Monday, December 27, 2010

Photography and Camera Protection

Growing more popular by the day, photography is the science of capturing light onto different varieties of mediums. Unlike other forms of expression, it provides a real life image as seen through human eyes. By many, Photography is considered an art and a masterpiece can take a split-second to capture. The camera is the artist's paintbrush and several factors determine the quality of a picture.

Exposure is the amount of light collected by the camera sensor and determines whether the photo is going to be washed out or too dark. Two aspects which contribute to the outcome of exposure are shutter speed and aperture. Shutter speed is the amount of time the sensor is exposed to light and aperture is the size of the lens opening that lets light into the camera. Technology has come so far and most cameras have light meters that measure light in a given shot and set an ideal exposure. There are several different varieties of cameras, but the two main categories are digital point-and-shoot and digital SLR. Digital Camera technology has advanced drastically in the last several years and quality can often be determined by price.

Digital SLR cameras are considered the tool of choice for professional photographers and can cost thousands of dollars. Digital point-and-shoot cameras are intended to be more affordable and practical for everyday shooting. It is a common sight to see Digital point-and-shoot cameras at major sporting events, parties, vacations or reunions. Regardless of the price, the owners of these two different types of cameras often travel with their favorite photo capturing device. There are several different products available to help enable portability and protect these valuable "paintbrushes."

Camera bags and cases are the solution to this problem. Their styles and quality vary highly and provide different functions. The Gear S2 Pro isn't only stylish, but practical. It comes equipped with a detachable shoulder strap and has a built in belt loop for convenience and portability. To protect the valuable device inside, it has shock-absorbing inserts that shield impacts and a non-scratch inner lining keeps the outer finish of the camera looking brand new.

Smaller cases and bags like the Gear S2 Pro are adequate for point and shoot cameras, but the larger and more expensive DSLR's require something different. They are heavier and often used with multiple accessories for different types of shots. The USA GEAR Deluxe dSLR Zoom Bag is designed to provide complete protection for Nikon, Canon EOS, Pentax, Sigma, Olympus and Sony Alpha Digital SLR Cameras. It has a built-in internal suspension system to hold the weight of the camera and keep it elevated. As well, it has multiple layers of padding to keep your valuable investment safe inside. There are padded side compartments for lenses and multiple smaller compartments for any accessories. These bags are larger to compliment a bigger camera, but still have a shoulder strap and carry handle to make travel trouble-free.
Deluxe dSLR

Accessory Genie understands the importance of photography and how imperative it is to keep these valuable devices protected. The right bag or case can enable the photographer to safely travel with their camera and is a driving force behind being at the right place to capture that special shot.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Consumer Electronics

In recent years, we have seen a massive shift in consumer trends. The creation of personal electronic devices has revolutionized the market and caused consumer electronics to rise to the top of this year's Holiday wish list. This Holiday season, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) estimated that spending on consumer electronics will reach historic heights, despite a decline in overall gift spending. This is due in part to revolutionary advances being made in technology and the trend of ever falling prices. As a whole, we are becoming more sophisticated and increases in efficiency and production are making it possible for these Electronic Devices to be manufactured and distributed at an affordable price.

The cost of In-Home Entertainment Electronics has dropped severely over the last decade. The price of LCD and plasma TVs has been falling by thirty percent a year and are now a common addition to a household's living room. Other contributors to the growth of consumer electronics has been Laptops, Netbooks, Mp3 players, Smartphone's, iPods, Tablets and many more. The drivers of growth for these devices are personalization, mobility and connectivity.

GOgroove Panda Pal
Fifteen years ago, being mobile meant carrying around a ten pound radio and a cell phone the size of a brick. These devices have gradually become small enough to fit in ones palm and more advanced than ever imagined. Portable Audio speakers such as the Panda Pal are one example of how mobile technology has really become. This device ways less than a pound and can fill a room full of crisp music.

Smartphone's and iPods are the drivers for these portable speaker devices and have led to the creation of new fields of consumer electronics. Smartphone's enable people to be connected to the internet and their personal information at all times. This mix between personalization, mobility and connectivity has fueled the need to develop new technologies. Smartphone's and the majority of mobile devices run off lithium batteries and need to be charged daily. They have become a part of our society and are practically a necessity for daily life. The GOgroove Go-Charge is one example of how technology has been adapted to accommodate these new developments. It allows the user to remain connected to their mobile device by providing power in any necessary situation. It can provide power to these mobile devices Via AC, DC or with its built in 1500 Mah battery. Other devices such as Fm Transmitters go hand-in-hand with these mobile devices and eliminate the need for CD's in automobiles.

As technology advances, so do the accessories that go along with it. These advances have led to more complex and affordable electronics for the average consumer. You can expect Accessory Genie to stay on top of these developments and continue to produce accessories for the most popular consumer electronics.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Age of Bluetooth

Bluetooth is used by millions of people, but what is it and why is it growing so popular? Bluetooth wirelessly transmits data via low-power radio waves and serves as a way to connect two digital devices. We are living in a digital age and like our technology, Bluetooth is changing and becoming more advanced. Originally, Bluetooth was primarily used in laptops and cell phones as a way to exchange various forms of data between them. In recent years, we have experienced a technological and social change that has given rise to numerous portable audio devices. These improvements in technology are transforming the uses for Bluetooth and have allowed it to become a more practical wireless communication and audio solution. 

