By Tim Farmer
As our smart phones take over the roll of our computers you may be wondering, “how can I take better advantage of my phone to improve my shooting?” What task can my phone do and which app is the best for that task? Some apps I will talk about here you have already heard about and some may not apply to the type of shooting you do. But it is still good to know what is out there. Most of the apps on this list work with both iphones and Android smart phones.
So let’s get into it.
Connecting to your camera:
When I started in digital photographer we only had the choice to work tethered to the computer and everyone wanted to get rid of that fire wire cord. As soon as memory cards slots became possible and we broke the cord, we realized that sometime it is nice to shoot from the computer or have the images viewable on a monitor so the client can watch the shoot live. Today I shoot with both Sony and Canon and could not image not having apps to connected to my camera.
Wireless Mobile Utility By Nikon Corporation – Free
The Wireless Mobile Utility creates two-way wireless connections between Nikon cameras and iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Pictures taken with the camera can be downloaded to the iOS device, and the camera can be controlled remotely, with the iOS device displaying the view through the camera lens. The photo sharing feature makes it easy to upload pictures to social networking sites or attach them to e-mail messages.
EOS Remote By Canon Inc. – Free
EOS Remote is a free application for convenient remote shooting, image browsing, and other operations on Canon EOS digital cameras with Wi-Fi functionality. As you view live images from the camera in EOS Remote, you can remotely set the focus, adjust shooting values, and release the shutter. You can also browse images on the camera’s memory card, select images, and save them to your device.
Play Memories for Sony – Free
This app lets you control your Sony wifi connected camera with a smartphone. You’ll find it a great help for group photos when the camera is mounted on a tripod. You can control exposure and shutter release — all from your smartphone! And for added convenience, photos shot using the application will be automatically sent to your smartphone for on-the-spot sharing.
FUJIFILM Camera Remote By FUJIFILM Corporation – Free
The FUJIFILM Camera Remote is an app provided by FUJIFILM that can operate wireless-equipped digital cameras by remote control to shoot images and to view images and movies in the camera and to transfer them to smartphones or tablets.
Red Dot Camera – By Lifelike Apps, Inc – $2.99
Manual Rangefinder Style Camera for iPhone
Looking for an iPhone camera app with the look and feel of a professional manual camera? Red Dot Camera is the first camera app to bring rangefinder-style manual focus and exposure features to iOS, taking creative mobile photography to the next level.
Pocket Light Meter by Nuwaste studios – Free
A light meter that is always in your pocket. It is indispensable for film photography with all manual camera. Measures reflected light, and allows reciprocity calculations. The notes are easy to use and what I like about this app over other light meter apps I have used is you do note need anything more. There was an app that required a light dome to be plugged into the mini jack on the phone. Yes, the apps with domes probably gave a more accurate reading, but the hassle of having another gadget was a big draw back to me as I always bracket when shooting and this gets me within a half a stop.
The next three apps are hard to pick which is best. I personally use all three depending on my needs. Take time and check out the features you think you would use the most and start there. I do a lot of landscape, architecture, and astrophotography so I find PalnIt and TPE very useful. Photo Pill is newer too me and I am finding that I am using it more and more to share location info with other photographer. You will probably end up like me and getting all three
The Photographer’s Ephemeris By Crookneck Consulting LLC – $8.99
The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) helps you plan outdoor photography shoots. TPE for Android is a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, be it day or night, for almost anywhere on earth.
Ideal for landscape, nature, travel and outdoor photographers, TPE’s map-based approach means you can search for any place name on the planet or position the map pin exactly where you want it. You can see where the sun/moon/stars will be and using the map, it will show if a mountain will block your light.
PlanIt! For Photographer by Ying Wen Technologies – Free for basic – $5.99
This program is like TPE with the addition of a dark shy’s section. It is not as good for show exactly how the sun will lay it shadows, but I find it easer to use us, mostly for location I know and am looking for local sunrise/set times.
Photo Pills by Mark Gee – $9.99
One thing I like about asking everyone about apps is coming across one I heard about but never used. So when I looked into Photo Pills I saw what a great all around photo app it is. It covers so many things from Depth of field calculations, long exposure, Sun/moon rise times and location… It also has a database of locations so if your going someplace you do not know well, it can recommend some thing to see and shoot. It also allows you to share the information so you can set up a Photo MeetUp of just send yourself notes. I have down loaded this app and will be working it.
Star Chart by Escapist Games Limited – $1.99
There is a tone of these apps out there. I like star chart for it’s simplicity of use. If you wanted to get deeper into shooting stars, wanting to know the exact location, there are probably better apps. If you are more interested in finding when would be the best time to get a shot with the Milky Way in it and what part of the sky it will be rising in, this is a great app for that. You can easily change location, time, and date to plan trips.
Weather Underground by Everyone – $1.99
I have been using Weather Underground since before it was an app. This hyper local weather app allows you to type in an address or location and get 10-day forecast, hourly forecast, crowd reporting, local radar, cloud cover, wind speed direction… This was the first app I got when I first bought a smart phone.
