THE BLOG
07/09/2015 04:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

iblazr Lights Up the Selfie World: My Latest Photography Gadget Review

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Photo Courtesy of iblazr

As a photographer, I don't leave home without my camera and its accessories. Camera body--check. Filters--check. Tripods--check. Lenses--check. Camera bag with odds and ends--check.

Lately I have been adding new accessories to my camera bag, except they have been for my iPhone, which is actually helping with my DSLR photography. How? I recently started a YouTube series titled "In the Field with Heather Hummel Photography" where I walk viewers through the scenes as I am capturing them and why I choose the camera settings for that scene. I have filmed three videos to date by using the video feature on my iPhone (since my Canon is the star of the videos).

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Photo Courtesy of iblazr

I love taking my audience to the places I photograph--lakes, rivers, and even rooftops. The two obstacles I had to overcome were how could I selfie-video the scenes and how would I handle low light situations with the iPhone? The video selfie was managed with use of the Gekkopod (read my previous review).

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Photo Courtesy of iblazr

Happily, I can now say that the low light situation has been resolved with the iBlazr! I have written about the importance of using a tripod in low light photography, but that was from the standpoint of using a DSLR. Now that I am using my iPhone for video, I need extra light cast on me while I'm explaining the upcoming shot. In other words, I didn't want the iPhone filming me in the dark! The iblazr's ongoing fill-flash while shooting both video or still photos is incredibly effective considering its size. It is a terrific addition to a camera bag!

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Photo Courtesy of iblazr

iblazr was designed by a team of four inventors who thought up the idea of a tiny LED flash for smartphones. They initially launched on Kickstarter two years ago, but the was iblazr quick to be found in retail stores, such as the Apple Store, Best Buy, and Walmart. It's success lead to the forthcoming version, iblazr 2, the second generation, which is said to be the first native camera synced LED on the market that is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Their latest Kickstarter campaign is already well over $170K from 2,500 backers.

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Photo Courtesy of iblazr

In a world where selfies dominate Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I wasn't surprised to learn that this product is such a hit. From the portrait photography standpoint, a fill-flash brightens the face, which softens the skin. Strong shadows on faces can age someone while also create unwanted grain in images. Neither are flattering effects in selfies! With Bluetooth syncing, a mount clip, a cold shoe stand for digital and analog cameras, a silicon diffuser with a key chain, a micro USB to USB charger, and a variety of uses as an off-camera flash, I found the iblazer to be very versatile.

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Photo Courtesy of iblazr

With the iblazr in hand with the Gekkopod, I am even more excited to be out shooting videos with my iPhone for the "In the Field with Heather Hummel Photography" series.

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Photo Courtesy of iblazr

But, that is only scratching the surface for the uses of these combined products. I highly recommend checking out their website, http://iblazr.com, for more info.

This article originally appeared on My Photographer Friends.