About a year ago, I wrote a post on iPhone mobile apps to improve your photography, but a lot has changed since them, and there are some far more powerful tools on the market.
The mobile apps for photographers listed here don’t actually allow you to take photos on your phone, they’re all to do with before, during, and after the picture taking process.
Whether you want to process your photos on a tablet, need a tool to control your DSLR, want to scout a good location for your photos, or you just want help focusing, these 10 apps (both Android and iPhone) will help you do just that.
Snapseed is a popular app, brought to you by the same people who created NIK Software, such as Color Efex 4 (although they’ve recently be bought by Google).
If you’re not familiar with the software, then I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised about the ease of use, and the control this little app gives you.
- Easily adjust your photos with a single tap using Auto Correct
- Tweak your photo to perfection with Tune Image
- Use Selective Adjust to enhance specific objects or areas in your photos
- Experiment with fun & innovative filters like Retrolux, Drama, Vintage, Grunge, and Tilt-Shift
- Add one of the many high quality frames for a finishing touch
- Share your creations via email, Google+, and other built-in sharing methods
This app is perfect if you transfer your photos over to your iPad with an SD card reader and edit them there.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) helps you plan outdoor photography shoots. It’s a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, whether it’s 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.
As an avid landscape photographer, this is a must have for me. It’s not cheap, but worth it.
- Time and direction of sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset
- Phase of the moon and % illumination
- Times of civil, nautical and astronomical twilight
- Graphical display on a wide selection of map types
- Movable map pins – drag and drop the pin exactly where you need it
- Compass display built-in for scouting in the field (on compatible devices)
- Shadow lengths displayed to scale on map
- Save any location you want – no fixed lists
- Key celestial events for the year, including moon phases, solstices, equinoxes
- Does not require network connection for rise/set time, azimuths and sun/moon position
Easy Release replaces inconvenient paper model release and property release forms with a slick, streamlined application designed for professional photographers.
You should all be in the habit of having your models sign releases when you need them, and this app makes it very easy for you to do.
Sure, it’s a little bit expensive, but you get what you pay for. This sort of thing shouldn’t be free.
Lets you collect all the data and signatures you need right on your iPhone, then mails a PDF and JPEG of the release right to you.
- Import model and witness information from your contacts. Get location data from a list of previously used.
- Comes pre-bundled with industry standard model and property releases in 13 languages that are currently in use by leading photo agencies like Getty Images, Alamy and others.
- Customizable “branding header” for logo image, company name, and contact info can be turned on/off per release or release type.
- Add as many custom model and property versions as you want.
- Custom releases may contain “field-placeholders” for inserting data into the body of your legal text. Simply prepare your custom releases in an email to yourself then copy/paste into Easy Release!
- Select legal text version to use on a per-release basis.
- For each release, you may specify an optional “Addendum” to legal text which prints below your text.
iTunes – (Android coming soon)
This app is created by Trey Ratcliff, who runs one of the most popular travel photography sites in the world, Stuck in Customs.
Oh, stuck in customs, travel photography, I think I just got that.
Anyway, it’s a great app for helping you to scout locations that you want to shoot, from around the world. There’s a great community on there too. Here’s some features.
- Discover millions of amazing places to visit – the best of the best.
- A smart algorithm chooses the best locations and photos based on a combination of crowdsourcing and curation.
- A wonderful map interface that allows you to zoom into any level in any country to find the best places to visit.
- No ideas for future trips or places to photograph? Try our countless Top 50 Lists to get inspired! Create trips for the future: “Florida in 2013″ or “Wine escapade in France, le sigh!”
- All saved trips are available offline, since I know when you are on the road, connectivity can be tough.
- A customized experienced based on your personality type – Photographer, Explorer, or Daydreamer.
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.
It was the first application that brought live view light metering to iOS devices back in 2010.
It’s now got better low light capabilites and switching of aperture, ISO and shutter speed scales on the fly is really easy.
This app is mostly for film photographers out there, but you may still find yourself using this app if you’re shooting on digital too.
I think it’s a great way to learn light on manual mode. Train your eyes to see the light, and know what to expect when it comes to exposure.
This is a great little image editor for your phone and tablet, but remember, this is just an express version. Don’t expect it to handle layers and masking just yet.
With Photoshop Express, it’s easy to improve your photos. Choose from a variety of one-touch effects, or simply drag your finger across the screen to crop, rotate, or adjust color.
Add artistic filters like Soft Focus or Sketch. And never fear: A copy of your original file is always saved, and you can undo and redo changes until you get just the look you want.
