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The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Doubles as a Smartphone Shutter Release

If you own a Nintendo Switch and an Android smartphone, did you know that the two can be paired for photography? It turns out the Joy-Con controller can be used as a remote shutter release for triggering photos without having to touch your phone.

A Reddit user named Byotan recently shared this neat fact in this video showing the Joy-Con shutter release in action.

To do this yourself, you’ll first need to pair your Joy-Con with your Android phone over Bluetooth. Press and hold the Joy-Con’s “Sync” button until the light indicators on the side turn on. Next, open your phone’s Bluetooth menu and you should see a new Joy-Con entry. Select this entry to pair your phone with the Joy-Con.

Once the controller is paired, how you use it as a shutter release will vary depending on what device you have, and you may need to fiddle around to see what works for you (and if the left Joy-Con doesn’t work, try the right one, and vice versa).

9to5Google notes that on Google Pixel phones, you take a photo by tapping the “A” button, though whether or not this works may depend on what app you’re using. On Samsung smartphones, you can use the “X” and “Y” buttons to zoom in and out (in increments of 0.1x per press), and the “B” button is used to snap a photo.

Outside of camera apps, the “A” button should also act as a home button and the “Y” button should allow you to select the upper-left app on your home screen.

From what others are reporting online, whether or not this system works for you may be hit and miss. But if you’re in a jam and need a quick way to trigger some photos remotely (like if you’re taking a group photo with your phone on a tripod), you may want to try giving the Joy-Con a shot.


Image credits: Header illustration: phone stock photo licensed from Depositphotos and Joy-Con photo by Nintendo.

Photographer Explains What it is Like to Live in a Remote Iceland Village

Photographer Isley Reust moved from Los Angeles to Iceland to follow her childhood dream and in the short 6-minute video above, explains what it’s like to live in an extremely remote village to help others decide if such a move is right for them.

The video above, which was spotted by Laughing Squid, is part of the Relocated series produced by Bustle, a “premier digital destination for young women.” To date, Bustle has produced 12 Relocated episodes that look at unusual, “off the beaten path” homes of people who live off the grid.

Isley Reust is a photographer and filmmaker based in Isafjordur, Iceland. She relocated to one of the most remote towns in Iceland in 2018, after spending years working in the film industry in Los Angeles. In the video, Reust recalls feeling unfulfilled in her career, which led her to a new life in Iceland. Reust has both German and American citizenship, which allowed her to settle in Isafjordur with relative bureaucratic ease.

Isley’s fishing village is home to only about 2,600 residents. According to Bustle, she spends her time guiding visitors through nature expeditions and documents the stunning beauty of the arctic landscape.

To learn more about Reust and her home in Iceland, you can follow her on Instagram and YouTube as well as her personal website. You can also find her photography available for sale through her online print store.

Woman Arrested for Posing as High Schooler To Get Instagram Followers

A Florida woman, and former police officer, was arrested on a litany of charges after allegedly sneaking into a high school and posing as a student in an attempt to gain Instagram followers.

28-year-old Audrey Nicole Francisquini was arrested after she allegedly snuck onto the campus of American Senior High School in Hialeah, Florida. She was initially able to “blend in” with the students because, according to Law and Crime and Local 10 News, she wore a backpack and carried a skateboard in one hand and a painting in the other.

While on campus, she allegedly passed out paper fliers with her Instagram handle printed on them and asked students to follow her. When a security guard approached her the first time, she said she was simply looking for the registration office. After receiving those directions, however, she allegedly walked past the office door and continued passing out fliers and “harassing students” with follow asks. She was approached a second time by school security who she this time ignored and was then branded as a “potential threat” and the police were called.

As Fstoppers notes, she ignored school security guards and police instructions to stop and fled the premises, but officers later used her social media information to match her description with her driver’s license and address. She was then arrested at her home in Miami Beach.

“I legit have I don’t know how many cops outside right now of my house,” Francisquini reportedly said in her final Instagram story before she was taken into custody. Her Instagram account is now private. “I’m not going outside at all.”

“This is an unfortunate incident involving a female who trespassed on school grounds under false pretenses,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesperson Jaquelyn Calzadilla said. “As always, Miami-Dade County Public Schools will continue to work tirelessly to protect the safety and well-being of our students and employees.”

In 2017, Francisquini was charged with violating a revenge porn statute after allegedly stealing and posting nude images of another officer for which she was placed on administrative leave and then fired.

As of publication, Francisquini has been ordered to stay away from the high school and has been charged on three counts: one for burglary of an occupied dwelling with a bond of $15,000, one for trespassing an educational institution/interference with a bond of $500, and one for resisting an officer without violence to his person with a bond of $1,000.

