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7 Best Travel Photography Apps

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Travel photography apps can help you with anything from finding the best photo spots to editing while on the move.

Here are a few of the best apps for travel photography options you need to download before exploring beautiful destinations on your bucket list.

7. Snapseed

  • App Type: Photo Editor
  • Price: Free
  • Platform: iOS and Android

This is one of the best photography apps out there because of all the features it offers. It lets you do anything from color grading to adding all sorts of effects that will make your travel photos look pro.

Snapseed may be from Google, but it also supports iPhones. That means you don’t have to worry about any compatibility issues. And the good news is that all the tools it offers on Android are also available on the iPhone.

Like any other editing apps, Snapseed has all the basic tools that you’ll need from adjusting exposure to correcting the White Balance. But what differentiates it from the rest is the plethora of effects that it features.

For instance, it has dozens of presets that let you create anything from retro film effects or even classic black and white images.

It also has advanced editing tools such as HDR. This lets you create vivid pictures even in challenging lighting conditions.

Apart from the editing tools, Snapseed also includes frames and text tools to personalize your images. Using it allows you to create scrapbook-style images by adding borders and captions.

Logo of Snapseed

6. VSCO

  • App type: Photo editor
  • Price: Free but has in-app purchases
  • Platform: iOS and Android

When you’re traveling, you don’t want to be spending too much time on your phone editing your images. That’s why VSCO is one of the best apps for photographers because it’s so easy to use.

Unlike Snapseed, VSCO doesn’t offer a lot of tools for advanced editing. Instead, it offers a streamlined experience. It lets you add presets and tweak basic exposure settings quickly.

To use VSCO, all you have to do is tap a preset you like and adjust the sliders to alter the amount of effect you like on your images. You can also use sliders to change the brightness, contrast, saturation, highlights, and other exposure parameters.

VSCO’s main selling point is its ability to recreate the film look. Its presets are based on real film stocks so the result appears authentic.

Apart from basic adjustments, you can also add fade and grain among other effects to help you customize the vintage style of your photo.

Illustrative photo of VSCO

5. Pro HDR X

  • App type: HDR (high dynamic range) camera and editor
  • Price: $1.99
  • Platform: iOS and Android

When you’re doing travel photography, a big chunk of your photos are going to be landscapes. And Pro HDR X is what you’ll need to make your images look more vivid and alive.

HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is a technical term that describes the ability of an image to faithfully display shadows and highlights.

Your phone is not able to capture both the darkest and brightest elements accurately especially in bad lighting conditions. That’s why you’ll need Pro HDR X to make calibrations and ensure that your final image has rich blacks and bright whites.

To create vivid landscapes, Pro HDR X captures three images with different exposures. It then automatically combines those pictures into one that has all the correct shadows and highlights.

Just remember to only use Pro HDR X for static shots preferably on a tripod. If you include moving subjects in your frame, they’ll end up blurry since the app sandwiches the three photos it takes into one image.

Illustrative photo of Pro HDR X

4. Spot

  • App type: Photo sharing / Social media
  • Price: Free
  • Platform: iOS and Android

Looking for the best locations when traveling can be intimidating even for veteran travelers. When you’re in a place you haven’t been to before, it’s easy to get lost and miss the beautiful gems you want to capture.

Spot helps you locate picturesque destinations while traveling. Consider it a social media platform where photographers can share the local spots they discover in the areas they visit.

Apart from featuring well-known destinations such as Paris, Spot showcases places that other people may not know about at all. This cool app even has maps to help you locate where the photos were shot. It’s for planning your shoots, especially if you want to include unique places for your portfolio.

Spot also lets you share the places you discovered on your travels. When you upload your photos to the app, you get to add locations and even include tips to help your fellow photographers track the exact spot where you took the pictures.

Illustrative photo of Spot

3. Citymapper

  • App type: GPS
  • Price: Free
  • Platform: iOS and Android

When you’re doing travel photography, your ability to navigate places is just as crucial as your ability to take pictures. Knowing how to get there the quickest way allows you to cover more areas.

You can always use Google Maps to help you figure out where to go. But it doesn’t have all the information you need to get there. Citymapper shows you everything from routes to various transportation options to get to your destination.

One of the biggest features of Citymapper is that it shows you the nearest train and bus stations. And it guides you on how to get there. It even shows the arrival and departure times so you don’t miss your bus or train.

Citymapper is available in major cities from Asia to Europe. The only catch is that it won’t be much use if you happen to be in lesser-known destinations. But if you happen to find yourself shooting around New York or Paris, this app is definitely for you.

Illustrative photo of Citymapper

2. PhotoPills

  • App Type: Sun/moon tracker / Photography assistant and calculator
  • Price: $9.99
  • Platform: iOS and Android

Think of PhotoPills as your photography instructor and assistant. It has all the tools you may need from taking photos of the stars to calculating your depth of field.

One of its main features is the sun/moon/star tracker. It helps you figure out where the sun or the moon is going to be at your location at any time of the day. If you want to know where the moon is going to rise and set, all you have to do is get your phone out.

What’s great about PhotoPills is that it uses augmented reality to show you where the sun or moon is going to be in a real environment. Even if you use the app in the middle of the day, you get to see a digital rendition of the moon on your screen like it’s there.

PhotoPills is also perfect for tracking the Milky Way. You can use it to figure out its location so that when the night comes, you can go to the exact spot where you expect it to appear.

Apart from the tracker, it also has calculators for DOF, FOV, Hyperfocal Table, Long Exposures, Time Lapse and Star Trails. So if you don’t like fumbling around to get your settings correct, you’ll find this app useful.

Illustrative photo of PhotoPills

1. Weatherbug

  • App Type: Weather forecast
  • Price: Free
  • Platform: iOS and Android

Weatherbug isn’t exactly photography-related. But you’ll find yourself using it a lot especially in places with unpredictable weather. One of the best reasons to use it is that it’s free and it offers a forecast for up to ten days.

That means it’s perfect for helping you plan your itinerary for more than a week in advance.

Another advantage of using Weatherbug is that it has a total of 18 weather maps. They include wind, temperature, and lighting models among others. And it even has a Doppler radar that shows real-time snapshots of what’s going on without having to resort to news updates.

But what truly makes Weatherbug indispensable to photographers is that it features weather widgets that you can customize according to your needs.

For instance, you can activate traffic updates in your area if you’re in a busy tourist spot. You can even keep track of pollen count and air quality if you happen to be allergic or have a health condition.

Illustrative photo of Weatherbug

Conclusion

When doing travel photography, you must have all the tools you need to capture the places you visit. And having good photography apps on your phone would allow you to just about anything even when you move around a lot.

You should also include non-photography apps that you’ll find useful when navigating new places. Remember that as a travel photographer, you need to be as skilled at looking for the perfect destinations as you are with your camera.

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