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Toss Your Camera Away, and Make Some Beautiful Photos! — Camera Tossing

Reckless, stupid, downright insane. Camera tossers have been called worse.

Camera tossing is, well, just what it sounds like. Set your camera on long exposure or self-timer mode, press the shutter, and toss it into the air just before it goes off. Catch the thing (or have it land on a soft surface), and ogle the results.

Why would you do this? Quite simply, it’s the photographs: beautiful, abstract images you can’t get any other way. Many photographers also find the technique liberating, as it forces them to exert less control over the final image.

We won’t blame you if you decide not to try this one. (And we won’t take responsibility if you do.) But if you decide to give it a shot, we’d love to see what you come up with in our flickr group!

Camera Toss How-To

See also: Camera Toss Flickr Group

Photo Credits: Whales tails, Diluted, El Ray, spidrwegian (∆ncient), davespilbrow, mappamundi, Valentinian.

Give Your Photos The “A Scanner Darkly” Effect

scannerdarklyfeature.gifEver find yourself longing for the disheveled good looks of a drug-addicted Keanu Reeves living in dystopian, near-future Orange County?

This past summer’s A Scanner Darkly used a beautiful posterized live-action animation style that gave it a thoroughly unique look. The effect took thousands of hours of work and a frame-by-frame repainting of the movie in a process called digital rotoscoping.

Fortunately, applying the technique to a photo isn’t nearly as time consuming, and with this tutorial from one of the film’s animators, you’ll be well on your way.

The A Scanner Darkly Effect

p.s. Our pal Nick Gray tells us Amazon’s got some crazy great pricing on Sandisk’s superduper fold-it-up-and-stick-it-in-your-usb-port-no-card-reader-necessary memory cards: $25 for the 1GB (was $40) and $49 for the 2GB (was $90). Find out why we love these in our 2006 Holiday Gift Guide.

Silky, Sultry, and Smokin’ Hot — A Smoke Photography How-to

When you first see the swooping, curling, technicolor tendrils in Graham Jefferey’s work, you can’t help but wonder how he can manage to make ordinary gray smoke so beautiful.

Our pal Haje recently collaborated with Graham on a piece that delves into all the details: the lighting, the exposure, the best way to create the right kind of smoke, even the photoshop work needed to create the effect.

Unconvinced? Flip through Graham’s examples and you’ll be fired up to make your own!

A Smoke Photography How-to

The Orton Effect — Beautiful, Impressionistic Images from Your Photos


Dazzling. Soft, elegant, glowing.

The Orton Effect is a fast way to give your photos a dreamy look. Michael Orton uses this technique with multiple images taken on slide film.

Thanks to modern image editing magic, you can get the same watercolor-like appearance with a single image.

Even better, it’s a great way to improve slightly out-of-focus shots!

The Orton Effect

p.s. Thanks to our friend Sumul Shah for first cluing us into this technique. Check out some of his pics that use this effect.

p.p.s. Thanks also to our friend Saber Zohir for helping to spread the word about Photojojo! To the hundreds that recently signed up via Chris Pirillo’s pick list, welcome! (And to those not on the list, check out Chris’s great newsletter:

Photo Snow Globes – Make Your Own in 15 Minutes (or Your Money Back!)

photosnowglobe-feature.jpgThe great snow gods have not been kind to us this year. If you’re still pining for wintery white, or just hoping it’d go away, we recommend a quick (and heartfelt) appeal.

Luckily, we have just the thing to melt their frosty disposition: Photojojo’s Make-Your-Own Photo Snow Globes.

Grab a bottle, photo, glitter, and corn syrup and you’re on your way to making an offering not even the gods could refuse.*

* Rigorous, double-blind studies have also proven Photo Snow Globes effective in melting the hearts of spouses, friends, and children.


Goofy Photo Collections — Running From Camera, Paper Towels, Purchases, and Eats

Put a digital camera in some people’s hands, and they start collecting some pretty weird things.

We admit it’s a bit silly, but we adore Gert Rietveld’s Running from Camera.

His rules are simple: Put the self-timer on 2 seconds, push the button, and try to get as far from the camera as you can.

The results are expectedly goofy and surprisingly awesome.

We also love Nick Gray’s collection of paper towel dispensers, Kate Bingaman’s collection of everything she bought for two whole years, and Adam Seifer’s collection of every meal he’s eaten since October 2002.

What’s your goofy photo collection?

Running from Camera

Make Your Own Candle-lit Photo Stands

Three photos, three frames, some vellum paper, a votive candle and a little sephia. How does Martha do it?

Her simple candle-lit photo stands are inexpensive to make and allow you to easily change up the photos whenever you like.

We bet Martha would call ‘em the perfect dinner party centerpiece, but we think they look great just about anywhere.

A few quick tips: use bright colorful frames for a bedroom or kitchen, dark or black frames for your desk, and try these superfly flickering LED candles for longer-lasting everyday illumination.

Make Your Own Candle-lit Photo Stands

p.s. Amit’s at CES in Vegas through Wednesday (thanks msft!) checking out the latest photo stuff. If you’re here too and want to hang out, drop us a line!

Fun with Food Photography… or, How to Capture Your Culinary Creations on Camera

Smoke pellets from special effects supply houses, glycerin-filled spray bottles, shoe polish, and microwaved cotton balls — standard tools in any food photographer’s arsenal.

If you’ve tried to document a delicious dining experience, chances are you’ve come up short. It’s not your fault.

Food is camera shy.

From framing your shot, to deciding what to focus on, to making your food look its best (or better), Shutterbug’s food photography tips have got you covered.

Read up and next time you and your camera hit the kitchen, whether it’s cakes, crêpes, or crème brulle, we guarantee your culinary creations will be craving the spotlight.

Shutterbug: An Insider’s Look at Food Photography

See also: Tips from O’Reilly and food-styling tricks galore.

The Secret to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

timessquarefeature.jpgDon’t be ambitious.

That may strike you as a bit pessimistic, but we think this whole New Year’s Resolutions thing has gotten a bit out of hand.

This New Year’s, instead of making difficult resolutions anyone would have trouble keeping, then feeling bad about it when you fail, why not pick something that’ll make you feel good every time you do it?

Here’s a few fun photography resolutions we’re considering this year. Pick one that you think you’ll enjoy and start 2007 with a smile.


How to Use a Photograph and Telephone to Turn Yourself into a Dancing Elf

elfyourself-feature.jpgIt’s XMAS again, and whether you’re cowering from a murderous robotic Santa or screaming in complete and utter joy, by the time the afternoon rolls around, you’ll probably be looking for your next thrill.

Elf Yourself. Just upload a photo of someone’s face (your own, a pal, or a loved one), adjust it online, and out pops a singing, dancing, elf.

It gets better: The site prompts you to call a special number where you can record a voice message. Seconds later, your elf will be singing your message as he boogies down. His mouth even opens and closes to match your words!

Send your elf to a friend or save him for yourself. Either way, he’s sure to chase away those post XMAS-morning doldrums.

Elf Yourself

p.s. For more XMAS fun, check out the Scared of Santa gallery. Ho ho ho.


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