Adobe® Nav for Photoshop® By Adobe – $1.99
With Adobe Nav — a companion app to Adobe Photoshop CS5 software (version 12.0.4 or later required) — you can now instantly transfer images from your iPad directly to Photoshop CS5 and use your iPad to browse and select open Photoshop documents and activate Photoshop tools. As long as you have a network connection between your iPad and your computer, you can take advantage of the two-way connection. Instantly share an image in your iPad photo library with Photoshop CS5. Browse, reorder, view, and zoom in on up to 200 open Photoshop documents on your iPad. Tap a document on your iPad to immediately make it active in Photoshop CS5. Use your iPad to easily share and review files you are working on in Photoshop CS5 while you’re away from your desk or computer. And customize the Photoshop CS5 toolbar on your iPad to easily access the tools you use most.
Photoshop Express by Adobe – $3.00 – $5.00
Snap. Edit. Share. Smile. Photo magic at your fingertips. This is the Photoshop light I have on my phone. It allows you to do about as much as you are willing to pay for before you want to transfer to a computer for large works. It allows on-the-go photo editing that is fun, fast, and cool. Touch your way to better-looking pictures with automatic fixes and filters. Get your pictures to pop! And after sharing, you’ll be the talk of your friends.
Open GPD Tracker by Rene de Groot – Free
An application that can track your travels of your Android by storing your GPS locations. Draws the route real-time on either Google or OSM maps. Uses coloring to render speeds. Share though GPX, KMZ formats or summarize with a tweet. Take notes on your track with pictures, video, audio and text. If you use Lightroom, this makes importing location information easy.
The Previewing and Projection Sales App for the iPad. This app by itself is worth getting an iPad for. It allows you to to do full In-Person sales on your iPad all in one App. This means you can do a slideshow, compare images, crop, sort, adjust, and ORDER images and PACKAGES right from the App. It even does scaling so you can show your client how big a 20×30 print is or how small an 8×10 really is. It can also do wall groupings so you can compare different collections of images just like it would be displayed on your clients walls. If you haven’t already gotten Fathom Focus, check it out!
Portfolio for iPad By Britton Mobile Development – $14.99
Portfolio offers a self-contained, brandable presentation tool for your business. Once set up, it will look like a custom app developed exclusively for your business. Lock the interface with a PIN when you’re done and it’s safe for any client meeting without the worry of exposing the management interface underneath. I like how customable this app is.
Easy Release – Model Release App By Application Gap – $9.99
Easy Release by Application Gap replaces inconvenient paper model release and property release forms with a slick, streamlined application designed by professional photographers for professional photographers. Fully supports iPad, iPhone and iPod-Touch.
Dropbox By Dropbox – Free
Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Access any file you save to your Dropbox from all your computers, iPhone, iPad and even the Dropbox website!
Square Register By Square, Inc – Free
Accept credit cards and run your business on the go and in store with Square Register. Process Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, pay just 2.75% per swipe, and access your funds in 1-2 business days. No monthly fees, commitments, or surprises. If you do any work with the general public, this is a must.
HootSuite for Twitter & Facebook By Hootsuite Media Inc. – Free
Manage and schedule posts to multiple social media profiles, such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and more all from one app. I am not going into the Social Media feeds you should be on, that is a whole blog by it self, but once you get on, Hootsuite is a must.
Google+ by Google – Free
I use this instead of Dropbox myself mainly because it allows for so many aspects of running my business to be intergraded. Being able to share documents, data bases, calendars and with my email account. I could not live without it.
Massive Dev Chart Timer by Digitaltruth Photo Ltd – $8.99
The Massive Dev Chart is the world’s largest film development chart with easy to use multi step timer and darkroom support for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Watch the instructional video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P915z6THiY8.
I really like that you can customize this to different film/developer and other mixes. The audible are good for in the darkroom. For more advance users, you can change chemical dilutions and save personalized development times…
Waze by Everyone – Free
Waze is the best way to save time on traffic because it’s the world’s largest community-based traffic & navigation social app. Improve your driving experience by sharing real-time traffic and road info to save time, gas money, avoid police traps and make traffic better for everyone.Get road alerts of accidents, police traps, road closures and other hazards on your route, all reported by drivers around you. You can also inform any issue on your way and help them back.
Snapseed by Google, Inc. – Free
Perfect your photos in a snap with the new Snapseed 2.0. This app brings the power and control of professional photo-editing software previously only available on the desktop to your mobile device. Now, with the tap of a finger, you can retouch, adjust perspective, re-edit and more.
SwankoLab by Hipstamatic, LLC – $1.99
The creators of the Hipstamatic are super stoked to present their digital darkroom kit: SwankoLab. It’s a loving recreation of the pre-digital era classic – the darkroom of yesterday today. This is just fun.
This list is by no ways and end to your looking but a good place to start you off. I tried to get most things you as a photographer might need. But if you look I bet you could find things I misted or you may know of apps that others have not heard of yet. I would love to hear about them and try them out. You can email mail me at:
Go out, enjoy shooting and have fun.