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Make Yao Ming Jealous: DIY Aerial Photography
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At 7’6″, Yao Ming is one of the tallest Olympians, one of the most revered basketball players across the world, and we’re willing to bet, were there an Olympic competition for aerial photography, he’d score heads above the rest.

Puns aside, getting a camera up into the air is no small (or short) feat. We’re not all tall like Yao Ming, and we don’t always have access to a kite or a plane… Plus, tripods and professional monopods are expensive and weigh about a gajillion pounds.

So, we made our own Photojojo Sky-Cam, just for you and just in time for your own photography Olympics.

Transform your group shots, crowd shots, your super-secret, Bond-ian spy shots into “how’d-you-do-that,” Andreas Gursky-like works of high art.

The Photojojo DIY Sky-Cam

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Bring Your Vacation Souvenirs to Life
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Our desks are teeming with tchotchkes: here a London snow globe, there a Mickey Mouse key fob and Sally, the Statuette of Liberty. It’s cluttered.

If you’re like us, we suggest taking those trinkets back where they came from. Not to return ‘em, but to make your vacation photos just a tad… unusual.

Michael Hughes’ “Souvenirs” set began when he realized he was at the exact location of a postcard in his pocket. He held the postcard in front of his camera, lined it up, and presto!

Three years later, he’s photographed dozens of souvenirs in front of their real-world counterparts.

Next time you skip town (or stay in town–every place has a touristy destination), bring your tour booklets, ceramic postcards, blow-up double-decker buses, and Leaning Tower of Pisa lollipop to add a dose of flair to the well-trodden tourist photo. Sally could use a vacation.

Michael Hughes’ Souvenirs

P.S. We’re working with our pals at JPG on a photo challenge! Take a pic of a small part of something (maybe one of your souvenirs), and leave us guessing. Confuse us. Make us say “oh yea, duh” upon your big reveal. Just enter before Wednesday!


   
   
Inside-Out X-Ray Photography
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Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

We’ve always been jealous of Superman’s x-ray vision, and we’ve finally decided to do something about it.

It doesn’t involve Kryptonite, nor an alliance with Lex Luther, but rather a bit of old-fashioned x-ray photography.

Sure, x-rays are dangerous, but they don’t call us PhotoDANGERjojo for nothing. Read on for a couple ways we’ve found to reveal the secrets of high-heeled shoes (nails and steel rods), hairdryers (frighteningly complex systems of wires, coils, and plastic) and more!

(BTW, don’t think you’ll be able to detect the color of your sweetheart’s undies like Superman once did. X-rays don’t pick up color, buddy.)

Photojojo’s X-Ray Photography at Home

See also: Nick Veasey’s x-ray photography. His bulldozer x-ray above combines over 500 individual x-ray images, and his portfolio is stunning.

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Storm Chasing for Photographers: High-Speed, High-Risk, High-Fun!
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Weather Service predicts 1787 tornadoes this year. That’s almost 5 tornadoes per day.

Dorothy would shiver in her ruby slippers, all right.

Us? We want to chase ‘em down. ‘Cause the only thing cooler than 300-mph funnels of wind are the pictures you take of them yourself.

Luckily (kinda?) we’re right smack in the middle of twister season, here and across the globe.

Do it yourself: Chasing tornadoes, mind you, is DANGEROUS. And doing it right requires lots of fancy devices, like anemometers and hygristors. If the thought of hunting a roiling squall excites you, the Stormtrack website outlines the basics of storm chasing.

Do it with help: Want those amazing photos, but like your limbs right where they are? Consider a storm tour! Professional storm chasers lead you into twister territory in these weather safaris, and some are even made for photographers.

Fair-weather friend who prefers rainbows to cyclones? So be it. Rainbows are cool, too.

for the DIY-er…
Stormtrack’s FAQs for the Budding Storm Chaser

for the Do-it-with-help-er…
Silver Lining Tours’ Atmospheric Adventure of a Lifetime

Texas-Based Tempest Tours
(Check out the 2009 High Plains Photo Tour, sure to be a meteorologic hit)

(via PopPhoto)


   
   
Polaroid Manipulation: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask
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The day that Jenelle Norris sent her book “Polaroid 600 and Spectra Film: Manipulations and Creative Techniques” to the printer for layout was February 8, 2008.

The day Polaroid announced they wouldn’t be making film anymore? February 8, 2008.

Lucky for us, rather than let her effort go to waste, Jenelle put her whole book online for free!

Hooray!

And it’s a dang good book, too. Everything you ever wanted to know about messin’ with Polaroid: transfers, double exposures, how to use 600 film in an SX-70. You name it, it’s in there.

