One question I get asked a lot (well, quite a lot anyway, considering the small size our team) in the Cult of Mac chatroom is "what camera should I get for taking better product shots?"
As reviews editor, this make me happy – of course I want better pictures on our reviews! – but the truth is that the iPhone is more than capable of making amazing product shots, especially as the target is a 640-pixel web-ready JPG.
With that in mind, Photojojo put together a tutorial for Etsy to help its users take better pictures of their home-made wares. The same advice also applies to your Ebay listings, pictures for your insurer or – yes – review shots.
I almost never (except when shooting video) wish that I had a wider angle lens – it would just mean that I have to poke my camera even closer into the face of my subject. But I do often reach for the telephoto lens that isn’t there. After all, apart from a long lens’s ability to squish elements together in a picture, sometimes you just can’t walk any closer to your subject.
At those times, you can now reach for the iPad Telephoto lens for Photojojo.
Photojojo’s Crankerator is a backup battery pack with a twist. Or rather, with a spin. You can charge it via boring old wall outlets, but when the juice finally runs low, you can reanimate it with a few twists of the crank-arm on the side.
Pano Glitches are a the new fake light leaks. Only they’re better. Pano Glitching involves setting your iPhone to shoot a panorama and then dicking with it on purpose. Instead of following the instructions to smoothly sweep the iPhone across the scene in front of you, you can quickly switch views or just jerk the phone spastically in your hand t achieve a kind of visual Tourette’s.
Counter-intuitive though it may seem, taking a light source and putting it right up close to your subject’s face – as close as you can without getting it in frame – makes for softer light. Why? Because it makes the light bigger in relation to the subject. If that subject is a face, a bigger light can “wrap around” its contours and fill in its own shadows.
And the Photojojo Pocket Spotlight is a big light source for your iPhone.
You know those cool old waxed canvas bags which used to keep things dry before miners discovered nylon in a cave in Papua New Guinea1? Now you can make your own! Well, technically you could always make your own. But now Photojojo has provided a guide for you. Spoiler: it’s dead easy.
Question: What’s the only (non-gimmicky) photographic filter that can’t be duplicated in software? That’s right, you smart genius you! It’s the polarizer. A polarizer will do two things for your photography: it’ll increase the saturation of the colors in your pictures, and it’ll cut out unwanted reflections from glass and water. And Photojojo will now sell you one that’ll clip right onto your iPhone.
What if you could go to university and learn the basics of photography for just $5? And what if that university specialized in the camera you actually have: the iPhone? If that prospect gets you jazzed, then welcome to Photojojo University’s Phoneography 101, a course that’ll learn ya to take pictures more better.
If you’ve just realized your iPhone takes better photographs than your dedicated point-and-shoot, but you miss a traditional viewfinder, check out the new iPhone Viewfinder from Photojojo. Using a screw-on suction cup, the Viewfinder sticks to your iPhone’s display and allows you to block out the rest of the world while you’re taking snaps. It sounds crazy, and at $30, that’s exactly what it is.
Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much.
Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
Today, we’re looking at last-minute stocking stuffers. To be honest, if you still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, you should really be out hitting the malls today. But seeing as you’re here reading this instead, here are a few ideas.