Phoneography


Kendrick Lake, CO.  Taken with the One Plus 3 Phone Standard Lens

Phone photography, iphoneography, phoneography, mobile photography whatever you want to call it has been a huge movement since phones where able to take photographs. They are becoming more advanced every year allowing amateur photographers to easily take creative control of their photographs and enter the world of photography as professional phoneographers.  These photographers are entering art shows, showing their work with the online community and even photographing wedding and events that were originally left for the DSLR photographers.  As someone trained in event and traditional photography, I feel that I should be turning my head and laughing at these photographers.  However, being an artist first, I am the opposite and I  am fascinated with this movement and I want to be part of it.  I want to know everything about phoneography and how I can connect it to my DSLR world.

I have been taking photographs with my phone since my phone was able to take a decent photograph. However, I always gravitated back to my DSLR if I actually wanted the photograph to be presentable or to keep for the long term.  The photographs that I took at that time, I usually took no consideration into how they looked or if they ever survived. I posted them to Myspace and Facebook to be viewed by the world. These photographs were often blurry, had terrible composition, and at times embarrassing.  I like to think of them as being a foggy drunk memory of what was.  I do not have a MySpace anymore, and fortunately I cannot peek at those photographs, however, I do still have a Facebook and can glace back to at least 2008 and see the awful photographs I thought I should post on social media .
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Hiking Green Mountain with Franky, May 2008.   
In 2012, while teaching macro photography, I wanted to find  photographers who used other formats  than DSLR cameras. I was mostly looking for artist who used point shoot camera, however, I came across a large group of artist called iphoneographers. I was amazed at these photographs and what these photographers could do with an iphone.  I was shocked when I discovered that there where lenses made specifically for the iphone.  How adorable! There was strong attraction to me to not have to carry two devices but to have everything in my hand.  I love the idea!   I have always owned an android, and began to look for lenses that I could attach to my phone.  At that time, there where not many choices as with the iphone. After some research, I discovered Photojojo, and was able to find a telephoto lens, macro and wide angle. I was thrilled to have these new phone lenses and begin experimenting.

  I played with the lenses for a while but continued with mostly using my DLSR for my professional side and only using the lenses in class for the students to play with.  Eventually, as time went by I began to forget about the lenses until this year.  After upgrading my phone to a One Plus 3, which has an amazing camera.  I decided to get back into the phoneography world and really embrace it this time around.  After upgrading with some new phone lenses (Super Fisheye, Fisheye, Telephoto, Macro, Super Macro and an adorable tripod), I began to experiment. Here are some photos, and there will be more to come.  I will have more fun phoneography facts and images in the future as I experiment and get to know this new movement!


This was taken in Windsor, CO during a wedding.  I still cannot get over how perfect the sunset was.  This photograph was taken with the standard camera phone lens.  This photograph is a reference for what my phone can do without lenses.
This photograph of my dog Mr. Wiggles was taken with the Super Fisheye phone lens.  I think that it did a good job, however, with this lens this was the best photograph I was able to get.  The reduction of quality goes down once the lens is added, which was to be expected.  The lens was heavy and sometimes fell off my phone! I lost detail around the outer part of the images and the colors seemed a little dull, that is why I changed it to black and white. I think with some experimentation, this lens could be fun to play with.



The regular Fisheye lens is much lighter than the Super Fisheye.  I can see using this one more just because it is not as heavy on my phone making it a little easier to use.  It does not get as wide around, but really who is going to notice?

The Telephoto lens did a decent job.  I will need to compare it to the camera's zoom in lens to really get a feeling of this lenses limitations.  The only issue I had was the lens did not seem to be on my camera correctly and there is vignetting around the images.


I probably could of got the same result using my zoom setting as I would of using the Macro lens.  It was still fun to play with and I will need to experiment more with what I can do with it.  But as for duplicating my DSLR Macro work, it has a ways to go.


This photograph of  water droplets on a pedal is not my favorite.  I had high expectation for the Super Macro lens.  This is my area of specialty, so I was excited. I chose to put it in black and white because the colors did no justification for the photograph.  I wanted to highlight the water droplets, and normally with my DSLR, I can easily keep the color and droplets on a similar level of quality but this lens faded out the colors so much it lost all interest value.  Putting it in black and white at least added some interest back into the photograph.  I think I will need to experiment more with this lens and see if I can get better results.
For the first time playing with phone lenses on a more serious level I was a bit disappointed with the result.  In retrospect, I should of known that the quality of lenses would not be the same as my professional DLSR lens.  These are still a lot of fun to play with and I think eventually I will be able to get photographs that could join my professional work.  I will need to keep experimenting and see what happens.

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