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Update on shipping of the 1st batch UNLEASHEDs

Shipping Container

After an amazing photokina 2018 – watch Kai W’s photokina roundup on YouTube – you might find something interesting in there ;-) – we’re all back in Berlin, ready to get the Unleasheds to everyone who backed us on Kickstarter and Indiegogo as well as pre-ordered a 1st batch Unleashed on our website. The first backers (about 50) already picked up their Unleasheds at photokina so we don’t want to keep the rest of you waiting much longer.

This upcoming week we’ll start packing and shipping. We will ship in batches, probably starting with Nikon Unleasheds N1 + N2, then Canon Unleasheds C1 + C2. You’ll get a shipping confirmation mail as soon as we shipped yours.

For behind-the-scenes-photos check Facebook and Instagram.

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How to? – Long Exposure

How-to-do-long-exposure

As we’re reviving our blog, we were thinking that it’s necessary to introduce a series that is about photography and filmmaking itself: The terminology, the basics, techniques or hacks. At some point we might even get other photographers to post their “best-way” practice or share their newest “how-to”. Let’s see where this takes us. As our final goal is to see people flourish in what they love doing, we want to help in the best ways we can. Well… and since we’re kind of into this photography thing, we want to engage with other photographers and filmmaker all over the world. So if you love your camera or are even just getting started: You’re right here. :-)

We know, in general, there are many ways or techniques to reach a certain goal. It’s the same when taking photos or videos. That’s why, whenever we or someone else is posting something, we want to start a conversation and discuss ideas – always in a respectful way.

Well today, we want start the series off by looking into some of the basics: Long Exposures.

LONG EXPOSURES

A small excursion into the making of a photo: A photo in general, needs exposure in order to be able to show what you actually photographed. In a more technical sense: It’s the amount of light hitting the electronic image sensor – or in earlier days – the photographic film. It determines how bright or dark a picture is in the end. Obviously, it is a variable thing, so it can (and should) vary from photo to photo in order to have the “perfect” exposure (which in the end is very much subjective) or to achieve a certain effect.

In photography, the exposure that can be controlled by your camera, is determined by the shutter speed, aperture (the opening of the lens) and ISO (which basically controls the brightness and darkness of your photo). It’s a formula of three variables. For long exposures, yes, you consider all three variables, however, shutter speed is the significant factor: It is the only variable that actually has a relevant connection to time. That’s why it’s called “LONG” exposure. So the idea behind playing around with shutter speed is, that, because of the time factor, you’re able to catch (more) movement – things that happen over a period of time. And in the end, movement is what makes and creates a typical long exposure shot.

Typical scenarios where long exposures are and have been used:

Night Photography

This topic deserves an own article since it’s huge. There are many different ways to take photos at night, but one thing is for sure: If you don’t want a super dark photo and a lot of noise (because of a very high ISO), there is no other way but making use of a very slow shutter speed – because at some point the lens cannot be more open to catch more light (aperture).


Night Photography

Star Trails

Even though it’s part of night photography, catching star trails is a category of its own since it demands certain techniques (bulb mode, stacking etc.) and especially a lot of preparation and timing. The idea behind it is to catch the stars’ movement, caused by the earth’s rotation, which creates these very nice trails.

Light Painting

Here, you typically keep the scene very dark and use a light source (flashlight, fire, smartphone LED) to “paint” something in the air. Since the shutter is open and the (bright) light source is not at one place for a long time (because of the movement), you get crystal clear lines of light, even letting you write entire sentences.


Light Painting

Water-Long-Exposures

Being used in combination with the HDR technique quite often, long exposures of moving water create a very mystic/mist-like look. In combination with the – most of the time – not moving objects around, before or behind the blurry water, the photos are super interesting and definitely worth trying.

City-Long-Exposure

It’s the same principle as for water-long-exposures. This time, the not-moving elements of the photo are the buildings and the moving elements are the cars with their lights on, creating those beautiful light trails tracing the streets of the city.

Car Light Trails


So the next time you want to go out there to take photos, just go out at night. It brings tons of opportunities to be creative and to take beautiful photos that are also fun doing. Just set your camera into manual mode, try to keep your ISO down, open up your aperture and play around with shutter speed. Very important: Try to use a camera remote control so you don’t have to touch your camera. Otherwise, you might cause some shaking and the photo is not sharp but blurry.

Let us know in the comments what long exposures you like doing the most or what special tips you have for certain scenarios and effects.

Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get exciting news on Foolography, photography, videography and other interesting topics. Scroll down to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter to stay up-to-date and become part of the Fools. ;-)

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What’s new? – GNARBOX 2.0 SSD

Gnarbox 2.0 - Camera accessories you need

Passion. It’s what takes things from one level to another. From: “I like doing it” to “I love doing it and cannot stop talking about it”. If you have a hobby and do it without passion. Well, you probably won’t do it for long and probably won’t excel and flourish. However, if you’re passionate about whatever it is you’re doing, you start thinking out of the box, beyond boundaries – you will find yourself in a place of: “No matter what, I will try it and make it happen.”

Well, this basically describes why we do what we do. We’re passionate. We’re passionate about photography, we’re passionate about videography. We love cameras and the things you can create with it. The products we develop mostly come out of our own needs. That, we think, is very helpful to ensure that something in the end is actually solving specific problems. And in best case, helps you, whether you’re a professional, hobby photographer or filmmaker, to flourish in what you’re doing.

We believe the Foolography products do that. But there are definitely other products out there that are awesome and incredibly helpful. This is why we want to introduce another new series that we will continue over time: “What’s new?” This is a place where we introduce new gadgets, have a look at cool products or try out helpful software.

GNARBOX 2.0 SSD

Today we want to give a shoutout to a company that actually revolutionizes how we save our photos and videos while we’re in the field. Two and a half years ago the team behind Gnarbox introduced the first version – the Gnarbox – on Kickstarter. This month, they launched their newest iteration on Kickstarter: The Gnarbox 2.0 SSD. This is how they describe it: “GNARBOX 2.0 SSD is a rugged backup device for content creators who prefer to travel without a laptop.” So basically, you can save all your content on a SSD without the need of a laptop. You even get an app where you can already see and organize your photos that are on the Gnarbox, using your smartphone.


Gnarbox 2.0 SSD
www.gnarbox.com

Here some technical specifications we got from their website:

  • Intel Quad Core, 2.40GHZ CPU
  • 4 Core Intel HD Graphics GPU
  • 867mbps 802.11 ac/b/g/n WiFi
  • 2/4GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • NVMe SSD up to 1TB
  • SD Card Backup: 75-100MB/sec write
  • USB-C Backup: 400-500MB/sec read/write
  • 2x USB-C, SD & Micro HDMI ports
  • 3200mAh 7.4v removable lithium ion battery
  • Battery Life: 5 hours backup / 3 hours editing
  • IP67: Waterproof to 1m for 30minutes
  • Dimensions: 6” x 3” x 1.16” / ~1.1lb

  • It’s available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.

    Check out their Kickstarter campaign or website and let us know what you think about it in the comments below.

    GNARBOX 2.0 SSD on KICKSTARTER

    Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get exciting news on Foolography, photography, videography and other interesting topics. Scroll down to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter to stay up-to-date and become part of the Fools. ;-)

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Unleashed Journey Pt. 1: Crowdfunding – Why and How?

Crowdfunding: How to run a successful campaign

30th of September 2016: Against all odds, the Foolography office in Berlin Mitte is filled with over 50 people. Not employees, but friends and family who want to celebrate the successful funding of the new Unleashed on Kickstarter. 186,723 €, more than 300% of the initial funding goal. All achieved by a couple of people committed to a dream and passion. Honestly, we could have never imagined of the amount of support we got – from the people around us, and especially from the Kickstarter backers and supporters who also believed in what we were trying to achieve.

11th of April 2018: Looking back today, we’re still amazed by the journey we are on and the development of Foolography and its employees. Being finally able to ship the Unleashed in a couple of weeks, we decided to give people the opportunity to be part of that journey: The journey of the Unleashed.

In this three part series we want talk about crowdfunding, what it’s like to be and run a hardware startup and where we see Foolography in a couple of years. The goal is to give you valuable insights, tips, dos and don’ts and hopefully encouragement to chase your dreams and hang in there – whether you have or want to start a business, are a photographer yourself or just interested in what we do and wondering how we do it.


WHY

Why crowdfunding?

This is the question we asked ourselves two years ago when we decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the new Unleashed – a smartphone DSLR remote control. And to be honest: We’re still asking us this question today from time to time. Clearly, crowdfunding is one of the best things that ever happened to help you to turn ideas into reality. Kickstarter puts it this way: “Our mission is to help bring creative projects to life.” However, what many people don’t know or at least underestimate: Doing a crowdfunding campaign is a lot of work – before and after it. Especially after it.

