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Hold the Camera, Kid: Luring your Child into the World of Photography!
Don’t miss our second San Francisco Photo Safari this Saturday!
kids with camera

We all remember our first camera, whether it was digital, 35mm or Polaroid. But we might not remember taking our first picture.

And why not? Because most of us started taking photographs when we were little.

There’s something about cameras that draws kids like a magnet. Teaching a child how to take pictures could be the spark that starts a life-long interest.

Grab your kid, or a friend’s kid (or that strange toddler that followed you home from the convenience store after you bought two cases of Tastykakes) and open their eyes to the world of photography!

Turn Your Kid Into a Photographer

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk

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Motion Blur: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know
motion blur

You already know what motion blur is: the subject’s in focus, but it’s moving so fast that the background streaks into a mere blur.

And you already know what kind of photos look great with motion blur:

  • High-speed sports
  • Busy streets
  • Small children wrestling an alligator atop a speeding train

But we’ll bet you hadn’t thought of using it for slow-moving subjects. Wind, water and clouds look surreal and dream-like when photographed slowly enough to capture their movement.

The next time you wake up to a dark and windy day, don’t snuggle back under the covers with a cup of hot cocoa. Those are the best days to catch clouds and wind on the move.

So bundle up, grab the tripod and stop down to your tiniest aperture: it’s time to go out and explore the other side of motion photography.

(Then you can go back to bed.)

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Capturing Motion Blur

45 Brilliant Motion-Blur Photos

p.s. Thanks to everybody who came out for our recent Photo Safaris in New York City and San Francisco! We totally have the best fans anywhere. If you haven’t already, sign up for updates. We’ve one in SF this weekend.

Photo credits: T.MoE, Extra Medium and Mace2000


   
   
Make Custom-Printed Fabric Using Your Photos
Don’t miss our second New York Photo Safari this Sunday!
spoonflower fabric

Listen up, young whippersnappers: when we were your age, we had to trudge fifteen miles to work every day. Barefoot. With wild raccoons biting our ankles the whole time.

And if we wanted to have photos on our fabric, we had two options: glue and thumbtacks.

But all you young punks have to do is choose a photo and have Spoonflower print it on cloth for you. Your very own photo-print fabric: yards and yards of it.

And we suppose you rapscallions will make clever things with your fancy photo fabric:

Young people these days with their shoes and photo cloth and raccoon-free commutes.

What’s the world coming to, dagnabit?

Spoonflower Custom-Printed Fabric


   
   
The Ultimate Tool for Street Photography, Kid Photography, and the Camera-Shy
Welcome back to returning sponsor Lensbaby and their cool new Composer lens.
Find out why Photojojo advertisers keep coming back.
Spy Lens
Extra photos for bloggers

There’s something about pointing a professional-looking SLR camera at people that makes them pay attention.

And when you’re aiming for candid, unposed shots, attention’s a bad thing.

Enter our Super Secret Spy-Lens.

Shooting street photography, photo-reportage wedding photography, or just the kids in their natural habitat? The Spy Lens and its precision-made 90 degree mirror assembly let you go undetected.

How? The Spy Lens attaches to the end of any zoom lens and has a cut-out on the side. Point off into the distance and your subject thinks you’re shooting straight ahead, but you’re really shooting to the side. (Choose which direction by rotating the Spy Lens.)

We hear it’s 007′s lens of choice.

The Super-Secret Spy Lens
Available now at the Photojojo Store


   
   
DIY Scanner Camera — Take Ghostly Photos with Your Repurposed Scanner
The 1st Photojojo Safari in SF, with Heather Champ of Flickr. This Sat!
scannercamera.gif

We’re gonna call it now — the flatbed scanner’s headed the way of the landline, the fax machine, and (dare we say it) the polaroid.

Sure, it’s probably got a few more years in it, but if you’re like us, you’re already using your scanner about as often as your thermal-paper fax.

Why fight it?

With a bit of foamcore and bit of Sunday afternoon, you’ll turn your flatbed into a frankenstein camera, ready to take ghostly images anywhere. Learn how in this video tutorial from our pals at Make.

Make your own Scanner Camera
See also: Stephen Miller’s Scanner Camera gallery

p.s. Wow. You guys pulled out all the stops for the Get Outside! Nature Contest. We are seriously impressed. photojunky35 wins the TrekPod Go! and RollsUp and benmorrow each win a T’Pod. And don’t miss these Honorable Mentions: the-ninth, ange, scattered1, lyndsey matthews, and Leigh. Amazing work, everybody.


   
   
Day of the Dead: Memorial Photography
Our first Photo Safari in San Francisco is this Saturday!
parents with daughter
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

In honor of the Dia de los Muertos (November 2nd), we’re digging up a lesser-known piece of photographic history.

Memorial photography was the common practice of taking a person’s portrait after they passed away.

Since our culture now fears death more than we mourn it, these photos are seen today as macabre. But it was actually a beautiful tradition that helped families keep a small memento of the loved ones they had lost.

