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  Posted: Sep 16, 2012 6:36 PM
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- #JJ INSTATIPS - ••••••• Isolate Your Subject ••••••• I think this is the most important skill you can learn. If a picture doesn't work, more often than not, you haven't clearly defined and isolated your subject. Here are a few tips that will help you take concise and compelling pictures. -Know what you want to say. Ask yourself "What is this picture about?" If you don't know, move on. -Pay close attention to the background. Distracting backgrounds ruin so many pictures I see. I love to shoot into a shady background. A background that is darker than your subject will not only clearly define it, it also creates a pleasing sense of depth. -Get in close. Filling the frame with your subject is one of the most simple and effective ways to isolate it. -Leading lines are a more subtle way to guide your viewers eye to the subject. Google "leading lines" and you'll find examples of this technique. -Vignetting. I LOVE to vignette. A subtle darkening of the outside of your picture will bring attention to you subject. The free Luminance app has a great vignetting tool. -Depth of field. This is a hard one on an iPhone but it can be done. If you get very close to a subject with a distant background, you will get a blurry background. Our eye is drawn to things that are relatively sharp. You've just isolated your subject.
Give one of these tips a try the next time you're shooting. They really help.
If you've got a shot that illustrates some of these ideas tag it #jj_isolate. Let us know in the comments of your picture how you think your shot applies .
  • Thanks for the tips!🌻

  • Smart tip

  • Thanks Josh; I always appreciate your tips.

  • Great tips! Lovely photo

  • h.ae7 5y ago

    such a wonderful pic, It give us a nice feeling just by looking. Thank you.

  • Thank u for the tips. #gratitude @joshjohnson

  • Great tips, thanks!

  • Thanks for the helpful information on the art of photography.. Sometimes I feel as tho the iPhone has taken the art of it away but at the same time made picture taking more accessible to a larger group..it has made me try to take a closer look at what I take pictures of.. What does it say .. How does it make me feel.. Maybe it will make others feel the same or different.. I like that we get the opportunity to hear what everyone else thinks ..

  • Publish a book @joshjohnson your tips are probably the most constructive, easy to understand i've seen in short! Cheers

  • Very nice tips, although I am still confused if using the blur tool(spherical and cylindrical) in IG is a good idea to focus on the subject ! I personally dont like it so much as it has a distint edge. Any tips on bluring effectively?

  • very well said... "if you don't know, move on" may be the best tip.

  • Thanks for your guidance And help.

  • This is beAutiful

  • Fantastic advice!!

  • Depth of field is 1 of my favourite effects to use. So effective and so simple!

  • Thanks for taking the time to give feed back and advice

  • heyy do u give out shout outs cause if u do id like one please

  • skyes8 5y ago

  • Thanks for the info @joshjohnson ! I love shallow DOF, but have yet to check out vignette.

  • Thanks for sharing Josh!

  • Thx so much for the tips!!

  • Beautiful!

  • fdu59 5y ago

    @anh_my a lire et a appliquer!!😘

  • Thanks for tips! Love it. discussion about photo is great.

  • Great tips @joshjohnson, especially asking yourself what the point of a particular shot is.

  • 👍

  • I just learned about selective focus on the iPhone camera. Press and hold on the object/person you want to focus on. Hold your finger on the screen for a few seconds.
    Release your finger after the blue focus square pulsates.
    The square will disappear and AE/AF Lock will appear at the bottom of the screen. It adjusts focus and lighting. I wish I had learned about this sooner. I love it!

  • I think you're putting way too much thought into why you're taking a photo!!! Stallion Galloping with its mane flowing in the air!!! Subject stallion!!! What is this photo what about a stallion Galloping!!! How does it make me feel!! Well that's a great shot!!!! Maybe I don't want to say anything !!! Silence is golden!!! Lol the rest is good advice!!!

  • @blondiercf It pays to be thoughtful when you're learning how to take photographs and learning what works and what doesn't. After you have mastered the fundamentals, such as what the heck is this photo about, then you can move on to taking photographs instinctively and reflexively! 😊

  • @rohitkorde The blur tool in the Instagram app is a little heavy handed for my taste. A little better are the tilt-shift and the center focus tools in Snapseed. Ultimately the best postprocessing effects for selective blurring will involve using masking tools such as what you find in Filterstorm, Photoforge, Blender, PhotoWizard and others. But that definitely gets into "advanced" topics. Generally, my advice for any postprocessing effect is to start out very subtle, until you learn how the tool really changes your image. Don't start out too heavy with any effect. It's like applying make-up: less is usually more.

