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Art Gallery of Alberta interior Fisheye view

iPhoneography (the evolution of a phone into a camera)

I have to be honest iPhoneography has captured my attention. Why you ask? Well, I have a fond affinity for my iPhone and I really love photography. Therefore, iPhoneography must be the perfect marriage of the two, right? No. That’s not it at all. The reason iPhoneography has caught my attention is due to my camera phone being the capture device that is almost always with me. Then there is the plethora (and yes I know what a plethora is) of apps available to enhance the images I capture at the touch of the screen. Hmmm, this almost sounds like a Kodak ad “You push the button. We do the rest.” But I digress. I classify iPhoneography right up there with Canonography, Fujiography and Hasselbladography as a device used to create my concepts, as a painter would a brush. There, now that I got my wit (or lack there of) about the subject onto the table I can move forward. Because, no matter what the clever title concocted to describe the process of capturing light and shadow with a phone is, it remains photography and therefore needs to be explored.

So, as a budding iPhoneographer, where do I start? The simple answer was to get more gear. Doing some research I found the iPro Lens system by Schneider Optics and the Olloclip.

The Schneider iPro Lens system includes:

  • A Fisheye lens capturing a 165° field of view
  • A Wide Angle lens capturing 35% wider field of view than the standard iPhone view
  • A case
  • A handle/lens holder

The price $199.00 USD

The Olloclip quick-connect lens system includes:

  • A Fisheye lens capturing approximately a 180° field of view
  • A Wide Angle lens capturing approximately 50% wider field of view then the standard iPhone view
  • A Macro lens applying a 10x multiplier allowing focus withing 12-15mm of the subject

The price $69.95 + GST

I decided to begin my iPhoneography journey with the Olloclip. I based my decision on price and skepticism. Not skepticism for the product, but for the advantages of putting lenses on my camera phone. Would I really be excited by the results? Would it be better than just using apps to accomplish similar effects?

My initial response to the Olloclip was a negative one. Only because it didn’t fit over my iPhone case. Who carries their iPhone around without a case? Not me, not ever. I don’t know what I would do if I got a scuff or worse yet a scratch on my iPhone. I also didn’t want to remove the case every time I was going to take a picture. My solution was to remove my iPhone from the comfort and protection of its case and embrace the potential benefits of the Olloclip. I also purchased a new case for my iPhone (increasing the cost of using the Olloclip) and have since convinced myself that I’ve taken iPhoneography to the next level by introducing it to the camera case. On a side note, I understand why the creators of the Olloclip designed it this way and have learned to accept and forgive them for any scratches that may happen (oh and they have happened, but not from attaching the clip).

The results are pure fun. Fun because you cannot look at the image with the same discerning eye you would a non-iPhoneography image. You will just have to accept as I did there are minor flaws in each of the lenses. The Wide Angle lens being the worst offender of the three because the flaws are more recognizable to the eye. But remember, this is iPhoneography, all rules have been thrown out the window. No, some rules, well maybe a rule, oh something needs to be thrown out the window. Check out the images of the Art Gallery of Alberta interiors and detail of my iPhoneography camera case.

Fisheye Lens

Art Gallery of Alberta interior - Fisheye Lens

Art Gallery of Alberta interior – Fisheye Lens

Wide Angle Lens

Art Gallery of Alberta interior - Wide Angle Lens

Art Gallery of Alberta interior – Wide Angle Lens

Macro Lens

Detail of iPhoneography camera case with Macro Lens

Detail of iPhoneography camera case – Macro Lens


So, what is the verdict of  iPhoneography lens systems? Are they here for a good time, or a long time? Well if my first foray into this “new” world was indicative of anything, I would say it’s here for a good time and a long time. The Olloclip achieved results that were expected from lenses attached to a iPhone. Can I live with the distortions the lenses produce? Yes. Will the Olloclip replace gear for me? No. It will however enhance my iPhoneography allowing me to take fun and interesting snapshots with my iPhone. The Olloclip has allowed me to stand up proudly and say “I am an iPhoneographer” (come take a course from me on the subject and I will teach you how to push the button). Now for a little foreshadowing, I have already ordered another piece of gear and will most likely be testing the iPro lens system soon too. Oh and we can’t forget the newest offering from Adobe, Photoshop Touch for the iPad2. The images in this post were processed on my iPad2, using Photosync and Photoshop Touch. Hmmm next blog article? iPhoneography and iPad2 post processing (true mobile photography).

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