Capturing Family Memories

 \Why that is me - last September. I've added a black stripe since!
Why yes, that is me – last September. I’ve added a black stripe since.

Our family  – all five of us – avidly study taekwondo. We may not be Olympic material, but we have a great time and learn a ton. Our school has a strong emphasis on personal best and community development. And they manage to make every little thing a ton of fun!

Last year, our dojang had a sparring event. It was immensely fun, but I found myself frustrated with the video and still shots I could take. In addition, my arm was killing me, holding my phone steady for so long.

I have a selfie “system,” but I knew that wasn’t going to solve all my problems. The sparring area is large, and I couldn’t always zoom in a close as I wanted to the sparring matches. I’ve had my eye out for possible solutions and was excited to come across this one.

I got this set on Amazon – it’s pretty sweet. It contains just about everything you might need:

  • A fisheye lens
  • A macro lens (for those super close-ups for life science)
  • A wide-angle lens, and
  • A telephoto lens. This is what really caught my attention. I thought this would be the ticket.

As you can see, in addition,n there’s a small tripod and carrying case. Very nice touch – and very roomy, with plenty of room a debit card and keys even.

I got permission to test out the set at a recent sparring class. And, I pretty quickly learned the telephoto lens was not what I needed. I ended up not even taking any shots with it – because I couldn’t focus any closer than the traffic light at the corner intersection! The sparring classroom may be large, but it’s not that large. I did want to share one shot I managed to get (from the far corner of the room).

Stretching before class.
Stretching before class.

Mostly, I’m sharing these because of the “fog” around the edge. This is mentioned in the troubleshooting section of the directions that came with the kit (along with directions on how to correct it). I just thought it was interesting to see how well the directions thought through issues amateurs like myself could run into.

I did some experimenting with the other lenses:


This was taken with the fisheye lens. Really not the effect that I want, but it was interesting to see the entire space in one shot.

So – This was not what I was after either, but it turned out to be a good call. Using the wide angle lens in combination with zooming in, I was able to start getting closer to the kinds of detailed shots I was aiming for:

Once I started getting a little success with the lenses, I adjusted for the light. By then, we were past the drills in class and onto contact sparring. That’s my youngest guy in the back, facing the camera (the short one 😉 )

contact sparring

Throughout the process, I have been in contact with the merchant I bought the kit from on Amazon. When he heard I was planning to write a review, he made a super generous offer – email him at and he’ll send a discount coupon to the first twenty people who request one. Thanks, Noam!


So if you’re looking for a little help in taking those family shots this summer, check out this Camera Lens kit on Amazon (click here to view) and remember to drop Noam an email at to see if you’re still in time to get a discount coupon.