Shot on Moment

holy phone photography batman.  i can't believe the quality of the photos i can take on my phone these days.  

holy phone photography batman.  i can't believe the quality of the photos i can take on my phone these days.  

other than the pictures of the gear, all photos were taken on the same day on my phone with the Moment 60mm tele lens

Before embarking on our world adventure I had been freaking out about what camera to use.  Kyle has a Nikon D80 (whoa I just looked it up, and it's super old) but it still works really well, so it would have been a fairly decent choice.  However, my experience travelling with people with big fancy cameras had not inspired me to bring a big fancy camera because the cameras are-  

  • Heavy
  • Noticeable  
  • Delicate
  • Expensive to replace

Which has always meant that my traveling companions spend a lot of time worrying about their precious cameras.  It's all well and good, but as an amateur photographer who wanted to be able to focus on more important things like colourful velvet and chai, I didn't want to bring the Nikon.

I have an old Canon Power Shot point-and-shoot, which worked fine a few years ago, but now I look at those pictures, -like come on- how did I think these were good?  So I asked if I could borrow Marie's slightly higher end Canon Power Shot G12 and took it out for a spin but wasn't enjoying my photos that I took with it.  

In the back of my mind I kept thinking "my iPhone takes pretty decent photos and maybe I should just use that. Who cares if I can't take photos of mountains?  Who needs that for international travel?"

I had all but despaired  when the ever incredible and inspiring Artifact Uprising posted this blog post on Instagram that said you could use a Moment lens on your phone to fix exactly the problem I was freaking about (the mountains!)  I assumed it was just a shameless advertisement, because if things are too good to be true they usually are.  So I did some snooping around and found this review that said they work really well, and they are the best extra lens you can add because they are made of real glass and have a unique mounting system.

I took a risk and ordered the tele lens to Kyle's parent's place (as well as the case (I drop my phone on the regs), the strap (recommended as adding the lens makes it pretty heavy) the lens cleaner (necessity)  and the lens cover (get 3, I lost mine in the first week.)) The risk being I really didn't know if it would hold up to the review and my phone + additional lens was the only camera I took on our trip.

So, yes, that means every photo from the McHowe World Tour that was taken by either myself or Kyle, was shot on a phone.  (the iPhone 5 and 6) 

The lens is not flawless.  It has to work within the confines of being attached to your phone, and I find that in really bright situations it gets a weird effect on some of the outside lines.  Without special apps you can't change the aperture or the shutter speed (I just found out this morning that apps for these types of things exist.)  You can also see sometimes on the top corners of my photos I get a weird little blur (possibly from cleaning, possibly from a wobbly attachment, possibly from the lens.) 

But other than that- travelers who don't want to worry about a fancy camera but still want to take high quality photos rejoice!  

Now that we aren't travelling I just pop my lens in my purse (I keep it in it's box if I have room) so I have a camera on the fly. I can't wait to try out the wide-angle and the macro lenses as well (they also have a superfish lens, but that's not really my jam.)  

It's also way easier to be stealthy with a phone camera if you want to take photos of things that maybe you feel a little dodgy snapping.  Like people (I'll talk more about that later.)

The lens works on all different iPhones, it's the mounting system that you need to specify, so don't worry if now you desperately want one but you don't have a 6 like me.