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Get Out and Shoot! — 3 Great Ideas for Shooting Outside in Your Town or City

There’s one sure-fire way to improve all of your shots: practice. Sure, you think, easy enough to say.

We can relate… Sometimes having a mission and some snap-happy friends can be just the motivation you need to get off your tuchus and start shooting.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few fun ideas to get you out having fun with your camera with friends or fellow photo enthusiasts. Read on to learn how you can make your town or city your photo playground.


LikeBetter — The Brain Knows Too Much

This website knows more about you than any website should know.

And it figures it out using photography.

LikeBetter is a quirky, photo-based experiment made by the kids at Pairwise. Visit, and you’ll be presented two images. Pick the one you like better. Rinse, repeat.

After a few rounds, an eerie-looking pink brain starts pulsing on your screen. Click it to learn something about yourself that no website could possibly know. It’s like a modern-day, artificially-intelligent fortune teller.

An excellent way to while away a few minutes at work today.

Mailable Photo Frames are a hit! If you ordered some Mailable Photo Frames and haven’t gotten them yet, sit tight. They sold out far more quickly than we’d expected, but we expect a new batch on Monday. Still sitting on the fence? We’ll be filling orders first-come, first-served. Get your order in now!

How to Turn a Photo into a Mailable Mosaic (or, a Photo a Day and They’ll Think You’re Monet)

In the age of the Internet, keeping in touch when your chum or sweetheart is miles away is a lot easier than it used to be. A quick call, a text message, a little “I miss you” e-mail — they’re all well and good…

But what if you really want to show that special guy, gal, or pal just how important they are to you?

Our pal Bryan Zmijewski has got an idea that’s easy, inexpensive and guaranteed to earn rave reviews… All it takes is a few minutes a day, some photos, some stamps, and a pair of scissors.

Read our tutorial to find out how!


The Mailable Photo Frame: The Best Way Ever to Share and Show Off Your Photos

The minute we saw these Mailable Photo Frames, we knew we had to have ‘em.

Ordinarily, when we stick a photo in a frame, we get tired of it in about a week. In a month, it’s pretty much invisible.

Since The Mailable Photo Frames are inexpensive ($2 or less), shiny and chic, and fit a standard 4×6, they’re great for putting photos all around the house. But that’s not all…

Here’s where the magic comes in: the instant you get tired of a photo, stick on a regular letter-rate stamp (39 cents in the States), write a brief note on the back, and slip it in the mail. Your pal gets a beautiful gift (with a frame and stand to boot!) and you get to put up a new photo.

Everyone wins. It’s picture frame heaven.

The Mailable Photo Frame at the Photojojo Store

The 10 Cent, 10 Second, Tealight Photo Holder

It’s not often that you come across a project that’s so simple, so beautiful, that it makes you want to run out and buy a sack-full of tealights.

Today, we have just such a project.

At Atelier, Swiss designers took a crack at giving common household items a new purpose. We lurve this tealight candle ($8 for a hundred!) photo holder.

It costs 10 cents (or less) in materials, 10 seconds (or less) in time, and you can cut it to shape with scissors. It doesn’t get simpler than that!

The Atelier DIY Tealight Photo Holder

Thanks to reader Danielle Strle for the tip. Send us your links and ideas!

Two Cheap Lighting Tricks for the DIY Ninja – Or, How to Make a Snortin’ Snoot!

A snoot, eh? Well, it’s a funny name for a funny thing you can stick on your flash to focus your light.

Why in tarnation* would you want to do that? Why, to draw the viewer’s attention to whatever it is you’re taking a photo of, of course! (Just as you do when you blur the background in a portrait, except with light.)

With some experimentation, you’ll be creating dramatic shots you couldn’t get any other way. Plus, when people ask you what that funny thing on your camera is, you get to tell ‘em it’s a snoot.

The best part? You can build these things really easily using stuff around your home–in about 10 minutes! We’ve found two tutorials, one that shows you how to make a basic snoot using straws, and one that uses cardboard to make a grid spot (similar to a snoot.)

Make a snoot, then go and shoot! (snort, snort)

Straws + Cardboard + Glue = DIY Snoot!

Cardboard + Glue + Rubber band = DIY Grid Spot

* The origin of “tarnation”

Turn Your Photos into Lichtenstein-inspired Comic Book Art

Earning your chops as a painter is no easy task. But if you manage to do it, and further, do it while critics lambast your pieces for being mere copies of comic book panels, you must be something pretty special.

Roy Lichtenstein was something pretty special.

Some of his most famous pop-art renditions were derived (ripped) from comics or photography, and he was often threatened with lawsuits as a result. Think of him as the precursor to modern-day mashup artists.

Fortunately, turning your own photographs into Lichtenstein-inspired illustrations is unlikely to irk litigious record labels or the RIAA. And with Melissa Clifton’s step-by-step tutorial, it’s a breeze!

How to Turn Your Photos into Lichtenstein-inspired Pop-art

p.s. If you like this, check out the bit we did on how to turn photos into Julian Opie-style portraits.

Halloween Photo Tips — Our Ghoulish Guide to Scary Snaps

How can you not love a holiday that encourages you to dress up in costume, invites children to go from home to home demanding candy from strangers, and promises the annual rising of the toy-laden Great Pumpkin?

Yup, Halloween is pretty darn great.

And now that it’s just around the corner, we’ve put together a guide to help you get great photos on our favorite holiday.

Read on for creative ideas for Halloween shots, tips on how to carve your pumpkins to make them more photogenic, even instructions for making an anatomically-correct thoracic cavity cake!

Get out your glowsticks and get to work!


You Don’t Look a Day Under 85! — Add Years to Anyone’s Face, Instantly!

Aging exampleDear gentle readers, we’re tired of the unrealistic ideal of youth and beauty stuffed down our collective throats by television, magazines, and movies.

We say nuts to wrinkle-reducing botox, gray-hiding hair color, and skin-stretching facelifts. Today’s link is about making anyone look old. That’s right, friends, old.

Our chums over at Photoshop Lab have a great step-by-step on how to add wrinkles, loosen skin, gray hair, sprinkle on liver spots, and generally pack on the years with just a few minutes in Photoshop.

Trust us, old is the new young.

Aging People — Use Photoshop to Age Anyone’s Face

p.s. Check out this Dove commercial — from ordinary woman to wildly unauthentic billboard glam in 60 seconds. Amazing. Frightening.

Project 365: How to Take a Photo a Day and See Your Life in a Whole New Way

Project 365People will often say that their whole lives flashed before their eyes after they experienced a traumatic event. Perhaps it’s a bit morbid, but we think that sounds pretty incredible.

When Taylor McKnight started taking a photo a day on January 1st, 2004, he never imagined the project would not only serve as a way to remember a year, but also help him understand what was important to him in his life.

Whether it was his relationships, his career, or his fashion sense, recording a photo a day for a whole year left him with a rich visual history of his life. And it made him a better photographer to boot!

Now that he’s in the middle of doing it for a second time, we asked Taylor to write about it for us. Read on for our tutorial on how and why to create your own daily photographic history.



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