FlexSmart X2 Bluetooth Fm Transmitter
Regardless of your preferred music device, there is a high probability that your music will be streamed using Bluetooth wireless connection in the near future. Bluetooth is readily available on new Cell Phones, Stereos Systems, PCs, MP3's and is even being factory installed in new models of cars. As well, there are devices available that make it easier to wirelessly play music using Bluetooth. The newest of these devices are Bluetooth FM Transmitters, which can be plugged directly into a standard Car DC adapter. Not only do these transmitters play music through the car speakers, but they are capable of answering phone calls. When a call is received, the music will automatically shut off and allow the user to talk through their car speakers. There are also advances in bluetooth headphone technology, which is great for music lovers. The new Bluetooth headsets connect to any Bluetooth audio device and allow the user to freely listen to music without cords. The new AirBand Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset has wireless music playing capabilities and hands-free calling integrated into it. This single bluetooth device can play music and allow you to take phone calls.

There are millions of devices that use Bluetooth wireless technology and it is expected to rise sharply in upcoming years. Bluetooth 3.0 is
AirBand Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset
currently being developed and is going to revolutionize data transfer. It is fast enough to stream video footage from camcorders, digital cameras will be able to stream photoslideshows to cell phones and laptops will have the ability to wirelessly transfer presentations to a projector. The possibilities are truly endless and have the ability to not only eliminate wires, but the communication barriers between multiple devices. Accessory Genie plans on keeping up with these advances and providing the most advanced Bluetooth devices on the market.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Camera Flashes, Wrist Straps, Belt Packs, and Cases Added to the Accessory Genie Product Catalog

We wanted to take a moment to let you know about a few of the new products that we're now carrying at AccessoryGenie.com. We have substantially expanded our line of photography-related products. We have begun carrying camera flashes and wrist straps, as well as belt packs, cases, and tripods for the dedicated photographer. Please see below:

Camera Batteries:


Camera AC Adapters:



Camera Accessories and Flashes:



Belt Packs and Cases:


We have also beefed up our line of travel chargers, laptop batteries, smartphone/iPhone accessories, and music accessories. Please go to AccessoryGenie.com to see the wide variety of new products that we carry.

A few products to keep an eye out for would be new GOgroove SonaWave HD compact, powerful docking sound system for your iPod/iPhone, and the GOgroove FlexSmart-i fully licenced iPod / iPhone FM transmitter. Both will be available this holiday season.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Accessory Genie Twitter Giveaway Comes to a Close



Yesterday marked the end of the Twitter Giveaway for the new FlexSmart X2 Bluetooth FM Transmitter.

The lucky winner of the giveaway is @saraminda. Congratulations on winning the new FlexSmart X2!!!

The contest was a success and we'll be hosting similar giveaways in the future. We'd really like to know what you think the next big giveaway should be??

Please go to: http://www.accessorygenie.com and let us know what gadget or electronic device you'd like to see given away in the next contest.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Win a New FlexSmart X2 Bluetooth FM Transmitter!!



That's right! You can win a FREE FlexSmart X2 Bluetooth FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod and all you have to do is follow us on twitter and tweet one little message. Please check out all the rules below.

- Must be 18 or older to enter.
- Contest open to US residents only.
- Must be following @accessorygenie on twitter at www.twitter.com/accessorygenie
- Must send out this tweet EXACTLY as it appears.
- The winner is selected at random and will be announced and notified on Monday, August 25, 2010 via twitter.
- Tweeting the message multiple times does not increase your odds of winning, but it is not against the rules.
Here's the tweet you need to send out in order to enter the contest:
Win a new FlexSmart X2 Bluetooth FM Transmitter for iPhone & iPod from @AccessoryGenie Please RT! info at http://bit.ly/cUoQEi

Good luck and tell all your friends!
Click here to check out the FlexSmart X2 on our site!
Fine print stuff.

Contest open to US residents only. Must be 18 or over to enter. Contest is void where prohibited by law. Winner will be announced August 25, 2010. You must be following @accessorygenie on twitter and the message must be tweeted exactly as it appears above. No exceptions. We cover the shipping charge, winner does not have to pay anything out of pocket.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Neoprene Cases are a Good Choice for Protecting Your iPad

At Accessory Genie, we are constantly trying to stay current to meet the demands of our electronically-savvy customers. As soon as Apple announced its first tablet computer -- the iPad -- we ordered our own and then began scouring our sources for the accessories we thought you would need. After looking at countless options, we chose a line of neoprene cases that we think maximize protection, sleek appearance and function. Why neoprene? It fixes the biggest problem we encountered when playing with our new iPad: the slip factor.

We poured over the first reviews of the iPad itself and discovered something interesting. One of the biggest complaints about the device was its combination of thin and slippery. It might look snazzy, but it has a way of escaping people's grasps. It's far too easy to damage. Just handing it from employee to employee, we were handling it like a newborn baby. So, we went on the hunt for accessories to help rectify the problem.

We checked out several hard cases that would have fixed the slipping, but they also made the iPad twice as thick if not more. Part of the allure--at least to our techies--is the slender design. Adding a case twice the size of the actual device makes for a clunky final product, thereby defeating the whole purpose. Another hard-case concern was how it would handle any impact. It didn't seem like it would absorb any kind of impact, even if we just set the iPad down too hard on the table. With those potential issues in mind, we abandoned the hard case for awhile and went in search of something different. That's when we found neoprene cases.

The neoprene combines impact absorption and protection, and still allows the iPad to be as thin as possible. Neoprene is, essentially, synthetic rubber. The products we chose have several layers of thread, which add to their ability to protect against dents and absorb bumps. It's also scratch-proof, weather resistant and even stain resistant. Being that several of us are horribly accident-prone, we need all the help we can get.

Between the classic black option and two reversible bright blue and pink selections, there is something for everyone's sensibility. In case you need a few more options, one of our products has elastic straps inside to hold in the iPad itself; this means you can use your iPad without taking it out of the case. Now that you have the results of our slightly clumsy staff's comprehensive research, hopefully you can avoid the pitfalls and dangers of handling and protecting your iPad.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tutorial! Adding A Screenshot To A Phone


Alright, so today we're going to be adding a screenshot to this sexy HTC Incredible. The Incredible is wearing a really awesome silicone case which you can check out right here.



