How to Turn Your iPhone Camera Into a Microscope

I have never been big on high tech cameras that can do wonders for one’s photos. I am more of the point and shoot kind of person, and as long as the photos turn out decently – not blurry for the most part – I am usually satisfied. Recently, though, I have been having issues with the camera of the iPhone 4. Whenever I use the flash in a low light setting, the entire picture has this reddish cast all over. It’s like a red filter has been used!

Speaking of the iPhone camera, I am pretty sure that there is a good number of people out there who see it as a nifty tool. Jayvee has even written a post about an underwater case for the iPhone 4S (for when you go diving, of course).

How about “hacking” your iPhone camera so that you can make it function somehow like a microscope, and take macro pictures?

That’s what Alex Wild did with his water droplet experiment.1 It is so simple that you would probably think, “Now why didn’t I think of that?”

The trick? Place a droplet of water on your iPhone’s camera lens. Turn it over carefully so that the water droplet hangs down. This will serve as a magnifier and result in macro pictures such as the following.

Honey Bee 470x352 How to Turn Your iPhone Camera Into a Microscope

Honey Bee

House Ant 470x320 How to Turn Your iPhone Camera Into a Microscope

House Ant

Crocus Flower 470x347 How to Turn Your iPhone Camera Into a Microscope

Crocus Flower

I honestly like the photos, while I find it hard to believe they were taken with an iPhone camera (it’s just me, really). What I find rather silly is Alex’s own comment about his technique: “Water is not generally good for cell phone electronics, so be careful when applying the droplet.” Duh!

If you want to try your hand at what Alex calls “iPhone water-graphs”, you know what to do. Sure, try it at home, but don’t blame anyone if your phone stops working at some point and your warranty becomes void because of moisture damage.


  1. Alex Wild’s Photography []
About Noemi Tasarra-Twigg

Freelance writer and wannabe beach bum; ditched her day job as an English teacher for writing and has not regretted it a single bit. When not writing, Noemi can be found on the road, hoping to encounter the dragon of her dreams. Yes, she's into fantasy novels, gadgets, and practically anything that catches her interest. Shiny!

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