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Wayne Kawamoto

IPhone Magic: Trick Photography

By September 3, 2011

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Until now, I have yet to see an iPhone magic trick that I wanted to perform. But "Trick Photography," by Steve Gore, is quite good. I discussed why I was unimpressed with iPhone magic tricks and had no intention of performing them in my gigs in an earlier article. But "Trick Photography" may be lightening my stance.

To start, and unlike most iPhone effects, the five tricks explained on the disc do not involve a downloaded iPhone app, but simply use the phone's built-in camera functions. What's truly impressive is that you can perform the trick using a borrowed iPhone.

The main trick, Stick Em up, exemplifies the basic concept and method behind "Trick Photography." First you have an item, say a playing card, signed by a spectator and then take a picture of it in the spectator's hand using the iPhone's camera. You then cause the object to vanish via some means. You return to the iPhone and show the picture of the spectator's hand holding the object. You then cause the actual object to appear and the picture on the iPhone simply shows the spectator's empty hand. It almost appears as if you are pulling the object right from the screen - an impressive effect.

In "Stick Em up," a playing card is ripped in two and one piece is given to the spectator as a "receipt." A sticker is stuck on the back of the playing card and the name of the card is written on the it. At the end, after producing the partial playing card, the spectator can match the "receipt" to it and verify that it is the original piece. I need to add that there's a visual aspect of vanishing the playing card that employs a second effect where writing on the label vanishes.

Gone with the Force is quite similar to "Stick Em Up" but employs envelopes to cause the vanish and the writing is not on a sticker but on the envelope itself. There's one more effect that employs a playing card; as well as another for a signed bill, banknote, credit card or driving license; and still another that employs business cards.

The kit comes with the instructional DVD; envelopes; blank playing cards (bicycle), which are used in "Stick Em Up;" labels and a pen. The instruction on the DVD is thorough and easy to follow.

You could perform this one for strolling, but it does require that you carry several additional props. For this reason, I think it's best for a formal close-up show, or situations where you're prepared to perform a few tricks for friends in a casual setting.

In all, "Trick Photography" is a well thought, complete concept that can result in some powerful and baffling magic. It's the best magic trick that I've seen for an iPhone and the first that I might actually consider performing for my close-up spectators (although I'll use my own iPhone as I really don't want to handle someone else's).

More Reading:
Why iPhone Magic is Lacking
iPhone for Magic
iPhone and iTouch Magic Tricks
Reader Stories: Tell us about your favorite iPhone Magic Tricks and Apps


September 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm
(1) Tommy Johns says:

Who makes it? (You really should have given credit, IMHO.) And where is it available. I like the way you review, but this is pretty crucial info.


September 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm
(2) Chris Koenig says:

I agree with Tommy.

September 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm
(3) Wayne Kawamoto says:

If you google “trick photography steve gore,” you’ll find several major magic vendors that have the title for sale. Also, your local magic dealer should be able to order the title as it’s distributed by the largest magic wholesaler, Murphy’s.

September 7, 2011 at 4:52 am
(4) Steve Gore says:

Thanks for the great review :-)

September 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm
(5) Tommy says:

I know how to use Google. You failed to even mention Steve’s name in the article. Now that I know WHO I can find where.

Keep up the good work. I have come to expect a lot from your writing. That’s the only reason I even bring it up.

September 8, 2011 at 2:47 am
(6) magic says:

I somehow neglected to include Steve Gore’s name with the product. My mistake. I can imagine trying to Google this product with just “trick photography.” One would never find it.

Thanks for taking the time to write and the feedback. I hope that the information that I provide continues to be timely and relevant to magicians.


September 13, 2011 at 6:34 am
(7) Tommy Johns says:

I really do enjoy your column. Keep up the good work!


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