Grab your image, or go shoot one. If you missed my first tutorial on how to shoot product on white with a reflection you can check that out right here. Open up the screenshot you want to use and place it into your document over the layer with the phone.



You'll want to lower the opacity on the screenshot layer so you can see where the corners of the phone's screen are.



Then go Edit>Transform>Distort.



Now drag each of the corners of the screenshot to meet the corners of the phone's screen. Hit enter when you're done to commit the changes.



You can bring the opacity back to 100%. Now, you could just leave it and call it a day, but to me it looks really fake, too fake. I like having a small hint of realism in my product work. So for the next step you'll have to set the screenshot layer to a blending mode. If you've never messed with blending modes, you should. They're a lot of fun and they can make your life a whole lot easier. I'm not really sure what each does technically, I typically just scroll through them all until I find the best looking one. I believe I opted for Overlay in this instance, but I do use Screen a lot too.



You can flatten your image and you're all done! It's a quick little thing that can add a whole lot to your product shots. Remember to check out the case I used and for you Android people out there, use code SOCIAL10 at checkout for 10% off the case! Not too shabby!



*If you know of any other cool ways of doing this, we'd love to hear them! Leave us a comment! And if you use this tutorial, We'd LOVE to see what you make!

http://www.accessorygenie.com/
http://www.twitter.com/accessorygenie
http://www.flickr.com/accessorygenie

Thursday, June 24, 2010

SLR Camera Protection

What are they?

There are different kinds of protection for SLR cameras. The main two are bags and cases. They each serve their different purposes for different photographers.

A camera bag has at least one main pocket, sometimes having multiple compartments, for storage of lenses and a flash or something. Most bags also have outside pockets. These are to keep your extra batteries, lens caps, remotes, filters and other things that you do not necessarily use all of the time, but are good to have with you.

On the other hand, cases are more along the lines of one camera and one lens protection. Some of them have a pocket, but usually they are simply just placed around the camera. The one that I used to have you simply laced the elastic band around the lens, and slid the camera in. It was actually quite nice to have because the case protected it, but it was also attached to the camera, so I never had to worry about losing it.

Which one works for whom?

First I will discuss camera bags. If you are a beginning photographer who is looking to become more involved in photography, or if you are already intensely involved in photography, I would probably recommend a bag. The reason for this is that you may want to take a step up as far as more lenses and accessories. Bags are also good for when you are traveling. The reason being that if you go somewhere, you can put all of your charges, and memory cards and such into one bag and not have to worry about keeping track of everything. Bags are the best thing for beginners looking to further their interest and immersion in photography. However, if you can I would also recommend that when you first start, you get a case.

The reason cases are good is that they keep your camera in great shape. There is no room for movement, and it is perfect for beginners. Even though camera cases are not that practical for those of us with multiple lenses, and those of us with many cards and filters and batteries, they make a great extra protection to have. For example, if I am going somewhere where I only need one lens, I take my case, because it holds my camera and keeps it safe and still fits around my neck. Cases are just simple and easy fixes to make sure that your camera remains safe, no matter where you are.

Which one to buy?

As far as bags go, I would recommend one with, at the very least, a main pocket and one side pocket. I would say that that is the minimum criteria for any bag. However, as you start growing in the size and number of lenses, you will want to get a bag with a little more space. I personally would recommend a backpack. They are easier to carry, and hold up very nicely. If you are a beginning photographer with one lens and a couple accessories there is no need for a huge backpack yet. You can last with a simple shoulder strap bag. However, for the amateur or pro photographers, it is almost vital to get a backpack, or something along those lines. There are plenty of shoulder strap bags that would work for pro photographers, and some of them even have more space than the backpacks. But, for me I like to have the weight of my whole camera bag on both shoulders, rather than just one.

For cases, I would recommend a neoprene camera case. The reason is that it prevents scratches without adding much weight to the camera. Also, I would recommend getting one with at least something that can attach to your camera. There is nothing worse than buying a case and losing it because you had to take it off your camera quickly and snap a picture. The good thing about having the case attached to your camera is that you do not lose it, and it usually helps the camera slide in easier.

REMEMBER, whether getting a camera case or a camera bag, or any of the other things that can be used to protect your camera, higher price does not mean better quality. Make sure you find something inside your price range, and I am sure that you can find something that is inexpensive and still works perfectly.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TRANS4M

Who?

Accessory Genie is proud to carry the Accessory Power line of products. Accessory Power, the manufacturer of the TRANS4M, is a Professional Quality Battery, Charger and Power Adapter manufacturer who brings the top of the line replacements to consumers at the lowest prices. With the latest and greatest technology from the Silicon Valley, Accessory Power continues to supply high quality products.

What?

The TRANS4M is an amazing device charger. It supplies AC, DC, AA and 9V charging capabilities for your smartphone and other devices. Whether you are at home, in the car, or on the move, the TRANS4M can charge your USB devices. It supplies a single USB device with 1.0 amp during a charge. However, if you are charging two devices at once, using the AC or DC chargers, then it only supplies .5 amp.

Why?

If you are a traveler, camper, college kid, business person, BlackBerry addict, Gamer, or anyone else that uses USB devices, this product is great. It can act as an emergency charger, and provide you with a boost of power when you need it most. It allows you to charge your devices anywhere. The wall and car charging capabilities make it useful, but the AA and 9V battery charging capabilities are what make it truly spectacular. According to Accessory Genie, one of the sellers of the TRANS4M, it is the last device charger you will ever need.

EXTRA EXTRA

When purchasing the TRANS4M you get the main three types of USB wires; MicroUSB, MiniUSB, and iPod/iPhone. It is not only a great product but at a great price. If you are a person who is on the go a lot, I would definitely recommend this product.

