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Take Better Photos on Your iPhone Using the olloclip Photography Accessories

Jason R. Rich explains how to use the optional olloclip 3-in-1 lens, as well as the olloclip Telephoto & Circular Polarizing Filter Lens, in order to take better photos with your iPhone.
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The Camera app that comes preinstalled with iOS 7 has undergone a dramatic overhaul, giving it new features and functions that work with the recent iPhone models. In fact, iPhone 5S users will benefit when taking photos not just from the new features of the Camera app, but from the technology within their smartphone that enhances the capabilities of the device’s built-in camera lenses and rear-facing flash.

When taking photos with the Camera app, to zoom in on your intended subject, use a pinch finger motion on the iPhone’s screen (viewfinder). This causes the app’s Zoom Slider to appear. Then, place your finger on the yellow dot on the Zoom Slider, and drag it to the left or right to decrease or increase the digital zoom feature.

olloclip’s Telephoto Lens Doubles Your iPhone’s Zoom Capabilities

To literally double the zoom capabilities of your iPhone’s built-in lens, consider purchasing the optional olloclip Telephoto & Circular Polarizing Filter Lens ($99.99, www.olloclip.com). This tiny device (measuring 1.37 inches tall by 1.22 inches across by .78 inches wide, and weighs 0.7 ounces) clips onto the iPhone in seconds. It then offers two lenses that fit over the iPhone’s existing rear-facing lens to enhance its capabilities.

The telephoto lens doubles the zoom capabilities of the iPhone without compromising the clarity or vibrancy of the colors being captured in your shots. This lens will also help to add a sense of depth to your images.

When taking photos outdoors in natural daylight, flip the olloclip Telephoto & Circular Polarizing Filter Lens around so that the polarizing filter side of the lens is facing outwards. Your iPhone’s camera lens will benefit from utilizing a polarizing filter when capturing images. This polarizing filter will make the natural colors within your photo more vibrant, and it will enhance the detail within your images while dramatically reducing unwanted glares.

The olloclip Telephoto & Circular Polarizing Filter Lens is constructed using high-quality and durable aircraft-grade aluminum, as well as good quality optical glass. The unit itself easily fits in a pocket or purse when not in use. It snaps on and off the iPhone in seconds.

To help ensure that your smartphone is protected while in use whether or not an olloclip lens is attached, olloclip offers its optional Quick-Flip Case for the iPhone ($49.99). This hard shell case covers the entire device (with the exception of the screen), and includes a flip-cover that when opened allows you to snap on the olloclip lens. When the olloclip lens isn’t in use, the case protects your entire smartphone.

Two additional benefits offered by the olloclip Quick-Flip Case are that it has a built-in cold shoe mount and tripod mount, making it easy to add other optional accessories (such as a video light, microphone, and/or tripod) to your iPhone that can further enhance your picture-taking capabilities.

The olloclip 3-in-1 Lens

Sold separately from the olloclip Telephoto & Circular Polarizing Filter Lens and olloclip Quick-Flip Case is the original olloclip 3-In-1 Lens ($69.99). This tiny device also clips onto your iPhone and covers its built-in rear-facing lens in order to enhance its capabilities using any of three lens options that compliment the new shooting modes that the Camera app now offers.

The olloclip 3-in-1 lens includes a wide-angle lens, macro lens, and fish-eye lens. When you want to take shots of landscapes, cityscapes, or large groups of people, for example, without using the Pano (panoramic) shooting mode that’s built into the Camera app, use the wide-angle lens to double the frame size of the Camera app’s Photo shooting mode.

If you want to take extremely close-up shots of a subject or object, such as a flower or a bug, for example, use the macro lens that’s built into the olloclip 3-in-1 lens. It allows you to get within 12 to 15 millimeters from your subject and utilize a 10x multiplier lens to zoom in and capture extreme detail.

Or, if you want to create interesting visual effects, use the fish-eye lens to take the subject matter that would appear within a traditional rectangular frame of an image and give it a multi-dimensional and circular appearance. This lens captures a 180-degree field of view.

What’s nice about both olloclip lens accessories is that they work with virtually all third-party photography apps, in addition to the Camera app. Plus, they work when taking still images or when shooting video using the rear-facing camera that’s built into the iPhone.

In fact, for the olloclip 3-in-1 lens, olloclip offers a free olloclip app that’s available from the App Store. It was specifically designed to help users take more visually interesting photos with this iPhone camera accessory.

Keep in mind that several versions of the olloclip Telephoto & Circular Polarizing Filter Lens and olloclip 3-in-1 lens (which are sold separately) are available. Choose the one specifically designed for your iPhone 4/4S or iPhone 5/5S model. When not in use, be sure to take advantage of the lens covers and storage pouch that comes with each olloclip lens in order to keep the lenses clean and scratch-free.

The olloclip Lens Accessories Have a Few Drawbacks, But Are Still Very Worthwhile

While the olloclip lens accessories can help you instantly enhance your photos, the two devices each have drawbacks. First, when an olloclip lens is attached to your iPhone, a portion of it covers the camera selection icon within the Camera app, so it’s necessary to select the rear-facing camera before attaching this accessory.

Second, the olloclip covers the iPhone’s built-in flash and is not designed to function using the flash. Thus, it works best outside in natural sunlight or indoors when there is ample ambient light. When using either olloclip accessory in low-light situations, holding the phone still when snapping photos is even more important. Using the Camera app’s HDR mode also helps to enhance photos taken in low light with or without an olloclip.

Third, the olloclip is made to fit the various iPhone models perfectly and attaches securely onto the smartphone. As a result, if you have a protective film over your iPhone’s screen, even the few millimeters of additional thickness this film adds will hamper your ability to attach and detach the olloclip from your smartphone without potentially ruining the protective film.

Final Thoughts

Instead of using a stand-alone point-and-shoot digital camera, the digital camera that’s built into your iPhone is more than adequate when it comes to photographing people, places, and events in your life as they happen. However, when you use the optional olloclip lenses with your iPhone, you’re given even greater flexibility and control as you use your creativity to capture the world around you in more visually interesting and expressive ways.

All of the olloclip photography accessories are available from the company’s website, as well as from Apple stores, Apple.com, Best Buy, and many other retailers that sell iPhone accessories.

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