Tag Archives: Olloclip

Odd views of the world. A bit more on phone photography.


The iPhone is more than a phone for me… In fact I rarely use it as such. Instead it has, for a long while, been my primary method of creating images, initially drawn and now photographed.

The iPad (and a range of tablets including the Hudl, Surface, Galaxy Tab, a variety of Dell, Lenovo and Asus tablets and so on) is currently my go-to painting and drawing device because of the increased screen real estate – something that I remember not being convinced about when I imported my very first iPad. But then, somehow, the larger screens became the ones I picked up most to do a painting and the Phone… well, it didn’t languish, but the drawn images became fewer and further between. I still draw on the small screen but those pictures are rarer.


Stylus T says Ribbet, for example, was drawn on my phone a couple of days after I’d come back from a lovely holiday while I was going through my pics.

And therein lies the rub: what I love about the iPhone is the camera. The Lumia‘s might have better glass but the iPhone, currently, has the better apps and the quicker pedal to metal. The Galaxy S4 was awful in this respect and I took far more blurry photo than I would have liked with that phone which, apart from that one pitfall, I liked loads. All of the pics in this blog and this blog were taken with the iPhone… Its my go to photography device 99% of the time and with the addition of an Olloclip it becomes even more fun:

Pink Marshmallow.

White Marshmallow

Chin Chin and Green Grass.

As you can probably guess I’m extremely fond of Autostitch, Boinx’ You Gotta See This app (which, while brilliant, is VERY MUCH in need of an update) and Olloclip’s in general. I’ve mentioned it before but I was utterly heartbroken when one of my two Ollo’s bit the dust 🙁

’nuff said.

I’ve written about Phoneography before, and no doubt will again ((although you’d be far better served by checking out the work of the very wonderful Nettie ‘Lumilyon’ Edwards who takes mobile phone photography very much to a higher level)). My mind is already moving towards the likely September 6th announcement of a new iPhone (although I will have an eye very firmly pointed to the keynote at IFA for the Samsung Note 4 – which is a fabulous phone. I love the S-Pen integration very much) but, with both announcements, it’ll be the camera that I’ll be most interested in seeing the evolution to come…

Painting at the Gadget Show Live.

A year ago (and a week, last years setup started on April the 1st) I was doing this:

This year? Well. There was a lot of talk about doing a stand again, and the students and I were certainly keen… But with some tech problems hampering student output, with an EQR just before and another to go back to, not to mention the dreaded O word coming up soon (and in ed that only means one thing) it just couldn’t be worked into the calendar. Very sad but the stress levels are high enough at the moment, ta.

So instead a friend and I went up to do the show together (to just, you know, walk a show floor without being in charge of 40 students and 20 screens for people to draw on 🙂 ) and excellent fun it was (and is, being on until Saturday I believe).

Too much to blather on about now but I shot a lot of video, which I’ll edit when time allows (but soon I hope) and I’ve got a pile of marking I’ve got to get to at some point. But here are some of the bits I enjoyed most. You know they’re going to be about screen art before you scroll down though, right?

I bought an Olloclip! Well. I bought my third Olloclip (having had a 4S version, a 5S version and now a multi macro version 🙂 ) Expect more macros. Here are a couple of 21 x shots of a 3d printed selfie 🙂


((ironically the above pic is my favourite of the 3d Selfies… Less in focus* but something about it makes me smile.. *the less in focus is more to do with the fact that I took the pic on the train from Watford to London Euston 🙂 ))

So, yes, that also meant I was 3d scanned and printed 🙂


I drew on little screens (a Nokia 1320 and another one but can’t remember what number it was…)


Less little screens (Lenovo 7 inch Windows tablet):


and bigger machines (Dell Venue 11 tablet):


Slightly bigger desktop screens (HP desktop):


…and bigger than that screens:


… and bigger than that screens 🙂


In short? Lots of fun 🙂 Drew quite a few Stylus T. Frogs and Marmite jars, chatted to loads of people, including a few friends from other trade shows and last years Gadg-a-stravaganza and did a lot of demo-ing a range of styli on a range of screens ‘cos I’m more than happy to multi task and chat when someone asks me a question…

Now my feet hurt so I’m sitting and blogging and drinking a cup of coffee 🙂 and, in my mind, I’m sort of planning next years stand, really hoping we do one.

And finishing up with the obligatory Olloclip picture of my lunch:

Macro Sushi seaweed. Yum 🙂

Back at the Labs, again :)


Last night was a very lovely meet up in London with a brain trust of tech cleverness over a curry with a mate called Nick who’s building something brilliant. How’s that for an intro sentence 🙂

I’m not overly sure whether it was an unannounced public shenanigan day but Nick and I didn’t have a single part of our journey (well, one train was OK) that wasn’t spoiled by a drunken mess of noise and confusion. Odd. I’ve done London trips a good few times on a Friday/Saturday night but don’t remember one as messy (and vaguely unsettling) as this one. Actually it started with a couple of nitwits shouting and V signing us as we walked into town and stayed at that level of intelligence until we reached out destination. An odd Saturday night all told.