This is an article written by Jackson Kaplan. If you have any questions about other Devices please email me and I will gladly help you out. Jacksondkaplan@gmail.com

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tutorial! Part 2! Post production on the Battery Grip


Welcome to part two of my super exciting product photography tutorial!  Today I’ll cover some ways I edit my images once I shoot and upload them. My last tutorial covered set up and lighting the shot, which I got a pretty positive response to, thanks for that! Check out what flickr user kuwait zaizafoon made using the tutorial!

I’ll be teaching you post production using the same image of the battery grip from last week. The first thing I do after I open my image is to remove any dust or specs that I either forgot to try to take off before I shot, or that I didn’t notice while shooting. It’s a good habit to do that before you shoot so you save time in post, but I always like to jump right in. Plus, I have something to show you! Zoom in real close and grab your healing brush tool, whose icon is a bandage.


You’ll have to find a somewhat clean area that matches the same texture as where you’re going to clean up and then alt+click that area. I tend to use small brushes for things like this. Alt+click will set the area you are going to sample from. Then you just click on any white specs and Photoshop does it magic.


Perhaps you noticed that this grip is supposed to be black, but there is a reddish tint over the image. This comes from shooting on the wrong white balance. Auto white balance rarely works for me, and I’m too lazy to set a custom one because it’s a super easy fix in Photoshop and bad habits are hard to break. To make those blacks black all you have to do is create a hue/Saturation adjustment layer and drag the saturation down to zero. I use adjustment layers instead of actual image adjustment because they are non-destructive, which means you can edit them later with no harm to the actual pixels of the image. If your product has color in it, you’ll need to erase the Hue/Sat mask where that color is so that it comes through, as I did with the red sensor and gold pins on the grip. Now it’s starting to look a lot better.


If you look really close and at the right angle, you’ll be able to see that our image isn’t on pure white, it’s almost there but not quite. Another easy fix, add an adjustment layer of levels and push the white slider back a little until the white is pure. You can use the eyedropper tool to confirm. If your product starts to become washed out, just mask of the product so only the white is affected.


Last little adjustment is to make those dark areas just a tad darker so the whole pops. There is a bunch of ways of doing this; I tend to either use curves or selective color. We’ll use selective color here, make another adjustment layer for selective color and choose neutrals from the drop down. Then raise the blacks until you’re happy with it. I’d try not to go overboard with it though. It’ll hurt the overall look if the darks are too dark.


There are tons of sharpening techniques out there, and some of them are pretty in depth, but I try to keep it simple. Sharpening should always be the last thing you do because pixels change after the image gets resized. Resize the image to whatever you like and click Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen. For an image around 800 pixels high I would use 100% for the amount and 0.3 for the radius.


And that’s it! If you use this tutorial and come out with something awesome send it my way! Thanks.
Oh, and if you'd like you purchase this awesome battery grip, you can use code SOCIAL10 for 10% off!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Camera Remotes

What are they?
First and foremost camera remotes are remotes. They are the same as a remote for your TV or for any other device. The remotes are used to control the subject it is programmed for. There are three different types of camera remotes wired, wireless and the more advanced ones. The basic way that all of them work, no matter the price or wire situation, is that the remote becomes a second, or third, trigger.

Wired
A wired remote is perfect for a photographer who is not worried about camera blur and who can be near the camera when taking the picture. These remotes are used a lot for specifically timed shots, and for long exposure shots. Most wired remotes contain a shutter button and that is it. However, there are many benefits to a wired remote. For example, it is way less likely to be lost in a stressful situation. I was shooting pictures at a mountain, and I realized that the best shot would be at the top, for the picture of the sunset, only problem was that the sun was setting and I had about 5 minutes to go up about half a mile. So I grabbed my tripod, my camera and my camera bag, and started running. I cannot recommend this, but I was desperate. So when I got to the top of the hill I had just made it. I had enough time to set up my camera and take the picture. The only problem was that in the running, I had lost the wireless remote that was attached to the camera. Luckily I keep an extra wired remote in my bag at all times. However, in a similar instance, I was running through the woods with a friend, we were going to a lake view for the sunset, and I had the wired remote plugged in. When we got to the spot the remote was still hanging onto my camera. This was a great factor for the wired remotes.

The wired remotes, though much easier to keep track of, do have their flaws. For example, it is much easier to end up accidentally moving the camera while using the wired remote. Another flaw that some of them have is that there is only one function. A lot of the newer and Wireless remotes have multiple functions, such as a bulb feature where you can just press the trigger and leave the shutter open until you press the trigger again. This is a fairly necessary function for most remotes, especially if you want to do a long exposure shot.

Wireless
Wireless remotes are more common in the world of photographers in the last few years. Wireless remotes are probably the most popular for sports photographers, but they are used widely throughout the field. The best part about these wireless remotes is definitely the ability to control it from far away. Some of the remotes have a distance ranging up to 20 yards. This means that as long as you have a clear shot to the camera, it will take the picture. The reason that this is used for sports is because photographers will use a camera in their hands and a “remote camera.” This means that they can take the pictures at the time they want from the place they want close to the action, and keep a remote for the camera that is in a touch to reach place. For example, Neil Leifer’s, one of the most famous Sports Illustrated photographers, took a picture of Cleveland Williams and Muhammad Ali in which he used a remote controlled camera. It is shot from high above the ring and captures the moment of Williams lying on the mat after being knocked out by Ali. This was shot at the same time as another shot that Leifer took with his in-hand camera. This is probably the main benefit of the wireless remotes; another of course being that the long exposure shots have no chance of shaking with the pushing of the trigger.

The only problems with the wireless remote are that they are easily lost and have a high sensor dependency. Many people, including myself, have lost a fair amount of losses when it comes to wireless remotes. The reason is simply that there are two things that you need to keep track of and they are not connected to anything. This becomes more of a problem when you are packing your stuff back up, forgetting to put the remote, or the sensor, back into the bag. The other problem is that the sensors can be very touchy. For example, if there is another person with the same remote, it is possible that you will trigger each others cameras. These two factors lessen in severity when shooting alone in non-pressure situations, such as long exposure shots.

