We’ve been trying out the Lensbaby* Composer lately: it’s an odd little lens that gives you a moveable area of sharp focus, surrounded by a dreamy halo of blurriness.
After knocking around with it for a few weeks, here’s what we think:
- Easier to focus and sharper optics than the original Lensbaby.
- Easier to move the “sweet spot” of focus and get repeatable results.
- Good for photos where you want to draw the eye to one particular detail, like food, product or portrait shots.
- If you decide you don’t want the Lensbaby “look” for a particular shot, you can reduce the effect dramatically by using the narrowest aperture. A friend of ours uses it as his go-to lens because of the sharp optics and light weight.
- Gadgets! Optional, interchangeable optics and wide-angle or telephoto adapters give you lots of different looks from one lens.
- Having to change the apertures manually can slow you down a lot.
- Manual focus makes it harder to capture fast-moving action, and it’s tricky to focus in low light.
- Wider apertures are prone to some pretty serious lens flare.
- The Lensbaby takes some getting used to. It’s a good idea to practice with it for a while before taking it on an important shoot.
- Sorry, we’re fresh out of ugly.
If we got stranded on a desert island with only one lens, we might make it this one (with the possible addition of a wide-angle adapter). It’s light, versatile, sharp (when you want it to be) and really fun to use.
The Lensbaby Composer
*Full disclosure: Lensbaby is a Photojojo advertiser, but our love for them is true. (Their first lens was one of the first things we reviewed when we were just starting out almost three years ago.)
p.s. We put our test shots up here in case you guys wanna see ’em.
||Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2
Survival scenario #117:
You’re trapped in a grocery store. Zombies are closing in from all sides. You have a crucial photo that could end the carnage, if only you had some way to develop the film.
What do you do?
You grab some instant coffee and vitamin C, you develop the film, and you vanquish the zombies.
What, you don’t think we’re serious?
First of all, zombies are an inevitable part of life.
And secondly, you really can develop film using vitamin C and coffee. For reals.
Read on, and we’ll show you everything you need to know. Quick, before the zombies regroup!
How to Develop Film with Coffee and Vitamin C
via Found Photography
Ever picked up the SkyMall catalog on a long flight and been struck dumb by the motivational posters?
Now really, who (besides Angela) ever got motivated by a picture of a kitten and a pithy slogan?
You’re better off making your own motivational posters. And with these two tools, it’s easy — upload your photo, slap on a caption, and skip the corporate dreck.
Pro tip: If your office actually has motivational posters, replace ’em with your versions and see how long it takes for your boss to notice. Heh heh heh.
Make Your Own (De)Motivational Posters at Big Huge Labs
…Or at Despair, Inc.
p.s. What’s the difference? Well, both of ’em are free, and both of ’em let you buy prints. But if you use the code JOJO25, our pals at Big Huge Labs will give you 25% off!
p.p.s. We heart iHeartFaces. Check out their latest giveaway featuring yours truly.
Photo credit: sirgabe
||Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2
Introducing the Wrap-Around-the-Corner Frame, a modern geometrical marvel of rectangularity! You thought our magnetic photo rope was radical — well, the newest addition to our store is even more mind bending (and wall bending)!
The Wrap-Around-the-Corner frame is an all-in-one stack o’ frames that’s guaranteed to hug corners better than a Ferrari Enzo.
This puppy is truly a turning point in frame design, displaying up to 12 photos at a time whilst clinging to the corners of your wall.
Espresso stained wood keeps it classy, and ordinary frame brackets make it easy for the frame to grab your walls.
The All-New Wrap-Around-the-Corner Frame!
p.s. Wanna save some sweet sweet dollaroos? Get in our extra-special week-long promotion for the Wrap-Around-the-Corner frame! Find out more here.
What do David LaChapelle, Steve McCurry, and the cute art student who sells prints at the local coffee shop have in common?
Wait! Don’t change the channel yet!
We promise you that business cards don’t have to be stuffy, expensive or soul-crushingly dull, especially photographers’ cards.
In fact, your cards should be more creative than anybody’s, especially when the economy’s gone all pear-shaped. An artistic card will make people remember you/ think you’re awesome/ give you money.
Want proof? OK! We’ve found 12 smart, well-designed cards that deserve a place of honor in any art buyer’s contact list.
12 Awesome Photography Business Card Ideas
Photo credit: dailypoetics
|Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2
So here’s the thing: we know you guys are crafty sometimes, but crafty doesn’t necessarily mean girly.
Dainty? No need for it. Lady-like? Not our style.
With a little inkjet-printable canvas and a few minutes of time, you can make yourself a set of badass photo cuffs. Use any photo you want on them and you’ll instantly be the envy of all your friends with their sad, naked little wrists.
Best of all: no sewing required! Read on to find out how…
Photojojo’s Make Your Own Photo Cuffs
Here’s how the 50 States Project works:
Photographers from each of the United States receive the same 6 assignments throughout the year. The results of each assignment represent both the photographer’s style and their state.
It makes us really think about where we’re from, which we don’t often do. We take it for granted because it’s always been there.
What would you show about your neck of the woods? Would it be what people assume it’s like, or how it really is?
Try some of the assignments yourself (“People” just finished and “Habitat” just started). We’d love to see what you come up with, whether you live in a state, a province, or a sovereign city-state. (We’re looking at you, Monaco.)
The 50 States Project
Photo credits: Ben Huff, Alex Moomey, Katie Koti, and Peter Kearns.
People say that art is a great investment.
Well yeah, for people who are already rich. We are fabulous, yes, but rich? Not so much.
What to do if you want art on your walls that’s not your own? Search the web for an artistic windfall?
No, silly! Get Photojojo to do it for you! We’ve been combing the market and found 20 great photographers you can afford, even on a wee skimpy budget. Most of them sell prints for $25 or less.
So give your piggy-bank a friendly pat and put him back on the shelf. The little guy can remain happily unbroken.
20 Photographers Whose Work You Can Actually Afford
p.s. At PMA this week? If you wanna meet up with the Photojojo crew, drop us a line!
p.p.s. Hey, remember when we wrote about JPG Magazine going under? We’re happy to report that they’re back!
Photo credits: Yijun (Pixy) Liao, Carlo Van de Roer, and Joseph O. Holmes
Has inspiration walked out on you? Is your gray matter a bit too gray these days? Maybe you need a kick in the creative behindus.
The Photographic Dictionary pairs photos with definitions of words, but this isn’t your bog standard A-is-for-Apple dictionary.
Abstract ideas like ascent, vacuous and curiosity are our favorites, but even prosaic nouns like office and bridge make you think in a different way.
Whether you’ve got writer’s block or photographer’s ennui or the systemic aesthetic doldrums, the Photographic Dictionary is good for what ails you.
The Photographic Dictionary
Photo credits: Valerie Enriquez, Laurent Champoussin, Sophie Curtis, David Warren and Hasisi Park.
We hate getting rid of jars. We’re so sure they’ll come in handy someday, but in reality a person can only use so many jelly-jar glasses.
We’re happy to say we’ve finally found a use for our motley collection of pickle jars, soda bottles and assorted glass receptacles: frames!
It’s so simple we can’t believe we didn’t think of it before: just slide a photo into a jar, turn it upside down and display your upcyclin’ genius for all to see.
Glass Jar Frames
Photo credits: ‘stpiduko’