Filtering by Category: nature photography

Christopher Maine's "Eye of the Viper": MeFOTO Instagram Weekly Winner

  by Colleen Carlisle-Nicholas       Category nature photography, Travel Photography, Giveaway       Tags MeFOTO Giveaway, Instagram giveaway, viper, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, sidekick360

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh is the oldest and largest museum in North Carolina. With almost 1.2 million visitors annually, it's the state's most popular museum destination. And for good reason! The Museum has an excellent collection of 700 - 800 fish, amphibians and reptiles on exhibit.

Christopher Maine, last week's SideKick360 winner, took the opportunity presented by a recent visit to create his winning image:

"I took this photo while I was at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh. My girlfriend and I were walking through the exhibits, taking pictures with our cameras and I came upon an exhibit with snakes in trees. At first, my girlfriend was trying to get a similar picture with her Nikon P520, but the glare from the glass made it hard for her, so I took my Nikon D3200 out and was able to shield the light just enough to get the picture."  - Christopher

Rockin the Pink on Oʻahu

  by Anthony Tortoriello       Category Landscape photography, Review, What's In My Bag, nature photography       Tags MeFOTO RoadTrip Review, SideKick360 Review, Hawaii, Iphonography, iphone adapter, Atort Photography, Anthony Tortoriello

I am always looking for new ways to stabilize my gear when out cruising the planet. Recently, I stumbled across some colorful goodness from a company called MeFOTO. As many may know, I am into everything colorful. This company catered perfectly to me in that department, so I arranged to get some in my hands here on island in Hawaii. I, of course, ordered a hot pink SideKick360, a hot pink RoadTrip tripod, and a hot pink Walkabout, so you know exactly what I’m rocking. I was excited to receive them simply to see the color, hoping the pink would be a nice pink that I would gravitate towards as opposed to a NOT so nice pink… I opened the box and to my surprise, it was a perfect, awesomely vibrant, hot pink that looks very cool! Totally stoked, so all good so far!  


Let’s start out with the tripod….this is the RoadTrip. This tripod works well for anything really….iPhones, small point and shoot cameras, and DSLRs. It's compact and fits nicely in the provided carrying case. Folded, the RoadTrip's only 15.4”, yet extends to over 61.6” which is good enough for most styles and types of shooting. 

If you need more, MeFOTO offers another option called the GlobeTrotter which extends another 3 inches give or take. I personally am confident with either of these two tripods. The main reason I was interested in these in the first place (Other than the pink, of course!) was for the MeFOTO product called the SideKick360. This is a smartphone adapter for tripods that safely holds your phone…in my case, my iPhone5S. The SideKick360 holds the phone safely and securely while articulating and rotating easily for fine tuning and precise adjustments. It's perfect for making sure the horizon is level when shooting videos and landscapes or time lapses here in Hawaii, which I do daily.  People always ask me for tips and suggestions and I tell them always having the ability to stabilize your cameras or phone is crucial to taking quality images, video, or time lapse videos.

This solves that issue with style, color, and precision control and is, hands down, the best mount I have used to date for my iPhone. The SideKick360 mounts perfectly into the the tripods MeFOTO carries with an Arca Swiss style mount and is the perfect turn key package for your iPhone photography or photography in general. For under $300, you can be styling and shooting any scene with zero worries or concerns about camera shake and blurred images.

All of the MeFOTO product line comes in a variety of colors….twelve to be exact, so there is literally something for everyone in regards to personal flare with your camera gear.  One last product I had to go for was a hot pink WalkAbout. Being in Hawaii and traveling to other countries, I hike a lot and walk a lot and knew this would work not only as a monopod, but also as a handy, colorful walking stick which MeFOTO actually suggests in their product description. It has a handle compass on the top too! The WalkAbout measures 18.1” in length when compacted and extends to a length of over 5 feet which is good enough for me. It’s really light too which is nice. The compass knob that you use for the walking stick portion of it unscrews to reveal the threading for your camera when using it as a monopod. It’s perfect for me and my hiking adventures giving me another option when on the trails. 

To wrap this up, I would highly recommend MeFOTO products as a colorful and affordable quality option for those looking to invest in ways to improve on and stabilize their creative process while using their devices and cameras. I have mine with me everywhere I go and don’t leave home without it.  Aloha!


