It's Day Three of the Photocritic Holiday Gift Guide and we've switched from interchangeable lens cameras to smartphone photography. In-keeping with our previous (and indeed future) lists, it's a mixture of practical and fun. There should be something here for anyone who ventures out with their smartphone, whether an addict or an occasional shooter!
I'm a huge fan of the Easy-Macro band. It's a cheap, portable, and flexible (quite literally) macro photography accessory for your smartphone. It costs $15, it can live in your wallet, and whether you use an iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy, it'll fit on your phone and provides 4× magnification for your photos. It's easy to use and delivers great results. What's not to like?
We featured Fotobit frames here on Photocritic earlier this year, when it was archive-deep in a Kickstarter campaign. Funding goal reached, Fotobit has gone into full-scale production and you can pick up a set of three inter-locking frames for $45 or nine for $99. Choose your photos, snap together the frames in whichever layout you want, and hang them on your wall.
Icon lapel pin
If you want to flaunt your support for Instagram on your sleeve, or thereabouts, Photojojo has some cute lapel pins for $12. If you're a Pinterest or Photoshop supporter, they offer those, too. But, you know, this is the smartphone photographers' gift guide, so keep that one on the quiet side.
If you want to create selectively focused images optically, rather than digitally, take a look at the Lensbaby LM-10. It costs around $70, requires a free-to-download app, and is currently compatible with iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, and 5S and Android devices running Jellybean 4.1 to Kitkat 4.4.
Lights, camera, flash!
Improvements have been made to smartphone flash since their first glaring white days, but it's still far from perfect. Subjects are startled, appear washed out, and the colour rendition leaves a little to be desired. So why not introduce some off-phone flash? Like the Pocket Spotlight. It's another Photojojo item, costing $30.
Earlier this year I had great fun trying out the palm-sized Projecteo. You select nine images from your Instagram account, they're printed onto a mini slide wheel and despatched to you with a baby projector. For $35. With world-wide shipping.
I succeeded in losing my Tiltpod, or at least temporarily misplacing it, when we moved earlier this year. It was very frustrating. Right now Tiltpods are only compatible with iPhones 4, 4S, 5, and 5S, but I believe Gomite is working on a 6-sized product. The 4/4S version costs $15; the 5/5S case costs $30.
Yes, we know that we're biased, but if we can't publicise our own books here, where can we? And Social Photography is a particularly pretty book full of lovely images, fantastic tips, and useful knowledge when it comes to taking, and sharing, smartphone photos.