Photojojo’s Guide to Scary Photo Pumpkins

scary pumpkin!
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

We love Halloween.

The costumes, the candy, the parties: we love it all. What other holiday is completely devoted to making you feel like you never have to grow up?

And what better way to celebrate your arrested development than plunging your hand into a pumpkin, scooping out its guts, and carving scary faces on it?

We’ll tell you what better way: carving your own scary photos onto that pumpkin instead of the usual triangle eyes and pointy teeth. All you need is a scary picture and a little know-how. Read on for the full details on how to make your own photo pumpkins.

Photojojo’s Guide to Photo Pumpkin Carving
Thanks to reader Leah Rust for the idea!


The Amazing Picture-Takin’ Geotaggin’ Solar-Powered Super Bike

Flickr bike

It’s purple. It’s solar-powered. And we’ve got one right here at the Photojojo Workatorium.

What could it be? Why, it’s a super-duper GPS camera bike with special Flickr sauce!

It has a built-in camera mounted on the handlebars that takes pictures as you ride, then automatically geotags and uploads them to its very own Flickr stream.

The only downside to this brilliant bike is that only 20 of them were made, and most of them are already in the clutches of the digerati.

So, how can you get your mitts on one? Choose one of the following:

  • A. Waylay an unsuspecting Photojojo drone and ply us with wine-coolers until we confess the secret coordinates of our precious purple bike.
  • B. Enter the Purple Pedals giveaway contest and win one of your very own.
  • C. Make your own DIY version!

If you answered B or C, we like you. If you answered A, we raise a suspicious eyebrow at you and move the bike to extra-extra-secret coordinates.

How The Solar-Powered GPS Camera Bike Was Made

Make Your Own Camera Bike (the Easy Way)
Adding an Eye-Fi Explore card will automatically geotag and upload your photos, just like the fancy bikes do.

p.s. Contest time everybody! Post your most beauteous nature photos and win an amazing tripod from Trek-Tech. Enter here by October 31st!

p.p.s. If you’re going to be in Austin, TX this weekend (Oct. 18-19) stop by Maker Faire and say hi to Uncommon Projects, the smart kids who made the Purple Pedals bikes.

Better Lenses for Less Money: How To Use Vintage Lenses with Your DSLR

vintage lenses for DSLRs
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

Back in the day (i.e. 7th grade), we “borrowed” our dad’s camera gear. Eventually, when we could afford a camera of our own (i.e. age 27), we finally gave it back.

Now we’re thinking of “borrowing” Dad’s lenses again, because using vintage lenses on our DSLR is a lot easier than we thought.

All you need is a cheap adapter ring that allows you to attach a particular lens to your camera. And manual-focus vintage lenses are all over eBay, dirt-cheap and ripe for the plucking.

Yes, you have to use manual focus, but you won’t miss autofocus as much as you think. Especially when you consider that vintage lenses are better-made, more reliable, and exponentially cheaper than comparable autofocus lenses.

So dust off your dad’s gear. Fling wide the closet doors, and hike up to the attic! Shake down your relatives for all the old lenses they have stashed away. It’s time to become the gear-geek you always wanted to be.

Photojojo’s Guide to Using Vintage Lenses on New DSLRs

p.s. Thanks Dad!


The Smartest Camera Strap Ever

R strap

We’ve been hearing a lot about the R-Strap lately, but we thought, “Really? It’s just a camera strap. What’s the big deal?”

Turns out it’s a really smart design. The strap hangs diagonally across your chest like a messenger bag, so:

  1. It’s more comfortable than a neck strap, and…
  2. Your camera stays out of the way at your hip.

The smart bit is the little slider attachment that allows you to glide the camera up the strap to your eye so you can take a picture. The camera moves, but the strap doesn’t. See it in action here.

It’s really clever, and we’re kind of kicking ourselves for not thinking of it first.

Added bonus! For all of our thrifty brethren out there, we’re including a couple of ways to make one yourself. Either way, your neck will thank you.

The Original R-Strap ($44)

Make Your Own R-Strap (Version 1)

Make Your Own R-Strap (Version 2)

p.s. For every pink-themed photo added to the Pink 2008 Flickr group this month, Yahoo! will donate 1 euro to breast cancer charities. Add your picture and make a difference!

Photo credit: iBallz

Ten Ways To Look Fabulous in Pictures

Photojojo is hiring!
good-lookin' portrait

The photographer’s worst nightmare: being hauled out from behind the lens and forced to stand in front of a camera.

Why must people photograph us? Yes, photographers are adorable, and yes, we have unparalleled style. But we are shy, and we prefer to hide behind our cameras like frightened woodland creatures behind large trees.

Still, people do insist on taking our pictures. So, what to do when you can’t avoid being photographed? Stand tall and follow our tips for instant photogenicity.

The Top Ten Ways To Look Good in Pictures


Photojojo’s Guide to Macrophotography


Looking at photomicrography is like walking into a whole new dimension.

