In 2008 Apple released the App Store and changed the smartphone industry for the second time. Nowadays the top cameras used on Flickr are smartphones. However, as much as I love my smartphone, I will always prefer shooting with my DSLR. While the app store is filled with an absurd amount of camera apps that all do the same thing, I like using apps that help me shoot with my DSLR. Below you will see a list of my top recommended apps that helped me over the last eight years.
Sun Surveyor is by far one of the most used apps on my phone when it comes to photography. This app predicts the position of the Sun and Moon in many different ways including Augmented Reality. In other words, you can point your phone to the sky and follow the exact path of the sun and moon based on your position. This app will also tell you when all Sun/Moon events occur up to a year in advance; golden hour, blue hour, sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset.
MapAPic is an app I have been looking for for a while now. It's an easy way to scout locations when you don't have your camera on hand. Just open the app and it will pinpoint your exact location. You can then take a shot of what it is you want to shoot, give it a title, and it will be forever saved in an interactive map. Now you will have a directory of places for you to come back to when you are ready to shoot. The app will also tell you how far you are from a location so if you save several spots near each other you can walk from one to the other with ease.
Price: $4.99 on iOS
Lumy is an easy way to know what time the golden hour starts in the morning and at night as well as what time the sunrise and sunset take place. While this app's function is part of the Sun Surveyor app listed above it offers a few great tools that help me out when I am on the go. First, this app provides notifications to make sure you are ready to shoot when the golden hour begins. Second, this app will show you the predicted weather for where you want to shoot. Third, this app offers an Apple Watch compilation, spotlight search, and multitasking on an iPad.
Price: $3.99 on iOS
LEE Stopper is the official exposure guide for using LEE Filters' range of what they call "stopper" filters. Once you select one of the three options LEE Filters' offers, you choose the shutter speed required for normal exposure without using a filter and in return you will be given the shutter speed needed to acquire normal exposure with a stopper filter. There are plenty of times when your camera will require a shutter speed longer than what your camera is capable of, but you'll never know what that shutter speed is without this app. To set a longer shutter speed than what your camera is capable of see Triggertrap below.
LE Calculator is the same thing as LEE Filters' LEE Stopper app except it works for any filters. Just put in the Filter Density, and the shutter speed required for normal exposure without using a filter and in return, you will be given the shutter speed needed to acquire normal exposure with a filter. To set a longer shutter speed than what your camera is capable of see Triggertrap below.
Price: FREE on iOS
Triggertrap is called the ultimate camera remote for a reason. This app triggers your camera in several different modes. Sensor mode will trigger your camera based on sound, vibration, motion, or peekaboo. The time-lapse mode will trigger your camera for a time-lapse, timewarp, distance-lapse, bramping, or star trail. Lastly, HDR mode will shoot long exposure HDR sets as well as time-lapse HDR. Basically, if you need to trigger your camera, this app can do it for you. Time-lapse is how you can make your shutter speed as long as you want. One day I'll try an 8-hour exposure just to see what happens. FYI: Triggertrap requires the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle to connect your camera to your device!
Lenstag is not an app to help your photography, but mainly to protect it. Sign up for an account, register all of your gear that has a serial number, and Lenstag will help find it if it is stolen or lost. Also, if you want to purchase used gear, Lenstag will help you check if that equipment was stolen before you buy it. Lenstag is used by tens of thousands of photographers so it could definitely help.
Have an app you can't live without that I didn;t list above? Tell me what it is below!