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Jazz up your camera with fashionable accessories from Mod

 

Mod Camera Straps

Not too long ago my beloved camera took it’s last picture. I’ve had it for many years and it decided it was time for me to put the lens cap on it and remove the batteries for good. She was a good old camera and is greatly missed.

I need a camera. Not only do I need a camera to take pictures of thing I blog about but I also enjoy taking pictures of my family, pets and the world around me.

I have been agonizing about which camera to buy. I wanted to go up a few notches and get a better quality camera than my previous one – one with a lot of “bells and whistles” and a camera where I can use different lenses.

I lucked out and came across a camera “kit” (camera and two lenses) that was on clearance. There was nothing wrong with it. The store just purchased too many of them for the holiday season and this was the only one left.

SCORE!

Nikon D3100

I ended up saving around $100 for the camera. It’s not the one I truly wanted, but it’s a start. What I bought is a good introductory level camera that will help me learn more about DSL cameras and all the different things you can do with them.

Now that I have a beautiful new camera I also needed a new camera case. My new camera is twice as big as my old one and won’t fit in the camera bag that I already had. I needed to find a new one.

I looked on Amazon (my go to shopping spot) figuring they would have a nice assortment. They had some great bags but nothing really stood out to me. I wanted something with “personality” and something other than basic black. I couldn’t find anything that I liked.

Around the same time I bought my new camera I received an e-mail from a company called Mod. Mod carries BEAUTIFUL camera straps. I really wanted a nice strap for my camera (the one that came with it was “boring”). I asked Mod if I could do a review and they said “yes”. Yeah!

It was hard to narrow down which one I liked best. They are all so pretty! I eventually decided upon the Premium Strap called Kaleidoscope. I liked how colorful it was. It looks like a fun strap and I’m a fun person so I knew it would be perfect for me.

PCS-01-KALESC-2

I noticed on their site that they also carry camera bags and totes. Since I was in the market for one and I have not found one I liked thus far I wanted to see what Mod had available.

Mod has what they call “drop in” camera bags. They are drawstring bags that slip over your camera. When combined with the camera strap it gives the appearance of a small purse.

I asked the kind people at Mod if I could review a camera bag too and they happily agreed. Thank you Mod! :-)!

Since I was already getting the camera strap in the Kaleidoscope design I thought it would be fitting to get the camera bag in the same design.

DIB-KALEID-2

As you can see from the above photo from the Mod website the camera bag and strap combined give the illusion of a purse/pocketbook.

I was super excited for the strap and bag to arrive. The moment they did I put the strap on the camera and tucked it neatly inside the bag.

The strap is just as bright and colorful as it appears on the computer screen.

The underside of the strap (the part that rests on you body) is line with a super soft, plush material making it VERY comfortable to wear. Unlike leather straps which can stick and rub on your skin, this plush strap rests comfortably across your body.

You can wear it over your shoulder or across your chest (as pictured). I’m a “big girl” and I was able to wear it across my chest comfortably.

The camera bag is made of the same material both inside and out. The inside is just as soft and plush as the strap.

The drawstring is made of a ribbon. I was concerned that it might slide open but that never happened. When you pull the straps closed it stays closed until you open it up again.

Unlike bulky camera bags this bag is light weight and enjoyable to tote along with me.

I took this bag on a trip to the West coast with me. My ONLY concern with the bag is that plane rides can be very bumpy and I worried about the camera getting knocked around under the seat in front of me (I had placed it in a larger tote bag). Thankfully my camera survived the trip.

Mod Strap and Bag

If you are planning on using the overhead compartment to store your camera or checking it with your luggage you will need a sturdier case because this will not protect your camera against much abuse.

For day to day use this camera bag I perfect.

I currently keep this on my camera at all times. The only time I would swap it out is if I was going to travel again, which I rarely do.

Since the strap is on my camera it was hard to take a picture of my camera with the strap and bag so I had to use my cellphone. They pieces are much nicer in person.

I am THRILLED with the strap and the bag. I love them both and I really think they show off my personality too.

Mod carries a variety of patterns, designs and colors. They also carry other accessories like bags for camera lenses (I plan on picking up a couple to match my camera bag) and Cap Savers which help keep your lens cap safe and helps you not to lose it. I found out the hard way that you ned something like this.  My cap kept falling off and I almost lost it a few times. Mod’s Cap Savers are pretty too – kind of like jewelry for your camera.

If you are looking for a new camera strap or an easy, fashionable way to tote around your camera, look no further than Mod.

For more information or to check out the product line visit www.ModStraps.com. You can also find them on the various social networking sites.

