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Five iPhone Apps for the Photographer on the Run

Sections: Phoneography, Photo Apps

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I travel…A LOT. Between driving three states away to visit my wife in middle-of-nowhere Iowa to hitting various conferences, my car and I spend a lot of time together. This also means I get to use my iPhone as a tool to help me in my photographic endeavors. Let’s look at five tools I fiercely rely on.

Compass:
You may never open this app, but I argue that this is one powerful tool when you are visiting a new area. When I am out scouting new locations for a possible shoot, I want to know where the sun comes up and where it goes down. Knowing this not only allows me to plan my compositions in the middle of the day, but it allows me not to worry about hitting those magical lighting hours versus chasing the sun.

Endomondo/Strava:
Yup, these are fitness apps, but they are indispensible when it comes to the scouting mission. Just fire up the GPS and let them map out your drive while you look at the scenery in hopes of finding something interesting to grace your camera. The nice thing about Endomondo is that you can go online and make notes about each “route” you map out. I’ve used this to make notes of windmills, interesting barns, or wonderful vistas that would work well in automotive shots. You can even use them for their intended purpose and kill two birds with one stone.

Snapseed:
I do not always have the ability to lug my laptop around while I am out shooting. This means that if I am working in a time crunch and need to get a proof out in a hurry, I need a way to edit and send the photo out quickly and efficiently. Snapseed gives me the ability to edit a photo while in my car, or coffee shop, and get it out to the client. Add in the iPad with the camera connection kit and you have a mobile editing studio that fits in most camera bags.

Easy Release:
Sometimes you need a convenient way to get a release from a patron at a restaurant from which you just took a shot. Model releases are a big deal for anyone who wants to license images with people in them. Easy Release allows users to snag signatures without having to carry around release forms and pens. I use this at conventions and while out doing street photography. I have one release setup for models and another setup for buildings. Once obtaining a signed release, you can email a copy of the complete signed release to everyone involved. I also recommend getting a good stylus as well, as it makes people feel more comfortable.

Pro HDR:
Sometimes I grab my camera and run. This works well when I am taking test comps, but not so great when I could have used an ND filter to balance out the sky with the ground. Pro HDR allows me to replicate these filters by exposing for the highs and the lows. This is a two shot process and the app merges the two photos together for a nicely exposed frame. There are also tools for some basic photo editing, but I would use Snapseed for anything major.

Travel is a part of life but that doesn’t mean we should let it slow us down in our pursuit for “the shot.” Just as filters, L-Brackets, and tripods help make photography easier, the iPhone is an essential tool to any photographer, and it fits right in your pant’s pocket.

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