I love using my iPhone camera because it is always with me. The camera that you have with you is the one you will use. And in some cases I don’t want to lug around my DSLR camera and lenses.
I usually capture around 3500+ photos on my iphone each year. That still doesn’t get close to the 20,000+ images I capture with my DSLR each year but it isn’t an insignificant amount.
One of the photos I captured with my iPhone this year (in Phnom Penh, Cambodia).
About a year and a half ago, two friends of mine, Keri-Lee Beasley and Jabiz Raisdana convinced me to finally join Instagram. I was hesitant because I felt that Instagram was a place where people used filters to try to make their bad photographs better. I was wrong. Keri-Lee and Jabiz showed me that Instagram could be whatever I wanted it to be. I could define it for myself. So I decided that I wanted it to be a place where I could share some of my favourite photos that I captured with my iPhone. So I joined Instagram and I have really enjoyed the community. I love to be able to share my images and see people’s images from around the world.
A bird’s eye view of a bicyclist in Beijing, China in the bike lane.
One thing about capturing images with your phone is that you are limited to the focal length of the lens in the phone. The iPhone lens is equivalent to the field of view of a 30mm lens on a DSLR camera.
There are accessories that one can get for the lens. One of the first accessories I got was an Olloclip. In my opinion, Olloclip is at the forefront of iPhone lens photography. They have 2-in-1, 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 lenses. Some of the lens options include fisheye, macro, super macro, wide angle, telephoto, and circular polarizer. I love my Olloclip and use the macro lens most often and sometimes the fisheye lens.
The Macro lens of an Olloclip allows you to capture amazing details with your iPhone. Pictures like this one of a bee are why the macro lens is my most used accessory for my iPhone.
An example of the fisheye lens. Because of the properties of the lens, there is distortion in the image. The red in the image are the backs of chairs. The iPhone was pointed upwards towards the glass panelled ceiling of the building.
So I use my iPhone camera to document the things that other people might just pass by and not give a second look. Most of the images I capture with my phone are small details or images captured from different perspectives. I almost exclusively use an app called Snapseed to edit my images although I also sometimes use the apps After Focus and Color Splash.
But one thing that the iPhone doesn’t do really well is capture close portraits. This isn’t because of the quality of the lens in the iPhone, it is because of the focal length of the camera in the iPhone. As I mentioned before, the iPhone camera is equivalent to about a 30mm DSLR camera. I wouldn’t want to use a DSLR camera with a 30mm lens to capture close portraits of people because of the distortion that focal length of lens has.
So the solution is the Olloclip 2x telephoto lens. This makes the 30mm iPhone lens into a 60mm lens which is much better for portraits of people. If Olloclip (or someone else) would make a 3x telephoto zoom changing the focal length of the iPhone into a 90mm lens then that might just well be the perfect iPhone portrait lens.
The Olloclip 2x telephoto lens on an iPhone 5. *This is a 2-in-1 lens with a circular polarizer on the opposite side
(Photo credit: Keri-Lee Beasley)
Take a look at the sample portraits. The first is captured with an iPhone without anything attached. The second is with the Olloclip 2x telephoto lens.
(Photo credits: Keri-Lee Beasley)
To capture the images so I would be roughly the same size in each image, the photographer had to move further away from me for the second image.
Notice how wide my face looks in the first image – it is especially apparent in my forehead and cheekbones. My face almost looks like it has been pulled forward. There is a reason we don’t use wide angle lenses for portraits! The second image is much more flattering and more closely represents what people look like.
If you like to capture portraits of people with your phone, I would highly recommend looking into a telephoto lens like the Olloclip. I would also highly recommend looking into the other lenses in the Olloclip lineup – especially the macro lenses that can bring you into a whole new world of photography.