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!

How to Take Better Phone Photos with Halley Roberts

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By JOBY Inc on

We sent our new GripTight phone tripod to a few of our favorite Instagrammers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog. Portland-based photographer Halley Roberts creates beautiful images of everyday life, capturing beauty in the natural and man-made world around her. Thanks Halley for sharing your thoughts and photos with us! 

Halley Roberts
Portland, Oregon | @halleyroberts 

What is your best tip for using the GripTight? 
The first time I used the GripTight was when I set up a shot of me preparing and eating breakfast and I attached it to a spider plant I have hanging over my kitchen table. It worked great! With the lifestyle-type photography that I shoot, attaching the GripTight to objects above me is perfect. Attach the GripTight to something directly above you, use the self-timer and voila, you’ve got a beautiful top-down shot.

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What do you like best about phone photography? 

I use my iPhone mostly for snaps of my life, but I also use it to test out compositions that I think will look good when I shoot with medium format film. It’s great when I’m outside, which I am a lot, exploring and hiking. I’ve also found that I use it often for self-portraits when I don’t have a model or someone else to place in the photo.

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What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing? 

Finding the right editing apps is crucial. My number one photo editing app is VSCO. I also use Camera+ for doing self-timed shots and Squaready to bypass Instagram’s square format. Also, try to be selective about what you’re shooting. I often see people simply stabbing at their iPhone screens taking hundreds of snaps. The more discerning you are, the better your photos will be and you’ll save memory!

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Have you found any non-photography uses for your GripTight? 

I also like to use the GripTight GorillaPod stand to prop my iPhone up while I’m working on my computer or listening to a podcast. That way I can look down and easily check my phone.

 

 

How to Take Better Phone Photos with Matej Smucr

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By JOBY Inc on

We sent our new GripTight phone tripod to a few of our favorite Instagrammers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog.  Matej Smucr is a iPhone photographer based in the Czech Republic. He captures beautiful images of the world around him, natural and man made. His curiosity and desire to discover and share his world through photographs is inspiring.  Thanks Matej for sharing your experience and photos! 
Matej Smucr
Czech Republic | @matescho 

How did you begin as a photographer?

I wasn’t interested in photography before I got an iPhone 3GS in 2010. Because there are so many apps for editing photos, I began to enjoy photography. In the beginning it was hard because I knew nothing about photography. I found some basics online, but the best way to really improve is just to shoot. I take photos everyday, everywhere and of everything. I also recommend looking at other photographers’ work. I have friends on Instagram who inspire me everyday.

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What do you like best about the GripTight?

From the first time I used the GripTight Micro, I fell in love with this amazing gadget. If I’m walking through the city and find an amazing spot, I just take my GripTight from my pocket and take a photo. I set it up with my iPhone, set a self-timer, focus on the spot where I plan to be when the timer goes off, press the shutter button and run, run, run. GripTight is really perfect for self-portraits (and also for people with shaky hands)!

Before I got the GripTight Micro, I used a GorillaPod SLR-Zoom for my iPhoneography. But it is a little big and I wanted something smaller that I could carry in my pocket the entire day. GripTight Micro is light, small and I can attach it to my keys. It’s a universal holder so I can use it with my iPhone with or without cases or lenses. Plus, it has rubber legs so it can’t slide down from any surface.

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Photographer Matej Smucr & his JOBY GripTight from JOBY Inc on Vimeo.

 

What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing? 

I like retro and vintage photos so I edit my photos in this style. My favorite app is VSCO Cam, which I use almost for every edit. I like filters 02 and 05 the best. I also use PicFX, which has so many filters that can be combined. Photoforge2 is good for layering. Camera+, EasyTitler and Gorillacam from Joby are also favorites.

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Have you discovered any other uses for your GripTight?

When I’m not taking photos, I also use the GripTight Micro to surf the Internet, watch movies or just as holder for my phone.

 

Enter ViewBug’s Sky Photo Contest & Win GorillaPods!