Mod strap

Kimberly

*I received free products in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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The perfect gift for taking cellphone “selfies”

 

Snapping Selfie

I will never understand the obsession with taking “selfies”. If you are not up on the “lingo” a “selfie” is where you take pictures of YOURSELF on your cellphone or camera. Not pictures of other people, events or scenery – pictures of yourself.

I’m pretty sure selfies are more a teenage/young adult thing. I can’t picture grandma taking a selfie giving the “peace” sign. LOL!

I don’t like to take ANY pictures of myself, so snapping selfies is not my thing. My kids however – especially my daughter – have nothing but selfies on their phone and Facebook pages. I don’t know if it’s conceit thing or just an “in” thing/fad.

If you have ever tried to take a selfie with your phone you know that it’s not always easy. You have to keep the camera in arms length and have the ability to press the button to snap the photo. It’s easier just to have someone snap the photo for you. That way you can pose any way you want and not have worry about having the ability to press the shutter button.

If you, or a loved one, is partial to taking selfies, I have a perfect gift idea for you. It’s called Shutterball, by Audiovox.

Shutterball is exactly that – a rubber-like ball with a “brain”.

Shutterball works by downloading the FREE Shutterball app and then syncing it with your Shutterball. Once syned you can use the Shutterall in place of the shutter button. That means you can place your cellphone away from you (up to 60′) and when ready simple press the button on the ball to snap the photo. It’s that easy!

Shutterball

Shutterball is also great for snapping group and family photos. It’s perfect for snapping a photo of your entire family around the Christmas tree and have ALL family members presen – not a missing person who has to stay out of the shot in order to snap the photo.

You can even use Shutterball to snap video. That is also a useful feature for the holiday. You can video tape people opening gifts without having to worry about missing out on the action why you fiddle with your phone to take the video. Simply set your phone up in a good location and when you are ready to start the video simply squeeze on your Shutterball.

What I like about Shutterball is that there is nothing to re-charge or batteries to worry about. The pre-installed batteries have up to a 5 year life, depending on how much you use it.

I received a Shutterball to review. Actually for my kids to try out, share their thoughts with me so that I can do the review. My daughter was more than happy to jump on it.

I asked my daughter to forward me some photos that she took with the Shutterball for the sake of this review. Ha! I should know better. Teenagers are moody creatures. If she’s not in the mood she’ll freak out. When she’s in a decent mood and you ask for a photo you’ll get the “Eww… I look horrible. I’m too fat” response. Really? I think she looks great.

SHE SCRIBES PHOTO

BUT… I don’t want to freak her out so I’ll have to assume that she’s enjoying the Shutterball. I have seen her using it. A few times I saw her take pictures of herself with our dog and one of our cats. I know she takes it to school too because a few times I saw it in her bag. The Shutterball does have a loop on it so you can hang it off your belt loop or keychain. She prefers to tuck it inside a pocket in her bag.

Just to give you a “heads up”, both dogs and cats might see this as a toy. Mine sure did. Thankfully my dog didn’t chew on it (I got it from him before he did).

Shutterball comes in different colors too.

Here is a brief video of Shutterball in action.

 

If you are still looking for a great gift, especially for a hard to impress teen, or a fun stocking stuffer, why not consider Shutterball?

Shutterball is available for $24.95.

For more information, or to find out how to purchase Shutterball, visit www.MyShutterball.com. You can even check out the brand on Facebook.

What do you think about Shutterball? Feel free to share your comments.

Shutterball

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinion expressed is my own and not influenced in any way.

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Learn how you could win the $100,000 Grand Prize for Best Instagram Photo in the World

 

Instagram

Are you an Instagramer? Do you love taking pictures of your dog, your children, or your lunch and sharing it with the rest of the world?

It seems like just about everyone is on Instagram these days. My kids convinced me to set up an account earlier this year. I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure what type of photos to share. In fact, when I originally set up my account I used it more so to follow others rather than share my own photos. I like following celebrities. It’s fun to see them as they really are, doing ordinary things like ordinary people.

I finally started to add photos to my account (SheScribes on Instagram). I get a kick out of seeing how many people like my photos or leave a comment. :-)

Another great thing about Instagram is that you can see how life is around the world. I follow a lot of people in other countries. I find it fascinating to see what life is like in another country. I enjoy seeing photos of food, fashion, landmarks and what life is like around the globe. Instagram can be like a mini virtual trip around the world.

There is a new website called Instagramers Gallery which will change the way we see, share and record our lives. The site is promoting it’s self as the largest digital collection of photography in the world.