Though it’s a bit of a departure from our usual fare, we wanted to share some history that’s gone but not forgotten.

Memorial Photography
Thanks to reader Blake Nolan for the idea!

p.s. This article does show photos of dead people, so don’t click through if that kind of thing freaks you out.

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Photojojo’s Ultimate Guide to Taking Portraits at Night
night portrait

Nights on the Riviera…
Costume balls in Cancun…
Dancing until dawn in the glittering palaces of Monaco…

Life at Photojojo is one mad whirl of unbridled hedonism.

What? It totally is. Mad, we tell you. Whirly.

Okay, fine, we didn’t really think you’d buy that. But if we did lead lives like that, you better believe we’d have some great photos to show for it.

If there’s one thing we know, it’s how to take an awesome portrait at night. Use a tripod, moderate your flash… oh heck, just keep reading. Everything you need to know is in here.

Photojojo’s Guide to Night Portraits

p.s. We had a great turnout for the Macro-zoom-ography Contest! The winners are: subbyguy, mazzer, and Jana. Thanks to everyone who entered- you made it really hard to choose!

p.p.s. Want to take some spooky ghost pictures this Halloween? Try capturing the mystery of entopic phenomena!

Photo credit: sgoralnick.

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Four Reasons to Love Phoenix
Phoenix logo

Why do we like Phoenix?

  1. It’s an image editor that works just like Photoshop. It’s got magic wands, layers, masks, blend modes: the whole enchilada.
  2. It’s web-based, so you don’t have to download any software or use up space on your hard drive. You can use photos already on the web, too: Flickr, Facebook and Picasa all work.
  3. There are 40+ free tutorials that range from beginner to advanced, so you can learn how to use all them fancy tools.
  4. There’s a very good free version, as well as a souped-up hotrod version that’s actually worth paying for.

And, after months of invitation-only anticipation, Phoenix launches tomorrow to the general public!

But you, dear chums, you are not the general public. Far from it. You are the faithful cadre of the Photojojo elite. Which is why we wrangled, bargained, and mud-wrestled a live alligator to obtain (just for you) special passes!

The first 2000 Photojojo readers to sign up will get $55 off a year’s subscription to the premium version. Fly quick, chickadees!

Phoenix Web-based Image Editor

p.s. While you’re there, be sure to check out Aviary’s other tools (they work together like Adobe’s Creative Suite). Toucan creates color swatches and palettes, Peacock generates patterns and terrain, and Raven (the newest hatchling) is a vector editor similar to Illustrator.


   
   
Vote With Your Camera: The Polling Place Photo Project
polling place

If you happen to live in the United States, all you’ve heard about lately is the elections. (Chances are you’ve heard a lot about it even if you don’t live here.)

But when you get right down to it, the actual act of voting is so mundane, so taken-for granted, that more than a third of Americans didn’t even bother in 2004.

That’s why we like the New York Times’ Polling Place Photo Project. It elevates the ordinary, bland places where history is made.

Photographing your polling place is a great challenge: it makes you rethink the importance of what goes on there.

We challenge you to cast that church basement or high-school auditorium in heroic light, to raise the sleepy, coffee-deprived people lining up before work onto their proper civic pedestal.

And why stop there? Why not get out and document the process leading up to the election? Photograph the rallies, the clever posters, your friends arguing politics. If there was ever a year for political photography, this is it.

The Polling Place Photo Project

If you’re not in the United States, we’re dying to see how politics work in your country. What do the campaign posters look like? Do you have voter registration cards? Where do you vote? Post your pictures on the Photojojo Forum and tell us all about it!

Submit Photos of Your Country’s Political Process

p.s. New to the neighborhood? Don’t know where your polling place is? Google can tell you where to go.

p.p.s. Don’t forget to enter our Macro-zoom-ography Contest before it ends this Sunday, 10/26! The Nature Photography Contest is still going strong, too: enter here!

p.p.p.s. Some cities/counties/states allow photography in the polling place and some don’t. If yours doesn’t, please respect the rules, and be nice to your polling officer!


   
   
Photojojo’s Guide to Scary Photo Pumpkins
Live in NYC or San Francisco? Come to our Photo Safaris, starting this weekend!
scary pumpkin!
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

We love Halloween.

The costumes, the candy, the parties: we love it all. What other holiday is completely devoted to making you feel like you never have to grow up?

And what better way to celebrate your arrested development than plunging your hand into a pumpkin, scooping out its guts, and carving scary faces on it?

We’ll tell you what better way: carving your own scary photos onto that pumpkin instead of the usual triangle eyes and pointy teeth. All you need is a scary picture and a little know-how. Read on for the full details on how to make your own photo pumpkins.

Photojojo’s Guide to Photo Pumpkin Carving
Thanks to reader Leah Rust for the idea!

p.s. New contest! Submit your macro and zoom photos for a chance to win free rental lenses! Enter here by Sunday, October 26!

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