Photographer Asks Strangers What They Wanted to Say But Never Did

For the past year and a half, photographer Geloy Concepcion has been working on a project titled “Things You Wanted To Say But Never Did.” It consists of images featuring words strangers have wanted to communicate but have never done so with anyone.

“I started this project back in November 2019 to provide a safe place for the things we find hard to confront when we’re alone,” writes Concepcion, who’s based in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Things that we wanted to voice out but couldn’t, because we lack the courage to do so, because we might sound crazy, because it’s too late, or because we might hurt someone.

“We put it out here with the hope that someone going through the same thing will read them and feel less lonely even just for a day.”

The project is published through Concepcion’s Instagram account, which boasts 70,000 followers at the time of this writing. In each gallery post containing several submissions, Concepcion asks anyone interested in participating to send their submission through an online form.

In addition to words, Concepcion asks strangers for photos to go along with them.

“If you have any photographs (preferably shot on film 35mm) that you’ve always wanted to dispose or show,” Concepcion writes on the form, “photos that you think are not that beautiful or not that interesting, blurred, out of focus, accidentally shot, too over or under exposed, etc. Photographs with memories that you’ve always wanted to forget or let go or remember (No human faces visible), send them to me.”

Concepcion tells NPR’s The Picture Show that he started his project after moving to the SF area from the Philippines in 2018 and suddenly finding himself taking care of his daughter (while his wife worked at a local cafe) with very little time to satisfy his passion for photography.

The photographer then decided to turn inward, sharing his own “unsaid things” first before opening up the project to all his followers. Since then he has posted over 1,000 submissions of the 6,000+ he has received thus far.

“At first I was just using my photos, because the main purpose of the project was to just offload old photos,” Concepcion tells NPR. “But then I started to realize that the project had become more of the strangers’ project than mine, you know? I think they really own the project.”

#thingsyouwantedtosaybutneverdid is reminiscent of PostSecret, which was founded in 2005 and asked people to mail in their secrets anonymously on homemade postcards.

Concepcion is planning to add to the project until submissions stop coming in. You can follow along through @geloyconcepcion on Instagram.

‘Disaster Girl’ Meme Photo Sells for $500,000 as an NFT

Zoë Roth was 4 years old back in 2005 when she was captured in front of a burning house in a photo that has since become an Internet meme known as “Disaster Girl.” That photo has now sold for a whopping half-million dollars as an NFT.

The New York Times reports that the Roth family had gone to watch an intentional house fire set by firefighters in their neighborhood when Zoë’s father Dave asked his daughter to smile for a photo, and that’s how “Disaster Girl” was born.

A couple of years later, Dave won a photo contest with the photo, and the image has since taken on a life of its own, with people across the Internet editing Zoë’s smirking face into various humorous memes to share on websites and social media.

This week, after over a decade of seeing the photo spread virally across the Web completely out of her control, Zoë finally found a way to benefit financially in a big way from its notoriety. She sold the original copy of the photo as a nonfungible token (NFT) and pocketed roughly a cool half million dollars.

The photo sold in an auction on the Foundation platform on April 17th to a user named @3FMusic for 180 Ether (the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin). The Ether was worth roughly $475,000 at the time of the sale, but with recent Ethereum price gains, they’re not worth over $510,000.

Read also: What is an NFT and Why Should Photographers Care?

As with many or most NFT sales of this sort, the Roths will continue to own the copyright to the photograph — the winner simply owns the only authenticated digital collectible based on the photo. What’s more, based on the contract of the NFT, the Roths will also earn 10% from all future sales of the NFT whenever it changes hands.

Zoë, who’s now a 21-year-old senior studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tells the media she’s planning to use some of the proceeds to pay off her student loans as well as donate to charity.

Other memes to have been sold as NFTs in recent times include “Grumpy Cat” (~$100,000), “Nyan Cat” (~$600,000), and “Overly Attached Girlfriend” (~$500,000).

“People who are in memes and go viral is one thing, but just the way the internet has held on to my picture and kept it viral, kept it relevant, is so crazy to me,” Zoë tells the Times. “I’m super grateful for the entire experience.”


Image credits: “Disaster Girl” photo by Dave Roth.

Photo Series Shows Pandemic Emotions, Starts Mental Health Talks

A U.K.-based photographer has given complete strangers a platform to share their thoughts and emotions regarding the last year with the goal of raising awareness of the pandemic’s impact on mental health.

Following a deeply personal loss, Donna Bridgewater, a photographer and lecturer based in Birmingham, United Kingdom, started a local photography project that captures strangers on the street revealing their personal thoughts and feelings on living in a pandemic world.

