The Smartest Camera Strap Ever

R strap

We’ve been hearing a lot about the R-Strap lately, but we thought, “Really? It’s just a camera strap. What’s the big deal?”

Turns out it’s a really smart design. The strap hangs diagonally across your chest like a messenger bag, so:

  1. It’s more comfortable than a neck strap, and…
  2. Your camera stays out of the way at your hip.

The smart bit is the little slider attachment that allows you to glide the camera up the strap to your eye so you can take a picture. The camera moves, but the strap doesn’t. See it in action here.

It’s really clever, and we’re kind of kicking ourselves for not thinking of it first.

Added bonus! For all of our thrifty brethren out there, we’re including a couple of ways to make one yourself. Either way, your neck will thank you.

The Original R-Strap ($44)

Make Your Own R-Strap (Version 1)

Make Your Own R-Strap (Version 2)

p.s. For every pink-themed photo added to the Pink 2008 Flickr group this month, Yahoo! will donate 1 euro to breast cancer charities. Add your picture and make a difference!

Photo credit: iBallz

Ten Ways To Look Fabulous in Pictures

Photojojo is hiring!
good-lookin' portrait

The photographer’s worst nightmare: being hauled out from behind the lens and forced to stand in front of a camera.

Why must people photograph us? Yes, photographers are adorable, and yes, we have unparalleled style. But we are shy, and we prefer to hide behind our cameras like frightened woodland creatures behind large trees.

Still, people do insist on taking our pictures. So, what to do when you can’t avoid being photographed? Stand tall and follow our tips for instant photogenicity.

The Top Ten Ways To Look Good in Pictures

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Photojojo’s Guide to Macrophotography

photomicrographs

Looking at photomicrography is like walking into a whole new dimension.

It knocks us out that there’s this whole invisible world present, yet utterly ignored, in every aspect of our lives. Plus there’s a whole branch of photography we never even thought of.

The bad news is: 1) most of us don’t have the specialized equipment to really get into photomicrography, and 2) it’s hard to pronounce.

The good news: we can learn to photograph very small things that are visible to the naked eye.

Macro photography is supposed to be for Serious Photographers, but anyone with a decent point-and-shoot can master it.

Come on along and we’ll let you in on the settings, lighting info, and technical gear you need to know about to get started.

Photojojo’s Guide to Macrophotography

Photo credits: Klaus Bolte, Michael Klymkowsky, Dr. Dennis D. Kunkel, and Dr. Heiti Paves.
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Dump Food on Your Friends & Take Pictures

Welcome back to returning advertiser Lensbabies
they’ve got some cool new lenses we just saw at Photokina.
Find out why Photojojo advertisers keep coming back.
dumped food portraits

How?

How in the name of the Jolly Green Giant did Meg Wachter get anybody to pose for these portraits?

Was it bribery? Hypnosis? Did she promise them a guest spot on “You Can’t Do That On Television”?

Probably all of the above.

Tell ya what we’d do if we wanted to get pictures like these, though:

We’d host a big end-of-summer BBQ/pool party, with lots of soupy side-dishes, and we’d wait ’til everybody all had their bathing suits on, and then we’d break out the camera for the hugest, sloppiest, food-fight photo extravaganza there ever was! Yeah!

We’re not saying you have to spend this coming weekend that way, it’s just, you know, it is the end of summer. And they would be really awesome pictures. We’re just saying.

Meg Wachter’s “Dumped” Portraits

p.s. Congratulations to the winners of our Lomography + Photojojo Photo Tip Contest! First prize goes to lauramary, followed closely by shanegoguen, tom_ashor_bhaan, halfawakehaiku, and ginnymae.
Thanks to everyone who entered- you’re all brilliant!

Simplify Your Life: Send Photos to Different Sites at the Same Time

pixelpipe

Flickr, Facebook, your blog… so many wonderful places to share your pictures.

And yet, such a giant pain in the butt to tag and organize and upload photos separately to every single site. Sometimes it’s almost not worth the effort.

Until now! (Cue burst of golden light and singing choir!)

Pixelpipe’s a new service that uploads all your pictures to all your favorite sites at once. Here’s how it works:

  • Choose all the destinations you usually send photos to (like Blogger, Picasa, YouTube and nearly 50 other sites).
  • Add titles, tags, and captions to your chosen photos or videos.
  • Click upload, and relax while Pixelpipe send all of your photos to their various destinations.

Easy, right? Also, did we mention that it’s free? And there are free software add-ons that let you upload straight from Picasa, and your mobile phone, and stuff like that.

So there you go: more sharing your photos, less pain in the keister.

Simplify Your Life at Pixelpipe.com

Better Than a Lead Balloon: Aerial Balloon Photography

balloon aerial photography

On July 2, 1982, “Lawnchair Larry” Walters strapped himself into a lawnchair tied to 45 helium-filled weather balloons, and floated away into the sky.