  • Great contributions to your content forum today: I only wish people actually posted in their comments how they thought their photo applied to the tip. 😞

  • If your comment was a picture I wouldn't have a clue on what you're trying to say!!! Be thoughtful??? @richtatum

  • _smb4 5y ago

    Thanks for your knowledge..much appreciated

  • @blondiercf "Being thoughtful" is simply "putting thought into what you're doing." You objected earlier, saying that "You're putting way too much thought into why you're taking a photo." I'm simply saying that you have to put thought into photography in order to learn how to do it well, consistently, so that you can do it *without* thinking—reflexively.

    Thoughtless photography *can* produce great images – but usually by way of serendipity, not intention & planning (e.g., "thoughtfulness"). Though I may be wrong. I haven't interviewed the best photographers to know whether they think about what they're doing, or not. But I suspect the do know, and think about it—a lot.

  • @joshjohnson Hi, I just wanted to say I've been following you now for about 6 months and have enjoyed every forum, every tip and every picture you've posted. As I well know, I don't have nearly the experience or knowledge that you possess but I would really love to get there. I'm currently 17 and considering photographer as a possible major. Although I am rather discouraged by the route photography has been taking it still has not ruined my passion for it. Anyway, why am I writing this, well this is where it gets tough. It doesn't feel right to just come out and ask you to tell me what you think of my work but I really want to know if it's worth it for me to pursue it or simply let it remain a hobby. Thank you for even reading this and keep posting!

  • If folks have a problem with the iPhone as a "real" photographic platform please check out "The Art of iPhoneograhy" by Stephanie C. Roberts, she's a professional photographer and wrote this book for folks like us who want to produce good art with our iPhones. A lot of what @joshjohnson says is also found here with examples from start to finish, there's just not enough room here to show all that Josh explains.

  • Thank you for this

  • This picture is stunning and thank you for the tips - super helpful!

  • Thank you for sharing

  • So Pretty

  • @richtatum Thank you so much for the tips, I will try out those apps, giving utmost importance to keep the effects to a minimum. Taking pictures for me was primarily "for my eyes" only, up untill I became active on instagram. Browsing through the feeds of amazing artists, especially in #jj community, I felt that to put a picture forward and say what it says, it needs to be more appealing, more "sellable". Looking forward to learn more and take my amature skills to the next level. Thank you.

  • @rohitkorde Hack away! You afraid to go extreme so that you can learn. I do think subtlety wins very often, but very often, also, taking things turn Xtreme can produce results you did not expect – and this teaches you something. It teaches you not only about the app that you're using, and how it affects your images, but it also teaches you different ways of visualizing your images and what kind of effect you ultimately want to achieve with postprocessing. Some people are "purists," only editing for crop and composition. Other people are filter extremists who produce images barely recognizable from their genesis. Most fall somewhere in between. All of the approaches are valid in and of themselves, but if you go extreme, just be intentional about it and know that it's what you want to do. Usually, though, going extreme is too easy at first and can create an "overproduced" feel to an image. So I recommend subtlety until you master the controls, then push yourself to the extremes to your hearts desire. It's like learning to drive: you drive slow at first, until you master the basics and learn the reflexes, then you go faster. Fast drivers, of course, can drive slow – but inexperienced drivers are not advised to drive the Indy 500 until they have learned. :-)

  • That picture is so beautiful as you !! That is the best picture !!

  • Beautiful

  • @joshjohnson I am fairly new to instagram and am only just learning really how to use instagram. What is the 1 2 3 rule and how can I get more people to see/view my work. Please. I love your work and would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks.

  • Thanks for the tips! A great app for getting good depth of field is camera+! 😊

  • Pretty!

  • Beautiful

  • Pretty

More posts from this user

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One last feature to finish up today’s theme. A personal selection of mine from today’s #jj_forum_2085 tagged, “A Strange Perspective” themed, forum. Loved this crazy colorful image from @taralowryphotography. - @joshjohnson.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 23, 2017 3:37 AM (UTC)
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You don’t see a perspective like this one often do you! A personal selection of mine from today’s #jj_forum_2085 tagged, “A Strange Perspective” themed, forum. Loved this super strong image from @svengrundmann. Well done Sven!.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 23, 2017 2:22 AM (UTC)
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Good evening again everyone. Josh here. Here’s a feature from today’s #jj_forum_2085 tagged, “A Strange Perspective” themed, forum. Loved this adorable image from @meerkatharry.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 23, 2017 12:18 AM (UTC)
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Good evening everyone. Josh here. About to sit down with the fam for dinner but first here’s a quick feature from today’s #jj_forum_2085 tagged, “A Strange Perspective” themed, forum. Loved this unique angle on a classic summer scene from @mywitsend. This image was first featured by @jj_editor_nselmo.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 22, 2017 8:44 PM (UTC)
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Happy midweek, JJers! Talk about a unique perspective! This top-down perspective with its fantastic lines and curves is almost dizzying. I love these peekaboo elevators, too! Great shot, Ken! Huge thanks to Anarchy Page @jj_symmetry for the original highlight. Please stop by their galleries and show them some JJ love! Have a good one! @dodovo 🙋🏻



