32 Photography apps to try this year

Updated: 33 photography apps to try this year

As the library of apps keeps expanding, the question is which ones do the job.  This post catalogues the ones either myself or fellow photographers believe to be the best available.  To keep things orderly I have grouped them together to make it easy for you to know what app is good for what.

So, whether you’re shooting outdoors, indoors, editing, or indeed shooting in zero gravity, these apps have helped me and my friends take better pictures.

Essential apps to make outdoor shooting easier and better

From tracking the weather to finding the right light, these outdoor apps are great for when you’re shooting outdoors.

1. The Photographers Ephemeris – It’s written in the moon and the stars

The Photographers EphemerisLight is everything for a good outdoor shot, and this app allows you to plan your shots with precision.  The Photographers Ephemeris provides you with the angle and timing of the position of the sun and the moon based on your location.  The app is one of the first photography apps to be developed and is still one of the best.  For landscape shots it is a must have!

IOS Android

2. Manual App – A gem if you miss your DSLR

Manual AppManual App effectively gives you complete control over the shutter speed, ISO setting, white balance, focus, and exposure compensation.  This app uses Apple’s new camera API to give me better control and accuracy.  Settings can be adjusted via an easy to use interface.  This app could see the end of shoot and hope.  Let’s hope!

IOS

3. Wunderground – Don’t let the weather catch you off guard

Weather UndergroundAny seasoned outdoor photographer will tell you that the weather can play havoc with your plans.  Regardless if I’m shooting people, ravines, or rock formations, I always have one eye on the weather, and if possible stay ahead of changing weather fronts.  Wunderground provides hourly predictions and satellite imagery so I can see if I’m about to be in the eye of the storm.

IOS Android

4. Easy Release – Get the release form signed and sealed

Easy ReleaseIf you are like me and take shots where you need to obtaining permission before shooting (models, property, etc.) then this app makes the process a lot easier than carrying reams of forms.  The idea is fairly straight forward; the model or property owner completes the form on your phone and signs it with their finger.  The form is then emailed to me in PDF and Jpeg format.

It saves the hassle of carrying paper forms, and completing the form on my phone outside is a lot easier for people than completing a form with pen and paper.

IOS Android

5. LightTrac – Not only see the light but find it!

LightTracLightTrac is an app designed to find the best light sources when shooting outdoors.  It is a little like The Photographers Ephemeris, as it shows you the position of the sun and the moon in relation to where you are.  Arguably though, it gives you a little more info as it shows you the angles of the light.  If I’m taking a shot that needs precision I use both apps and cross reference them.  So far this system has served me well.

IOS Android

6. NightCap – Anyone want one?

NightCapNightCap allows you to take images at night, and takes shots noise free.  To get the best results it is best to shoot with a tripod, as it does not take the best shots freehand unless you can keep absolutely still.  If you have a tripod the results can have the wow factor.

IOS

7. Tide Graph –Don’t let the ocean let down your shots

Tide GraphTide Graph is an app that gives me the information I need on the tides of the sea.  As I’m based on an island, as you can imagine this is an extremely helpful app especially when taking shots where the sea plays a significant part in the shot.  I find the app is ideal for scheduling especially when cross referenced with weather apps, and apps that will show me what times provide optimal light.

IOS

8. The Photographer’s Transit – Plan your shots with your team

The Photographer’s TransitOften, photographers work with others to get the right shots.  TPT allows you to share the location of your shot with the whole team via an iPad.  It also allows you to experiment with different lenses before the actual shoot.  This gives you a clear direction on how to approach a shoot before you get to the location.  It saves a lot of time in a lot of different ways.

IOS

9. Long Exposure Calculators – For night time shots

Long Exposure CalculatorsIf you’re a night time photographer, or you take landscape shots using ND filters, this app keeps reference tables, cheat sheets and all the information you need to take the perfect shot.  All you have to do is put in the shooting parameters.

