Better Lighting in Your Pocket

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Pocket Spotlight contents

You’ve probably had this problem before: you try to take a photo, but it’s too dark to get a shot without the flash—but then when you turn on the flash it washes everything out or you get unwanted glares. And you can’t always fine-tune your lighting options on your smartphone camera (though that’s improving). Here are two little gadgets from Photojojo to help you out.

Pocket Spotlight
The Pocket Spotlight, plugged into an iPhone’s headphone jack.

First up is the Pocket Spotlight. This little gizmo is tiny but has 32 powerful LED bulbs, and can use either a hot shoe mount or a headphone mount (if you’re plugging it into your smartphone, for instance). I got a sample to try out, and it’s been handy for taking pictures in low light when I don’t want a harsh flash (especially when I’m pretty close to the subject).

Pocket Spotlight
No flash, my camera’s flash, and using the Pocket Spotlight. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

The other benefit to using the spotlight over a built-in flash, of course, is that you can move it around. You can cast shadows from different angles for different effects.

Pocket spotlight
Trying different lighting angles with the Pocket Spotlight. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

For those of you wanting something with a little more oomph, the Kick might be a better fit. I haven’t tried one of these out myself, but you can see from the photo below that it’s a good deal bigger: about the size of the iPhone itself and a bit thicker.

The Kick
The Kick – a customizable light source.

What sets the Kick apart is that it’s fully customizable. The LEDs on this one can be adjusted, so you pick the color, shade, and intensity. There’s a free app that lets you control it. You can even sample a photo or video to replicate colors. It has a standard tripod mount, and you can slide it onto your iPhone.

The Pocket Spotlight is $30 (or $40 with the color filters) and the Kick is $179. Both are available from Photojojo.

Disclosure: GeekDad received a sample of the Pocket Spotlight for review.

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