Advanced
The advanced forms of remotes are very new to the field. They are still working out some minor kinks but otherwise they seem to work great. You can even get camera remotes for your iTouch and iPhone. The main difference for these new remotes is that they actually control the brain of your camera, not just the trigger. It can tell you exactly what your viewfinder would. For example, the iTouch SLR remote app gives you a preview of the shot, the exposure, the ISO, aperture, white-balance and shutter speed itself. And not only does it tell you all of these things but it allows you to change them as well. The Professional Edition even has the ability to set intervals of the shot ranging anywhere from 1 second to 1 day. You can now literally control everything, except the actual movement of the camera, from a remote.
The main problem with this kind of remote is simply that it costs more. For example, the one above costs the amount of the iPhone/iTouch on top of the twenty dollars for the application itself. Another problem with these kinds of remote is that in order to get all of the bells and whistles you will also need a newer camera with newer technology. Though they are incredible applications, they are unable to work on the older platforms.

Monday, June 7, 2010

iPhone/iTouch External Battery Packs

iPod external battery packs are basically a backup battery for the Ipod. They are basically batteries that can plug into an iPod. These work in the same basic way that your USB charger works. They charge your iPod so that you continue to use it. There are a few different types. There are the ones that plug in and have a separate battery pack.

For example, you plug the Ipod into the battery pack and they are two completely separate things that are connected by a wire. Then there are the “case” battery packs. These ones are the most highly recommended. The reason for this is that they are not only a battery pack but also a case for the iPod. Most of them have a little power button, or slider, so that you can allow the battery to completely die before going to your backup. These seem to be the most practical.

Why spend the money?

iPod external battery packs can be a little more expensive than they seem to be worth. However, having a battery pack will extend the life of your actual iPod battery. The reason for this is that you should not charge your iPod, or any other rechargeable device, until the battery has fully died. The reason for this is that the battery becomes weaker if it is charged before it has died. That having been said, these battery packs act as an emergency battery. If you are going to be out all day with no car or home to charge your iPod you will want a battery pack. For example, if you are about to go to sleep and you realize that your battery has little battery left; you may want to charge it. However, this will make the battery weaker. Now, with an external battery pack, you do not need to worry because even if your iPod dies, you are able to charge it back up, no matter where you are.

Which one to buy?

Personally I would recommend a “case” battery pack. This is because it is less likely that you will lose a battery pack that is directly attached to your iPod. That having been said some people might enjoy a separate battery pack. The reason I would personally recommend “case” battery packs is that I am on the go a lot. When I am out I want that extra battery to be right there; not two separate things that I have to keep track of. This is especially helpful for those of us that travel. The one that I have is a case that holds my iPhone and has a little leather flap for screen protection. It is perfect because I was looking for a case, and I was looking for a battery pack, and for fairly cheap I got both in one.

Common questions

Is it really necessary to have a battery pack? Is it an absolute necessity to have a battery pack? Not necessarily. However, I would say that if you travel a lot or if you are a business person whose life is on their iPhone I would say yes. The reason is simply that these will help preserve your iPod/iPhone so that you can truly get the most out of it. Furthermore, I would more highly recommend a battery pack than most other accessories.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Product Photography Tutorial - Product With A Real Reflection



In this tutorial you'll learn how to photograph products and still life on a white background with a nice reflection. This is by no means a perfect formula that will work for every product, but just something that I found that works for me for most products I photograph. If you haven't seen our flickr account, check it out here.
What you'll need: (See photo below)
  • Product to photograph
  • White paper and tape
  • Clear plexi glass or white shine board
  • Simple lamps
  • Tripod
  • A remote for your camera, but that's optional
 
Now what I found works best for me is that I make a diffuser for the lights out of paper and tape. I actually have a few of these laying around, in this tutorial I use two, one for the walls around the product and one for the light coming from above. (See photo below.)


The lights I use aren't very special; they're just regular 30W fluorescent bulbs. I lay down the plexi on top of the white seamless and then put the walls up around the product. I then bring a light down for each side and I left two dropping light from above. Sometimes this set-up will leave the front a tad dark, in that case bring in another light from the front, but make sure to diffuse it or it will be harsh. You could also use one of those product tents but I have before and I wasn't really all that fond of them, they seem to take too much light away and they feel very limiting.

When shooting the product try to use a higher aperture so that everything is in focus, this means your shutter speed is going to be pretty slow, so you may want to turn off any other lights that may be nearby as they can mess with your exposure, white balance, and reflections. I also use the lowest possible ISO speed so that there is the least amount of noise. I tend use longer focal lengths to give the products a sleeker and stylish look, but wide angle can also come handy when trying to make things look more epic. This is where your remote would come in handy if you have one. There's a good chance you can get slight camera shake since the shutter will be open for a bit. Self-timer is also a great option.

Try your best to get the white to come out pure or close to pure in camera so you save yourself some time in Photoshop. Come back soon, I'm going to work on a small tutorial for post production for product.

*UPDATE* Part Two of this tutorial can be found here

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Friday, May 28, 2010

College Student Guide to having a Fun Dorm Room

College Student’s Guide to having a fun Dorm Room

By: Jackson Kaplan



In all of the College Student Articles I will tell you what you want to have, why and I will give some extra tips. I am trying to supply the college students of today with a little bit of help for their first "college experience".
Check out some of the other ones; College Student’s Guide to the Macbook Pro, College Student’s guide to Ipad, College Student’s Guide to Move In Day, and College Student’s Guide to a Successful First Month




What you will want:

Laptop

Music and Speakers

Open Door

Camera

Video camera



Laptop

If at all possible, have someone in your dorm room in possession of a laptop.
There are so many things that can be done with a laptop to kill hours of time.
For example, Youtube and Facebook are things that every person has something special on,
whether it is a new hilarious video, or a new game on Facebook. You do not realize how much a
laptop can allow you to connect with people who you would otherwise have little, or nothing to say to.
BE SURE to have a plug close by though, cause you can drain your battery fairly quickly.