The project, titled “Getting Through This,” intends to “create a conversation about mental health,” as strangers hold up a board of messages, both deeply honest and inspiring, to help people compartmentalize their feelings and put them into words.

Looking back to an animal cruelty protest in Coventry Bridgewater and her sister had attended, she recalls a local charity that used a blank board to help the community voice their concerns, thoughts, or simply to share a positive message. Similarly, having worked in a special needs environment, Bridgewater has found that many learners who are non-vocal would use a pen and paper as a form of preferred communication.

Both ideas inspired the structure of the project while the idea for the initiative was born after Bridgewater lost her sister, which further led to her incorporating other people’s mental health difficulties during the pandemic, because “every day is a struggle but you find ways to adapt in life.”

Although Bridgewater had story-telling project experience under her belt through her past work with the LGBTQ community and others, the forced removal of social everyday interactions during the lockdown made it difficult to go back out and approach the public on the streets.

When the photographer approached people, she shared her own personal experiences of losing her sister, however, the unpleasant weather didn’t make it easy to connect with people because strangers would want to quickly pass by to get to their destination quicker.

Nevertheless, her openness and perseverance — after many people refused to participate — allowed her to meet people in the local community who were willing to stop, talk, and share their stories. This not only boosted Bridgewater’s own confidence but also gave those she connected with an opportunity to feel part of something powerful.

The process also helped the photographer to process the loss of her sister, Leanne, with whom she had lived and shared daily life. She explains, “being open and sharing my own story about Leanne has helped me to build my own confidence when talking about her. Every time I continue the project and hear comments it make me feel happy that the messages could help someone that is struggling.”

The project is still ongoing, not just because of the positive feedback received from both participants and the audience, but also because of Bridgewater plans to link it with the mental health charity Mind when pandemic restrictions eventually permit it.

Other institutions have also been eager to participate. For example, Bridgewater has been invited to deliver a talk to The Royal Photographic Society, while others have expressed that the project would work well as an exhibition, displayed in shop windows, or shared on different media sources, like news, TV, and radio.

The messages are so powerful and true and they need to be seen by more and more people worldwide. Ideally in the future I would like to produce a book to raise money for charity. I have struggled with mental health myself and I have a little positive messages book that gives me a boost now and then. It would be a nice little book that you could pick up to give you a little boost in life.

For more, you can join Bridgewater’s upcoming online talk on May 17, 2021, or visit her website.


Image credits: All images by Donna Bridgewater and used with permission.

NASA Astronaut Who Captured All of Humanity in a Single Photo Has Died

NASA astronaut Michael Collins has passed away at the age of 90. Collins is most well known for a photo he took of the lunar module containing both Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong in front of the Earth, which captures all of humanity, alive and dead, in a single photo. That is, other than himself.

Collins had been fighting a valient battle with Cancer, and his death was shared by his family on Collins’ Facebook page.

“We regret to share that our beloved father and grandfather passed away today, after a valiant battle with cancer,” the statement reads. “Please join us in fondly and joyfully remembering his sharp wit, his quiet sense of purpose, and his wise perspective, gained both from looking back at Earth from the vantage of space and gazing across the calm water from the dek of his fishing boat.”

NASA also published a statement on the passing of Collins by acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk.

“Today the nation lost a true pioneer and lifelong advocate for exploration in astronaut Michael Collins. As pilot of the Apollo 11 command module – some called him ‘the loneliest man in history’ – while his colleagues walked on the Moon for the first time, he helped our nation achieve a defining milestone. He also distinguished himself in the Gemini Program and as an Air Force pilot,” he writes.

Astronaut Michael Collins, Apollo 11 command module pilot

Collins was the command module pilot on NASA’s Apollo 11 mission and circled the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldring touched down at Tranquility Base on July 20, 1969. Because of his position, when the duo returned from the surface he was able to capture a photo of all of humanity in a single photo, excluding himself of course. He is the only person in the history of humanity to not appear in some form in the photo.

As Rare Historical Photos explains, “That means that every human that lived up to the point of this photo being taken still exists, at least in some form, and every human that has been born since then was also is in this photo, at least in some form. So even if you were born after this picture was taken, the materials you’re made from are still on the frame of this picture.”

Photo by Michael Collins, NASA

Buzz Aldrin posted a brief note on his Facebook page saying goodbye to Collins.

“Wherever you have been or will be, you will always have the Fire to Carry us deftly to new heights and to the future. We will miss you. May you Rest In Peace.”

As noted by The Guardian, Collins wrote several books, including Carrying the Fire in 1974 which was dedicated to his wife. Patricia died in 2014, and their son Michael passed in 1993. Collins is survived by two daughters, Kate and Ann, seven grandchildren, and a sister.


