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Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

Have Fun with Boomerang Over and Over Again

20 Jun

When it comes to phoneography one of our very favorite apps is Boomerang.

Well, it was our fave, then not anymore, then it came back. And we threw it out again, and it came back. (hehe)

The Boomerang app films a tiny clip then plays it back and forth in a loop forever (or three times if you post it as an Instagram story), just like magic. So why is that useful?

Oh you can do the most amazing things with Boomerang. Read along to see all our favorite tricks. From levitation to magical hair-doin’.
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Enter the Photojojo Weekly Photo Challenge!

16 Jun

Here in the Photojojo office, we love, love podcasts. We listen to comedy podcasts, music podcasts, educational podcasts, and even podcasts for making podcasts.

That last one inspired and encouraged us to start our very own podcast about something we also love SO much – photography! And the Photojojo Photo-a-Week Challenge was born.

Read on for some info about how to enter our podcast challenge and learn about some of our other favorite photography podcasts.

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Warning: Avoid This Scam Targeting Photographers

07 Jun

Over at All Things Photo, I’ve shared a video detailing a scam targeting photographers selling prints online. Also included in the video are 7 tips to avoid being scammed online. While the video is on the long side it’s worth a listen to protect yourself and learn the limitations of fraud protection with your bank and insurance companies. If you’re driving you can also listen to the podcast recording via the All Things Photo podcast.

If you haven’t already I welcome you to follow All Things Photo on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

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Five Tips for Fun Family Photos

06 Jun

It’s family photo time!

Grab a tripod for your phone or DSLR, a shutter remote (if you don’t want to mess with the self timer) and some candy to bribe the kiddos.

We’ve got just a few tips from arranging your pretty faces, to going totally nuts, that’ll ensure a fun time taking the pics and an even funner time enjoying them forever.

p.s. Family photos make perfect Father’s Day gifts for dads and grandpas. Save 20% on all photo prints at Parabo Press through 6/7 with the coupon PJDAD.
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Father’s Day Gift Guide for Dads of All Kinds

01 Jun

Maybe you’re shopping for your photo snapping papa, your camera carrying grandad, or your stepdad Ron. Could be that your momma did all the parenting and deserves a second gift this year.

Whoever you like playing catch with, we’ve got just the gift for them! Plus, a $ 10 discount when you spend $ 30 or more with the code LoveDad, through this weekend.

Scroll along to find the best description of your favorite father figure and we’ll tell you the perfect present to pick up for Father’s Day.
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Tips for Mastering Concert Photography

31 May

Everyone’s been there – front and center, in a dark, sweaty club crammed between hundreds of rabid fans listening to your favorite band.

So, you pull out your iPhone because this is a moment you totally need to remember forever.

But let’s be honest – what kind of memory is a blurry guitar player or the back of another concert goer’s head? Not a very good one (and we all know it).

So we chatted with Madison-based concert photographer Justin Kibbel to learn his simple tips for capturing that dynamic rock-n-roll moment with your DSLR with a few tips for phoneographers too.

From gear to ninja stealth, he’s got a LOT of great advice.

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Our Favorite Photos by YOU, Photojojo-ers + A Lens Sale!

23 May

This week only, take 30% off all phone lenses in our shop!

Yup, our universal Magnetic Phone Lenses, fancy-pants iPhone Iris Lenses and the super sneaky Spy Lens. Even our multi-lens sets (that already save you some moola) are on sale.

Want to see just what these puppies can do? Check out our favorite snaps from your fellow Photojojo-ers.
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Upper Yosemite Falls & Half Dome Moonbow

16 May
A wide arcing moonbow stretching across Upper Yosemite Falls on a clear night moonlit night in Yosemite National Park.

A wide arcing moonbow stretching across Upper Yosemite Falls on a clear night moonlit night in Yosemite National Park.

This past week was the optimal time to photograph moonbows in Yosemite Valley. I revisited photographing the moonbow at Upper Yosemite Falls as I had last year, but this time there was considerable more water and as a result the moonbow (rainbow by moonlight) was more easily seen. It was considerably larger, more vivid in color and wider arching. Conditions were great and at times a little too good as the 3 cameras I set up were completely drenched. If you’d like to read about what it took to get this photo be sure to check out my last blog post, Upper Yosemite Falls Moonbow – Getting The Shot, as it goes into a lot of detail about the hike and the challenges I faced.  If you’re curious about gear and settings this was taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 11-24mm f/4 lens. Settings were ISO 640, 15 seconds at f/4.

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Which DSLR Lens Should You Choose?

15 May

Nothing gives you more creative control over your photo snapping, than venturing into the world of DSLR photo-ing.

You can trick out your camera with new lenses, lights, tripods, and more to get just the photo-style you’re looking for. But, figuring out what lens to pick up first can be daunting.

So, we asked our Twitter followers (that’s you! Or … it could be) what lenses they first bought (or wish they had) after their kit lens – and we got lots of great answers and advice!

We’ve put these tips into this helpful guide so buying your first lens will be easy-peasy.