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By JOBY Inc on

Enter ViewBug’s Sky Photo Contest with your best photo of the sky and win awesome JOBY gear, like GorillaPod Focus, UltraFit Sling Strap and GripTight GorillaPod Magnetic.

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Sky_Prizes

Enter today! Ends July 15th.

How to Take Better Phone Photos with Colby Brown

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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. Colorado-based photographer Colby Brown is as phenomenal a teacher and humanitarian as he is a photographer. On his Instagram feed, he shares behind the scenes glimpses into his work all over the globe.  Thanks Colby for sharing your thoughts and photos with us! 

Colby Brown
Denver, Colorado | @colbybrownphotography on Instagram 

As a professional photographer, how does smartphone photography fit into your work?

As a travel photographer, part of the fun of my job is sharing my experiences around the globe with others. With digital mobile camera technology continuing to grow by leaps and bounds, my Android phone has become more of an integral part of my gear setup. Using my phone to capture quick snapshots and behind the scenes images while on my adventures allows me to easily bring others along with me.

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What is your best tip for using the GripTight? 

My best piece of advice for utilizing the GripTight is to take your time. Too many photographers think mobile photography is a breeze, when in reality it takes just as much forethought and preparation as professional work to accurately capture a scene. The camera sensors in mobile phones are so small that you have to be careful when shooting in low light. A GripTight allows you to have much more creative freedom.

When was a time that the GripTight proved particularly useful? 

While working in Angkor Wat, Cambodia I was forced to have to capture scenes in incredibly dark situations. By utilizing my GripTight, I was still able to capture some great behind the scenes images.

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What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing? 

As a photographer that mostly uses Android technology, there are a handle of apps that I find myself using on a regular basis. My favorite apps for shooting are the stock camera app, Camera360, HDR Camera+, and Camera FV-5.  My favorite Android apps for editing are PicsPlay Pro, Perfectly Clear and KD Collage.

 

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How to take Better Phone Photos with Allan Hinton

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By JOBY Inc on

We sent our new GripTight smartphone tripod to a few of our favorite Instagrammers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog. Lodon-based photographer Allan Hinton does wonders with an iPhone. His photographs first caught our eye a year ago because of his knack for capturing the atmosphere and emotion of a scene. He also has an amazing eye for color. Thanks Allan for sharing your thoughts and photos with us! 

Allan Hinton
London, England | @chaiwalla 

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What is your best tip for using the GripTight?  

My biggest tip is to always have the GripTight in your possession, in your bag or chained to your key ring.  It is portable enough to not take up too much room in your pocket. Most of my photographs are spontaneous while I am on the go and I’m often inspired by moments in time that I cannot plan for.

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Tell us about a time that you really stretched yourself creatively because of the GripTight?

I haven’t done this yet but I was thinking the GripTight would be perfect for taking photographs at my local swimming pool. I have a bulky waterproof case for my phone and the GripTight would have no problem in gripping around my iPhone and its case. I could then place the phone steadily at the edge of the pool and get creative with multiple exposure shots!

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What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing? 

My favorite app to edit photos are Snapseed, PicFx and Blender. Blender this is a great way to blend two of the same image together if you can’t pick which edit you prefer – sometimes a slight blend of the two can result in a perfect finish.

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What is your advice for someone just starting out as as photographer? 

Be brave enough to try something new and enjoy being a beginner and making early mistakes. You will feel proud when looking back at early photos and seeing how far you’ve come. It’s very easy to feel insecure when comparing your photos to someone with many followers on Instagram. It’s likely that they’ve been photographing for years and have had their own time to grow.

 

 

How to Shoot Better iPhone Photos with Simon Dark

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By JOBY Inc on

We sent our new GripTight GorillaPod smartphone tripod to a few of our favorite Instagrammers, asked them to give it a whirl and then share their photos and experience here on the blog. We fell in love with Simon Dark‘s photography last year when we found him on Instagram. He captures beautiful landscapes and has a great sense of color. There is levity to his work that’s always a breath of fresh air. Thanks Simon for sharing your experience and photos! 