Image credits: Photos courtesy of NASA.

Fujifilm and Nintendo Made an Instant Photo Printer for Switch Gamers

Fujifilm and Nintendo have teamed up to create a new smartphone printer that lets Nintendo Switch gamers print out their in-game photos as Instax instant photos. It’s called the Instax Mini Link for Nintendo Switch Smartphone Printer.

The new device, aka the “Mini Link Special Edition,” is based on (and spec-wise identical to) the Instax Mini Link smartphone printer that was first unveiled back in October 2019. The special edition printer features signature Switch accent colors of red and blue on the top surface and power button, respectively.

It’ll also be available in a special limited quantity bundle with a special silicone case designed to look like Pikachu from the Pokémon series.

In addition to the new Switch colorway, there’s also a special new dedicated smartphone app designed for Nintendo Switch owners.

The app will let gamers transfer an in-game screenshot (created using the capture function in the Nintendo Switch) to their phone by simply scanning a QR code displayed on the game screen.

The gamer can then add filters and frames to those screenshots (or real-life photos), and the finished images can be printed as physical Instax photos using the Mini Link.

The available frames will be based on characters from games such as Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and New Pokémon Snap, the upcoming photography-based game that will be released on the same date as this new printer.

If you already own a non-special edition Mini Link printer, you’ll also be able to use the new app to print out your in-game photos.

The new Mini Link Special Edition will be available starting on April 30th, 2021, with a price tag of $100. The Pikachu case bundle is set to be released in late May with a price of $120. The smartphone app will be available for free in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

Police in Minnesota Round Up, Detain Photographers Covering a Protest

Journalists and photographers covering the protest of the death of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis this past Friday night were rounded up by law enforcement, forced on their stomachs, and only released after they had their faces and press credentials photographed.

According to USA Today, the incident happened just hours after a judge issued a temporary order barring the Minnesota State Patrol from seizing photographic, audio, and video equipment, press passes, and also prevents them from being able to use chemical agents and/or physical force against the media.

On Saturday, the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) issued a statement saying “troopers checked and photographed journalists and their credentials and driver’s licenses at the scene in order to expedite the identification process.” They also stated that while some journalists were detained after providing their credentials, no arrests were made against the press.

It is said that approximately 500 protestors were marching peacefully until about 9 PM when “an incident” triggered police into using tear gas, pepper balls, and projectiles on the crowd. After about 30 minutes the police told the protestors to leave the area calling it an unlawful assembly, and while most of the crowd did depart, a lot of the journalists like Jasper Colt of USA Today were slow to leave the area saying “we didn’t think we needed to, and wanted to cover what was happening.” It was then the police started to corral protestors and media into a single group ordering them onto their stomachs.

This is when the “sorting” started, and once the media officials were identified, they were brought to a new line where they had to provide their credentials and identification where law enforcement then took pictures of these items along with photos of each of their faces.

The MSP is currently prohibited from “arresting, threatening to arrest, or threatening/using physical force” against members of the press” as part of a court order issued after members of the press were targeted during protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. According to this order, “MSP will not photograph journalists or their credentials,” the agency said in a statement. “However, troopers will continue to check credentials so media will not be detained any longer than is necessary. In addition, MSP will no longer include messaging at the scene advising media where they can go to safely cover events.”

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), what happened on Friday was a direct violation of the temporary order saying.

“The emergency order requires law enforcement to take certain steps to protect journalists… the order requires law enforcement to leave them alone,” said Adam Hansen, an attorney with Apollo Law LLC, who is working on the civil case with ACLU-Minnesota. “We absolutely see what happened last night as a violation of the court’s order and we’re doing everything we can to make sure that it doesn’t continue tonight and on into the future.”

Tim Evans, a freelance photojournalist for the European Pressphoto Agency, says he was tackled to the ground, punched, and sprayed with chemical irritants. He claims that all the while, he was identifying himself as press with his credentials clearly visible. He goes on to claim that the officer who had carried out this attack took Evans’ press badge and threw it away, saying he didn’t care if he was with the media.

The Minnesota State Patrol issued a statement encouraging journalists to contact the Department of Public Safety’s Internal Affairs/Affirmative Action Division if they believe a trooper has engaged in misconduct to file a report saying “The MSP has not and will not target media for doing the important work of showing those who are exercising their first amendment rights to express themselves, or those who are engaged in the violent, illegal activity law enforcement is trying to prevent”, however, the images and reports from the scene seems to contradict those statements.

Protests at the Brooklyn Center have continued since (former) officer Kim Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter last Wednesday.


Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.