Friday, April 11, 2014

A Guide to iPhoneography

Photography is my favourite hobby 
but tagging along your DSLR on every single trip just isn't going to happen (or be practical at all) 
Phones work alright for those quick snap moments, right? 

But a phone can take you only so far so... I decided to take it up a notch and buy some iPhone lenses from Photojojo!*

I picked up the Sampler Pack ($49), but they have a wide variety of lenses such as clip-on lenses, jelly lenses... all kinds of photography stuff you can find useful! I am not at that level of photography expertise yet, but I've been eyeing up the Instax Mini 8 camera for some time now...

(* I bought the lenses with my own money and this isn't a post Photojojo paid me to write! Actually, there are many more phone lens options out there such as Olloclip and Moment)

Let's compare my regular iPhone camera with camera + lenses!

Here's my photo subject, a weird miniature I had lying around:

Taken with: regular iPhone 4 camera

Taken with: Wide Angle lens

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the Wide Angle lens. You can see a bit more of the surroundings, but take into account that the first picture was cropped. It's supposed to be great for landscapes, but I have to admit I didn't notice a huge difference when I used it.

But, the great thing about the WA lens is that... the Macro lens is part of it and you unscrew it to achieve really close-up pictures. The Macro lens is one of my favourites (2nd after the Fisheye!) and it's really fun to play around with. Check these out:

Taken with: Macro lens

I just cannot not use this lens when I have a flower nearby.
(It just makes anything interesting, really!)

Both taken with: Fisheye lens

My #1 favourite lens is the Fisheye: 180º of perfect photography and detail. It takes the most fun pictures and it's the best one for portraits!

My compact camera also has a fisheye mode... will it look as good? Here you can see a comparison of the two: fisheye lens + phone and fisheye mode on my compact.

Taken: a) phone + Fisheye lens  b) camera + fisheye mode

As you can see, my camera takes better resolution pictures, but the fisheye mode is definitely not it's forte. It deforms the picture, whilst the Fisheye lens on my phone makes it look analog/old school sort of picture.
Here's an example of using it to photograph people!

And last (and definitely least in my books) is the Polarizer lens. This might be my lack of knowledge, but I still haven't been able to figure how this one works exactly. I know that using it in a direct source of light, it makes everything clear while a regular camera would pick up the sun rays... 
but otherwise, I don't know what use I could put it to (any ideas?)

Taken with: Polarizer lens

The picture taken with the regular phone camera was almost the same, although the colours do appear to be more vibrant. However, I don't think I'd purchase this one on its own.


Although lenses are pretty great, I think most iphoneographers (I'm owning this word) started with apps such as Instagram and right now most of us use one or two apps to edit our pictures before putting them out into the world! 
I'm just going to quickly mention the ones I use almost daily: 
  • Afterlight is pretty great and has a great variety of settings, filters, etc. Make your pictures as dreamy, vibrant, dark... the sky is the limit! - $0,99 (worth it!)
  • Pixlr Express+ is one of my latest discoveries and I'm truly addicted. You can edit things like blurriness and other options that Afterlight doesn't have. It has lots of filters although you need to be careful because they tend to go quite strong, which is why I usually edit blurriness and sharpness with this app and then go to Afterlight for filters. - FREE.
  • ABM (A Beautiful Mess): this app has very cute and pretty add-ons for the pictures, such as stickers, frames.. and some filters too. - $0,99 (not 100% necessary)


Do you use any special features/apps to take pictures on your phone? Do you prefer compact cameras or DSLR to phones when on-the-go? Any photography secret or tip you'd like to offer?

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