by Betsy Holets, TV lightbox by Atomic Indy. READ MORE

How To Make Photo Transparencies with Impossible Project Instant Film!

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If you know us, you know we love instant film. A lot.

So, when we heard Impossible Project would be releasing two new & improved instant films, we jumped at the chance to give ’em a whirl.

First we met PX 680: A film that produces beautifully saturated prints that practically ooze with color.

Second, Black Frame PX 600 silver shade: A black and white film with sleek black frames for a classic, gallery-ready look.

Both films are so easy to use and versatile, your camera might write you a love letter for feeding it so well.

Plus: While experimenting, we found a technique that’ll let you transform your new black frame images into photo transparencies!

It’s simple, fun, and takes less than five minutes. We were so impressed with the results, we had to share.

How-To: Make Instant Transparencies

15 Tips for the Best Underwater Photos Ever

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While we love taking photos on land, and sometimes high up in the sky, we can’t resist the magic that takes place underwater.

Real life Nemos, free floating props, and fashionable mermaids show us that underwater is the place to be!

Get a camera that can work in a (extremely) wet environment, and dive in to capture and
conquer the wonders of the water world.

Here‘s our top 15 list of uh-mazingly easy tips to get your feet wet in underwater photography.

15 Ultimate Underwater Photography Tips

p.s. Work with us! Photojojo’s hiring both in and outside of San Francisco. Seeking web developers, product buyers & sourcers, photographers, and writers.

Photos: Main + guitar by Sarah Lee; bubble close up by Sasha Leahovcenco READ MORE

How to Make Cinemagraphs — Still Photos that Move Like Movies!

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Yup, that picture moves.

Nope, you’re not going crazy!

‘Cause who said photos can only feature “still” life?

Inspired by the moving pictures created by photographer and motion designer duo Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, we set out to make the magic happen.

Make your pictures move like ours did with a some Photoshop magic!

Make DIY Moving Photos!


You Only Need 5 Things to Make Your Own Home Studio

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Photography doesn’t have to be all about fancy gadgets and technology. (Though sometimes it’s more fun that way.)

Like a master chef or Jackie Chan in a bar fight, it’s all about knowing what to do with whatever you have on hand.

If you just want some great-looking product shots for your Etsy shop, or tutorial photos for that Instructable you’re writing, you only need a simple home studio.

If you’ve got a tripod, a flash and a window, you’re more than halfway there already. Read on for how to make an inexpensive, so-simple-it’s-practically-zen photo setup.

The 5 Things You Need to Make a Studio

p.s. We’re hiring in and out of San Francisco: web developers, photographers, product buyers and sourcers, and writers!

p.p.s. Enter our Twitter challenge for a chance to be featured on the Photojojo Tumblr! Plus, congrats to Jenni Kowal for winning our weekly Facebook challenge!

Ask Photojojo: Photojojo’s Photo Pros Answer All Your Questions!

Have you ever wondered what Photojojo’s deepest dreams and desires are?

What does Photojojo think about in the wee hours of the night?

Maybe you’ve just wondered how to make the best DIY home studio or which DSLR is hot right now.

We went to Twitter to ask Photojojo fans what question you would ask us if you could.

Here are our answers! Amit, Jen, Billy, Kiran, Kelly, Julieanne, Laurel…

See the faces behind the names along with our expert photo and DIY advice!

[Have a question? Ask us!]

Our Answers to Your Questions

p.s. Wanna work with us? We’re hiring in and outside of San Francisco. Seeking web developers, product buyers and sourcers, photographers, and writers!

p.p.s. Come eat pizza and photo walk with us! READ MORE

Father’s Day: The Alite Twig Pod — A Monopod Optimized for Outdoor Photo Fun!

Your dad taught you all you know about the outdoors.

What better nod to all the campfire fun the two of you had than the Twig Pod?

It’s the coolest collapsible lightweight monopod that your dad’s ever seen!

