A smartphone won’t snap the same images you can capture with a DSLR—but that doesn’t mean smartphones aren’t still great tools for serious and professional photographers. From scouting out new locations to shoot to signing contracts, apps can be helpful tools for photographers.
But, a quick search in the app store for “photography” turns up over 20,000 results, and many of them are designed for the crowd that spends more time taking selfies than any other picture. We’ve weeded out the casual options and rounded up a list of the best apps for professional photographers and enthusiasts.
Shooting outdoors makes it tricky to capture the specific lighting you were looking for. LightTrac can help by monitoring all your natural light sources (i.e. the sun and the moon) and giving you specific information as to where they’ll be and when. By determining the angle of the sun for your exact planned shoot location, you can determine the best time of day to take that shot you’ve been envisioning in your mind. LightTrac offers very specific information about outdoor lighting from what the moon will look like to when sunset its. It’s available from the Apple, Google and Windows app stores for $4.99.
While Rego isn’t necessarily designed just for photographers’ it’s a pretty handy tool for image makers. The app saves locations you want to remember later—so it’s great for quickly noting good shooting locations. You can organize the locations you save too, so you can have separate categories for, say the look they have or the type of shoot what would work best there. Rego is $7.99 for iPhone.
Paperwork is a necessary—but boring—part of being a professional photographer. Take care of model and property releases quickly with the Easy Release app. Contracts can be signed right on your smartphone, and a copy will be instantly emailed to you. There’s standard contract language included, or you can create your own. Plus, it saves paper too. Easy Release is available for both iPhone and Android for $9.99.
f/8 DoF Calculator
Depth of field can be a tricky thing to perfect. After all, there’s no such thing as a depth of field meter to help you guide your choices. The f/8 DoF Calculator app can help. By inputting all your camera information, the app calculates the distance from the subject that objects will remain sharp. Using the different sliders like for aperture, you can determine what camera settings will work best for your particular scene, all without doing any math. The app is available for iPhone for $3.99.
Pocket Light Meter**
While digital cameras all have built-in light meters, some scenarios call for a light meter that can read the light at a very specific spot. But, with the Pocket Light Meter App, you don’t have to buy a separate light meter to do that. The app functions much like a traditional light meter and is a great tool for shooting with film or more specific digital measurements. It’s a free app, or you can pay $1.99 for the ad-free version. Pocket Light Meter is available on the Apple and Google app stores.
Adobe Nav For Photoshop
For photographers that use Photoshop and also own a tablet, Adobe Nav is a nice tool. The app will instantly transfer photos on your tablet to Photoshop. While you are editing, you can use the app as a quick toolbox to select which tools to use, to help the editing process go a bit faster. It’s available for just $1.99.
If you’re a professional photographer, all those miles you drive heading out to different shoots are actually tax deductible. To make keeping track of those deductions simpler, Mileage Log+ keeps track of your trips for you, so you can easily determine your mileage deductions for the year. It’s available on the Apple App Store for $2.99.
Camera Remote Apps
Your smartphone makes a very handy remote release for your camera. If your camera has wi-fi built-in, your camera manufacturer has an app that will trigger your camera wirelessly, like the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility (https://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/nikon-apps/index.page) or Canon EOS Remote (https://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/standard_display/MobileApps). But, you can still use your smartphone to trigger your camera if it doesn’t have built-in wi-fi by using Triggertrap (http://www.triggertrap.com/products/apps/triggertrap-mobile/#products/apps/triggertrap-mobile/1). The app is free, but you’ll need to purchase a tethering system to connect the camera to your phone. Triggertrap also has a few other neat features, like the ability to easily set up a time lapse shoot.
Smartphones are great tools for photographers—and you don’t necessarily need to use that little built-in camera either. The best apps for professional photographers help pinpoint the best time to shoot, the best settings to use and manage the business side of things, like contracts and tax deductions.
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