IOS

10. Hyperlapse – A little bit of time-lapse goes a long way

HyperlapseThis app allows you to record journeys and events time-lapse style.  For use with both phone and tablet, it is straight forward to use and ideal if you want to take time-lapse shots on the go without carting around and setting up your gear.  Although it can be used indoors, you can use it for outdoor time-lapse phases primarily.

IOS

11. Google Earth – Free and effective Location Scouting

Google EarthGoogle Earth allows you to scout a location before you arrive and start taking pictures.  I use it a fair bit to plan a shoot as I can use street view, virtual tours and see where the nearest roads are to where we are going to shoot.  As I use the other apps, often I can minimise the amount of gear I need to take which is always useful.

IOS Android

12. ScoutLog: Location Bookmarking

ScoutLogScoutLog allows you to save locations, along with photos and notes, to your Android devices. A great location bookmarking app!

Android 

Indoor apps to that give an edge to your shots

Often indoor shots can get obscured by shadows and poor light.  These are the ones my photography buddies and I use to compensate for indoor conditions.

13. Camera + – An app that provides plenty of options quickly

Camera+This app quickly allows you to do small adjustments for better shots.  You can easily set the exposure on one part of an image, while focusing on another and it won’t actually take a shot until it is completely still.  Perhaps though, one of its main features is that it turns the LED into a flash, which brightens dark conditions.  This results in better shots taken faster.

IOS

14. Slow Shutter Cam – Keep your options open

Slow Shutter CamWith this award winning app, you can control the shutter speed as if it was using an SLR.  This gives you a broader choice of shots.  It is handy if you’re taking a shot in low light conditions, which when shooting indoors, is often the case.  Although an older app it still has a place.

IOS

15. f/8 DoF Calculator

f8 DoF CalculatorThis app is great for finding the settings in relation to depth of field.  The interface is slider driven, so you can just adjust in accordance with your lens and aperture, and the app does the rest.  Information for near and far limits, together with distances in front of and behind the subject are displayed on the same page.

IOS

16. PhotoBuddy – All sorts of calculations for the accurate photographer

PhotoBuddyHandy app for iOs that lets you calculate a number of settings for depth of field, diffraction angle but also simple exposure calculations.

iOS

17. Light meters – For the more light-sensitive photographer

beeCam Light MeterGreat photography is all about finding great light and making the most of it. Balancing your exposure to avoid under-/over-exposure can be tricky by just judging the screen of your camera. Apps like Pocket Light Meter for iOs and beeCam Light Meter for Android can prove to be very helpful and MUCH cheaper than buying a physical light meter.

18. Tiggertrap – Sometimes I need extra eyes and hands

TiggertrapI use this app as a utility as it has a range of features which as a photographer, I find highly useful.  One of the most useful is that I can trigger the shutter of my DSLR from the app.  So if I’m watching for something specific, hitting the shutter at the right time is considerably easier. I know there’s a remote trigger for this purpose, but the geeky side of me thinks this is too awesome not to try!

IOS Android

19. Pro HDR – To accommodate low light

Pro HDRPro HDR only does one thing – it determines an optimal exposure for low light conditions.  Although this may not have you punching the air with glee, to quickly take a picture and compensate for bad or low light, then this app is the one you want.

IOS Android

20. VSCO Cam – A great uncomplicated app

VSCO CamVSCO allows you to take and edit your pictures very easily.  It has great starter built in features such as flash settings and a low light shooting mode, and the controls are easy to interpret and set.  VSCO also sell a range of other features which may come in handy.

IOS Android

Editing apps that make great shots greater

Editing on from the smaller screen is often a question of using a combination of apps for a great affect.  It also depends on what kind of shot you’re editing.

21. Snapseed – Editing on the go and powerful features

SnapseedSnapseed is an awesome app for editing on the go.  It has advanced features which are not often found on other apps.  Its exposure, contrast and structure controls are particularly impressive.

