My Top 6 Most Used Smartphone Apps for Photography
More than ever, smartphones and the apps that run on them are part of our everyday lives. There are a multitude of handy tools available that can make day to day tasks quicker and easier. As a photographer there are several apps that are essential in helping me plan, organise and create. I’m sharing my most used, top 6 here.
Camera app. With the ever improving technology of smartphones, almost everybody carries a reasonably competent camera around with them these days. You probably use it so often that you might not even think of it as an app at all, but that’s exactly what it is and it’s the number one most used app by my Google Pixel 4 smartphone.
While phone cameras don’t currently offer the same quality and resolution at large sizes compared to DSLR and mirrorless equivalents, they can produce great looking images for social media and on-screen use. With their size and weight benefits, more often than not, this is the camera you have with you.
Adobe Lightroom Mobile I recently posted a video of my workflow when editing an image using the Lightroom mobile app. It’s a very powerful editor for Android, iPhone and iPad and if you’re just posting online, it’s great for using when working remotely. It includes almost all the features of the desktop application and you can share to your favourite social media platforms directly from the app.
Photopills This app isn’t free, but does feature a wide range of really useful tools that I have found to be well worth the price. The feature I use most is the planner, which allows the user to find out where the sun will be at any given time for a particular location. This is obviously very useful for planning sunrise and sunset shoots, but also gives you some idea of what the light and shade of a scene will look like at any point throughout the day. You can use the app to work out things like depth of field, hyperfocal distance and settings for correct exposure. Also included are tools to monitor stars and galaxies so you can plan an astrophotography shoot.
Google Maps / Google Earth Although these are two separate apps, they perform similar functions for a photographer. I primarily use these apps to find locations and plan the logistics of a shoot. Not only is it useful to be able to see a location from multiple angles, you can also get right down to eye level and see a location to work out a strong composition for a shot.
Clear Outside As well as finding a location for your image, you also want to know what the weather is going to be like when you get there to create it. Clear Outside provides a whole range of data, from forecasts to cloud cover and sun rise/set times to fog and mist levels. It will even tell you when the international space station is going to be flying overhead! I use this app all the time, particularly to find out how much cloud will be in the sky and whether I might get misty conditions or not.
Nikon Snapbridge This allows me to connect my smartphone to my camera via bluetooth and WiFi. You can use it to send images from your camera to your phone, or to back up images to cloud storage. I just use it as a remote control for when I want to reduce camera shake, or if I want to see myself when recording video.