The Power of Your iPhone

Your iPhone (or other smartphone) has become an incredibly powerful tool in the field of landscape photography.  No, I am not talking about using it to take photos — while you can actually get a few good shots to post on the web from it, it still doesn’t hold up when you want to make a fine art image.  What I am talking about is that there is now a plethora of apps that can aid you when you are in the field.

My iPhone has become a tool that I never want to be without.  Whether I am looking up sunrise times, checking the weather or scouting locations, I can now do it all in the field right from my phone (some apps do need cell service). Here is a list of the apps that I find most helpful when I am out shooting.  There are many others, but these are what I feel are the best.

1) The Photographer’s Ephemeris

This app is simply incredible.  It calculates sun and moon rise set times as well as the location of where they will rise and set.  The app also let’s you know the phase of the moon, twilight times as well as a host of other important information.

2) Long Exposure Calculators

This app has a variety of calculators to help you figure out the exposure times of some very difficult exposures.  It helps you calculate times for ND filters, still stars, star trails, moonlight nights, etc.

3) Star Walk

When shooting the night sky this app is incredibly helpful in locating constellations.

4) DOFMaster

This app does exactly what it says — no real explanation needed here.  It is extremely useful in the field when you need to figure out hyperfocal distances.

5) Tide Table

When photographing seascapes, it can be very helpful to know exactly when low and high tide will occur.  Not only is it helpful to getting the right shot, sometimes it is an issue of safety.

6) WeatherBug

This app is great on the iPhone, but even better on the iPad.  When trying to figure out what the weather will be like in the field, this app gives you the most detailed forecast. It also allows you to see an animated radar map for your location. On the iPad it also includes a cloud cover percentage in the hourly forecast.

7) The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite

Photographer Michael Frye hit it out of the park with his Yosemite app. It offers advice on locations throughout the park as well as a ton of photography advice. It’s a must have for anyone visiting the park for the first time — or even the 100th.

So, head over to the App Store and load up you phone and get out into the field.

Happy shooting!


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  1. Artem Sapegin August 26, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    Did you try PhotoPills? It’s like TPE but much better 🙂

    P. S. Link to Star Walk is wrong.

  2. Tyler Oakley News April 23, 2015 at 9:38 am #

    Excellent post this will really help me!

  3. Patio Designs May 18, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

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