Fotopedia: Wikipedia for Photos


Remember when everyone thought Wikipedia was a crazy idea? If they’d heard about it at all?

A wannabe encyclopedia anyone could write? What good was that?

And now? It’s the largest organized repository of all human knowledge in existence. Comprehensive and current enough to make Douglas Adams proud.

Which brings us to Fotopedia. Just like Wikipedia, it’s a wannabe encyclopedia (of photos of everything). Just like Wikipedia, you can add to it (upload your own photos and help decide which photos go in).

Just like Wikipedia, you probably haven’t heard of it. (Yet.)

Fotopedia: The Photo Encyclopedia of Everything

p.s. We’re gonna be on TV! Watch The Early Show on CBS Tuesday to see Amit & Kelly (and Molly the Dog) chatting (woofing) up the new Photojojo book.

Get Greater Depth of Field with the Brenizer Method

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

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!)

How to Apply Brenizer Method

A million thanks to Ryan for letting us feature a few of his photos.


How Shooting Just One Thing Can Improve Your Photography Chops


You know how Monet became an unstoppable Impressionist juggernaut? He painted the same stuff over and over again.

It works for photographers too — Cecile Figuette takes a Polaroid of everything she eats. Every. Single. Day.

Focus on one subject, and you’re forced to evolve your style to keep it interesting… change your perspective, change the way you see things, change everything!

Do it for a while and everything you shoot starts looking better, not just your spicy sopressata with Italian Fontina and pesto on country bread. (Fancy pants!)

Leftovers: The Prettiest Polaroid Food Blog You Ever Saw

Thanks for the heads-up @cecilefig!

On twitter? Follow @photojojo and let us know if you’ve seen a site we should write about!

Starting Your Photo Biz… Part 2: What’s In a Name?


Why hello there! And welcome back to Photojojo’s School of Photographical Bidnezz!

So, you’re thinking about maybe starting a photo biz. You’ve checked out the pros and cons, but you’re still on the fence.

Here’s a little sumpin’ to mull over while you’re deciding: what would you name your business?

Thinking about names gets your mind into gear and prepares you for gettin’ that business off the ground.

Should you use your real name? Make up a studio name? Why? Why not? And more importantly, wherefore?

Chillax. Just keep reading and we’ll help you sort it out.

Starting a Photo Business Part 2: Whatcha Gonna Call It?

p.s. In case you missed it, be sure to read Starting Your Photo Biz Part 1: You Sure ‘Bout That?.

Photo credit: Banalities


How to Blur a Distracting Background Armed Only With a Point and Shoot

Extra photos for bloggers: before, after

The mission: Take a great portrait in front of a distracting background.

The equipment: The crummiest point-and-shoot camera on the market.

Your task: Throw the background out of focus so you can emphasize the subject.

Mission Impossible? Hardly. Even with the simplest point and shoot, you can get the blurry background you crave. Here’s how:

  1. Put the camera on the “portrait” setting.
  2. Move the subject away from the background.
  3. Back away. Far away. Farther. Keep going. OK, stop.
  4. Zoom in on the subject and take the picture.

That’s it! Try it for impromptu street portraits, vacation photos, or any time you need a great picture in a lousy location.

Click on through for the fine details and more clever photo tips!

How to Blur a Distracting Background (Plus More Handy Tips!)

p.s. Say hello to our buddies over at Virb and get 15% off at the Photojojo Shop. We <3 their fantastic photography collection!

The Zumi Digital, Vintage Video

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

*A Photojojo Confession*

For all the boasting, and oh my gosh wowing over digital photography stuffs — we sometimes miss shooting with film.

What we don’t miss is the hassle of buying film and getting it developed.

Which is why we are so truly, deeply, and madly in love with The Digital Zumi. She’s a palm sized camera that takes the dreamiest lo-fi videos (and photos) that look just like vintage film.

All the charm of film with the ease of digital? This camera is so us!

The Digital Zumi  Twitter It!
$170 at the Photojojo Shop!

p.s. We’ve only got a bit of our Zumi stock in and more is on the way. So if you’ve got a hankering, best act now to reserve for the next shipment ;)

Plungercam! 2 DIY Tilt-Shift Lenses You Can Make With Plumbing Hardware


Bored with your lens? Need a creative boost? Call a plumber!

Here are 2 tilt-shift lenses that you can make with just a few bucks’ worth of plumbing hardware.

Both give you that dreamy selective focus look you love so well, but they work a little differently.

Plungercam #1 is kind of like a Lensbaby — you bend and squish the rubber housing until your image is in focus, then you fire away.

Plungercam #2 is more like a traditional tilt-shift lens — you set up your shot and focus, then lock the lens into position. This means you can get repeatable results and can make killer time-lapse photos.

Grab some plumbing gear this weekend and make yourself a plungercam. Humming the Roto-Rooter song while you work is optional.

The Amazing Plungercam, Version #1

The Amazing Plungercam, Version #2

Photo credits: Bhautik Joshi

Schlieren Photography: How to Photograph the Invisible


Ever taken a picture of a cough?

Not just somebody coughing. No, we mean the actual air currents as they’re being expelled.

Well, they just did it at Penn State, thanks to the magic of schlieren photography.

Schlieren” are density variations in a gas or liquid that you can’t see with the naked eye, like air currents caused by heat, movement, or explosions.

The super-crazy, holey-moley, you’re-not-gonna-believe-this part is that you can take these kinds of pictures at home, without a ton of special science-y stuff or fancy equipment.

Click below to learn more about schlieren photography, and learn how you can try it at your very own abode.

Photojojo’s Guide to the Mysterious World of Schlieren Photography

Photo credits: Gary Settles, Science Photo Library


How to Light With LEDs


How much do you think it would cost to make a ring light for your camera?

$50 bucks? $25 smackeroos? Nah. $5.

All you need is a fistful of LED lights and a strip of velcro to wrap around your camera lens.

That’s just the beginning of what you can do with LEDs, the tiny titans of the lighting world.

Lightpainting, highlighting pinpoint details, macro photography… you name it!

At 50 cents each, buy ’em by the bucketful and experiment to your heart’s content.


How to Make a Reversible Cover for Your Camera Strap

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

Which would you rather have?

  1. An ugly black camera strap with a giant logo on it
  2. A comfy stylish camera strap in your favorite color
  3. A wild untamed Sarcophilus harrisii

If your answer was #1, you can skip today’s newsletter. Sit quietly until recess.

If your answer was #3, that’s probably illegal. Definitely inadvisable. Also bitey.

If your answer was #2, you’re in luck!

Here’s how to make a reversible cover that slips over your generic camera strap, instantly making it unique, comfortable and ever-so-dashing.

It’s super easy to make, so you can rock the strap cover even if you’ve never touched a sewing machine before.

Now get in there, tiger!

How to Make a Reversible Camera Strap Cover

p.s. We’re giving away Magnetic Photo Ropes today and tomorrow! Head to the Photojojo Shop to find out how you can get in on the action.