Need a portable invisible background? OK, maybe it's not technically invisible, but Photoflex's FlexDrop2 (street: $200) can disappear from your shots later, to be replaced by...any scene you want! The reversible blue/green backdrops can be used in the same way as the blue-screen (Chroma Key) technology that enables TV weatherfolk to appear in front those maps and satellite photos. Just take the 5x7-foot FlexDrop2 with you (it's lightweight at 4-1/2 pounds, flexible, and folds down to one-third of its size), and place it behind the subject you're shooting. After importing the shot into an image-editing program, you can easily knock out the background and drop in a new one. (Photoflex; 800-486-2674; www.photoflex.com)
The Paper Chase Is Over
Do you flinch at the price of big-name inkjet papers, but are frightened by the quality of off-brand "bargains"? Adorama, the Manhattan-based photo dealer, says it has a solution-the company's own Projet line of inkjet papers that match the big guys in quality, but not in price. Starting at $6 for a 20-sheet pack of 4x6 with a satin pearl surface, Adorama paper comes in hundreds of surfaces and sizes. For instance, there's double-sided paper for quick album insertion, along with Fine Art Canvas Matte surface for the fine-art printer in all of us. Want a 40-foot roll of 44-inch Delicate Fine Art, Semi-Matte? For $430, it's yours. Adorama's web site is being loaded with print profiles and instructions for all sorts of printers, Mac- and Windows-based. (Adorama; 800-223-2500; www.adorama.com)
The Ape's Got My Camera!
Norazza's new line of camera bags is designed with digital shooters in mind. Its Ape Case line includes six different bags and one media case (street: $10-$25) with black or blue exteriors, and banana yellow interiors that make it easy to see what's in there. Plenty of pockets hold all your media cards and extra batteries; the largest bag, the AC220, also has a pocket for your cell phone. (Norazza; 954-583-8545; www.norazza.com)
Knitted, Not Printed
Now your photos can give viewers a warm and fuzzy feeling...literally. Have your pix woven into photo pillows ($80 and up) or blankets ($115 and up) by the ELFworks Knitting Mill. Pictures are actually woven by a computer-controlled loom that alternates cotton yarn colors to make photo afghans, pillows, throws, and blankets. Offered in a variety of colors, the products are machine washable. Other options: Add text, or build grid-like blanket montages with up to 21 different photos! (ELFworks Knitting Mills; 714-429-1773; www.goelfworks.com)