A cleverly designed foot lets him prop the ‘pod into the ground, and a flexible ball-head mount makes shooting from any angle easy.

Think of all the places your dad can take it — hikes, picnics, concerts. After all, he’s an active dude!

Make sure you nab one today, cause we’ve teamed up with Alite Designs – makers of the Twig Pod – to offer something special.

You’ll get $28 credit to the Photojojo Store after you send in a review to Alite! With your expert photog feedback, Alite will be able to make even more bad-ass camera goodies.

The Twig Pod Tweet It!
$28 at the Photojojo Shop

p.s. It’s a 2-fer Twitter giveaway TODAY! Follow Photojojo & retweet this to win 2 Twig Pods for you and your dad.

p.p.s. Congrats to our Photo Run Facebook winner, Julia Hochstetler! Play this week for a chance to be featured!

Make a DIY Photo Flip-Flap — Hipper Than Your Average Photo Album

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Move over humdrum photo albums, cuz we got a new photo case in town.

It’s the fantastic photo flip-flap!

A cheap and simple way to display your photos in neat-o book form, the flip-flap is named for the unique noise it makes when you open it!

Flip flaps are neat because you can see all the photos in the book at once instead of flipping through page by page by page, as is the case with regular ol’ photo albums.

Why go out and get some generic photo album when you can make your own that just requires some scrap paper, some folding, and some adhesive?

Make a Photo Flip-Flap Album

p.s. We’re hiring! Seeking web developers, product specialists, photogs, and writers. Exciting, no? READ MORE

The Underwater Digi Cam — Take Your Camera Swimming!

Taking your camera to the beach is like giving your cat a bath: it gets finicky when wet.

Don’t let your camera short-out (or claw you in the face)!

Presenting your new swimming buddy: the Underwater Digi Cam, an underwater digital camera that shoots photo and video.

Dunk this digi cam as deep as 100 feet for ethereal underwater scenes Cousteau could only dream of. Shooting through a plastic lens, you’ll get that classic analog look reminiscent of film while fitting up to 90 photos in one outing!

It’s so much more than just a pool-adventuring snapper. It’s a sturdy, affordable digital camera you can toss into the ocean or even the Bering Strait!

The Underwater Digi Cam Tweet It!
$35 at the Photojojo Shop

p.s. Play in the Photojojo Photo Run, a weekly photo challenge on Facebook! Winner gets spotlighted on our FB page and announced here in our newsletter!

The Ultimate Guide to Photo Shadow Play: 30 Ways to Show Shadows Some Love

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In Photo 101 the third thing they teach you, after “remove your lens cap” and “this is a shutter button,” is to keep shadows out of your photos.

In Photojojo’s Photo 1-0-FUN, shadows are chillin’ at the cool kids’ table.

The secret to success is in knowing how to work with them. Our list-o-awesome shadow ideas can help you get started.

Learn how to make your shadows multi-colored, transform teeny props into massive monsters, or create a cinematic scene with dramatic light.

Unless you’re a Vampire, grab your shadow and head towards the light!

30 Shadow Play Ideas

Photos that Go Bump in the Night

beforeDark shadows can be downright creepy. So get in touch with your dark side and take some frightening shadow shots.

Stage a menacing shadow creeping after your friend and give your local photo lab technician nightmares for a week!

Pro tip: the closer you are to the light source the bigger your shadow will be.

Shadow Monsters!

beforeAnother fun and easy way to make scary shadow photos is with little ol’ harmless toys.

Just put them real close to a bright lamp and get ready to defend yourself from their giant shadows!

Our toy dinos (if you’ve ever ordered from our shop you’ve got one) would work great for this!

Shadows in Technicolor!

beforeTranslucent colored objects make colored shadows… science is so cool!

Be on the lookout for colored glass, balloons, and–if you’re lucky–translucent umbrellas.

