Photographing Africa alongside Andre Haramboure

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By JOBY Inc on

We sent our GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X to photographer Ander Haramboure just before he embarked on a photo expedition to Africa. Below he shares his experience and his tips for how get great photographs with zoom lenses in even the most extreme environments! 

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First, can you tell us a little bit about how you got into photography?

Most of the time, I go into photography during my travels. I’m lucky enough to go out several times a year… Photography is part of the travel itself as taking the good pic needs you to sharpen your eyes. Then you discover so many details you would have never seen without your camera. I’ve also met so beautiful people I wanted to shoot! I couldn’t travel without my camera!

 

What projects you currently working on? Can you tell us about the project these photos are from?

This year, I going on the extremities… I just came back for Zimbabwe and am heading to Spitzberg Island… 60°c gap!

I was in Africa to support a local NGO. It was the dry season and animals needed to be counted at the waterholes. Many of them were dying of thirst and it was urgent to have a good “picture” of the situation. I was on the “fire line” and could be very close to the animals! Great views!

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How has the GorillaPod changed the way you shoot?

The GorillaPod is light and discreet. You can bring it with you all the time even in a small bag! It can solve many of the problems that get in your way of shooting anywhere and everywhere, like low light and need for stability stability with zoom lenses.

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What is your best tip for using the GorillaPod?

Without the Gorillapod, you will be limited to “common altitudes”. With it, you can let your imagination express itself! Find the craziest viewpoint of the scene you want to shoot, prepare your camera and only then use the GorrilaPod! Twist it’s 3 legs in many different ways so to find the best stability you can. Mount your camera on the GorillaPod, point, and shoot!

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Can you share a story of a time that your GorillaPod really came in handy from your past trip?

In Zimbabwe, sometimes shooting conditions were really extreme! My zoom lens was heavy and I needed stability to get a clear pics! As you could see on one of the pictures, I was able to block my camera on the bull bar thanks to my gorillaPod ! It helped me to shoot a beautiful group of elephants that were showering the babies at the waterhole.

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What is your best advice for aspiring photographers?

Even if you need it, photography is no question of technique… Photography is question of imagination and sensibility!

Go out and shoot with your feelings, you get great shots!

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Thanks Ander for sharing your amazing photographs and your trip! See more of Ander’s work from all over the world on his website.

Father’s Day 20% Off Sale! Find Great Gifts for Dad!

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By JOBY Inc on

We know how tough it can be find a great gift for dad for Father’s Day. Dress shirts are boring, ties are passé, socks are well, socks. This year get your dad a gift that he’ll really put to good use! Plus, from June 1st through June 16th, we’re offering 20% off our favorite gifts for Dad!

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Need help finding a gift? Check out our Father’s Day Gift Guide below! 

Does your dad like photography? Try our GorillaPod SLR-Zoom. A super lightweight and super flexible tripod he can take anywhere to capture unique photos wherever his adventures take him.

Is Dad a pro photographer or videographer? Check out our GorillaPod Focus. A professional grade tripod with a ton more flexibility than most, it’s perfect for a dad who’s looking to get creative with his photography.

Maybe Dad is the type to hike a mountain, ride a bike or run through city streets—all to get the perfect shot. He’ll love our UltraFit Sling Strap! Designed to allow you to cinch your camera tight against your body but still have for quick and easy camera access, it is perfect for the adventurous and active photographer.

Or perhaps Dad really enjoys DIY projects around the house or tinkering with his classic car? GorillaTorch Flare has six light settings, magnetic feet and is water resistant, making it the best way to light just about any task handsfree!

Is Dad the outdoorsy type who loves to spend his time camping in the great outdoors? Then GorillaTorch Switchback is for him! A 2-in-1 lantern that can convert into a headlamp, he can use it grilling, setting up a tent, or even on a night hike up Half Dome.

Use code DADROCKS at checkout to receive 20% off these great gifts for the dads in your life!

 

 

Use your camera strap with your camera tripod!

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By JOBY Inc on

After our UltraFit Sling Strap launch, a good number of customers told us that they also wanted to use their camera strap with their tripod without having to unscrew the strap. So, we started looking for universal quick release tripod plates on the market to point our customers to. But we were surprised at how expensive and complicated they were. $50 – $100? That’s more than our sling strap!

So, our designers and engineers got to work.