It knocks us out that there’s this whole invisible world present, yet utterly ignored, in every aspect of our lives. Plus there’s a whole branch of photography we never even thought of.

The bad news is: 1) most of us don’t have the specialized equipment to really get into photomicrography, and 2) it’s hard to pronounce.

The good news: we can learn to photograph very small things that are visible to the naked eye.

Macro photography is supposed to be for Serious Photographers, but anyone with a decent point-and-shoot can master it.

Come on along and we’ll let you in on the settings, lighting info, and technical gear you need to know about to get started.

Photojojo’s Guide to Macrophotography

Photo credits: Klaus Bolte, Michael Klymkowsky, Dr. Dennis D. Kunkel, and Dr. Heiti Paves.

Dump Food on Your Friends & Take Pictures

Welcome back to returning advertiser Lensbabies
they’ve got some cool new lenses we just saw at Photokina.
Find out why Photojojo advertisers keep coming back.
dumped food portraits


How in the name of the Jolly Green Giant did Meg Wachter get anybody to pose for these portraits?

Was it bribery? Hypnosis? Did she promise them a guest spot on “You Can’t Do That On Television”?

Probably all of the above.

Tell ya what we’d do if we wanted to get pictures like these, though:

We’d host a big end-of-summer BBQ/pool party, with lots of soupy side-dishes, and we’d wait ’til everybody all had their bathing suits on, and then we’d break out the camera for the hugest, sloppiest, food-fight photo extravaganza there ever was! Yeah!

We’re not saying you have to spend this coming weekend that way, it’s just, you know, it is the end of summer. And they would be really awesome pictures. We’re just saying.

Meg Wachter’s “Dumped” Portraits

p.s. Congratulations to the winners of our Lomography + Photojojo Photo Tip Contest! First prize goes to lauramary, followed closely by shanegoguen, tom_ashor_bhaan, halfawakehaiku, and ginnymae.
Thanks to everyone who entered- you’re all brilliant!

Simplify Your Life: Send Photos to Different Sites at the Same Time


Flickr, Facebook, your blog… so many wonderful places to share your pictures.

And yet, such a giant pain in the butt to tag and organize and upload photos separately to every single site. Sometimes it’s almost not worth the effort.

Until now! (Cue burst of golden light and singing choir!)

Pixelpipe’s a new service that uploads all your pictures to all your favorite sites at once. Here’s how it works:

  • Choose all the destinations you usually send photos to (like Blogger, Picasa, YouTube and nearly 50 other sites).
  • Add titles, tags, and captions to your chosen photos or videos.
  • Click upload, and relax while Pixelpipe send all of your photos to their various destinations.

Easy, right? Also, did we mention that it’s free? And there are free software add-ons that let you upload straight from Picasa, and your mobile phone, and stuff like that.

So there you go: more sharing your photos, less pain in the keister.

Simplify Your Life at

Better Than a Lead Balloon: Aerial Balloon Photography

balloon aerial photography

On July 2, 1982, “Lawnchair Larry” Walters strapped himself into a lawnchair tied to 45 helium-filled weather balloons, and floated away into the sky.

14 hours later, after disrupting flight paths at LAX and blacking out a Long Beach neighborhood by floating into some power lines, he shot the balloons with a pellet gun and returned unharmed to terra firma.

Don’t do what Larry did.

If you really want to see the view from on high, do what David Trawin did instead: hang a camera from a bunch of balloons and send it aloft to take pictures for you.

Read on for full instructions on how to make an aerial balloon camera rig, in Part Three of our continuing quest to get our cameras higher and higher into the air.*

David Trawin’s Aerial Balloon Camera

*What will be next? Dirigibles? Trained eagles? Sending candygrams to the Air Force until they let us borrow a fighter jet?

p.s. Don’t miss Part One: Kite Photography and Part Two: Camera-on-a-Stick!


DIY Photo Silhouette T-Shirts

silhouette T-shirt

OK, hands up if you want to print your own T-shirts but can’t be bothered with all the equipment that silkscreening requires.

Jeebus, that’s a lot of hands. Well, we’ve found a way to mimic screenprinting that takes half the time and only requires some freezer paper and fabric paint.

It’s so easy you may find yourself printing photos on everything:

  • Score some button-downs at the thrift store and print pictures of office supplies on them.
  • Print silhouettes of your childhood pets on a canvas bag and carry your own menagerie with you.
  • Take profile shots of your BFFs and print each silhouette portrait on a different shirt. Make your friends arm-wrestle for the privilege of being your shirt-of-the-day.

Let the printing obsession commence!

Custom Photo Silhouette T-Shirts
via Craft

p.s. If you want to try your hand at genuine silkscreening, here’s a simplified version.

p.p.s. Amit will be at Photokina next week hunting down fun photo gear. If you’re there and want to meet up, drop him a line!