Congratulations to: @ipohboygoesplaces
Featured page: @jj_symmetry |#jj_symmetry
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Keep tagging #jj_forum_2085 and your favorite anarchy pages!
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Tap on the "Following" tab on top of the @jj_projectanarchy account to find the list of currently active pages!
User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 22, 2017 3:48 PM (UTC)
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“And those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music.”.
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― Friedrich Nietzsche.
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My favorite photographers are usually a little odd. They are the ones that make you smile after the photo walk is long over, remembering how they laid down in that alley, to get that one special angle. My favorite photographers do things that are a little weird. They are the ones that are UNDERNEATH the Eiffel Tower.
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Our tag is #jj_forum_2085. Our theme today is “Strange Perspectives”. Today’s prompt is about making an effort to see things from a different angle. Thanks to @edis_lense for submitting this image to @jj_symmetry and inspiring today’s theme.
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Shifting to a new perspective, one “strange” to us, is a skill that applies to all parts of life isn’t it? For those of you interested in chatting a bit, here’s a discussion topic for us today. Has your personal perspective on something ever changed drastically? How did the shift change how you live your life? Did it effect your relationships? Maybe you learned to love something you took for granted? Tell me a story about a perspective shift in your life. Let’s use that as a discussion point in the comments below. Give me an hour to jump in the shower and I’ll be back and share in the thread how being a dad has totally shifted my perspective. I’m sure lots of you can relate to that one.
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Thanks for joining in today guys! Can’t wait to see your pictures. - @joshjohnson.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 22, 2017 5:14 AM (UTC)
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It's @kevinkuster highlighting for our theme.
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Theme: Fall Colors
Tag #jj_forum_2084
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If birdwatching always look this wonderful I think you can be a past time I could see myself taking up. Great snap @mikaeltengner. Thanks to @jj_editor_heike.
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Keep scrolling #JJ community.
User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 22, 2017 2:34 AM (UTC)
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It's @kevinkuster highlighting for our theme.
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Theme: Fall Colors
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looks like a Rembrandt painting. Absolutely wonderful. Great snap @alisonfostersnapz. Thanks to @jj_editor_nselmo.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 21, 2017 8:54 PM (UTC)
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It's @kevinkuster highlighting for our theme.
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This photo stopped me in my tracks he moment I saw it. Bravo @jlazz447. Thanks to @jj_editor_elkunia.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 21, 2017 6:13 PM (UTC)
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Hello, JJers! Jackie @jaxkm2 here with a gorgeous feature for today’s “Fall Colors” theme. A stunning way to display a color of the season! Beautiful tones! Great job Stefan’s! A huge thanks to Anarchy page @jj_seasons for the original highlight. Please stop by their galleries and show them both some JJ love! •


Congratulations to: @stefano.emme
Featured page and tag: @jj_seasons / #jj_seasons
. •