(Raspberry sun spot).

Regardless: London means one thing and the one thing is Chin Chin Labs in Camden Market. We were there to pick up something but you can’t not have the special while in the shop 🙂 Nick had a Brownwich (two chocolate coookies with vanilla ice cream that looked ultra yum) and I had one of the two specials (Cream Cheese, Red Velvet and Grilled White Chocolate the other being Cherry Fizz which I was also sorely tempted by). Possibly the best one I’ve had from there, although I tend to say that a lot. Mmmm mmm Mmmm.

(the happy moment when the ice cream is there).

I’ve done a number of Chin Chin Labs inspired pics in the past (and these are just the ones that’re tagged, must get in there and fix some more sometime when I have free time (hahaha). It’s very much one of my favourite zone places on the planet to work. Such a shame they don’t have a shop in Guildford… But at least Camden’s not toooo far away.

Pics taken on iPhone 5S using my trusty Olloclip.

Talking ’bout the Macro’lution…

I count myself very lucky to be in this strange, lovely world of artwork being made on portable screens. It’s fabulous to be involved in the growth of a medium that changes and evolves so rapidly.

On that subject I was with a clutch of the family earlier and, in the room we sat and chatted happily in, there was a vase of roses that Granpa had bought for Granma.  So I took a ‘few’ macro and fisheye shots (see >>here<<) with a couple of my macro lenses – which then prompted a discussion on which was best, which cost more and so on.

So, here are the three that I’m most fond of:


The Olloclip is a wonderful piece of kit – a serious, machine tooled 3 in 1 lens that perfectly encapsulates the phone it sits on, even going so far as to rotate happily away from the power button that it could so easily hide. The above one is the 4/4S Oclip photographed by the 5/5S clip 🙂

You can buy the Olloclip from a range of shops, Amazon for example, which tells me there’s an updated version which has 2 Macro settings. Nuts, I know what I’d have asked for my birthday!

((slight edit: in the end I met up with and said hallo to Team Olloclip at the Gadget Show Live and bought a 3 setting Macro lens and case. Very happy with it and looking forward to more macros coming up 🙂 ))


The Astro-Media clip – a fabulous cardboard cut out and stick together macro lens that (sadly) is only for iPhone 4/4S at the moment (although it does for the most part fit the 5/5S just a little less snugly than it does the 4). It’s cheap as chips though and the sense of accomplishment from taking photos with a lens you constructed is very cool indeed.

You can buy it >>here<<


This is a rubber, almost lego brick sized lens which has suckers that you attach to the phone. It fitted the Galaxy S4 more snugly but, just about, fits on the iPhone. I like it a lot, primarily because my wife and daughter bought me one each for Christmas, unaware that the other was buying one, and both bought me a different type of lens (wife bought me a fisheye lens and daught a macro). Again fairly cheap – a £3 stocking filler at the time – and works very well for the money (although it’s harder to find online. Here’s one though).

Why attach a lens to a camera phone? Well, it adds to the options and allows for experimentation of image making. Which is part of the fun of the game…

Lurve.

(iPhone 5s + Olloclip fisheye).

Well. Related imagery anyhow…

Youth group last night* was loads of fun (apart from losing at the football 12-6 🙁 )

*Have I mentioned about co-leading a youth group for, now, 20 years on a Friday night. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of although I have been walking into it in an increasingly dog tired state this year and some changes are a-coming to try and help that situation.

Anyhoo: I normally do the football room and wifey normally leads the craft room and we have a team of 7 excellent helpers doing the do, too. Last night, halfway through the football, we had a tuck shop break and I sat down/vaguely collapsed in a chair in the craft room and chatted to the kids there who were making decorated love hearts in anticipation of Valentine’s day next week (there were other things to make as well but they’re all at an age where that’s the most popular thing to make).

Somehow I ended up taking a couple of photos and, after group, I spent time editing one in the very lovely iPhone art app ArtRage. Hence this:


(ArtRage, iPhone 5S, no stylus).

Also photographed a Strawberry Chocolate love heart. Which are yum 🙂

(might have had a smidge of Snapseed on the colours 😉 plus Ollocip on iPhone 5S).

 

 

 

I:heart:ko, dragon skin and detailed notes.

Where to start?

I like technology (you may have noticed). I like using tech creatively and, every so often, not for the purpose it was intended.

I also like listening to podcasts, more often than not about technology, and some names make me happy to see on the list of show contributors. High up on the list, probably higher than anyone, is Andy Ihnatko, who has a melodious voice and a collection of stories that never seem to end but only in the best way. He has an easy and generous laugh and fequently seems to bring a healthy dose of joy to whatever subject he talks about. Which is all very good.

Today, for a change, I was photographing a (sadly) slain dragon using my iPhone 5S and Olloclip while listening to the Ihnatko Almanac podcast. Listening to Andy talk about cameras and tech and Ansel Adams and all sorts meant that, for a very lovely 20 minutes before work, all was right in the world. Except for the dragon, who had been slain.

