Lady Gaga unveils Polaroid sunglasses camera, printer

Almost a year to the day since Polaroid said it signed Lady Gaga as its creative director, the popular singer unveiled on Thursday the fruits of her labor at the imaging company.

Called "Grey Label by Haus of Gaga," the gadgets include a pair of sunglasses with embedded camera and display, a mobile photo printer, and a Polaroid camera.

"This is the first ever pair of sunglasses that can be worn out to protect your eyes from the sun and they can also take pictures," said Lady Gaga as she unveiled the GL20 sunglasses to a packed crowd and a storm of photo flashes at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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The Glif iPhone stand and tripod mount

Owning an iPhone 4 means always having a very capable pocket and HD video camera at your finger tips. Since it’s in such a small and slick package, there are many occasions that require additional accessory support to capture the image properly. Enter the Glif: a small, inexpensive plastic adaptor that allows the iPhone to be mounted on a tripod, or stood up on its own.

The Glif ($20) is made of molded plastic and is about half the size of a pack of gum. It works by snapping onto any edge of an iPhone 4. The fit is snug and secure, but not so much that you worry about damaging your phone when you take it on and off. Unfortunately, this exact fit means that the Glif cannot work on top of any protective case, which means you'll have to take your iPhone out of its case (if you use one) everytime you want to use the Glif.

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New Year's resolutions for photographers

Instead of making the same ho-hum New Year's resolutions you break every year, consider these resolutions specifically for photographers. It's easy to fall into photography ruts. This year, make it a point to try new things, break old habits, and push your gear and talent to new limits.

  • Turn off Auto: Try venturing out of your safety zone and experimenting with your camera's manual settings. Start small by turning the exposure compensation up or down for a moody or blown-out effect.
  • Edit your images: The problem with giant memory cards is that you can end up with too many images. After each shoot or adventure, take time to sort thorough your photographs and mark your favorites. The star systems in Bridge, Lightroom, and Aperture are great for this task.
  • Back-up your images.
  • Work the subject: Don't just take one picture, move around and shoot every angle and perspective you can think of.
  • Fill the frame with your subject.
  • Pay attention to your camera position and associated focal length. These dramatically change the sense of space and proportions in your scene.
  • Learn to always note shutter speed, and to take action to prevent camera shake when shutter speed is too low.
  • Bend your knees—don't shoot every image from eye level.
  • Stop thinking that a new piece of gear is going to make you a better photographer.
  • Commit to practicing. It's the only thing that will make you a better photographer.
  • Study the work of other photographers.
  • Choose a long-term photo project.
  • Remember that you don't have to go somewhere exotic to take good pictures. Your own life makes great subject matter.
  • Don't use a regular flash outside at night. Instead, use your camera's slow sync flash feature.
  • Learn to use your camera's flash exposure compensation for better flash results wherever you are.
  • Try packing only an unfamiliar and limited lens and shoot with it all day. A 50mm or macro lens, for example.
  • Narrow your comfort zone. For example, if you're comfortable street shooting with a telephoto, use wide angle and get in the face of strangers.
  • Shoot (literally) from the hip.
  • Shoot as if there was no Photoshop.
  • Switch your camera to black and white mode.
  • Load your camera with the most limited memory card you can find. Recall what it's like to shoot with only 12 exposures, knowing every shot counts.
  • Resist using a flash in low light.
  • Break the habit of leaving the moment to examine every shot you take on the LCD screen.
  • Share your shots: Don't keep all those great new photos to yourself. Post them on Flickr, Picasa, MobileMe, Smugmug, or any other sharing site. Join a photography group and get feedback.

Share your own photography-related resolutions in the comments. Happy New Year!

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Clever ways to gift online presents

Whether you've waited until the last minute or are shopping for someone far away, you don’t have to settle for a simple email or printed link when Christmas morning comes. We've already rounded up some our our favorite last minute entertainment gifts and last minute gifts for photographers—once you've picked out something nice, avoid the tell-tale "I completely forgot about you until Christmas Eve" e-mail and spice up your gifting with one of these ideas.

Personalized photo card

When you're bestowing a magazine subscription or some other hard-to-display item ("You're getting a subscription to Cat Fancy magazine!"), a tasteful card can sometimes be the perfect presentation vehicle. Use a program like iPhoto to design a customized card—if you have some photo editing skills, you can even cobble together an image that shows your friend or family member enjoying their new gift.

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Last minute photography gifts

“How did it get to be two days before Christmas?” you mutter, probably while frantically searching across the Web for something—anything—for that special photography nut in your life. Luckily, if you act now, there are still some great presents you can snag and slip under the tree that don’t involve embarrassed glances and IOUs.

Quick-ship camera equipment

If you want something tangible under the tree but don’t feel like running head-on into mall mania on the 24th, everyone’s favorite online superstore, Amazon, is here to help. The company is offering special offers for certain categories; for instance, if you’re looking for a camera, lens, or some photography equipment, you may be able to score free one-day shipping.

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Apple releases iPhoto 9.1.1

iPhoto ’11 users got an early holiday gift on Tuesday as Apple released iPhoto 9.1.1, the latest update to the company’s consumer photo software.

Overall, iPhoto 9.1.1’s focus is stability, but it throws a couple feature enhancements into the mix. For example, users now have the option to send photos using an external e-mail client instead of only being able to do so through iPhoto itself. Apple’s also added a pair of new e-mail themes—Classic and Journal—and an option that allows photo attachments to be scaled to Small, Medium, or Large sizes.

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Hatchcraft Boo Box is a bamboo frame for Instagram photos

There are two kinds of shadowboxing. Hatchcraft has unveiled Boo Box, an Instagram-integrated approach to the less aerobic variant: hand-carved bamboo shadow box frames for your favorite Instagram shots.

Instagram, as you may recall, is the increasingly popular iPhone-only photo-manipulation and sharing network. (We recently named it one of our App Gems for 2010.)

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