The phone can also work to support you on the ground. When you’re using a larger camera, apps for quick editing or predicting the weather can be of vital importance.
Best Apps to Edit Your Photos
Editing your photos on the move can be a great way to save time. The photos you edit could be taken by your iPhone camera or uploaded from another camera to your iPhone.
This is a powerful photo editing tool that allows you to edit your photo using some filter like options.
The program uses aspects of the Nik Efex programming, which Google bought in order to create Snapseed. This brought professional-level editing tools to the mobile platform. And while Nik Efex has now been sold by Google, its mobile app powers on.
This app brings the editing behemoth, Photoshop, to your iPhone. However, you’re not going to be using layer masks with this program. Photoshop Express allows you to make some of the more simple edits such as distortion or cropping on your phone. There is also a selection of filter-like options or sliders for saturation and brightness that you can use.
While you might not be able to use the full features of Photoshop on your phone, this app allows you to save your edited work as a PSD Photoshop file. That’s nice because it means you can begin editing on your phone and finish editing on the desktop version of Photoshop later on.
It’s free to download and comes with a host of excellent features. You’ll be able to make swift edits by using curves to adjust highlights, shadows, and contrast. Lightroom also has a camera feature built into the app, which allows you to use the phone like a pro-level camera.
If you want to push it onto another level, pay up to unlock the premium features. This will provide you with raw editing, selective editing, or removing unwanted elements of your photo.
This app is a great alternative to something like Snapseed. Prior to Snapseed, this was the go-to app for edits that involved slider adjustments for different filters.
Once again, this app comes with a camera feature allowing you to take photos in-app, and then edit them.
VSCO app is available for free, with the option to upgrade for even more features.
Get Ahead with Weather Info
Knowing the weather and where the sun will be in relation to your main subject are all important aspects of photography.
The following apps will allow you to plan this ahead of time, increasing your chances of taking a standout photo.
The Photographers Ephemeris is the app you need if you want to know where the sun will be in the sky. This allows you to see the location of the sun relative to the location you intend to photograph.
It allows you to adjust the time, but also the day and month of the year. This means you can plan down to the day when a location is best for photographing.
Is this really important? Well, if you want to catch specific events such as the “Manhattanhenge” when the sun sets directly down the line of blocks in New York, then this is vital information. This app also allows you to track the moon and the location of the Milky way in the sky.
PhotoPills is a rival app to the Photographer’s Ephemeris. However, it’s more geared towards astrophotography. Those wanting to photograph the Milkyway should consider downloading this app, as it is incredibly useful in terms of visualizing where the Milkyway is in the sky.
This app will also help you track locations of the sun and the moon, and comes with an augmented reality feature. This is a great alternative to the Photographer’s Ephemeris – whether you download both is a personal choice.
If you are looking for the most accurate weather app, Windy.com is the way to go. It offers a wealth of information on upcoming conditions and is usually very accurate with its predictions.
The map feature allows you to zoom in on the area you intend to photograph from. Then you can choose to see clouds, rain, wind, or temperature for that area. Finally, hit play, and watch as the conditions shift for the coming days. The app continuously updates with the latest forecast. And the nearer the day, the more accurate the forecast will be.
Even on the day itself, you can take advantage of the satellite images that show possible cloud, rain, and lightning strikes for the previous 2, 6 or 12 hours. By looking at the satellite information, you can see more accurately which weather conditions are heading your way.
The very fact that this app has to be talked about speaks volumes for the world we live in today. If you happen to live in an area of the world with clean air, don’t take that for granted – it’s not the case everywhere.
AirVisual is an app that allows you to see the level of air pollution in the sky. It grades this into several categories from good, all the way down to hazardous. The pollutant of interest here is PM2.5, which is a class 1 carcinogen.
In terms of photography, you might as well forget photographing when the PM2.5 is so high you can hardly see the sun. Not to mention that going out to photograph on such a day is like smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.
Your iPhone as a Camera
The advance of the iPhones camera in recent years has been immense. It’s now possible to capture long exposure-like images of waterfalls without a tripod! Although the phone comes with a standard app you can use as a camera, here are some apps that allow for more advanced options.
This is the leading camera app on the market for your iPhone. The recently released version 2 of this app is even better than the first, which already raised the bar for smartphone and iPhone photography.
This iPhone camera app offers editing options as well, so in a way, it’s similar to Adobe Lightroom CC. However, this app is a camera first and editing software second. A few of its features are:
- Manual – The chance to change ISO, white balance, or even shutter speed is a great feature. Adjustment to shutter speed will also allow you to take long exposure photos! One notable setting that can’t be adjusted though is the aperture – perhaps one day this will be added.
- Raw – Photograph RAW, and then edit these photos to get the best possible results.
- Shutter – This adjustment gives you the option to take slow shutter speed photos. It also allows you to take timed photos, giving you time to hit the shutter and then get in front of the camera. For low light situations, the stabilizer function will allow the photo to be taken when the camera is the most stable handheld.
- Depth – Cameras with dual lenses can now add depth to their photo. This is a feature that partially makes up for the lack of aperture control on the camera.
The leading alternative to Camera+ is ProCamera. In fact, this offers a very similar set of features to the Camera+ app. It’s a bit like choosing between a Nikon or a Canon camera, or an Apple computer or a PC. Being able to use your apple watch as a remote trigger for your phone is a great addition.
This app’s long exposure feature is called low light, and it comes with some great features. You’ll be able to set a self-timer for the exposure and then set the exposure time itself for several seconds.
As opposed to the previous best iPhone camera app options, this app has the feel of an add-on. Those who download Slow Shutter Cam are usually going for a specific type of photo. But it still has some great features.
The remote trigger from an iWatch is available, which is pretty useful. The motion blur feature allows you to create panning-like images, or switch to the light painting mode for even longer exposures.
Sharing Your Photos
You captured the photo, you edited it, now you the final step is to share it. Several photography sites have huge communities of photographers.
Each of these has apps available for sharing, so it’s simply a case of choosing the photography site you most enjoy.
The most well-known of today’s photo-sharing apps. It’s primarily for mobile devices but also has a website you can visit.
Instagram gained traction with the surge in the use of smartphones, while other, more desktop-based sites were a little slow to catch up.
The app comes with a basic camera and some photo editing features. The real value though is in the photo-sharing. It’s not without accident that phrases like “Instafamous” and “doing it for the gram” can be bumped into these days.
Is this the site for uploading photos taken with a smartphone? Well, if you do so, you’ll need to make sure the images you upload are as perfect as possible.
Even though it was the original photography sharing website, it’s sadly lost its way in recent years. There have been efforts to revive it, but it’s hard to get it back to its position pre 500px and Instagram.
That being said, it still offers the best infrastructure to engage with other photographers. The community aspect of this site is also way better than what 500px and Instagram have to offer.
The type of photos that are shared and featured here tend to be more eclectic and curated than what other sites offer.
+1: Easy Release
There is another useful app that doesn’t really fit into any of the categories. Easy Release allows you to collect and store model releases and property releases for your professional photography. This is a vital app for anyone more serious about photography.
Which iPhone Camera App Is for You?
There are plenty of awesome camera apps for iPhone photography, and the list is still growing -it is not easy to pick a few out of the many.
Are there any apps you consider vital to your photography? Here, at Expert Photography, we would love to hear your comments in the comments section to this article. Then also share your photos, taken and edited on an iPhone!