Since you may not believe me about the dragon here are some pictures of its skin. I also had a marvelous morning teaching… Some days things just click and the students and I move forwards in a hugely exciting way. I really can’t wait to see the outcomes of this final project.

Following this I rounded the day off with the use of my trusty Adonit Jot Script to make detailed to-do notes in Penultimate app, while listening to Lady Gaga.

(penultimate app on iPad 3).

All in all, just your average Tuesday really… Barely worth the bloggage I suspect some would say.

(OK, ok. I confess. The pictures may have been macro shots of the sap from a fallen tree during the recent storms. But that’s only may. They MAY have been from a slain dragon and that’s the story I’m sticking to. They definitely are not from any sort of revolting food which has been suggested to me as an alternative. I may have, in the past, been known for taking photos of grill pans etc but in this case the truth is either sap from a tree or a slain dragon. Take your pick).

Let’s Hudl again shall we?


So, let’s have a coffee break and chat on things Hudl related shall we?

First off – no favouritism and I haven’t been bought off*… I was starting up a youngsters tablet art class and needed 10 tablets. In the event the budget was limited and the max I could get was 7 Hudl’s, on launch day, at 7am after 5 days of 15 hour days for Eurogamer.

But, oh boy, they’re fab. I wasn’t expecting to like them as much as I do. The screen is very sound with good viewing angles and a lovely handling of colour and contrast (unlike some tablets I could point to which BURN YOUR EYES OUT WITH OVER-SATURATED COLOURS!!!)

Then there’s the physical size etc. The bezel is a good ratio although the screen is a little bit off the perfect golden ratio size of some other tablets. Once slapped inside (sorry, gently placed) a protective case it’s got a good feeling of solidity, weight and maturity – there’s very little in the way of rough edges and corners and my only complaint might be that the micro SD card slot is unprotected. Possibly the machine is a little heavy, maybe, but not overwhelmingly so and for the price by no means a brick either. To be honest I’ve drawn for an hour in a pub and on a bus with a Hudl and didn’t notice fatigue from the time spent holding it… It is a bit thicker than other tablets, a fraction, bearing a smidge of a reminder to the iPhone 3GS and the curved stylings more than, say, the squarer and blockier stylings of the Surface or iPhone 4/5 etc. It doesn’t have the beautiful stylings of the Lumias (and I am VERY interested in the 2520 as a device) but by the same token it isn’t in any way an ugly or old fashioned looking tablet. Why didn’t I choose a Kindle Fire HD instead? Well… To be honest that does feel like an older fashioned device to me – something about it feels unfriendly. Factor in the fact that, while the Hudl has a – at best functional – camera (whereas the Kindle Fire does not) and that the Hudl runs on stock Android to the Kindle’s Argos catalog OS it didn’t seem like a sensible trade off.

Regardless, as a tablet artist, it’s the screen and how it works with the styli that I’m most concerned about. Well, maybe processor speed versus art app functionality too. And in this case it’s, again, way up there. The normal test styli (the New Trent, Dagi, Pogo et al) all passed with flying colours and then I moved onto the bogey stylus for any tablet screen (and the curse of the worst): the Nomad Compose long hair stylus.

(photo taken using iPhone 4S and Olloclip).

Depending on the screen this stylus can jitter or intermittently lose connection (and thus become useless) and, to my surprise, there was none of the former and very little of the latter.

So, a perfect machine for a screen artist? Well, we’re still, in ways, at the infancy of the Android app store – I can only point to four or five stable art apps that I like on the platform and half a dozen others that do the business, just.

But the apps that it does run it runs very capably indeed. Photoshop Touch, Didlr, Sketchbook, Watercolor Pencil all fly on the system and are a joy to draw on and, again, I am coming at this from an unusual and specialist angle. I keep hearing good things about Blinkbox and all of the normal apps: Chrome, Youtube et al run as happily on the machine as they do on other tablets.

So, have had the tablets for a couple of weeks now, haven’t had that much time but still painted a few pics for the sheer joy of using the tablet with an art app:

Adobe Photoshop Touch.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Didlr app.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

So. A good machine for buying to let kids play with with little worry? Seemingly so. I’ve let my students at college draw on mine:

and also let 8 years old draw on them…

… and in all cases it passed every test with flying colours. Must admit I’m both surprised and delighted. As Tesco have said this is the first in a series of devices from them, and it’s obviously a successful one as they’re been VERY hard to get hold of since release, I’m intrigued to see where they’ll go next.

*Flipping wish I had been bought off pre-this post and vaguley hope I would be in the next 24 hours! 🙂 I’m sitting down with 10 kids on Tues to do tablet artwork in a sci-fi art exhibition and have only 7 Hudl’s. Three will have to be on iPads and tbh that bugs me more than it should. Detracts from the group nature of what we’ll be doing. That said, until payday and the devices come back into stock I’m reliant on interest from others *cough*hint*cough* or have to work around it with a cludge.