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Upper Yosemite Falls Moonbow – Getting The Shot

12 May
Upper Yosemite Falls Moonbow - May 9 2017
Upper Yosemite Falls Moonbow - May 9 2017

A large moonbow arcs across the mist from Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park

There are quite a few photos in my portfolio that I look back upon and question my sanity due to the absurd conditions I’ve endured to capture them. This particular photo is up there on the insanity scale.  This past winter has seen extraordinary snowfall levels in the Sierras and now that Spring has rolled around the water levels are quite high in Yosemite Valley due to the snow melt.  That translates to huge waterfalls and under the right conditions moonbows (rainbows at night via moonlight).

I’ve taken moonbow photos from the Upper Yosemite Falls trail several times, but this year was like none other. I took up position in a new spot this year with a good friend Brian Hawkins. Our hike started off innocently enough with a hike that started at 4:30PM and later ended at 5:30AM. The reason for the long duration of the shoot was a combination of bringing a lot of gear (3 Canon DSLRS, 2 tripods and 4 lenses plus extra layers of clothes) and the interest in shooting multiple time lapses + stills. Time lapse sequences run a couple hours and the moonbow wasn’t going to appear until 11:30PM.

Start of the Upper Yosemite Falls moonbow hike (4:30PM)
End of the Upper Yosemite Falls moonbow hike (5:30AM)

Now that I type it all out It really is rather nuts. I of course don’t think this before the hike because I have selective memory issues or quite simply my elevator doesn’t go to the top floor when it should.

Hiking with a full photo backpack means slow going on a hike that is 1.5 miles with a 1250 foot elevation gain. Leaving “early” affords me the time to properly stake out the right location, set up all 3 camera, eat and start shooting. On the way up the focus is squarely on the task at hand and making it to the setup spot early.

Waiting in heavy mist and gusty winds.

Are we having fun yet? Waiting in heavy mist and gusty winds. Only 4 hours to go.

The most painful part of the excursion is the wait. This year this was particularly true given the setup spot quickly became inundated with heavy mist from the falls when the wind kicked up (10mph gusts). Without exaggeration we were waiting in a windy rainstorm. A sane person might consider moving to avoid the heavy mist, but once you’ve invested the time to setup multiple cameras and climb down steep side trails it quickly becomes a less attractive option. This of course was constantly second guessed through out the night as conditions remained miserable. Eventually we called uncle and left the cameras running but took shelter an 1/8th of a mile away on the main trial to stay dry.

So what does one think during the hours of waiting for the moonbow to appear and during the moonbow sequence run? Let me tell you in order of thought.

  1. I am so freaking wet and cold.
  2. I should have brought more layers to stay warm and dry.
  3. It’s so wet I’m not sure any of this footage will come out.
  4. I don’t think I could have carried anything more.
  5. What the f*ck are you thinking that this would be a good idea!
  6. I’ve never seen conditions so good for moonbows, but it’s too good. There’s too much water.
  7. What was that noise!? F*ck it better not be a mountain lion. Crap it was just my jacket hood rubbing against my head.
  8. I can’t feel my fingers. I should use those hand warmer things. Cr*p they’re in my camera bag back in the heavy mist. Forget it I’d rather have cold hands than get wet again.
  9. I wonder if my batteries died. I better go check.
  10. Upon returning repeat all the above thoughts
  11. I am so freaking cold. I am never going to do this again. I don’t know what I was thinking.
  12. Now that it’s so wet and windy how am I going to retrieve all my gear
  13. Holy sh*t! I can’t believe I’m here at 3AM

Then after all of this I get to my camera to see the most amazing sight, Yosemite Falls roaring full of water with the biggest moonbow I’ve ever seen. All those earlier thoughts are lost as I get more stills taken. The results, like the photo above, are like a narcotic that wipes my mind clear. With the photo high in place packing up is less cringeworthy albeit still miserable. Trying to remember, pack and not leave behind gear and accessories for 3 cameras is tough enough, but particularly mentally challenging when cold and tired. Fortunately years of experience and more importantly being a little too anal for my own good make this a little easier.

Unlike years past the extra effort of trying to dry off gear took some extra time. It also required another round of gear packing. By the time this was all complete the hike down could begin at 3:50AM.

Canon 5D Mark IV + Canon 11-24 drenched from the heavy mist off the falls.
Canon 5D Mark II + Canon 16-35mm Mark II drenched from the heavy mist off the falls.
Canon 5D Mark II + Canon 16-35mm Mark II drenched from the heavy mist off the falls.

The hike down was cold, but dry and thus in my mind warm. On the way down thoughts of mountain lions hiding in the shadows quickly subside, instead focusing on not twisting an ankle due to fatigue or carelessness. Also important is to not step on the many millipede that crawl across the trail. In between dodging millipedes I’m left wondering how well my footage and still came out. Cold and tired I’m thinking it’s doubtful anything could have come out and back to questioning why I thought this was a good idea.

Fast forward 7 hours as I write this and it’s become apparent several shots came out, but I won’t know how much until I’m back home. Between three cameras it’s likely it worked out. I really shouldn’t do this again, but come next year I’m sure all this will be mentally blocked and I’ll be making a similar hike / moonbow shoot just like I did in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and this year. Apparently I’m a slow learner.

Authors Note: Excuse the typos if any as I typed this on my phone and I’m still very sleep deprived.

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