Maybe you didn’t know, but there is a Berlin hardware startup community. And many of those startups actually started off with a successful crowdfunding campaign. This is great and was especially helpful to us when we were playing with the idea of doing a Kickstarter campaign ourselves. We met with people who were further along the journey and absorbed all infos and insights we could get. Even though Foolography has been around for a couple of years at this point, doing a crowdfunding campaign was definitely a step into the unknown.

After a couple of weeks we had our “whys” and essential reasons why crowdfunding could be helpful and, what is even more important, why it might be the right next step for us. This is why we launched the new Unleashed on Kickstarter:

1. Money for production.

Marc Andreessen, a pretty famous investor, once said: “Hardware is hard”. Well, we couldn’t agree more. Building a technology hardware company is by far much harder than building a software company. There are many reasons why that is and one of the biggest is: In order to deliver the product to your customer, you need to produce it first. Meaning, physically produce it. Including finding the right parts, producing the PCB, the casing, the packaging, taking care of the assembly and much more. All things you don’t really have to worry about when having a digital product. And those things mentioned are usually pretty expensive and most important: You have to pay for it in advance before you are actually able to sell your product. So crowdfunding definitely is a big help when it comes to production of your product.

2. Proof of concept.

Whenever you have an idea for a new product it is wise to find out if there is a market for it. What do other people say about it? Are people already signing (or lining) up to get your product? And with people I don’t mean your grandparents or close friends. I’m talking about people who don’t know you but who could potentially be your future customers. Do you have a proof of concept? The cool thing about a good proof of concept is that it not only helps you to understand whether there are people out there who want to have your product, but to understand whether people like the way and method how you present and sell your product. See, the proof of concept is not a single yes or no. It’s a commitment to pay for what you offer. And usually that happens – yes, because of the greatness of your idea – but also because of how you marketed and sold it. So a proper proof of concept not only confirms your idea but also helps you to find a the right go-to-market strategy. Crowdfunding definitely is a good tool for that since people are supporting you not only with words but with money.

3. Building a community.

Having a community (or even customers) when you start shipping your product is one of the best things you can have. It literally is a kick-start. You will have people talking about it, testing it and in best case recommending it. And in the end, this is something worth more than thousands of online ads: People that recommend and advertise your product to their friends and family, in their own personal and unique way.


HOW

How to do crowdfunding?

You can find thousand of infos, you can read hundreds of articles and you can talk to dozens of people on how to approach this whole crowdfunding thing. And to be honest, I believe all of that is good and necessary. Because as it is with most things in life: Preparation is the key. So you actually can prepare a crowdfunding campaign and you actually can increase your chances of getting funded. We did all of the things listed above and they definitely helped us. But nonetheless, people still keep asking: “What are the biggest tips you can give me, when I want to do a crowdfunding campaign?” So here are the top ten of, I believe, most important things to consider and prepare well when doing a crowdfunding campaign.

1. Have a working prototype.

Oh yes. Something that is super important (probably the most important) and non-negotiable. Before you go public on a crowdfunding platform, have a working prototype of your product ready. (This is something we will discuss more in detail in part two of this series.)

2. Talk to people who (successfully) did it before.

I mentioned this before and cannot emphasize it enough. Reach out to people who did a crowdfunding campaign before and get as many insights as possible. Come prepared and ask questions.

3. Have a strategy, including a Plan B and C.

This seems to be an obvious thing to do, but it is those simple things that you forget or don’t do properly. Take enough time to write down your vision, goals and strategy. Try to sharpen your product’s USPs, verbalize them and get feedback.

4. Have a CI. Or at least PI (Product Identity).

It should be clear who you want to reach out to and what people perceive when getting in contact with your business or product. This includes a logo, slogan and everything you learn in Marketing 101.

5. Have a website or landing page outside of Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

You could argue about that point, but I personally think it’s necessary in order to be able to provide further information, have an official point of contact and most importantly to build trust.

6. Have a (large) newsletter list before.

This is something that can determine whether your campaign is successful or not. Having people that are ready to support you at the very start will push you forward in many ways. One way could be that the faster you get a lot of support, the more you become interesting for press or the crowdfunding platform itself. And this in return will generate awareness of your campaign.

7. Have a good video.

When looking for tips on the internet this is one of the things you will find the most. And yes, it’s very important. But what makes a good video is such an enormous topic for itself. Write us if you want further infos. ;-) Maybe we do an own article just about that – let us know in the comments if this is something you’re interested in.