Top editing features:
- Basics: Crop, Straighten, Rotate, and Flip
- Color: Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation, Tint, and Temperature
- Filters: Black & White, Colorize, Sketch, Soft Focus, Sharpen, and Reduce Noise
- Effects: Vibrant, Pop, Border, Vignette Blur, Warm Vintage, Rainbow, White Glow, Soft Black and White, and 45 additional effects that can be purchased
This app is amazing. We’re finally starting to see the sort of control I want from a smartphone with my camera, even if it is tethered. And only available on Android.
DSLR Controller is the first and only app that allows you to fully control your Canon EOS DSLR from your Android device with only a USB cable. No computer or laptop required, no root required, only a compatible mobile device, a compatible camera, and the right USB cable.
Features include but are not limited to:
- Live View
- Auto Focus (tap Live View)
- Manual focus adjustments (in AF mode)
- Zoom control
- Grid and aspect ratio overlay
- Bulb capture
- Continuous capture
- Image review (+ follow shot, gallery)
- Image filters (peaking, contrast, channel mask, grayscale, 4 modes/filter)
- Video recording
- HDR/Auto Exposure Bracketing
- Focus Bracketing (incl. HDR)
- Focus A-B
- Mirror Lockup support
- Timelapse (incl. HDR)
- Wi-Fi Passthrough
- Extensive modification of settings
– Shutter speed
– ExpComp and Bracket
– ISO speed
– Auto-Focus Mode
– Focus and Zoom area (tap-and-hold Live View)
– Picture Style
– Drive Mode
– White Balance
– Color Temperature
– Auto-Lighting Optimizer
– Metering Mode
– Image and video quality and format
Things are looking good.
NOTE: The product is not finished yet and there will still be issues.
DSLR Camera Remote Free is the next-generation remote release for your Canon or Nikon DSLR camera.
It’s similar to the app above, only it works over WiFi and not tethered. Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer one to the other.
Just connect your camera to a WiFi enabled computer and you can instantly fire the shutter and review images using your Apple iOS device.
DSLR Camera Remote is a must-have for remote shooting applications like high or low angles, self-portraits and studio photography. All you need is your Canon EOS or Nikon DSLR and a WiFi enabled computer to start shooting now.
You can remotely adjust camera settings like White Balance, Shutter Speed, etc. As well as intervalometer, LiveView, Video Recording, Burst Mode, Bracketing and more.
- Remotely fire your DSLR Camera over any WiFi network
- Remotely adjust your DSLR Camera settings like White Balance, Shutter Speed, Aperture and Exposure Compensation
- Image Review lets you see the image you just photographed from your DSLR camera on your iOS device
- LiveView mode lets you see through the camera’s viewfinder right on your device (requires a supported camera)
- Start, monitor and stop video recording on supported cameras
- Intervalometer lets you create a custom self-timer or take up to 999 shots from as little as 1 second apart to up to 1 day apart.
- Auto Bracketing mode for expanded exposure brackets, perfect for HDR.
- Burst Mode for continuous shooting.
- Great for camera angles where it is difficult to see through the viewfinder
- Use it for self-portraits, you can compose and review your shot without having to move to the camera
- Use it for remote firing at weddings and sporting events.
Most amateur photographers have a very confused look on their face when you say the words hyperfocal distance.
It’s all about making the most out of your depth of field by focusing in the right part of a scene.
It comes down to some complicated maths, but to take the edge off, you can always rely on this app to do the working out for you.
Just type in the distance to the subject, the focal length being used and the f-stop and the App calculates the near and far distances of acceptable focus and therefore the depth of field.
This is all shown on an easy to understand diagram.
Photo Tools – Free
This is a really handy selection of tools for photographers. You might require some background knowledge to know how to use them, but they’re all pretty simple.
- DOF & Hyperfocal Distance Calculator
- Field Of View Calculator
- Exposure Reciprocation Calculator
- Flash Exposure Calculator
- Multiple Exposure Compensation
- Minimal Shutterspeed Calculator
- Bellows Extension Calculator
- Time Lapse Calculator
- Light Meter (using Camera & EXIF)
- Sunny 16 (EV) Calculator
- Blue & Golden Hour Calculator
- Moon Phase & Exposure Calculator
- Location Info
- Weather Forecast
- Color Wheel
- Color Temperature Chart
- Image Histogram Viewer
- Image EXIF Reader
- Photo Enlargement Calculator
- Sharpening Radius Estimator
- Level Indicator
- Check Lists
- Grid Overlay Camera