14 hours later, after disrupting flight paths at LAX and blacking out a Long Beach neighborhood by floating into some power lines, he shot the balloons with a pellet gun and returned unharmed to terra firma.

Don’t do what Larry did.

If you really want to see the view from on high, do what David Trawin did instead: hang a camera from a bunch of balloons and send it aloft to take pictures for you.

Read on for full instructions on how to make an aerial balloon camera rig, in Part Three of our continuing quest to get our cameras higher and higher into the air.*

David Trawin’s Aerial Balloon Camera

*What will be next? Dirigibles? Trained eagles? Sending candygrams to the Air Force until they let us borrow a fighter jet?

p.s. Don’t miss Part One: Kite Photography and Part Two: Camera-on-a-Stick!

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DIY Photo Silhouette T-Shirts

silhouette T-shirt

OK, hands up if you want to print your own T-shirts but can’t be bothered with all the equipment that silkscreening requires.

Jeebus, that’s a lot of hands. Well, we’ve found a way to mimic screenprinting that takes half the time and only requires some freezer paper and fabric paint.

It’s so easy you may find yourself printing photos on everything:

  • Score some button-downs at the thrift store and print pictures of office supplies on them.
  • Print silhouettes of your childhood pets on a canvas bag and carry your own menagerie with you.
  • Take profile shots of your BFFs and print each silhouette portrait on a different shirt. Make your friends arm-wrestle for the privilege of being your shirt-of-the-day.

Let the printing obsession commence!

Custom Photo Silhouette T-Shirts
via Craft

p.s. If you want to try your hand at genuine silkscreening, here’s a simplified version.

p.p.s. Amit will be at Photokina next week hunting down fun photo gear. If you’re there and want to meet up, drop him a line!

The Great iPhone Photo App Roundup

iphone app icons

The iPhone Army* has a new weapon: photography applications, and lots of ’em. But who has the time to page endlessly through that collossal archive? Who wants to install every app and try to figure out a) what it does, b) whether it does it well, and c) if it’s worth the price?

We set our intrepid researcher Matt Nuzzaco (photographer extraordinaire and all-around nice guy) to the task and we are proud to report his findings. Here for your reading pleasure (categorized, rated and generally twitterpated) may we present:

Matt’s Roundup of Every Single iPhone Photo App

*similar to the Kiss Army but with less makeup and shorter boots.

p.s. Attention mad scientists: enter our Photo Tip Contest, this week only!

We’ve teamed up with Lomography to gather the best photo tricks, tips and strokes of genius that DON’T require digital manipulation. Do any crazy thing you want, just keep the pixels real.

The grand prize will be an LC-A+ camera, and four runners-up will win a DianaF+ Hong Meow special edition camera!

Enter your tips and photos on the Photojojo Forum, and be sure to get your submissions in before midnight on Sunday, September 21!

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Musical Postcards For Every Occasion (Flag Day, St. Swithin’s Day, The Festival of Lice…)

Postcard

Remember the first time you made a mixtape? Up all night, headphones on, slaving over a hot stereo until you got it exactly right?

Making your own postcard at Postcard.fm feels like that. Except it’s practically instant, so you can skip the up-all-night part!

All you have to do is choose your greatest photo, upload a song that captures the moment, and send it off with a message to your favorite person. Here’s one we made.

You can make a musical postcard for any occasion, but if you’re looking for some ideas try these on for size:

Best Valentines Ever: Send a foxy photo of you along with your intended’s favorite sappy love song. Hot-cha!

Party Invites: Send a festive postcard with all the party info to yourself, then forward the link to all your friends.

Sorry I Broke Into Your Apartment and Stole All Your Socks: OK, fine, maybe we’re the only ones that need to send those on a regular basis.

Now get out there and start mixing it up!

Make Your Own Postcard at Postcard.fm

Sky Play: Rethinking the Cloudy Day

skyplay_feature.jpg

In these last, dreamy days of summer, there’s nothing we’d rather do than lie around in the park and stare at the clouds.

And take pictures, of course!

Horst (hb19 on Flickr) has been doing just that, and it looks like he’s redefined the science of cloud manipulation*.

He finds the perfect sky or set of clouds and gives them their object counterpart. The cloud shooting out from a bottle’s top. The sun’s perfect, shiny orb behind his ET-like finger. The fluffy ice-cream cloud on top of its cone. hb19 gives new meaning to the art of cloud watching.

Summery skies abound. Take our advice and point your lens skyward before the winter chill descends.

hb19’s sky play photo set

via Crystal Ginn (You, too, can send us tips via twitter. Just start your tweet with @photojojo)

* Speaking of which, did you know China fired 1,104 rain dispersal rockets to prevent rain during the Olympics’ opening ceremonies? We live in the future!

p.s. Peep these pics from our lightpainting events in NYC and San Francisco last week!