Music

I have found that if you have music constantly playing at a background level, it is very enjoyable.
In my dorm room there is never true silence, which I personally like.
I have a set of speakers for my iPod that I got for pretty cheap, and they work amazingly.
Another added bonus is that my roommate has a set of computer speakers .
They plug directly into any headphone jack and the3y have two speakers and a subwoofer.
We also have a USB speakers , so that if we want to be on the laptop on the bed,
we can still blast our music if we want to.




Open door policy

In my room about 90% of the time our door is propped open; the only times when its not are when
we are sleeping or not in the room. I have found that a lot of people, who are passing by that
know us, will occasionally just stop in our room to talk. They also, sometimes, hear the music
and it reminds them that we are in there so they come in and say hi. This is a great way to meet
people also. If you have music playing and an open door people are more likely to say hello, even if they don’t know you yet.



Camera

Though this may not seem like a big deal to have, but when people are constantly coming in and
out of your room, you never know when there is going to be a moment that you feel you must capture.
For example, I was sitting in my room yesterday and my friend walked in with a sheet of paper,
attempting to look like a ghost, and stood in the corner of my room waiting for my roommate.
Had I not had a charged camera, no one would believe that story. Keep your camera close at all times,
because you will want to remember the moments that you have while sitting in your room.



Video Camera

I know that a lot of cameras can shoot video, but it is always good to have someone
in your room in possession of a video camera. You never know what people will do when
they realize they are being recorded. It is a great way to capture the essence of your room, and find out hidden talents
that your friends have. On top of that, if you are all just hanging out you never know what conversations might arise that you will be glad you recorded.
This was a realization we made after the first month of school. We found ourselves saying "Wow I wish we had a recording of this" way too often to not get a video camera.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

College Student's guide to "Camping"

College Student's guide to "camping"

In all of the College Student Articles I will tell you what you want to have, why and I will give some extra tips. I am trying to supply the college students of today with a little bit of help for their first "college experience." I am currently a student at Cal State University Channel Islands. If you would like to contact me this is my photography
page
. Check it out and check out some of the other College Student Guides; College Student's Guide to the Macbook Pro, College Student's guide to Ipad, College Student's Guide to Move In Day, College Student's Guide to a Successful First Month and College Student's Guide to having a fun Dorm Room


What is it?

The reason that I put camping in quotations is very simple. I went "camping" with a few friends a couple months ago, and I expected to be out in the wilderness, just us and the woods. However, I was mistaken. Everyone had their cell phones, and iPods and iPhones; it was like we were home, minus the other people and the roof. So if you want to actually go camping as a college student I would not recommend this article. However, if you want to go on a modified camping trip this is an article you would enjoy.



Items you will need (and why)

iPod

An iPod is necessary for any "camping" trip.
You will need it to be able to listen to your favorite music and watch all the movies you haven't had time to in your busy life.
They also make for quite a helpful tool when trying to fall asleep. Personally I would rather listen to music than the unknown sounds of the forest or beach.

Speakers

Any "camping" trip, that has an iPod or any other music device, needs some speakers. I would recommend solar powered speakers like the one that we brought.
Not only was the sound quality great, but the speakers charged the iPod at the same time. So we never had to worry about a dying iPod battery.

Cell Phone

Whether your cell phone is an iPhone or just a regular old phone, a "camping" trip would not be complete without it. If you have an iPhone or other internet capable phone, you would obviously be able to update your Facebook and Twitter, which is apparently quite a huge deal. Along with that, you can remain in contact with everyone and their mother, so as not to miss a single drop of juicy gossip.

Camera

Even though we all have camera phones now, it is nice to have an actual camera to capture those amazing moment; whether the moments be funny faces, bears, or just a beautiful scene. Be sure that if you bring a camera you have a couple of extra batteries. This is beneficial so that if you have to charge your cell phone and you iPod, you have some extra batteries in case something fun happens that you want to capture on film.

GPS

Whether or not you get lost often, a GPS can't hurt. We had one that actually helped us find a couple of very interesting spots near where we were sleeping. This was also helpful in getting us back home once we got back in the car and had lost our printed directions. I would HIGHLY recommend a carrying case, because we did not have one and now there is a massive scratch in the screen of my friend's GPS (which makes the touch screen freak out quite a lot).

Battery Chargers

Make sure that, with all of your electronic devices, you are equipped with some convertible chargers. What I mean by this is that there are chargers that can convert from a car charger, to a wall outlet charger, to a battery charger and even to a 9 volt battery charger. The one that we had was a 4-in-1 that charged any 2 USB capable devices at the same time. This meant that since we all had our USB phone chargers handy, I was able to charge my battery while my friend could charge his. This is very helpful for continuous communication with the real world.

Frequently asked questions:

Why continue to use all of your electronics to communicate with the world you are escaping?

I too asked this question, but with the instant gratification and instant communication of everyone in the world, it is difficult to be away from people for too long. Remember, we want to be away from work and real life, we don't want to be away from the other people (there just wasn't room in the car).

Is it really fun "camping"?