Their motto is “Know the world. Share the world”.

Here is a little more information about the site.

Instagramer Gallery is a thriving art community where audiences tag photos they like most to recognize photographers and their visions of the world. A physical gallery located in the arts district of Miami, FL, will support the web gallery.  A second gallery will open in Madrid in early 2014. The spaces will offer seminars, talks, events, and exhibitions around Instagram photography. The galleries will offer unique glimpses into world around us, told through digital photos.

The Instagramer Gallery is the brainchild of two Spain based artists and social innovator Phil González and Jorge Martinez.

STGRMRS-0859-550x350

Please note that this is NOT a “social networking” site like Facebook or Twitter.

  • The Instagramers Gallery is open to everyone worldwide.
  • Users can access the galley free of charge.
  • User must choose the best images to be uploaded, as the program only allows the upload of one image per day.
  • To facilitate the search of images, photos will be categorized by nature, sport, technology, people, travel, cities, beauty, art, family,
  • landscapes, animals and music.
  • Users can also search photos by “most liked,”country, artists or date of submission.

The “official” Instagramers Gallery is open in Miami, Florida at 2324 North Miami Avenue.

Instagramers Gallery Miami will be showcasing photos of 17 world renowned Instagramers from different countries. If you would like to see what Instagramers will be showcased (and to follow them on Instagram if you like to), here are their Instagram “names”.

  • @thomas_k   (Germany)
  • @Wlad   (Brazil)
  • @cirkeline   (Denmark)
  • @misshedwig
  • @philgonzalez   (Spain)
  • @takinyerphoto
  • @grether
  • @hons24 (USA)
  • @Timbrado (France)
  • @Macenzo (Holland)
  • @giariv (Italy)
  • @hnato_nf   (México)
  • @Katia_Mi   (Romania)
  • @bossthefrenchbulldog (Sweden)
  • @garethpon (South Africa).

They will showcase their best images. Miami Instagramers will also exhibit images of their vision of the city.

Instagramer Gallery is hosting a contest from December 16, 2013 – April 30, 2014. They are offering a DAILY PRIZE of $1,000 for the Best Photo of the Day.

The daily prize will be awarded by a jury comprised of well-known personalities in the worlds of photography, art, communications and new technologies. The winning image will be chosen from the daily “Photo-Day Prize” finalists.

I would LOVE to win that prize. I know that there is a photo on my Instagram account of an Bald Eagle that I shot a couple of years ago. I think it turned out great. I’m very proud of that photo. I think I am going to submit that one into this contest. Wish me luck!

I know A LOT of people love taking photos of their pets, children and “life” all around them. This is a great way to become Instagram “famous” and win some $$$.

For more information, or to enter the contest, visit www.instagramersgallery.com. You can also check them out on the various social networking sites - Instagram (@IgersGallery), Twitter (@IgersGallery) and Facebook (Facebook.com/InstagrammersGallery).

The official hashtag is #InstagramersGallery.

Do you think you will check out the site? Do you think you might enter the contest? If you do – good luck! And if you win PLEASE e-mail me and let me know. :-)

Instagramers Gallery

Kimberly

*Although this is a compensated the post the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.

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Gadgets Galore! A Guide for Great Tech Gifts for Everyone

 Techie gifts

I remember the good old days when my kids holiday wish lists contained dolls, toy cars, books, games and DVDs. Not anymore. Our son is begging us for a new laptop (his is about 10 years old) and my daughter won’t stop going on and on about an iPhone 5C.

It seems like tech items always make the hottest holiday gifts. Well, techie gifts and toys that is.

Our friends at Target Electronics put together a list of some great tech gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list that you might enjoy. I know a few of the gift suggestions I would love for myself.

Pentax Optio WG-10 Waterproof Digital Camera

Pentax Optio WG-10 Waterproof Digital Camera

14915900_201311041852

 Skylanders Swap Force Super Starter Bundle with Adventure Pack (Xbox 360)

Hello Kitty 19" Class 720p 60Hz LED TV/Monitor

Hello Kitty 19″ Class 720p 60Hz LED TV/Monitor

GoPro HERO3 White Edition Camcorder

GoPro HERO3 White Edition Camcorder

Fitbit Flex Wireless Wristband Fitbit Flex Wireless Wristband

Bose® SoundLink® Mini Bluetooth® Speaker

Bose® SoundLink® Mini Bluetooth® Speaker

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Samsung  Galaxy S4 Mini

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD On-Ear HeadphonesBeats by Dr. Dre Solo HD On-Ear Headphones

Apple iPad and iPad mini

Apple iPad and iPad mini

iPhone 5C

iPhone 5C/5S

Nikon 1 J3 14.2MP Digital Camera with 10-30mm Lens Nikon 1 J3 14.2MP Digital Camera with 10-30mm Lens

Beats Pill™Beats Pill™

In addition of offering consumers these “must have” techie gifts, Target is offering unbeatable values through REDCard Rewards and Holiday Price Matching.  Shop with your Target REDCard and receive 5% savings and FREE shipping, making these great gifts more affordable. For even more savings, trade in used electronics and DVDs for a Target Gift Card towards your purchase.