We aim for simple but adaptable designs that put a lot of functionality in the hands of our users.

So, let’s start with a universal camera baseplate that’s made of hard-anodized machined-aluminum with a unibody design. That makes it tough, sleek, and small.

We’ll include two ¼-20” female mounting holes for your accessories like camera straps or flash brackets. We’ll include a slot for your hand and wrist strap.

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Let’s give it an extra long mounting slot so you can position the base plate where it makes the most sense to you. Now, you have a total camera platform!

Let’s make it an Arca-Swiss compatible tripod plate so you can just slide your camera into the most common mounting system for tripods. But if you’re using something like a Manfrotto® RC2 ballhead, you can attach the UltraPlate to the ¼-20” screw of an RC2 quick-release plate.

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We don’t like tools that get in our way so let’s make it small at 2.8” x 1.7” (Arca-Swiss dovetail is 1.5″ wide) x 0.5” (7.2 x 4.3/3.85  x 1.25 cm) and weighing only 1.65 oz (47g) so that it fits nicely underneath your DSLR camera or compact system camera.

And finally, let’s make it $19.95 so it’s a no-brainer for everybody to have one for their camera.

Check out our video below on the UltraPlate and buy one for your camera today!

 

Fantastic bundle of Mac Apps from MacPhun

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By JOBY Inc on

Save over 80% on the 7 must-have Mac apps from our friends at MacPhun!

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Snapheal, Cashculator, Swift Publisher, Tunes Cleanee, Tembo & Photo Movie Maker Pro.

Get it for $19.99 (worth $ 164.99). Available till May 16 only so get on it quick and start getting creative with your photos and videos!

Phone Photo Contest 2013 Winners & Gallery

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By JOBY Inc on

Our second annual JOBY Phone Photo Contest was a huge success! We were blown away by the number of entries (763!) and the amazing photographs submitted! You guys sure are a phenomenally talented group! Now without further ado, our winners!

First Place: Mt. Fuji by Masakazu Ejiri

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Second Place: Lines by Altaf Aiali

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Third Place: Spring Blossom by Steven Sandner

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Honorable Mentions

A Boy, a Cave, Some Wires by Fernando Prats

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Vanishing Trees by Robert Paul Jansen

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Waiting for you…by Andini Patricia

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Taking a Break by Jacob Santiago

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Dandelion on Fire by Linda Owens

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Different is Okay  by Glen Coyle

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And because we got so many awesome animal shots for this contests, we’ve added an Cool Canines category! These Cool Canine photos win a GripTight GorillaPod Stand.

Waiting by Art Lim

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Courage by Richard Lawson

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Pugcycle by Mary McGuire

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There were so many wonderful photos it was almost impossible to narrow it down to just this group. Check out this gallery to see more beautiful and inspiring phone photos.

 

Thanks to everyone who participated and a special thanks to our judges, Martin Reisch, Amanda Jasnowski and Colby Brown!

How Photog Jordana Wright uses her GripTight Phone Tripod

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By JOBY Inc on

We sent our new GripTight phone tripod to a few of our favorite photographers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog.  Jordana Wright is a photographer and teacher based in Chicago, Illinois. We first met Jordana when she embarked on a photography trip across the entire USA by train, taking photos, meeting people and teaching along the way.  Thanks Jordana for sharing your experience and photos! 

Jordana Wright
Chicago, Illinois | @jordanawright on Instagram
What is your favorite thing about the GripTight?  

The GripTight is super helpful, wonderfully compact, and totally versatile. I can really punch up my mobile photography by positioning my phone literally anywhere. Google hangouts and video chats are so much easier to do on-the-go, now that they can be TOTALLY hands free. When I’m shooting with my DSLR, the GripTight lets me pull up a shot list or other important information that I can easily display without fumbling with my phone.

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What is your best tip for getting great photos from a smartphone? 

My best tip is that it’s not always about the app! The angle, lighting, and subject matter can make or break a cellphone photo—just like every other type of photography. Play around because you never know what sorts of AWESOME you may capture. One of my favorite tricks is putting a piece of colored gel in front of my phone’s camera for a moody, colorized photo.

What are your favorite apps?  

My favorite apps are Instagram and Pudding Camera. Sometimes I shoot in one camera app, then open the photo and process it with another. In airplane mode, you can process photos through Instagram as many times as you want to get a unique look.