I personally had a blast. When I went I was a little skeptical, but once I saw the real enjoyment in it and immersed myself it was really fun. I equate it with hanging out with friends, except that there is no work to be done or annoying things to ruin your day. It is you and the wilderness. And another major point I want to add is that you control when and who you talk to. If you are at home, everyone can contact you when they want to, but not when you are out in the wilderness.
Check out the College student guide updates. New one talks about how to be a succesful collegestudent in your first few months of school. http://ping.fm/Z9L8W

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

College Students Guide to a Succesful First Month

College Students Guide to a Successful First Month
(Electronics Specific)

In all of the College Student Articles I will tell you what you want to have, why and I will give some extra tips. I am trying to supply the college students of today with a little bit of help for their first "college experience".
Check out some of the other ones; College Student's Guide to the Macbook Pro, College Student's guide to Ipad, College Student's Guide to Move In Day and College Student's Guide to a Successful First Month


What you will want:


Camera

Camera Case

Laptop

Laptop Case

Extra Batteries

CHARGERS

iPod (or other MP3 device)

Speakers

Camera

Don't get me wrong; I do not under any circumstances think you NEED to buy an SLR camera, but trust me that you will want a camera. And you will not just want to have it during move in day, thought it is one of the better days to have it. My first day at school I took about 400 pictures; and that was before I even unpacked. It is something that you will definitely want to remember. Move in day is really the time when it hits you that you are in college. Plus, everyone is new to you, and you will want to remember every second of it. Therefore, a camera is ESSENTIAL.

Camera Case

When you have a camera, a case for it is very necessary. In the later days of your first couple of months you will want to be able to keep your camera safe. A lot of the camera cases that you can get have a neck strap and are fairly cheap. If you get a camera, which as I said I do recommend, you will need a camera case, it is that simple. Plus, it is a great storage space for other camera items; memory card, filter, cleaning cloth etc.

Laptop

In today's technological college education, a laptop is almost essential. I am not going to tell you that you MUST get one, but you will definitely need a computer. A lot of schools now have everything on the internet. My teachers, for example, post homework, class notes and even tell us when class is cancelled, ALL ONLINE. The reason that I recommend a laptop over a regular computer is simple; they are portable. This may not seem like as much of a necessity, however, when you have a portable computer you can take it to class, you can disappear to the library and do work on YOUR computer. The benefit of this is that all of your notes, work, homework, essays and projects are all in one place. You do not have to shuffle them around. Along with this, there are going to be a lot of times when you want nothing more than to lay in bed and watch a movie, or talk to your friends online, or even study (what a crazy thought), and having a laptop makes that very easy. The final benefit of a laptop is that you can take it easily home with you, and back to school. The portability factor of a laptop is really something that you will end up wanting in college.

Laptop Case

First off, this is obviously only for those of you that choose to get a laptop. There are also a few very different types of cases. There are the clip-on ones and then there are just plain bags. The bags are good for people who are very careful with their laptops. For example, if you aren't going to be going anywhere “dangerous” with them, then a bag would be fine. They are mostly used for people who are not hard on their laptops and who are just in need of a case for transportation; car, train, bus etc. However, if you plan on taking it to the beach, and to lunch and to most places outside, I would recommend getting a clip on case. Most of them you can get for fairly cheap and they just snap right on to your computer. There are also sleeves, for a specific purpose. If you have a briefcase, or backpack, and you want to keep your laptop protected, it is perfect. This way you can get a cheaper thing to protect your laptop while carrying it in something with all of your other stuff.

Extra Batteries

This may not seem like a huge deal, with all of the things that we have running off of DC outlets. However, it is important to remember, when you are out taking pictures, or you are using one of the rare things that needs AA or AAA batteries (like a flashlight) you will want to know that you are fully charged. The camera batteries are especially important, because if you have extras you can always have one fully charged one, whether you are charging the other, or it dies while you are shooting.

Chargers

THESE ARE A NECESSITY. Everyone now has a cell phone, iPod, laptop, and a million other things that need to be charged on a regular basis. You should have a separate charger for home and school. I know this seems like a waste of money, but speaking from experience it is much much easier. You do not want to leave your house, drive 6 hours or 1 hour or even twenty minutes, just to remember that you forgot your phone charger. I would recommend at the very least a phone charger for home and school. However, if you are able I would recommend a laptop charger for both as well. You never know when you are going to forget it, and be unable to get back in that day.

iPod (or other MP3 device)

iPods, and other MP3 devices, are almost essential for a relaxing and successful college career. Though it may not seem like a necessity, there are hundreds of times when it is helpful. Whether you are walking across campus alone, or getting in the car for a long bus ride, or taking a road trip with your friends, iPods can be used all of the time. I use my iPod in my room all of the time, and I continue to listen to it every time I am in the car.

Speakers

As great as it is to have an iPod, I personally like to be able to hear it throughout my room. I play my iPod through my speakers, which luckily also plug into my computer. This is also a thing that can make a great dorm room atmosphere. If you are playing relaxing music people are more likely to stop by and say hello, they are drawn to your music. Make sure that you get speakers that you can turn down though. The reason being as simple as when it is one or two o'clock in the morning your Resident Assistant will not necessarily like to be hearing your music.

Friday, May 14, 2010

College Students Guide to Move In Day

What you will want
Camera
iPod
Speakers
Other


Camera
Don’t get me wrong; I do not under any circumstances think you NEED to buy an SLR camera, but trust me that you will want a camera. And you will not just want to have it during move in day, thought it is one of the better days to have it. My first day at school I took about 400 pictures; and that was before I even unpacked. It is something that you will definitely want to remember. Move in day is really the time when it hits you that you are in college. Plus, everyone is new to you, and you will want to remember every second of it. Therefore, a camera is ESSENTIAL.

iPod (or other MP3 device)
iPods, and other MP3 devices, are almost essential for a relaxing and successful college career. Though it may not seem like a necessity, there are hundreds of times when it is helpful. Whether you are walking across campus alone, or getting in the car for a long bus ride, or taking a road trip with your friends, iPods can be used all of the time. I use my iPod in my room all of the time, and I continue to listen to it every time I am in the car.

