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Keep the Juice Flowing — Digital Camera Battery Life Tips

A pretty blue batteryThis one isn’t so much about your photos as it is about keeping your digital camera in tip-top shape.

If you’ve ever had to buy a replacement or a backup battery for your digital camera, you know they aren’t cheap. And as rechargeable batteries have gotten increasingly powerful and more complex, the prevailing wisdom for extending their life actually does the very opposite!

All rechargeable batteries eventually die and go to battery heaven (where we hear you can lie around in your charging cradle all day if you wanna) but follow some simple advice and your little guy will be kicking around for a while to come. Better yet, it’s a lot easier than you think!

How to Take Care of Your Digital Camera Battery (via reader Liji Jinaraj)

p.s. Want a more technical explanation? Try this Battery University article on lithium-ion cells.

Quick Tip: Fix Your Hazy Shots

Haze exampleGot a great shot that’s just a bit too hazy to be usable? Is early morning mist (or pollution-induced smog) holding you back?

Don’t let haze phase. Here’s a quick trick to regain the details in your gloomy shots with a little Photoshop finesse. (Paint Shop Pro and The Gimp work, too.)

The effect is subtle, only takes a few minutes, and results in noticeably improved shots!

Eliminate Haze in your photos

Zingfu — Goofy Photo Fun for Everyone

zingfuEver wanted to see yourself up on a giant screen in Times Square? On the cover of Rolling Stone? Ever wondered what you’d look like in a plane full of snakes, or as George Costanza in his infamous semi-nude portrait?

Zingfu, my friend, Zingfu.

A simple site, with a simple goal: to let you make campy compositions with your photos. There’s nearly 100 different templates (anti-motivational posters, celebrities, magazines, embarrassing situations of all kinds) and they don’t charge a nickel.

Yeah, it’s cheesy, but it’s tons of fun. And if you edit your photos a bit before you upload them, the results are surprisingly good.


The DIY CanFrame: Transform a Tin Can into a Simple Photo Frame in 15 Minutes

Photo cans!Beautiful! Simple! Cylindrical! All the qualities you look for in the finest photo frames, now available in the CanFrame — a simple DIY photo frame project from Photojojo.

Our tutorial will step you through an insanely simple way to show off your photos for the price of a 79 cent can of beans. All you need is the aforementioned can, some glue, a photo, and 15 minutes!


Photography? Nope! Pet-ography!

nuzz_rounded.jpgStop right there. Before you start thinking we’ve lost our mind, consider this: William Wegman has been successfully photographing dogs for the past 30 years. And not for nothing: his photographs are comical, endearing, and artistically worthy. His adoration for his dogs is evident, just like your love for your pet.

Your little buddy gives you unconditional love, so why not make some time to photograph the furry/fishy/scaly little guy? To get you going, we’ve compiled a list of great sites: tips on taking perfect pet photos, as well as amazing examples of the form.

The best advice we can give you? Love your subject and you cannot go wrong.


Think Small for a New Photographic Perspective

Small Examples

Photography isn’t just about capturing a moment, it’s also about seeing the ordinary in a new light.

A wise photo teach of ours once told us that no matter where you are, no matter how ordinary your surroundings may appear, there are always great photographs to be made. You just need to figure out where and how to look.

Here’s a fun exercise for gaining new perspective on the ordinary: examine how your world might appear to someone much, much smaller than you. Whether your star is an old G.I. Joe, a Barbie, or a mini Steve Jobs, this exercise is sure to give you fresh eyes.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

Slinkachu’s Little People
Hand-painted figurines traipsing all over London. Some shots depict typical tourist scenes, while others portray acts of violence and gore.

Karin Stack’s Believe You Me
Sets and models of figurines among imagined landscapes in the Romantic Landscape tradition.

Ernie Button’s Cereal Landscapes
Ordinary breakfast cereal becomes quirky landscapes of pyramids and mountains.

Add Picture-Perfect Hair to Your Photos in 10 Minutes or Less!

half-bearded-man.jpgDitch the toupee, the spray-on hair, and the brochures for pricey follicle transplant surgery.

If it’s hair you want, take our word for it: a little photo retouching is the quickest, cheapest, and most effective way to give yourself, your loved ones, your little ones, or your furry ones a brand new look.

Fill in bald spots, try out a stylish new mustache, a scraggly pirate beard, or sample some highlights. The possibilities are endless, dear friends.

Add Picture-Perfect Hair to Your Photos

p.s. We wanna see some bearded ladies in our Flickr group, people. Best bearded lady by Monday gets a free Magnetic Photo Rope. Make us proud.

DIY Speech Bubble Photo Fridge Magnets

DIY photo fridge magnetsSticking your photos under refrigerator magnets is old hat.

Making your own custom speech bubble magnets so your fridge photos can whisper, conspire, shout, and sing. That’s new.

Our pal Karina just happens to have written up a tutorial that shows you how to do just that. Not only do her speech bubble magnets keep your photos anchored to your fridge door, they also let you write, and erase and re-write, any message you like!

DIY Speech Bubble Magnets

Scan and Fax Using your Cameraphone or Digital Camera, Free!

scanr.jpgIt’s 2006. Where are the personal helicopters, robotic maids, and hoverboards?

Steak in a tube it’s not, but there is a bright spot in our not-so-futuristic future: the cell phone. Seriously, 30 years ago who would have imagined we’d all be able to make phone calls, take pictures, listen to music, play videogames, and watch TV all from a tiny device that slips in our pockets? It’s super rad totally awesome magic.

But wait, there’s more! Now there’s a way to take pictures with your cameraphone (of documents and whiteboards) and have them turned into PDFs and emailed to you, or even faxed, straight from your phone. To top it off, the PDFs are even searchable!

It gets better: soon you’ll be able to snap a pic of a business card and import the info right into your computer’s address book with a single click. Slick!

You’ll need a phone with a 1 megapixel or better camera (most recent phones qualify, check yours here), though the service works with digital cameras, too.

We’re not gonna lie to you, we’d still rather have a hoverboard. Until then, check out scanR.


p.s. Ok, so cell phones aren’t the only bright spot. They did finally invent that Dick Tracy watch.

p.p.s. We hear that scanR’s upgrading their service this morning, so you may not be able to get through until 9 am EST.

PhotoGlow — An Enlightened Photo Frame

photoglow.gifMost photo frames don’t excite us. There are exceptions, but for the most part, a frame’s a frame.

So when Ed Sinofsky sent us a frame to check out, we were a bit skeptical. Until we plugged it in.

Ed earned his Ph.D. from the Optical Science Center at the University of Arizona, and his PhotoGlow frame quite literally makes your photos glow.

Just like the backlit ads in movie theaters and malls, light from the PhotoGlow’s back panel passes through your image to make it more vibrant and saturated. Unlike commercial displays, the PhotoGlow is only 1″ thick, uses a super-thin power cord, and draws an average of only 15 watts while in use.

Friends who’ve come over and seen ours invariably ask about it, and after a few weeks we were reluctant to send it back.

Print your own photos or have PhotoGlow do it for you. Prices vary by size and start at $99 for a frame with a pre-printed image.

PhotoGlow – Backlit photo frame

p.s. Here’s the original image we used for our PhotoGlow. The backlight makes it sparkle!


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