Have you ever wondered how your smartphone can improve your photographic life? Mobile apps for photographers can do all sorts: from scouting out locations to watermarking your images.
In this day and age, a photographer’s arsenal is not only the traditional equipment he uses but also his resourcefulness with the mobile tools at his disposal.
Here are 15 best apps that will save you time, help you strategically plan your shots, and keep your gear safe and sound.
1. Google Earth
Google Earth is a classic among mobile apps for photographers for location scouting. Whether you’re looking for great city scenery to capture some urban lifestyle photography, or you’re simply taking your camera with you to experience living up in the mountains, Google Earth is your must-have app for location scouting. Moreover, Google Earth isn’t just an app just to view street pictures and landscapes–this straightforward and easy to use app allows you to research the world in comprehensive detail.
Web site: https://www.google.com/earth/
Snapseed is a sophisticated photo editing app that has proven itself to be a “must-have” among photographers who spend countless hours editing images on their phones.
With a loyal user base backed by close to a million reviews on app stores, as well as high ratings (4.4 Stars on iTunes and 4.5 Stars on Google Play), it surpasses the majority of photo editing apps available to photographers. Some users even claim they will never go back to using Photoshop!
Related Article: Best Photo Editing Apps
The app boasts many great features: top-shelf filters, a wide range of brushes, easy cropping, and color balance. It is unquestionably one of the best photo editing apps for photographers on both iPhone and Android systems.
If you work with cameras for a living or as a hobby, you know that every photographer’s nightmare would be to have their equipment stolen.
With this mind, the developers of Lenstag came up with an idea to centralize and maintain a database of all serial numbers related to photo gear.
Although the app isn’t a magic solution to getting your gear back, Lenstag will notify you if your equipment photos have shown up online, making it much easier to catch the thief and retrieve your stuff.
There is only one requirement for you to start using it: prove your ownership of your equipment by uploading a picture of your camera, lenses and any other accessories you want to record in the app. The simplicity of this app makes it one of our favorite free apps for photographers.
Price: Free. The pro version is $29 a year or $3.99 a month.
4. Watermark X
Copyright infringement is a huge issue for photographers. It is so frustrating when you’ve put so much time and effort into creating amazing photographs, for someone to just come along, copy them and use them without your permission.
You might be okay with the person using your pictures, but since he or she hasn’t asked you, your emotions are boiling. Now, thanks to Watermark X, a free popular app that allows you to mark your photos with relevant copyright information, you can protect your artwork from thieves.
Moreover, not only is it suitable for protecting you from copyright theft, but you can also use some of its image-editing features–all of which are included free in the one-week trial.
All in all, this would make it one of the best apps for photographers in iOS.
Price: One-week free trial. The pro version is $39.99, or unlock specific features and pay per feature.
Platform: Available on iOS.
5. Long Exposure Calculator
Shutter speed, exposure, and aperture are crucial parameters which need to be calculated before you press the shutter. But if you’re not great at maths, The Long Exposure Calculator’s built-in timers will help you take impeccable shots and eliminate any potential errors in calculating exposures by yourself.
Platform: Available on iOS.
We all know that weather conditions can make or mar your photographic creations. Yr.No is an app developed by the Norwegian Meteoritical Institute and NRK, which warns you of impending bad weather.
It does this by accommodating and maintaining over ten million locations for accurate weather forecast updates. Used by photographers worldwide to predict the best time possible for a photo shoot, it’s especially useful for landscape and any other type of outdoor shooting.
Be sure to check this app out next time you are planning a shoot. And one more thing–just because the forecasts are coming from Norway doesn’t mean you need to speak the language: the app comes in English and is free to use.
7. PhotoScan by Google Photos
The days of physical scanners are coming to an end as the world moves towards all kinds of electronic formats. But don’t worry, the PhotoScan app from Google Photos still enables you to scan old photographs the proper way.
Say you have an old printed picture laying around and you want to have it digitized without losing quality. Simply launch the app, take pictures of your print from various angles with your smartphone, and there you go. PhotoScan has processed that for you. Perfection guaranteed! The quality and sharpness will be much better than the majority of apps which offer photo scanning.
If you work with lighting equipment, you’ll know how tricky it can be to create set-ups, and even remember which ones work best. The Sylights app aims to solve that by allowing you to create diagrams and store all of your set-ups on your smartphone.
Not only can you create them yourself, but you are also able to browse through other people’s diagrams to get ideas and inspiration. A photographer’s dream come true in one app, this makes it one of the best apps for photographers to have in their iOS devices.
