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Julius Motal

julius motal the phoblographer lensbaby composer pro product image-1

So it was that I received a Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 50 Optic and an NEX-6 for review. It had been a while since I last handled one of Lensbaby’s creations, the Scout and Muse specifically, and this one was considerably different. It looks like a cannon had been miniaturized to fit on the NEX-6, or something that might have been affixed to the robot from Lost in Space. The Composer Pro was a quirky break from the usual spate of reviews, but it isn’t for everyone.

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julius motal the phoblographer justin benzel image 05

All images by Justin Benzel. Used with permission.

Tumblr’s Year in Review made the rounds here, and it was Justin Benzel’s work that first caught my eye. There was something so fantastically cool about his work that I felt I had to talk to him about how and why he does it. Benzel is a Chicago-based photo-illustrator and photographer who’s currently working on a project that finds itself somewhere between 1950s noir and science-fiction. Here we talk to Benzel about his inspiration, approach and technique.

For more of Benzel’s work, check out his website and tumblr.

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julius motal the phoblographer sony a77II product image-8

It’s been quite some time since I’ve handled a Sony alpha DSLR. The last one I reviewed was the a58 well over a year and a half ago. The a77 Mk II flitted across my vision some number of months ago as the closest thing performance-wise to the titanic a99. It has the same megapixel count as the a99, just on a slightly smaller sensor, and it’s got the heft of a serious camera. The a77II arrived on my doorstep with the 16-50mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 in tow. When I opened the box, I was looking at a perfect photojournalism kit.

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julius motal the phoblographer billy ellmore elkfoot image 06 ET the ELKstra-Terrestrial

All images by Elkfoot. Used with permission

It was in a bar that I first met the photographer known as Elkfoot–Billy Ellmore legally. We got to talking about photography, and he showed me a number of projects he had worked on. Initially, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at it, but a quickly learned that he was taking portraits of himself in a number of different modes. Whether it was play-doh, figurines or clever work in Photoshop, Elkfoot managed to deconstruct the self-portrait and combine that with his nostalgia. Here, we interview Elkfoot about his work, approach and technique.

Check out more of Elkfoot’s work on his website and Instagram.

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julius motal the phoblographer orangemonkie Foldio 2

The folks at Orangemonkie are back with Foldio2 “Bigger & Smarter” on Kickstarter. We originally wrote about them a year ago when they debuted the original Foldio. Essentially, it’s a collapsible photo studio with LED lights that will help you take better product photography with either your phone or your camera. The original Foldio came in at 10.2 in. x 10.2 in. x 10.2 in. This time around, the Foldio2 is 15 in. x 15 in. x 15 in., which can accommodate bigger items.

The Foldio2 comes with three backdrop options: white, black and grey. The LED strips are also longer than the original, which provides much more light. The Orangemonkie team is also developing a smartphone to provide quick and easy editing for any photographs you take in the Foldio2.

This is definitely a boon for anyone looking to take better product photos or experiment with macro photography. Hopefully, eBay listings will look a little better, too, if this has a high adoption rate.

They’ve already blown past their $50,000 threshold, but if you’d like to get one early, head on over to their Kickstarter.

Product demo video after the jump. [click to continue…]

julius motal the phoblographer instagram murky world 1

In the course of photographing a protest in New York City, I came away with what I believed was a solid group of photographs. As I whittled the edit down to a select few, I thought I’d put some of them up on Instagram. After posting one, I got a notification that someone had posted a photo of me, which was confusing because my photo hasn’t been taken in a while. Upon going to the notifications tab, I saw that a user had reposted my photo with one of the many reposting apps available.

The problem is that I never gave her permission to do so.

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