Keep tagging #jj_forum_2084 and your favorite anarchy pages!
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Tap on the "Following" tab on top of the @jj_projectanarchy account to find the list of currently active pages!
User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 21, 2017 5:31 PM (UTC)
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It's @kevinkuster highlighting for our theme.
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Theme: Fall Colors
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I believe this might be the most fall looking pumpkin pie of all time. Photo by @dodovo. Thanks to @jj_editor_arashrimus_ .
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 21, 2017 4:01 PM (UTC)
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It's @kevinkuster announcing our theme.
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Theme: Fall Colors
Tag #jj_forum_2084
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I know winter is almost here but before old man winter hits and white blankets our doorstep, let’s celebrate falls colors! Shot this photo when I was in the Ozarks.
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Start submitting your photo and I will back to highlight soon.
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#JJ_EXPLAINED-.
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Are you new to the community? It’s not as confusing as it seems at first. :-). Here’s the deal.
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Every morning, NYC time, we make a post announcing our new theme and tag. Your job is to tag images that fit the theme. You can use shots you have already posted but we really love to see the theme inspire you to find new shots. The @jj_editors, @joshjohnson and I scour the tag and repost our favorite submissions through out the day. Over half a million people might see your pic! Pretty cool stuff.
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We are ALL about keeping things simple, but in the spirit of our motto, "Create to connect", we ask that you follow our only "rule". We call it the 1-2-3 rule. For every 1 image you tag, comment on 2 in the tag and like 3 others.
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Glad you're here. Can't wait to see your shots. Speak up if you have questions or comments. We like to think this is the friendliest place on the Internet.
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Keep scrolling #jj community and I will be back to highlights later @kevinkuster.
User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 21, 2017 3:57 AM (UTC)
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It's @kevinkuster highlighting for our theme.
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Theme: Weeks Best
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I believe this might be the most beautiful still life of a single flower that I have ever seen. Photo by @garrysolomon_photography. Thanks to @jj_editor_nselmo .
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 21, 2017 2:38 AM (UTC)
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Theme: Weeks Best
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Amazing colors to the beauty. Photo by @pxl8photography. Thanks to @jj_editor_debwazi @jj_editor_georgiak and @jj_editor_heike.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 20, 2017 11:33 PM (UTC)
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It's @kevinkuster highlighting for our theme.
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Nature can be so amazing to me at times. I love how these waves create such an interesting shape around this person. Photo by @mikapsg. Thanks to @jj_editor_elkunia.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 20, 2017 10:35 PM (UTC)
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Hello, JJ family! Doris @dodovo here with a feature for today’s “Best of Last Week” theme. Very impressive lines, shapes, and reflection in this photo of a building facade in Singapore. I’m in awe of how sharp and symmetrical the reflection is. Awesome shot, @boluddha! A huge thanks to Anarchy page @jj_geometry for the original highlight. Please stop by their galleries and show them both some JJ love! •


Congratulations to: @boluddha
Featured page and tag: @jj_geometry / #jj_geometry
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Keep tagging #jj_forum_2083 and your favorite anarchy pages!
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Tap on the "Following" tab on top of the @jj_projectanarchy account to find the list of currently active pages!
User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 20, 2017 5:48 PM (UTC)
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It's @kevinkuster highlighting for our theme.
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Theme: Weeks Best
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Radiant photo for today’s theme! Photo by @mister_31. Thanks to @jj_editor_georgiak.

I am gonna guess this was shot with a mobile device because of the great low perspectives. Mobile phones are wonderful for this approach. What are you guys think, mobile or DSL our camera? Put your vote in the comment below.

Keep scrolling #JJ community.
User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 20, 2017 2:07 PM (UTC)
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It's @kevinkuster announcing our theme.
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Theme: Best of Last Week
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Little change up in our schedule since Josh was on vacation and forgot to push our best of last week theme. So we don’t all miss out on seeing the great images you captured last week our theme for today is Weeks Best. This wonderful still life was capture by @house_of_revelry and submitted yesterday. She has also started a great hashtag you should check out call #houseofvintagecameras.
Keep scrolling #JJ community.
.
#JJ_EXPLAINED-.
.
Are you new to the community? It’s not as confusing as it seems at first. :-). Here’s the deal.
.
Every morning, NYC time, we make a post announcing our new theme and tag. Your job is to tag images that fit the theme. You can use shots you have already posted but we really love to see the theme inspire you to find new shots. The @jj_editors, @joshjohnson and I scour the tag and repost our favorite submissions through out the day. Over half a million people might see your pic! Pretty cool stuff.
.
We are ALL about keeping things simple, but in the spirit of our motto, "Create to connect", we ask that you follow our only "rule". We call it the 1-2-3 rule. For every 1 image you tag, comment on 2 in the tag and like 3 others.
.
Glad you're here. Can't wait to see your shots. Speak up if you have questions or comments. We like to think this is the friendliest place on the Internet.
.
Keep scrolling #jj community and I will be back to highlights later @kevinkuster.
User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 20, 2017 1:29 PM (UTC)
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Good morning guys! Hope your day’s off to a good start. @kevinkuster will be by soon with a, better late than never, “Week’s Best” theme for us. First though, here’s one last feature from Yesterday’s “We Are Family” theme. Simple and fun and powerful @dashasmolokom. Thanks for joining in. 🙂👍🏻. Loved your picture. - @joshjohnson.
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User Image jjcommunity Posted: Nov 20, 2017 5:54 AM (UTC)
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What a lovely moment captured by @kwholey. Thank you for sharing it with us. Keep the “Family” shots coming. I’ve got one more feature that I’ll do first thing in the morning. Our tag is #jj_forum_2082. - @joshjohnson.