Another Techie Gift you might want to consider is the Nikon Coolpix So1. This is the smallest Coolpix camera made. And by small I mean TINY! I have small hands and they are gigantic compared to the size of this camera.

 Nikon Coolpix s01That is obviously not my hand. I am using a stock image because my nails look awful and I’m subconscious about my hands. :-)

The Nikon Coolpix S01 has a NIKKOR glass lens and a 3X Zoom. Believe it or not it is even a touchscreen camera. That is what impressed me the most about it. I wouldn’t except such a functional touchscreen on such an itty bitty camera.

You can even shoot video with this camera.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it comes with a few photo enhancement applications. Not many (only four) but that is enough to jazz up your photos a bit.

The camera doesn’t take batteries (batteries would take up most of the body!). It has to be charged with an electrical outlet.

The pictures are not the greatest quality, but to be honest, I’m OK with that. Don’t get me wrong, they are NOT terrible at all. They are fine. They are not super sharp and crystal clear like you would get with a more expensive camera. This camera is great for “everyday” stuff.

What I love about this camera is that its so tiny I can carry it with me all the time. It fits perfectly in my pocket or my purse.

Nikon Coolpix S01 next to my iPhone 4 (please excuse the smudges).

Nikon Coolpix S01 next to my iPhone 4 (please excuse the smudges).

As a blogger I often need to take photos when I am at a store or restaurant. I don’t want to be obvious that I am taking pictures, so I won’t bring my other Coolpix camera with me. Instead I rely on my cellphone. Now that I have this cute little camera I am going to use this to take photos at events, restaurant and any place else I would like to snap a few photos.

The camera is light weight and ideal for traveling too. No need to worry about bumping, breaking or losing your $$$ camera. Instead tuck this little camera safely inside your bag or pocket.

This camera would make a great gift for a teenager. They could tuck the camera inside their backpack and have it handy when they want to take memorable photos of their friends.

Target Electronics carries this sweet little camera too, and should also be included in this techie gift guide.

To find a Target Electronics location near you visit Target.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free camera sample to review. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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“Pin” Your Moments with Pincam

I love trying out new apps on my iPhone. I’m a bit better then I used to be. I was an “app-o-holic” until I needed to do an update on my phone. My phone had too many apps and in order to do the update I had to literally remove just about everything. Slowly I’m adding back on the apps that I use frequently. Other apps I uploaded on my phone, played around with and then never touched it again. Those apps I’m not uploading again.

I love apps that have to do with photography and video. A huge chunk of the apps on my phone were related to photography and videos. I would use my phone more then I’d use my camera to take pictures or video. After all, my kids are getting older. There are only so many precious moments left with them before they are grown and on their own. Sigh…

I’ve been “test driving” a new app called Pincam. It’s currently a FREE app that allows you to make highlight reels from your videos. When I say I’m giving it a “test drive”, I simply mean I’m still trying to “perfect” it. It took a little bit to figure out but now I think I’m getting the hang of it.

I know that Pinterest is a popular website. Please note that Pincam has nothing to do with Pinterest. :-)

Did you ever take a video and have a moment from that video that you’d like to share with family and friends? For example, your child’s first steps. You might not want to share their stumbles and falls, but you do want to share their first few steps. With Pincam you can “pin” spots on your video, that when combined will create a highlight reel. Another good example might be your son’s football game. Instead of sharing the entire play with family and friends you can “pin” the moment he catches the ball and “pin” the moment he gets to the end zone. When you watch the Pincam highlight reel you’ll only see those two moments.

Another fun feature is that the app comes with 20 different effects so you can jazz up your video. Some of the effects include snow, bubbles and a effect that makes the image look like a drawing.

Here is a brief video that I did of my cat. Please keep in mind that I’m still learning to master the app and playing around with the different effects. This is just to give you an idea. I used four different effects in this video. You don’t have to use any if you don’t want to.

