It wasn’t so long ago that we talked about the value of the iPhone as a photographer’s tool and what so-called iPhoneographers can do to get the most out of their devices. While the focus of that particular piece is on the iPhone, the advice contained within can easily be applied to any mobile device.
Regardless of one’s brand loyalty — iOS, Andriod, Windows, Blackberry — we’re all acutely aware of the prevalence of mobile devices; they have become much more than just phones. I’m sure, in fact, that for a fair amount of people, voice calls account for the least of their “cellphone” activities. Texting, web browsing, and photography have become prominent features on the rapidly evolving landscape of mobile technology.
So, beyond simply improving your technique, what else is there that can make a mobile photographer’s experience more enjoyable and more successful? Accessories, of course! Because photographers and mobile phone fanatics love accessories.
Here are 9 very cool ones.
GripTight Mount by Joby – A steady camera is often the primary determining factor between a keeper and a throw-away shot. If you have a tripod but don’t have a way to attach your smartphone to your tripod, then the GripTight Mount is just what you need. It can hold any Android, iPhone, or Windows phone and can attach to virtually any tripod out there.
Holga 5-Lens Filter Kit by Holga – This cool rotary phone dial filter set attaches to your iPhone and gives you 9 different ways to achieve that oddly beautiful Holga look. There is no software to install, no firmware upgrades needed — just snap the case onto your iPhone 5 (there is a version available for iPhone 4/4S) and you’re ready to shoot in classically quirky style.
Camalapse by Camarush – The Camalapse assists you in creating panoramic images and panning time-lapse videos. Simply attach your camera (works great for both smartphone cameras and small point-and-shoot cameras) and the Camalapse can spin up to 360 degrees over the course of an hour.
Photojojo Lens Series by Photojojo – These high quality lenses work with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows, Blackberry…basically any device with a small lens on it — even laptops. Available individually in wide angle/macro, fisheye, or polarizer; various bundles include telephoto and super fisheye varieties.
The Bikepod by Photojojo – Made of cork and metal, the Bikepod attaches snugly to your bicycle handlebars without scratching anything, allowing you to capture your world from a rather unique perspective.
Muku Shuttr by Muku Labs – Available for Android and iOS, this remote shutter has a sleek design that allows it to be carried with you at all times on your keychain. Now you can stop taking selfies at arm’s length.
Steadicam Smoothee by Tiffen – Inspired by those big, expensive Hollywood-style camera rigs, the Steadicam Smoothee is designed to provide the ultimate in stabilization and smoothness for your mobile devices (iOS, GoPro Hero 2, Hero 3 White, Silver & Black, with support for more devices coming soon). Say goodbye to shaky handheld video!
Look Lock System by Tether Tools – Ever had a hard time getting your kid to look at the camera while you’re trying to take their portrait? The Look Lock Systems seeks to remedy that problem. The device is essentially an articulating arm that attaches at one end to a DSLR while the other end holds a smartphone. Use the smartphone to show your kid a Spongebob cartoon and you’ll have her undivided attention.
iblazr by iblazr – Billed as “the first fully synchronized flash for iPhone, iPad, and Android,” this LED flash boasts adjustable brightness, a long lasting battery, a USB charger, and numerous other unique features. After successfully funding the project on Kickstarter, the iblazr is now available for pre-order.
The world of smartphone accessories is a wild one, full of weird but wonderful contraptions aimed at improving, simplifying, or customizing the experience of avid camera phone photographers. If you can’t find a use for the 9 accessories listed here, I’m willing to bet the one you need is out there somewhere.