Simon Dark
Wales, United Kingdom | @simondark 

How did your GorillaPod change your photography? 

I’d been taking photos for years in the woods where I walk with some old mobile phones and a point and shoot. When I finally got an iPhone and a GorillaPod, things started to change really quickly. I started thinking about how I could shoot differently, take more interesting photos and also get a few shots of myself, maybe with a prop or two to make things more fun. It’s been an interesting process for myself as a photographer—I’m having fun.

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What makes the GripTight most useful for you?

That little GripTight has really helped with my creative process. When I’m out walking in the woods or down by the beach, I don’t want to spend a long time trying to find somewhere to balance my phone or prop it up against something. I have taken a lot of shots around or above water and I can trust the GripTight to keep my phone safe and shoot the angle I want. I also take a lot of shots from the ground or on uneven surfaces and I haven’t found a place yet where I haven’t been able to use the tripod.

The GripTight GorillaPod is handy and it’s simple to use, I don’t want to spend loads of time taking photos and setting up a shot. I just want to take a quick shot and keep on walking. The GripTight makes life so much easier. There are so many more possibilities of where I can quickly set up the GorillaPod and take a shot, on a rock or tree or branch, and I have learned so much in such a short period of time from using it.

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What have you been shooting lately?

Lately, I have been getting some nice portraits at a local beach using a waterproof case and setting up the GorillaPod in some rock pools so the lens is half in half out of the water. I’ve been really happy with the results. Also skating through puddles has given some great results using the Gorillacam app.

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Photographer Simon Dark & his JOBY GripTight from JOBY Inc on Vimeo.

What is your best advice for new photographers?  

My best advice for new photographers is to look at other people’s shots and think ‘how did they do that, what angle did they use?’. Don’t be afraid to try something different and really have fun. Lighting is also always important to keep in mind. I would recommend pairing a small GorillaPod with a wide angle phone lens—it’s really fun combo to use.

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What are your favorite apps for shooting? For editing?

My favorite apps for shooting are Camera+ and also JOBY Gorillacam. I will crop and edit my shots a little using Snapseed. I mostly share my iPhone shots on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

GripTight Giveaway! Enter today!

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By JOBY Inc on

To celebrate the launch of our new GripTight Video and GripTight Magnetic, we’re hosting a giveaway!

Enter once to for your chance to win 1 of 15 prize GripTight packs! There are three winners each day, so the earlier you enter, the more chances you have to win these nifty little tripods! Hurry, contest ends 3/22! ENTER HERE!

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Get GripTight GorillaPod & GripTight Micro in Your Favorite Color!

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By JOBY Inc on

We’re happy to announce that our GripTight GorillaPod Stand and GripTight Micro Stand are now available in a rainbow of colors! You’ll be able to choose your favorite color to match your  your personality, your outfit or your phone case!

Our GripTight GorillaPod is our signature flexible tripod for your smartphone. It fits most bestselling smartphones, with or without a case, and you can position it just about anywhere making it the best phone tripod out there!  Plus you can detach the GripTight Mount from the GorillaPod Original and use the GorillaPod with your point and shoot camera or use the mount with any other tripod. Two products in one—pretty neat!

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Check out our GripTight GorillaPod rainbow and choose your favorite color today!

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GripTight Micro Stand is the smallest phone tripod available! It folds down into a super tiny package that will easily fit in your pocket. You’ll never be caught without a tripod ever again! While it is awesome for photos, it is also great for video chats, watching YouTube, playing music, using your GPS, or following recipes in the kitchen. The uses are endless for GripTight!

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Check out our new GripTight Micro rainbow and pick out your favorite today!

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Want to share a photo that you shot using a GripTight GorillaPod with us? Tag it with #griptight #gorillapod on Instagram or share with us on Facebook.