Anthony Tortoriello is a Chicago-based commercial photographer who enjoys working in Costa Rica and Hawaii as he explores themes of biodiversity and our changing planet while documenting lava flows, jungle flora and fauna and some of the biggest surf in Hawaii. Anthony is committed to bringing people the niches that remain inaccessible to most.

“Opening others eyes to the beauty around them and sharing these visions with the world while inspiring others along the way is what drives me to keep taking pictures and capturing the beauty of this magical world.” –Anthony

Visit Atort Photography to see more of Anthony's work

Linda Lum DeBono's Jellies: MeFOTO Instagram Weekly Winner

  by Colleen Carlisle-Nicholas       Category Family Photography, Giveaway, nature photography, Travel Photography       Tags jellyfish, sea jellies, National Aquarium, Instagram giveaway, MeFOTO Giveaway, SideKick360

Blue Blubber, Leidy's Comb, Lion's Mane, Pacific Sea Nettle, Purple-Striped, Moon - what do all these have in common? They are the 9 varieties of jellyfish making up the "Jellies Invasion" exhibit currently on display in the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Jellyfish or sea jellies are found in every ocean, at every depth - currently over 1,700 species worldwide.

Linda Lum DeBono, SideKick360 winner for 4/18/14 was drawn to these captivating creatures on a recent family trip.

"When the kids and I visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD, I was obsessed with the jellyfish. They were graceful and mesmerizing, but my kids wanted to leave. I took out my iPhone 4 and snapped a few shots. Luckily, I got a few good ones. I did a little editing in Snapseed and added a frame."


Linda was quite excited to win a SideKick360. She's now inspired to get a new tripod and says "Yours are perfect for busy moms like me."

Linda is a fabric designer as well as an iphonographer. See her work at:

Jackie Poutasse's Sunbather: MeFOTO Instagram Weekly Winner

  by Colleen Carlisle-Nicholas       Category Giveaway, Macro Photography, nature photography       Tags Macro photography, MeFOTO Giveaway, MeFOTO SideKick360

Cameras and traveling go hand-in-hand. It's easy to be inspired while exploring a completely new place. The familiar though, we often overlook in our busy day-to-day lives. Take a moment. Look closer. Those places we pass everyday but rarely really "see" can offer outstanding photo opportunities.

Jackie Poutasse, this week's SideKick360 Giveaway Winner, struck gold exploring just such a familiar place:

"I was poking around the backyard looking for things to photograph with my macro lens and I noticed an interesting leaf with a hole in it. While I was on the ground composing the shot of the hole in the leaf, this fly landed in the photo. Usually, I am chasing flying insects around for a good shot, but this guy was happy to pose for half dozen or so very close photographs before moving on." - Jackie

Connect with Jackie on Instagram: @bodaciousbread

Jeff Picoult's "Daffodil & Rain Drops": MeFOTO Instagram Weekly Winner

  by Colleen Carlisle-Nicholas       Category Giveaway, Landscape photography, Macro Photography, nature photography       Tags MeFOTO Giveaway, Instagram giveaway, daffodil, flower photography

Who says you have to use pro gear to get a great shot? Jeff Picoult, BackPacker winner for 2/21/14, proves the best camera is the one you have with you - even if it's a phone!

"I am a volunteer photographer for the Summit Metro Parks in Summit County, Ohio. One of the parks I like to photograph each spring is Furnace Run Metro Park which features a 0.6 mile hiking path called Daffodil Trail. There are estimated to be more than 40,000 daffodils in over a dozen varieties along the trail during peak bloom in late April to early May.

This photo was captured during the peak bloom of 2013 just after an early morning shower passed over the park. The weight of the water on the daffodils caused most of them to point downward making for a less than desirable photographic opportunity. Then, as luck would have it, the sky began to clear allowing rays of sun to shine down on some of the flowers. Luckily, this particular daffodil was not covered in mud from the splashing raindrops. Instead it's white petals seemed to glisten in its tiny bit of sunlight. The dark canopy of leaves from surrounding plants and trees created the perfect backdrop to show off this beautiful flower!

For my wildlife photos I carry a pair of Nikon D5000 bodies. One is equipped with a 400mm lens and the other with an 18-70mm zoom. I also carry a Leica D-Lux 6 for landscapes and black & whites. However, I didn't use any of those to capture this daffodil. This photo was captured in a 1:1 ratio (square) on my iPhone 5 with the built-in Camera app! It was one of the last photos I captured only a few minutes before I left the park for the day!!! - Jeff