IOS Android

22. Facetune – Make your portraits look professional

FacetuneFacetune is a handy way to enhance and improve your portraits.  I often find myself ‘touching-up’ pictures – removing wrinkles, blemishes, grey hair and enhancing eye colour.  Depending on the effects you’re after, you can even reshape your subject’s face (you know, if you want to go for an alien affect), and change the depth of field.

IOS Android

23. Photogene – A powerful editing app

PhotogenePhotogene has a powerful range of editing tools that are unique to it.  More often than not you’ll probably catch yourself using Photogene, especially for outdoor shots editing.

IOS

24. AfterLight – For fast and effective editing

AfterLightAfterLight is an app my some of my friends us as it gives them an easy way of making shots look better. You take a shot, improve it, and post it.

IOS Android

25. Hipstamatic – For that retro look

HipstamaticAlthough arguably for beginners and a bit of a novelty, it still has a place among us pros and semi-pros.  If the client wants a retro look, Hipstamatic can provide it and provide it quickly.

IOS

26. Photosynth – For a three dimensional look

PhotosynthDepending on your brief you may need to create a 3D image from a 2D one.  This is the capability that Photosynth gives you.  You can create panoramas or stitch images together.  It works by capturing all surfaces to make the image appear 3D.

IOS

27. Superimpose – For double exposure when you need it

SuperimposeSuperimpose gives you the capability to superimpose images and double expose images from your phone.  Although you will get more options from your computer, if you need the capability in the middle of the outdoors, well you can’t argue with this app.

IOS Android

28. Adobe Photoshop Touch – Photoshop in your hand-almost

Adobe Photoshop TouchPhotoshop Touch gives you some of the features of its desktop cousin on your phone.  The photo editing masters do provide some features to make your editing truly personal and amazing.

IOS Android

29. PicShop – Some easy to use features if a little basic

PicShopPicShop has some nice touches to it which makes it a usable photo editing app. It is easy to change the brightness, sharpness, contrast, hue and saturation, and you can remove blemishes.  Although I find that bit a little clumsy.  Nonetheless it is an ok app.

IOS

Sharing Apps

One you’ve taken a great shot you want the world to know about it.  Here are a few apps you could try.

30. Impression – Protect your creations

ImpressionSharing apps are great on one level as you can showcase your work to a wide audience and potential clients.  What is not so great is that people can take your work and ‘forget’ to credit it to you.  This app allows you to put your watermark on the photo.

IOS

31. Instagram – What’s more to be said?

IntagramInstagram is the most popular sharing app for photographers, and has a number of filters and tools built in too.  I use it and I’m sure you do as well.  Any copyright issues can be negated with Impression.

IOS Android

32. Flickr – One of the first sharing and storage apps and still one of the best

FlickrA personal favourite; before Instagram was on everyone’s phone, Flickr was arguably the most popular photo sharing and showcasing app available.  It is still a fantastic app for this purpose and has a strong community of users as well – a large part being actual photographers unlike the mix you get on Instagram.  Plus, it gives you a 1000GB of storage!

IOS Android

33. 500px – Showcase and view pro pictures and connect

500pxMy partner’s personal favourite. No roundup of Apps is complete without 500px. Whereas Instagram has pictures from people taking simple shots of their family, 500px is a photographer’s sharing experience.  Here we connect to other photographers, discuss work, see what shots other photographers are completing as well as showcasing our own work.

IOS Android

I’m sure there are many other apps for photographers out there.  What apps would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

2 Comments

  1. by Sean Durkin on May 19, 2015  9:55 pm Reply

    I didn't see any location bookmarking apps in your list. ScoutLog is an Android app that lets you save locations with photos, making it good for keeping a private index of all the locations you find while scouting. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sndurkin.locationscout&referrer=utm_source%3Dother%252B

    • by Christina on May 20, 2015  10:22 am Reply

      Thanks for the tip Sean! The article has been updated to include ScoutLog =) If you know of any other apps which should make it to the list, please share!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.