Speakers
As great as it is to have an iPod, when you are moving in you are going to want to be able to actually listen to it. What better way than to have it playing throughout the room? Another added bonus of the speakers is that people are more likely to introduce themselves to a person who is playing music for them to hear at move in time. I had so many people find my room just to see where the music was coming from. Yet another positive is that when your family leaves and you are finally alone in the room, it helps to have some sound. My roommate and I first bonded over music, which was playing through my iPod speakers.

Other
When you move in there are a few things that you will want to have but will not think about. First and foremost, remember to bring some snacks. You will be able to get food but snacks are always good to have in the room. Remember chargers for everything; laptop, cell phone, camera etc. Also, remember that it is everyone else’s first day as well, so be friendly to everyone. Other things that you are definitely going to want to remember are soap, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, liquids and a shower kit. Shower kits usually consist of a bag a shampoo, a conditioner, body wash/soap, and a towel; for those of you that have community bathrooms these are essential. Also for those of you that have community bathrooms I would recommend a pair of “bathroom flip-flops” cause you never know what you are stepping in.

SMILE
Remember that no matter how freaked out you are, there is most likely someone more worried about leaving their parents than you are. So try to smile as much as possible. You never know when smiling at someone is going to make their day. Also the happier you seem the more likely people are to talk to you. We all have this burning desire to make friends in college, but no one really knows where to start.
So my helpful tips are three simple steps.
1. Smile and don’t be scared to get out there.
2. Introduce yourself to people who look like they are worried, see if you can help them
3. Keep an open door and an open mind
The first step is simply to appear, and be, more friendly. There have been countless studies that when you smile, other people smile back, and therefore you are more likely to be happier. Also a smile makes you seem approachable. The second step is to help you remember that everyone is there on their first day. No one is coming in knowing everyone, so they are more likely to want to meet new people at the beginning of the year. The third step is simply because if you have an open door, you can see everything that is happening; if you can see everything you can see everyone; if you can see everyone you are more likely to be open to meeting them. And an open mind can go a long way.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Check out this really awesome stop motion video using AA batteries!! http://ping.fm/Ilu7g
#stopmotion
Webmaster @accessorygenie - we want to apologize, site down at the moment due to failed SAN at host, we will try to get back online today.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ipod external battery packs

Ipod external battery packs are basically a backup battery for the Ipod. They are basically batteries that can plug into an Ipod. These work in the same basic way that your USB charger works. They charge your Ipod so that you continue to use it. There are a few different types. There are the ones that plug in and have a separate battery pack. For example, you plug the Ipod into the battery pack and they are two completely separate things that are connected by a wire. Then there are the “case” battery packs. These ones are the most highly recommended. The reason for this is that they are not only a battery pack but also a case for the Ipod. Most of them have a little power button, or slider, so that you can allow the battery to completely die before going to your backup. These seem to be the most practical.

Ipod external battery packs can be a little more expensive than they seem to be worth. However, having a battery pack will extend the life of your actual Ipod battery. The reason for this is that you should not charge your Ipod, or any other rechargeable device, until the battery has fully died. The reason for this is that the battery becomes weaker if it is charged before it has died. That having been said, these battery packs act as an emergency battery. If you are going to be out all day with no car or home to charge your Ipod you will want a battery pack. For example, if you are about to go to sleep and you realize that your battery has little battery left; you may want to charge it. However, this will make the battery weaker. Now, with an external battery pack, you do not need to worry because even if your Ipod dies, you are able to charge it back up, no matter where you are.

Personally I would recommend a “case” battery pack. This is because it is less likely that you will lose a battery pack that is directly attached to your Ipod. That having been said some people might enjoy a separate battery pack. The reason I would personally recommend “case” battery packs is that I am on the go a lot. When I am out I want that extra battery to be right there; not two separate things that I have to keep track of. This is especially helpful for those of us that travel. The one that I have is a case that holds my Iphone and has a little leather flap for screen protection. It is perfect because I was looking for a case, and I was looking for a battery pack, and for fairly cheap I got both in one.

Is it an absolute necessity to have a battery pack? Not necessarily. However, I would say that if you travel a lot or if you are a business person whose life is on their Iphone I would say yes. The reason is simply that these will help preserve your Ipod/Iphone so that you can truly get the most out of it. Furthermore, I would more highly recommend a battery pack than most other accessories.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DataMINE memory card line


Today Accessory Power released a new line of memory cards to the masses. Their new line is called DataMINE and comes in 2GB SD, 4GB microSD, 4GB SDHC, 8GB microSD, 8GB SDHC, 16GB microSD, and 16GB SDHC. These cards are rated a blazing fast Class 6; with a 6MB/sec minimum transfer rate, you can’t buy a card faster than these. Basically that’s a lot less time you have to spend waiting for your great images you shot to show up on your LCD screen. Too often, manufacturers put out memory cards without putting much thought into them, but this is not the case with the DataMINE line, even the packaging and branding are spot on. I’ve been playing with the 16GB SDHC and it’s been lightning fast. It’s getting ever so important to have fast and reliable memory cards on hand, especially with all the DSLR’s that are doing full HD video now. 16GB’s is a lot of space, and if you’re using a small point and shoot camera or using the card for your phone or music device, it’s going to hold a lot of images and music. The prices of the cards vary, but they are reasonable. Really though, with memory cards I’d rather pay a bit more for the security and peace of mind that comes with a quality card. A couple years ago I made the mistake of buying a fake SanDisk card on ebay, it worked out fine at first, but one day I turned my camera on and everything I had shot the night before was gone. Even trying to rescue the card with back-up software didn’t help. The new DataMINE cards feature Accessory Power’s DataSafe technology, so you know that your information is safe and secure. Currently you can purchase them at our Amazon store front here and soon on our website www.accessorygenie.com