Every so often I come across an App that make my life a little easier for taking photos. Whether it's taking photos on the phone, DSLR or old film SLR's, these apps help me decide when and where and sometimes how.
Recently I have been asked about some of these Apps, so here is a comprehensive list of all the Apps I use. (I have many that I don't use, either because they only do one thing or one of these others do it better.)
Because I am an Iphone user, some of these Apps are only availble for IOS, but where they are for both IOS and Androind, I have linked to the website so you can choose the correct one.
I use a few different weather Apps. It's always good to double check, especially if you are heading into the water for shots. Forget about the BOM App, or Weather Channel App or whatever your phone has as a default, they wont tell you much.
My goto every day Weather App, is a free one. It's from Windy.com and is also available in the web. "Windy" is a very comprehensive weather program which includes rain, clouds, lightning, wind, and even swell and wind waves, water temp and the list goes on. If you create a free account, you can save your favourite reports and where ever you are logged in on , phone tablet or computer, it will show the same reports. Windy can forecast up to 10 days in advance and you can see whats happening worldwide. It makes planning day or weekend photo trips a breeze.
Accuracy - Very good
The Next weather app I use is also called WINDY, but this one is more water sports orientated with wind, waves, and tides. I use this as my secondary check. Once again it has a 10 day forecast with a pro version that is a Pay Upgrade.
Accuracy - good
Both these apps, DON'T use BOM data for their forecast, but draw their data from international ECMWF and Global Forecasting System.
The third weather app I use for day to day temps and quick checks is Weatherzone. A good all round App, but doesn't have much for water people.
For quick tide checks I use TIdesAU App. Its a simple app that does what it's name says. Gives you all the info on tides, times for sunrise, sunset, twilight, phases of the moon, all on one page and you can put in any location in Aus and get the info for that location.
This is a great little app, especially if you are planning on getting reflections from the incoming tide of the sunrise etc.
Sun and Moon Apps
The next few Apps are a photographers necessity. Knowing where the sun and mood rises and falls, times etc are so important. Especially if you are trying to capture a particular shoot and you need to know what the sun is doing.
First up, Golden Hour One. This is a paid App, but so worth the money. It will give you the Golden and blue hour times for bother Sunrise and Sunset for any day ion the calendar, it will also give you the Rise and setting times and allow you to set reminders for this times so you don't miss them. It will also show on a map your precise location and the direction of the sun and moon course as well as Blue and Golden hours.
The weather tab show Sky, Light and Moon indexes. The sky index lets you know if its too overcast to get a good sunrise or if its perfect for a sunset,Hour powerful golden hour will be and whether the moon will be present or hidden behind clouds. Its simple to use and all the information is easy to find.
PhotoPills is the photographers swiss army knife. Apart from information on Sunrise and set times, etc, direction of the sun and moon, moon phases, it also has DoF table and calculators, Exposure Calculators, Hyperfocal tables, Start trail calcs, time lapse and so much more. This app is a must for photographers. There is so much information in it. For me, a little too much in it. When I'm looking for quick Sunset and rise times etc, I check out Golden hour first for its ease of use and reading on the fly. For in depth checking, I use PhotoPills.
If you don't have either on your phone, I suggest you download them now.
If you are looking for a quick location sun direction app, you cant go past SunCalc.net. It does exactly what it the title says. It will calculate the sun and moon direction for your current location. You can search for specific locations and it has basic times for sunrise and sunset
One last one I don't use as much anymore, but when I had planned shoots during the day and wanted to know the suns location, I would use BestPhotoTimes App. What this App allows you to do is simulate the position of the sun or moon at any given time of day or night with the use of a simple slider. This app I used a lot when i was doing weddings or portraits and I couldn't pick the time of day to shoot. It enables you to at least know where the light would be coming from.
Now we get down to the nitty gritty. Photography Apps. Each has it's purpose, some are proprietary to specific brands, others are universal.
Rather than show each one, I will briefly describe them and list them in order of My preference.
Film photography is not something you would think would need Apps, but unlike digital photos that have all the settings used embedded in the Exif data of each digital print, film doesn't have that ability. I still have little notebooks from my film days with ISO, Shutter, Aperture, lens settings for each roll I shot. Now that I am getting back into film again, I needed an App that would replace notepads. I found one in PhotoExif. A paid app that you can record everything about each frame of a roll you use, and if you have the rolls scanned into digital images, it can also embed that information into each relevant image also. A must for film togs in this digital age.
If you develop your own films, this App is a must, The Massive Dev Chart. Punch in the type of film you are developing, the developer type and it will give you the mix ration, develop, fix and wash times. It has a timer for each stage and also has the ability to go darkroom light with green or red output so you can using it in the darkroom.
Theres a few ND filter calculators out there. Most of the time I do it by feel and experience. But there are times when i need a helping hand. I have three on my phone. Two from the two major filer manufactures and one from an independent developer that works with all brands of filters. All have an exposure calculator and timer and all do pretty much the same job.
Lee Filters (go to bottom of page)
NDTimer (Paid app)
Startrails/Astro, Timelapse and anything useful
This is where I put the rest of my apps. Each has its purpose. I have already mentioned PhotoPills previously. This app is at the top of my list for anything not already mentioned. The amount of tools included in this App are amazing. Including Startrails, Timelapse, Long exposure and the list goes on.
Another Star trails/Astro app I use quite a bit is Dark Skies. ( Android version) This little app is great for setting a basis of Star photography. Select the camera, the focal length and it will give you the maximum time to ope your shutter to capture those sharp star images without motion.
two other useful Apps that get used regularly on my phone are
Light Meter App. It will give you the White Balance and shutter for any lights source you have. A great little app for fixing those pesky funny coloured lights.
And the final App I will list is TROVER. Trover allows you to search any location and find places of interest including food and drink, outdoor interests, arts and entertainment. Users can upload photos etc of their locations and its a great source for photographers to find interesting places to shoot.
That's about it. I have approx 50 apps for photography, editing, weather, travel etc on my phone, most don't get used or only get used rarely, but they may have a purpose one day. The best of the bunch have been listed here. these I use on a regular basis. Hopefully they will be of use to you all. Sorry for the android users if some apps aren't available, however, I have seen some awesome Android apps I will were available on IOS.
Anyway, happy shooting everyone