And if that isn’t cool enough, you can even put food coloring in water, throw it in the air and get colored splash shadows!

Interact with Your Shadow

beforeWith the right set up your shadow can do it’s own thing rather than just copy you.

It’s really quite simple:

  • Have one friend (the Shadow) stand in front of a light source and outside of the frame
  • Have another friend stand in the frame and line up with Friend #1’s shadow.

With a little bit of arranging you can make it look like Friend #1’s shadow belongs to Friend #2.

Ponder while your shadow acts out your dreams. Sing while your shadow plays shadow air guitar. Or you could always threaten your shadow with a finger gun like Bader Kamal did (but I doubt he got much money out of ‘em!)

Give Your Shadow Some Props

beforeYour shadow is tired of watching you have all the fun.  Put a prop in the right spot and let your shadow have a go at interactng with the real world.

Pass that soccer ball to your shadow and see what happens.

Shadows also love to throw Frisbees, open doors, and climb ladders. Angie_c even caught hers trying to leave its hand prints on the wall!

(Frogmanor has a whole set of photos over at flickr proving that shadows are also good at climbing stairs!)

Hand Puppets!

beforeIt seems like only yesterday when a flashlight at a slumber party meant there would soon be bunnies dancing on the wall. Or maybe it actually was yesterday…

Check out this hand puppet guide, grab your camera, and maybe with a whole lot of practice you can make a dino as cool as Anandham’s.

Shoot Silhouettes

beforeLetting long shadows stretch past the frame of your image can make your photos look oh so deep and profound.

Back-light your subject so the shadow comes towards your camera.  It will help the image pop and can tell a powerful story.

Turn That Shadow Up-side Down

beforeTake a photo of a crowd in the early afternoon sun. Then flip it upside-down so the shadows have real people for … well, shadows!

You can do this to your pooch too!

Shoot Subjects in Half-Shadow, Half-Light

beforeHiding part of your subject in shadows adds mystery and drama to your photo.

Try hiding different amounts of your subject’s face for a variety of effects. You’ll learn a lot about portrait lighting this way too.

This split-light portrait by Jorege Moreno, Jr. is a stunning example of shadow intrigue. Drama! Drama! Drama!

Give Everyday Scenes Some 3D Wow Factor

beforeRich and rhythmic shadows can make photographs of common places look AMAZING!

The shadow from this fence makes a flat image seem 3D.

Shadows that produce patterns can give interest to bland ground and make all your photog buddies jealous of your skillz.

Perspective Play: Long Shadows from Above

beforeGet up above the crowds (tall buildings help) in the late afternoon. Once the sun is low enough that the shadows get nice and long you can capture some gorgeous shots from this perspective.

The subject has to depend on the shape of its shadow to explain what it is it, the effect can be quite striking!

The Anonymous Crowd

beforeA crowd is a crowd. After awhile, crowd photos all start to look the same.

Shift your perspective and try to capture the crowd’s silhouettes instead. It’s a refreshing change when your candid street shots get in a rut.

Shadow Boxing

beforeSince shadows don’t feel pain, they love to fight.

Let them duke it out; you’ll release all those angry feelings and there won’t be any black eyes in the morning.

A Little Shadow Lovin’

beforeWhat’s more romantic than a photo of your shadows cuddling?

Pretty much nothing.

Shadow Prints without a Camera!

beforeHave you tried out Sunprint paper yet? It’s light sensitive paper that can make a photo out of any shadow!

Cast a (very steady) shadow on a sheet then dunk it in H2O – easy peasy!

Even More Ideas!

P.S. We like to give credit where credit is due. Big thanks to Dave Bond, Ekaterina Nosenko, Natalie Villalobos, Joel “Boy_Wonder”, Carolyn Cochrane, Stefano Corso, Color de la Vida, Jason E.N., Fadzly Mubin, and procrastinatingxnipples for allowing us to use your photos under Creative Commons licenses or special permission! You guys are awesome!