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Have you found any alternative uses for your GripTight?

I’ve used the GripTight to keep my phone safe and in sight on my desk and on the kitchen counter. It makes my cell phone into a lovely bedside alarm clock, and it even came in handy for my husband who works in theatre. He borrowed it to more easily film actors auditioning for a show. In a pinch, you can even use your cellphone (when the screen is dark) to touch up your hair or make-up. The GripTight lets you angle it however you may need!

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Can you tell us about a time the GripTight really saved the day? 

I was driving using Google Maps on my phone, and the phone kept falling over in the car. At a red light, I realized I could use the GripTight Micro Stand to keep the phone exactly where I needed it on the dashboard for easier navigation. Fewer fumbles + knowing where I’m going = the happiest photographer.

 

How photographer Eric Wood uses his GripTight

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By JOBY Inc on

We sent our new GripTight phone tripod to a few of our favorite photographers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog. Eric Wood is a New York-based photographer who first inspired us with his HDR photography. He’s shared his HDR technique for DSLR photography on the JOBY Blog last year and now he’s back to share his thoughts on smartphone photography.

Eric Wood
Hoosick, NY | @snaplove on Instagram

What is your best advice for using the GripTight? 

The GripTight is awesome for holding my Galaxy SIII nice and still while I fire off a couple shots. One of the most valuable tips for succeeding with the GripTight has to do with your phone. Set your phone’s camera to fire using a timer. That way you can trigger the timer and wait for the shutter to fire without actually touching the phone. The result: super sharp photos!

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Can you share a time when the GripTight came in handy recently? 

Last weekend, I was walking around a New England church and there was the first red leaf of fall on the ground. I didn’t have my DSLR with me but I had my phone and GripTight. I set it up on the ground and got a great shot of the leaf.

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What is your best advice for new photographers? 

My best tip is to just shoot. I think lots of people have a belief that you need a big, bulky DSLR to take amazing photos. Any photographer will tell you the best camera you could have is the camera you have with you! In lots of cases that is going to be your phone. Don’t hesitate to use it.

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What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing?

If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop, Instagram is awesome. It’s quality, fun and social. If you prefer to break it up a little, grab Adobe Photoshop Express and use the sharing platform within. I love it! The new mobile Flickr app has some potential too.

 

Have you found any fun or unique uses for the GripTight? 

When I am on the road, I usually wrap my GorillaPod around my rearview mirror and put my phone in the GripTight so I can see the navigation in my view. Works awesome!

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Enter JOBY’s Phone Photo Contest!

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By JOBY Inc on

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Enter your best phone photo for a chance to win awesome prizes from JOBY and Olloclip! We’ve got a star panel of judges to help us choose the best photos. See details and enter your photo today!

How to take Better Phone Photos & Videos with Jay and Varina Patel

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By JOBY Inc on

We sent our new GripTight phone tripod to a few of our favorite photographers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog.  Jay and Varina Patel are landscape photographers who teach photography workshops all over the globe. They also have a series of E-Books and tutorials to help aspiring photographers improve their shooting and post-processing technique.  Thanks Jay and Varina for sharing your experience and photos! 

Jay and Varina Patel
Twinsburg, Ohio 

What is the best part about using the GripTight? 

We’ve been really happy with the tiny combination of the Grip Tight Mount with the Micro. They fold up small enough to stick in a pocket or attach to a keychain, so I don’t have to carry around bulky gear. When I want to get some video of my kids when we go swimming in the river or hang out at the park, I can set up my phone quickly and grab a fun video of the kids having fun.

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When have you found the GripTight particularly useful? 

As landscape photographers, we often produce short, on-location educational videos with our mobile phones. The GripTight Mount and GripTight GorillaPod Stand provide a perfect lightweight solution that we can use to produce smooth videos with our mobile phones. We secure the GorillaPod stand on a tripod or stand it up on a rock, and we are good to go!

The Making of an Instructional Tutorial with Photographer Varina Patel from JOBY Inc on Vimeo.

Can you share a time when the GripTight really saved the shoot?

We planned to do a quick series of videos in a beautiful park several miles from our home, but we forgot our Grip Tight Mount. All our attempts to stabilize the mobile phone using our tripods or hands were unsuccessful. We shot a video anyway—but it’s completely unusable. The camera shake is pretty annoying! The following week, we took our cameras to the soccer fields to shoot another video. This time, we used a tripod topped with the GripTight GorillaPod Stand and the finished video is smooth and steady.