Price: Free. There is an optional in-app purchase to remove ads for $3.99.
Platform: Available for iOS.
Calculating maths and data related to distances is not every photographer’s cup of tea. This is where the DOFMaster app comes to the rescue.
It calculates hyperfocal distances for more than 1600 camera models. For those who don’t know, the hyperfocal distance is the closest distance at which your lens can be focused while keeping your subject at the most desirable distance from your camera.
With this in mind, you can now focus on your passion and not equations. All you need to do is launch the app, enter the aperture and the focal length, and the app will do the rest.
10. Phone Cleaner for Media Files
Do you ever get fed up with your phone’s memory being clogged up with duplicate photos? Are you frustrated with never having enough storage space? Phone Cleaner for Media Files from Nektony, can locate the biggest space eaters on your phone and erase them in a matter of a few clicks.
Not only will you find the duplicate and biggest photos and videos, but the app also locates any similar photos, making it far easier for you to delete them if you know which ones you want to keep.
Platform: Available on iOS.
Flickr is a mobile app that connects one of the largest communities of photographers. If you are looking to get inspired, share your work and keep it safe in the cloud, this will be your go-to app.
With the ability to upload up to 1TB of photos at no charge, you can create your own groups, find people to subscribe to and even show off your camera’s specs. This makes Flickr the best social network for photo enthusiasts and photographers.
12. WiFi Photo Transfer
You might already use iTunes for photo and file transfers, however, many find its process of synchronizing files overcomplicated. If you are a Mac user, iTunes might be a little easier for you, but if you try to do that on any other operating system, you may struggle.
Save yourself time and headache with the WiFi Photo Transfer app. Simply drag out the photographs you need and store them on your machine in just a few clicks.
Platform: Available on iOS.
13. Dark Sky
Most of us probably already have weather apps on our phone, but Dark Sky isn’t just your simple summary of the daily forecast. What it offers is accurate, to-the-minute notifications regarding changes in weather conditions.
By aggregating data from multiple sources, Dark Sky determines the highest probability for a truthful change in the climate. As a photographer, seeing a notification that says “Rain starting in 8 minutes”, can save you both time and worry.
Price: $3.99 on iOS. $2.99 on Android (2-week free trial).
PIXEO is your guide to the world’s best photo locations.
Not only does it show photographs that have already been taken in a specific place, but it will also provide you with directions and reviews from other photographers who previously captured that location. Then you can decide whether it’s worth visiting.
The app comes with a free trial, which is definitely worth a shot, and then you either pay $0.99 per month or $9.99 per year. Potentially, you can save a lot of time if you are traveling and looking for good spots to shoot.
Price: Free trial. $0.99 per month or $9.99 per year.
Platform: Available on iOS.
PeakFinder is a must-have app if you take your camera out into the mountains, and is essential in the search for mountain peaks.
It is a smartphone scout that provides you with the names of mountains, as well as a 360° panoramic view of each one. This is the best product out of all the outdoor apps we tried.
Backed by thousands of positive reviews across app stores, the only downside to it is that it costs $4.99. In any case, we haven’t found any free alternative that can compete with the amount of effort put in by the developers of the PeakFinder AR.
What Are Your Favourite Apps for Photographers?
While there is so much mobile photography software out there that can serve your needs, we have outlined 15 of the best photography apps for you.
These will help you plan everything about your shoot: from your environment and the weather to calculating your long exposures and hyperfocal distances. The most convenient thing about these apps is you don’t need any special equipment–just your smartphone.
Don’t hesitate to leave your comments below. The chances are you already have at least one of these apps installed on your phone: if you do, which is your favorite? If you don’t and decide to try them out, we’d love to hear which of them worked for you. Are there any we haven’t mentioned?
Give them a go and see which work best for you.
Now that you’ve learned these tips for stunning photos, you’re a better photographer.
But the fact is, the journey doesn’t stop there. There are more tips, tricks, and secrets--all of which will help you take gorgeous photos.
And if you want to learn all of these secrets, I recommend you sign up for the PhotoBlog newsletter. We send our subscribers all sorts of great stuff--including the tips, tricks, and secrets, straight from the experts. All to help you capture world-class photographs.
Did I mention that it’s all totally FREE?
(Oh, and we’ll send you a natural lighting cheat sheet--designed to help you use light in ways you’ve never considered.)
So to start taking stunning photos, enter your email:
Download FREE Photography Lighting Cheat Sheet
Subscribe and get a free downloadable photography lighting cheat sheet