Get out there and stock up on Polaroid, folks! The film’s going fast and if you’re gonna experiment, ya better do it quick.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Polaroid Manipulation

p.s. Go to SavePolaroid.com for the latest on the effort to save everybody’s favorite instant film, and our guide to 10 ways to love Polaroid before it’s gone!

p.p.s. We’s famous! Check out Photojojo in August’s DSLR User (page 130), ProPHOTO Magazine (page 16), and this interview on us in Pop17!

Photo credits: Bradley Johnson, Lexi Hoeller, Paolo Degasperi and Brian Henry.


   
   
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Camera on a Kite!
KAP - Kite Aerial Photography

Remember the first time you flew in a plane and looked down to discover people had become ants, cars had become toys, and swimming pools, mere puddles?

We still love the view from up high, so it’s no wonder we’re smitten with Kite Aerial Photography (“KAP”, for those in the know).

The concept is simple: rig a camera to a kite, wait for some wind, let ‘er rip. The results — like DIY satellite photography. Check out the tops of tall buildings, spy on your neighbor’s backyard, or capture the abstract beauty of a lake from above.

Scott Haefner’s KAP site is something of a bible for the sport, chock-full of how-to instructions and sample photos.

Check out some of the pics (more here), and panoramas, then hit up Scott’s site to get started!

Scott Haefner’s Kite Photography
See also: tilt-shift photography


   
   
Photojojo’s Favorite Flickr Add-ons and Mashups
Photojojo's flickr tool roundup

We loooove Flickr. We want to marry Flickr.

What’s funny about our infatuation, though, is that it involves quite a few other people.

No, no, not like that. We’re talking about the clever developers who have transformed Flickr into the dynamic and lovable photo site that it is. Their creamy vanilla tools and bavarian dark chocolate add-ons are the frosting on the Flickr (cup)cake.

While there are many, many Flickr mashups out there, we’ve scoured through hundreds to bring you our favorite useful and fun ones.

Without further ado…

Photojojo’s Fave Flickr Add-ons and Mashups

p.s. Did we miss one you like? Tell us about it!

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In (Post-Soviet) Russia, Photo Manipulates YOU

We don’t speak Russian, so we don’t know much about the background of Russian-made PhotoFunia.

What we can tell you, though, is that the folks behind it really like Eugene Petrosyan. And they can do some really nifty things with pictures!

Put yourself or your friends in the newspaper, on a $100 bill, or up on a Times Square billboard! Always wanted to be on the telly? PhotoFunia won’t just make it happen, it’ll give you a feline audience. You’re sure to find something among the site’s 50-plus effects.

Especially classy: These lads even use facial recognition to automatically plug your face into the right spots in some photos! Putin would be proud.

Photofunia

p.s. Like this? Then you’ll probably like Dumpr, too!


   
   
Photographs of the Forgotten — Tim Kirsch’s Museum of Abandoned Buildings
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Tim Kirsch is braver than us.

He lugs his DSLR and hefty tripod over fences, through pigeon poo, across teetering floorboards, and through the dark.

What’s this guy doing, you ask? He’s photographing the heart of the planet’s eeriest abandoned buildings. All in the name of art.

The results are stunning: a million shades of rust, ghostly-lit interiors, broken sinks, mirrors, typewriters, rotting pillows, a red barber’s chair that looks as new as the walls around it look old. Piles of tiles and wallpaper rot next to the room of broken wheelchairs. Birds nesting in a breaker room. Al Capone’s prison cell, just as he left it. (That’s it to the right.)

With so much new (and improved!) around us everyday, seeing the old and forgotten can really give one pause.

We’re inspired to bring our camera next time we’re rooting around that creepy cemetery on the hill. In fact, we’re searching out deserted buildings on our walk home.

Tim Kirsch’s Opacity, Museum of Abandoned Buildings.

p.s. Tomorrow’s the last day for the WeSay.com‘s election-related photo contest! All photos get on the homepage of their national website. Best photo wins $100 at Calumet Photo. Submit your entry on WeSay.com or email politicspics@wesay.com


   
   
Your Bike? Awesome. Your Camera? Awesome. You Thinking what We’re Thinking?
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The smell of the road, the wind at your back, infinity miles per gallon…

Riding your bike sure is sweet. But you know what would make it even sweeter? The tried-and-tested, make-it-yourself, $10 + 10 minutes Photojojo BikeCam!

Just don’t assemble it while moving. And stop at all red lights. And stop signs. And use your hand signals. And wear a helmet, for pete’s sake. Your brain’s in there.

Read on to find out how…

The Photojojo DIY BikeCam — $10/10 minutes

p.s. WeSay is running a photo contest — submit election-related photos by the end of the week and they’ll be featured on the homepage of their national website. The winner’s photo will be shown as the ‘hero shot’! Submit your entry on WeSay.com or email politicspics@wesay.com

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