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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:
Hand-painted figurines traipsing all over London. Some shots depict typical tourist scenes, while others portray acts of violence and gore.
Sets and models of figurines among imagined landscapes in the Romantic Landscape tradition.
Ordinary breakfast cereal becomes quirky landscapes of pyramids and mountains.
Ditch 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.
Sticking 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!
It’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.
Most 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.
p.s. Here’s the original image we used for our PhotoGlow. The backlight makes it sparkle!
Exaggerated faces that look like they’re made of playdough, expressions that scream cosmetic surgery gone horribly, horribly wrong…
They call it jowling, and here’s how it’s done:
Grab a friend. Ask him to loosen his facial muscles, then shake his head side-to-side, fast. Now fire away. (Use flash for best effect.)
Remember when you made fugly faces at your sister, and your mom said your face would get stuck that way? This is what it’d look like today if she’d been right.
p.s. We also really dig David’s studio-lit jowlers at Ironic Sans. (Those are his pics above.)
Scene opens to solar winds gently blowing intergalactic tumbleweeds past the open porch door. An eerie quiet blankets the solar system.
We don’t know about you, but ever since those astronomers kicked Pluto out of the party, we’ve been feeling mighty lonely over here on planet Earth.
But wait! We’ve just the solution: Our pal Dirk wrote up a tutorial that shows you how to turn any panorama or landscape photograph into a full-fledged planet!
Best of all, once you’ve selected an image to work with, the process takes only 5 minutes. (Launching your new planet into solar orbit may take a bit longer.)
Unless you’ve been living under a stack of LPs and 8-tracks for the past few years, you’ve seen the too-hip-for-you iPod ads everywhere by now. On buses, billboards, and buildings, you can’t escape those hipsters jumping and gyrating with their white earbuds.
So you may as well join them.
Over at MacMerc, they’ve got a step-by-step tutorial that’ll have you creating iKids, iPets, and iFriends in no time.
(And if no time is just too long, send your pic to iPop My Photo along with $20, and they’ll do it for you!)
p.s. You’ll find a simpler tutorial at Photoshop Lab. It lacks some of the subtleties of the MacMerc method, but it gets the job done.
But when was the last time you saw photo #143? Or #2,486?
We’re all buried under a mountain of memories.
You may have 10,000 MP3s, but stick iTunes on shuffle and you’ll hear stuff you haven’t heard in ages. Picture frame widgets for your Mac or PC are the photographic equivalent of iTunes shuffle.
Just load up Picture Framer on Dashboard for your Mac, or Picture Frame on Yahoo! Widgets for your PC, and let the shuffling begin! Both offer a choice of slick frames and the ability to view your own pics, or even view pics from Flickr (your own, or your contacts.)
p.s. The Deluxe version of Picture Framer for Mac normally costs $5, but Photojojo readers can get it for free today (8/21) only! Find out how.
Every photographer knows that the key to the art is lighting. Great lighting can make a photograph unforgettable. Bad lighting can make it unsalvageable.
Enter the Phlash. While camera phone designers have been busy equipping most phones with a cheap sensor that performs poorly in low light and a flash that’s put to shame by a firefly, the Phlash was created solely to light your camera phone pics well.
Simply hold down the Phlash button, compose your subject in its cool, white LED glow, and snap your pic. All camera phones work, and the batteries are replaceable.
Designed to cast an even spread of light a meter away — up to 12x the power of your camera phone flash — you can stick the Phlash to the back of your phone (adhesive backing included) or use the tiny loop of thread to dangle it instead.
Sticking the Phlash to your phone does add a bit of bulk, but if you use your camera phone frequently, it’s worth it to be able to shoot in the dark.
|BTW BFFs: We’ve gotten an amazing response, and we’ll be going through internship applications this weekend. You can still apply.|