8. Spend time on an appealing crowdfunding page.

The page of your campaign probably is the first or second point of contact for your potential customers. Make sure it’s visual, appealing and nicely structured. For example, remember to not overload it since most people will only have a look at the first few paragraphs and just a few will scroll down to the bottom.

9. Have a PR strategy.

This is something that certainly needs quite a bit of preparation in advance and is something we definitely could have done better: Have a good press release prepared and a well chosen list of people ready that potentially could write about you. If possible send product samples to those people beforehand.

10. Think about (but not necessarily do) online advertisement.

We didn’t do it, but could have done it and certainly would have gotten a bigger funding. Have a strategy and decide whether it’s helpful and possible due to production, pricing and production cost.


Well, this is it for now. There are certainly more things that are important to consider when thinking about doing a crowdfunding campaign. These, however, are some things that we learned along the journey and are telling most of the people who ask us about our campaign. We hope this gives you a little insight and helps somebody. We’ll continue with this series another time and will then talk about what it’s like to build hardware and what challenges can occur along the way – and how to overcome them.

Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get exciting news on Foolography, photography, videography and other interesting topics. Scroll down to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter to stay up-to-date and become part of the Fools. ;-)

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We are (still) growing the team

WE ARE HIRING

While working on the new Unleashed, growing by two super talented people, we are still looking for more specialists to join the team. In our new section “Jobs” that you can find under “About”, we will from now on present our current job openings. In case you know anyone who might be interested, please feel free to share the link:

OUR CURRENT JOB OPENINGS

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Meet us at CES 2017, Sands Hall G, 51500 – Eureka Park!

foolography at CES 2017

For all our American customers, partners and friends (or anyone who will be in Vegas for CES): We’ll be exhibiting at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show 2017 in Las Vegas, from the 5th to 8th of January and would be happy to meet you there. You’ll find us in Eureka Park – the flagship startup destination at CES. Booth 51500 (Sands, Hall G) right in the middle – opposite of the Indiegogo booth.

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Give an Unleashed (voucher) for Christmas

Christmas tree in foolography style

The Unleashed is the perfect gift for anyone that’s serious about photography. Some of you might have already pre-ordered the new UNLEASHED as a christmas present, knowing you won’t have something physical to give. Surely more of you would still like to pre-order – and you can! ;-) But now you’re in this situation of having to find a nice card and make your own voucher – and that’s a great idea ;-). However, for those of you who don’t have the time for that – or just think they’re missing the creativity – we’ve prepared something just for you: A ready-to-print, beautifully designed christmas-card-voucher, so that you can properly gift the Unleashed pre-order to that special someone!

Below you can download a web version (e. g. for sending via email) and three different print versions. If you print it out, make sure you choose good quality and high quality paper. This card, together with some personal words will definitely be a highlight for the person you’re giving it to.

We wish you a merry christmas!

Download web version.

Download print version 1.

Download print version 2.

Download print version 2 with cutting lines.

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The new Unleashed: Pre-order now on Indiegogo

Pre-Order the new Unleashed on Indiegogo

After the new Unleashed was successfully funded on Kickstarter with more than 300% of its funding goal, we are constantly asked whether there is any chance to still pre-order the Unleashed. After thinking about it we now decided to give people the option to pre-order the new Unleashed for a special price and to be part of one of the early production rounds in order to be one of the first to receive it.

Starting today, you can pre-order the new Unleashed through the InDemand program on Indiegogo. Check the compatibility list at the bottom of our Indiegogo page, choose a perk (that’s how Indiegogo calls the rewards or product bundles) and select your shipping country. As with our Kickstarter backers, we’ll send out a survey of which camera model you want the new Unleashed for some time in spring, and you can make the final choice shortly before shipping.

SEE THE UNLEASHED ON INDIEGOGO

Receiving all these mails and requests, we hope and believe this option will make many people happy who just missed the Kickstarter campaign, want their photographer friends to have the Unleashed as well or just want to support us. So have a look at out Indiegogo page and send the link to all your friends who are jealous that you got your Unleashed on Kickstarter and forgot to tell them about it. ;-)

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foolography partners with Triggertrap



We are proud to announce a cooperation between foolography and Triggertrap. That’s right, we’re making our Unleashed compatible with the Triggertrap app, and the Triggertrap app compatible with the Unleashed! So every one of you backers can use both our app as well as all the cool triggering features of the Triggertrap app that you might already be used to, but now wirelessly with your Unleashed!