 

I know that my video won’t win any awards :-), but hopefully you get an idea of what I mean about a highlight reel as well as a glimpse into some of the cool special effects. The drawing one is pretty cool.

If you are reading this via e-mail you can find the video here, http://bit.ly/V9fW3m.

I’m sure once I can master the app I’ll be able to create some awesome video highlight reels.

You can edit your videos directly from the app. When you are finished you can either save it to your phone, e-mail the video to family and friends or upload it directly to Facebook so that you can share it instantly.

There are better example of video highlight reels created with Pincam on their Facebook page. They also welcome user submitted videos too.

The application is currently free and available on iTunes (click here) or you can visit the app store directly from your phone (search for Pincam).

So far I think the app is fun to use. It does take a little bit to figure out, but once you know what you are doing it’s fun. If you are like me and had a hard time finding the effects they are located in a small box. Here is a brief “map” that I made with screen shots.

The only downside to the app that I see so far is that you can only take brief videos. I wish it had the ability to take much longer videos.

The only other thing that might be an issue is pinning the perfect moment. Those special “moments” happen in the blink of an eye and if you are not fast you might not “pin” the moment in time. For the highlight reel the app does capture a few seconds before and after you “pin” a spot on the video, but sometimes that might not be enough. I’m sure the more I play around with it the better I’ll get at it and faster I’ll become at “pinning”.

As I mentioned this is a new app that is currently FREE. I’m not sure how long it will stay that way so if you are interested you might want to upload it to your smartphone before they start charging for it.

I’ll give Pincam two thumbs up. It has it’s quirks but so far I am enjoying it.

Kimberly

 

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New Lay Flat Book from SnapFish

I love creating photo books. My husband started me off with a photo book he created for me as a gift. He took many of the photos from my first press trip to LA when I met Sir Elton John and turned it into a cool photo book so that I’ll be able to look back on that amazing trip with fond memories.

Since that first book I have gone on to create other books including a book filled with photos of my husband with our children (Father’s Day gift) as well as book with various photos from the course of the year.

I just finished creating a photo book for 2012. I’ve taken photos from the start of the year until now and turned them into a book. I plan on using photos from this point on until the end of 2012 and put them in another book. I had so many wonderful photos that I wanted to not only preserve, but also share with others, that there is no way I could fit a whole year into one book.

Check out some images from the book I just make including the front cover (I covered up our family name for safety reasons), a couple of interior pages and the back cover. The back cover features a smiley face that was made in a bowl using ketchup at a restaurant called Johnny Rockets. My husband and I were on one of our rare “dates” and the waiter made the smiley face with the ketchup. I thought it was cute and took a photo of it. I thought it would make a great ending to this book.

I included photos from our condo. Our condo is on the market in hope that we can sell it and buy a house upstate closer to family and friends. Since taking photos around our home is not something we’d normally do I thought it would be nice to take some photos for the photo book so if we are blessed and lucky enough to move and buy a house we’ll also have photos of our first home to look back upon and reminice about.

Of course I had to include photos of my children and my four-legged children too. :-)

I used SnapFish to make my photo book. I love the quality of the books so they are always my “go to” source to make photobooks. I love the variety of sizes, pages (colors/designs) and other features that they offer. Not only that the prices are great.

SnapFish has a new lay flat book. That is the kids of book style I used for my most recent creation. I love the idea of being able to open up to a specific page and lie it on the table to look at rather than hold the book open with my hands.

The lie flat book can have from 20-90 pages and include up to 15 photos per page. It’s SnapFish’s largest book and features premium quality binding. This is the perfect book to hold family memories or perhaps showcase photos from a special occasion like a wedding, birth of a child or a once in a life time vacation.

The book starts off at $49.99 for 20 pages. For each additional page there is an extra nominal charge.

The quality of photo books from SnapFish is amazing. These are books that will last for many years to come and can be passed down from generation to generation. One day I want to find pictures of my grandparents and great-grandparents and create a special photo book about them that I can pass on to my children so that they have photos of the relatives they were never fortunate enough to meet. I also want to make photo books for each of my children that contains precious photos from their childhood.

From now on I’m going to use the lie flat book option. I think it’s a great way to view the pages of the book.

If you would like to check out SnapFish and see what other great photo products they offer visit www.SnapFish.com. You can also check them out on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/SnapFish) and on Twitter (@SnapFishbyHP).

When my photo book arrives I’ll be sure to share images of it here on my blog. :-)

Kimberly

*I received a free photo book sample in order to do this post/review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and are not ifluenced in any way.

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