What are your favorite apps? 

We use SmugMug’s Camera Awesome app. Camera Awesome allows for independent control of focus point and exposure. It’s great for macro shots and producing on-location videos. We edit our movies with iMovie, which allows us to put clips together quickly, add audio and music, and create a decent finished product. We love Snapseed for processing photos. This app has “U-Point” technology that allows us to make selective adjustment to our photographs.

 

Return of the GorillaCam (Director’s commentary)

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By JOBY Inc on

In probably the quietest re-launch ever for an app that has had over 3M downloads, we rebooted our iPhone GorillaCam app in early-February. For those who don’t know, JOBY had a lot of success with GorillaCam when it first launched in Dec of 2009. At one time, it was a top 5 camera download on the Apple app store.

But alas, GorillaCam development stopped because of a number of…well…weird…reasons.

JOBY moved on to creating another iPhone app, Frame x Frame, in April 2011. It had a lot of features of GorillaCam but also included stop motion and time lapse features (check out the Frame x Frame contest that we ran).

But alas, Frame x Frame development stopped because of a number of…well…weird…reasons.

JOBY. Tis a silly place.

People came and went; everybody associated with the app left. And our two apps just sat there gathering dust (and bugs, lots of bugs).

But since our spiffy GripTight phone tripods were coming out in late 2012, a new generation of JOBYians pushed for rebooting GorillaCam. It just didn’t seem right to let GorillaCam wither on the vine. We had to give it a shot, right?

Admittedly, it wasn’t a terribly popular idea at the time. Remember how you promised your mom you wouldn’t forget to feed the goldfish if she just gave you a THIRD chance? Yeah, it was kind of like that.

First off, we had to figure out what we wanted the app to be. Frame by Frame had great functionality, but it was too hard to learn. This was the typical Frame x Frame user experience:

600 shots x 5 second interval per shot x 10 fps = SDFSKLFSJDFDALFK.

GorillaCam had this large following, but well, we didn’t have the code for it. X_x

So, we relaunched GorillaCam with Frame x Frame’s additional functionality as its base but thought about how to make the app a lot easier to use. We wanted an app where beginners could just get started creating their cool photography or time-lapse and stop-motion videos without getting bombarded by a ton of options. For instance…

 

To shoot say a timelapse video in GorillaCam today, you just say how long do you want to record and then how long you want the video to be. That’s it.

Just start shooting

Just start shooting

All of the camera modes are clearly broken out. We’ve grouped the options a lot more logically to make them easy to find. We tried to keep the buttons per screen down to a minimum.

Our first test run of GorillaCam

But we understand that some people wanted those advanced settings so we created GorillaCamPro which has those features. Now, you can set your shots, intervals, fps, time lapse photo series (instead of video) as you see fit for $1.99. To keep GorillaCam free, we had to stick in some JOBY ads in the app to help pay the bills, but hopefully those aren’t too intrusive.

I’d love to say that the GorillaCam relaunch in early February was a smash, but actually it was something of a disaster. We took our lumps from loyal GorillaCam users who were furious for leaving out the tap-screen-to-shoot option as well as the anti-shake option which takes a picture only when the camera is steady.

No good deed goes unpunished.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Ack.

But we’re ready for change this time. Our development goal with GorillaCam now is to introduce small features and improvements over time. Part of it is because of budget reasons. But the other part is that smaller releases let us respond more quickly to bugs or introduce new features.

We managed to re-introduce the biggest missing features (tap to shoot, antishake, beeping on the photo countdown, etc) a few weeks later…

We're sorry! We're sorry!

We’re sorry! We’re sorry!

And then in another update just last week, we overcame the limitations of the old Frame-x-Frame code and greatly improved the resolution of the photos and videos. Your iPhone 4S and 5 for instance can now shoot timelapse videos in 1920 x 1080 HD on the best setting. And we’re already at work on the next set of features.

So, please give GorillaCam or GorillaCamPro a shot, and let us know how we’re doing, good or bad. If there’s some functionality that you want to see, please let us know on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or by email at community AT joby.com. We can’t promise that we can build every request, but we do definitely want to hear what you’re thinking and how we can improve!