Olloclip

Picture it: you have an iPhone 5 (or 5S or 4/4S), and you see something you’d like to photograph. It takes pretty decent pictures on its own, especially when you deploy the HDR function, like this one that was taken at the Pali lookout.
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If you want to zoom, you certainly can, as the iPhone’s camera does have a digital zoom function built into it. But what happens if you’re too close to get everything into the frame?

One option that you have is to take a panoramic photo (available on the 4S and later) which is something that makes awesome photos, such as this one at Makapu’u Lookout.

20131208-104049.jpgBut a panorama is only useful in certain situations, such as the view from a lookout, or if what you’re looking at is a longer area, like the scene when the panorama was introduced – a long line of kids.

Another option is to take a bunch of photos and stitch them together, but as I can attest to, having done it in the past, this is a pain in the neck, and you just cannot get the photos to all line up correctly.

The good news is that there is a third option – one that will require a small investment (about $60), but one that will go a long way to giving you many different options to take photos with your phone. That option is to use the Olloclip.

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Beedoo turned me onto the Olloclip via a blog post that she found – The Husband Gifts me With Photographs – which introduced the item via a set of photos that were taken with the writer’s husband’s iPhone. My response was as follows –

That. Is. Awesome.

So, about a month later, I found myself at Best Buy and walked out of there with the Olloclip in hand – and no money out of pocket, thanks to gift cards that I had accumulated and Best Buy gift certificates that I got from buying my new iPhone from them ๐Ÿ™‚

When I had bought the Olloclip, they only had the 3-in-1 option available. Now, there are a variety of options, including a telephoto lens, which allows you to zoom optically instead of digitally, allowing you to retain the overall quality of the photo.

In my case, the lens that I use the most is the fisheye lens (the large one on the left above). It creates a different perspective on everything, as you can see here, when you catch a glimpse of the wall of gems visible at Sedona in Ward Centre –

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Oh, and that’s just one wall of gemstones. There’s a whole display that was behind me, which held a whole lot more gems and stones, including one that I did wind up buying, but that will be a story for a different time ๐Ÿ˜‰

On the other side of the housing is the dual wide-angle (which I don’t seem to have used at all during my trip) and macro lenses. In order to use the macro, you have to unscrew the wide-angle off of the housing. The macro lens that I have on my Olloclip is great when you can get within 1cm of what you are photographing, which can give you this result, as I also took in Sedona –

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This is simply a photo that you can not take with the original lens that is included with your iPhone. The only caution that you need to be aware of is to be sure that the flash is turned off. While you can see the flash firing, the Olloclip covers most of it, causing uneven lighting on your photos. Also, if you use a cover for your phone (as I do), you do need to remove it each time that you use the Olloclip, as it is designed to fit right over the phone unencumbered by covers.

If you have an iPhone, the Olloclip is a great investment to make if you’re into photography. Prices start at $69.99, and you canย order online here, where you can also purchase covers for your phone that allow a quick access for the Olloclip without having to remove the cover altogether.

If you’re travelling, you can also buy the Olloclip at most Best Buy stores, and even more conveniently, at Best Buy Express kiosks located in most major airports including Honolulu, where there are 4! There are also kiosks in the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Sheraton Waikiki. What’s more awesome about the kiosks is that the price you pay there? It’s the same price you pay at the store, with no “airport markup” that causes you to pay $7 for a 6-inch sub ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rainbows over Honolulu

bows1This was the view that greeted me on my first morning in Honolulu, after a rain shower had passed through town. Here on the mainland, it’s pretty rare to see a rainbow, and even more rare to see a double rainbow.

Either Hawaii’s special, or there’s a lot of leprechauns and gold pots on the islands ๐Ÿ™‚