Filtering by Category: What's In My Bag

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!  

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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!

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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


Five Colorful Ways to Brighten Mom's Day

  by Colleen Carlisle-Nicholas       Category Family Photography, Fun, Tidbits, What's In My Bag       Tags Mother's Day Gift Ideas, mefoto roadtrip, MeFOTO DayTrip, MeFOTO SideKick360

Know a dynamic, photo-obsessed Mom? This Mother's Day thrill her with one of these vibrant gift ideas:

1. Give Her an Extra Hand

The SideKick360 SmartPhone Adapter gets Mom's smartphone out of her hands and lets her join the action. With a tripod-friendly base and a rotating 360° ball joint, this handy adapter quickly switches from vertical to horizontal and locks in any position making it ideal for capturing both photo and video. I love it for it's ability to stand alone on any surface. Perfect for my daughter's impromptu Facebook chats with Grandma!

 Available in 12 Colors. What's her favorite?

Available in 12 Colors. What's her favorite?

2. Give Her a DayTrip

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Our smallest tripod kit weighs less than 2 lb. and folds up shorter than an IPad! Mom can easily pop it into her favorite backpack, messenger or even diaper bag. Perfect for street photography, that special Mother's Day excursion or any time she's on the go.

3. Put a Rainbow in Her Wallet

Mom's who covet color and are never without their IPhones will love Photojojo's Phone-o-Chrome full spectrum color filter for those special IPhone shots. This tiny filter is cleverly housed in an old fashioned, easy-to-transport slide frame. Holding the slide over the IPhone's lens puts a rainbow of color at Mom's disposal. Now changing a scenes mood is as easy as a finger twitch!



4. Sharpen Her Focus

Mom's who care about the sharpness of their photos as much as they care about their families will rejoice when they receive the sturdy RoadTrip Tripod Kit. Supporting up to 17.6 lbs, this tripod will steady even full-frame DSLRs with zoom lenses in a lightweight, colorful package.

5. Give Her Gracie (or Betsy or Georgia)

Induge 2 passions in one! JoTotes offers a nice line of colorful, comfortable bags that don't scream "camera bag".  Their popular Gracie bag offers seven spacious pockets with space for a camera body, multiple lenses and an iPad. Available in 7 colors, it's a pretty, practical bag for both photo shoots and day trips.

So there you have it...a few colorful ways to honor your favorite Mom and bring joy to her day.


SideKick360 Review: Finally... a Flexible, Secure Mount for My iPhone

  by Jeff Picoult       Category Reviews, Macro Photography, Featured Photographer, What's In My Bag       Tags SideKick360 Review, Smartphone adapter Review, Macro photography, flower photography, Iphone adapter, iPhoneographer, Iphonography


I have always believed in the saying, "The best camera is the one that you have with you." - Jeff

 360° ball joint makes switching from horizontal to vertical quick and easy. Locks in any position!

360° ball joint makes switching from horizontal to vertical quick and easy. Locks in any position!

Since the release of the iPhone 4, my favorite camera has been my iPhone. Whether it was the iPhone 4 or, more recently, the iPhone 5, I always have my favorite camera with me. Don't get me wrong, I love my DSLRs and super-telephoto lenses and I don't like to be without my Leica for landscapes and portraits. However, the iPhone fits right into my pocket and, just like my wallet and car keys, I never leave home without it.

With that said, there was one thing I'd wished for many times. A tripod mount for my iPhone. But not just any mount. I wanted one that was flexible enough to allow me to turn my iPhone from landscape to portrait quickly and without much fuss. I also wanted to be able to leave my favorite case on my iPhone whenever possible. Why should I have to remove my case, and risk damaging my phone, just to put the phone onto a tripod?

So why exactly would I want a tripod mount for my iPhone anyway? Easy! Macro photography and time-lapse photography. Both take a steady hand or, better yet, a tripod mount. I'd searched around for tripod mounts for my iPhones before, but never found anything that I liked. Most of them required the case to be removed or numerous adjustments to transition from landscape to portrait and back again. That is just far too time consuming when seconds can mean the difference between the right light and a good shot or missing the shot because you were fumbling around with the tripod.

 Clamp adjusts to fit phones from 58mm-73mm.

Clamp adjusts to fit phones from 58mm-73mm.

Enter the SideKick360 Smartphone adapter. One knob twist lets you easily adjust from landscape to portrait with another simple twist to tighten things back down again. Another set of knobs allows you to safely tighten the mount onto your smartphone of choice. The clamping mechanism is nice and soft allowing you to use your smartphone without a case for those times when the case must be removed. This is most common when using macro lens attachments that do not work with your favorite case still protecting the phone. The SideKick360 locks into quick-release mounts quickly and securely with the included Arca-Swiss style base. Or, you can thread the SideKick360 directly onto your choice of 1/4"-20 or 3/8"-16 mounts.

As a photographer who takes his profession seriously enough to consider each and every little purchase I can say, without a doubt, that this is the answer that I've been looking for to all of my questions about how to mount my iPhone safely, securely, and quickly to any tripod. Whether I'm using one of those nifty twisty-leg tripods that you can mount to just about anything, or a tripod capable of holding a DSLR along with a battery pack and 400mm lens, or my favorite tripod of all which is my green MeFOTO BackPacker, the SideKick360 fits perfectly. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that if you're lucky enough to own a MeFOTO tripod, you can color match your SideKick360 to match or change it up and get a new SideKick360 in a nice complementary color.