When I am a guest on The Lens Wipe Podcast I have a short segment called The App of the Week. I am by no means an expert on iPhone apps, I just have an opinion on the ones I use. So with that in mind, a friend of mine sent me a Facebook message tonight asking me for a short list of must have photography apps for the iDevices. I’m going to break this into two sections free and paid and will list them in order as #1 being my top pick.
FREE- (not sure if they’ll be free when you read this
- The built in camera app, of all the apps like Camera+ and Camera Pro, I use the original built in Camera app the most for capturing images. It’s faster, and does the job.
- Instagram, this is a fun social app to share and get creative ideas from. It has a few built in filters if you feel you want to toss an easy ‘look’ on a photo before you share it to the Instagram community. One thing to note, not all of the photos shared in the Instagram community were taken on an iDevice, some were very clearly taken with much higher end equipment, but it’s still a great place to see and share great pictures.
- Gorilla Cam, I chose this one because it has a time lapse and self timer built in to the app. I don’t use it for regular pictures, and I have paid apps to handle the two functions mentioned, but this one is free, and handles those functions well enough.
- Nikon Learn & Explore, this is pile of photographic knowledge, inspiration, tips, and tid bits wrapped into a pretty nice UI.
- Adobe Photoshop Express, one of the nicer, free, editing apps available, it also has a sharing/storage functionality but I have never used that feature.
- DOF Master, this is literally the first ‘photography app’ I put on my iPhone. This is an app used in conjunction with a DSLR to calculate the Depth of Field for a given focal length, f-stop, and subject distance. It’s very handy and definitely worth having. You’ll notice that it is on the free list, but if you go to the app store it is $1.99. Well I do not have the DOF Master ‘app’… huh? I believe I was using the DOF Master iPhone app before there was even an app store, but I’m not exactly sure on the time frame. From your iPhone if you go to http://www.iphone.DOFMaster.com you will get the exact same UI that appears to be in the app store, the drawback being that if you are using an iTouch or WiFi iPad you will need WiFi, and with the iPhone or 3G iPad you will need some level of cellular connection. After you connect to the website on your device just create a shortcut for it that will show up as an icon just as the app from the store does.
- SnapSeed, hands down the best mobile based photo editing app I have used to this point. Once you get used to the ‘swiping’ style UI it’s easy, quick, and rewarding to process photos for a little pop or a lot of creativity. Swipe up and down to select the desired adjustment, swipe side to side to increase or decrease the level of the adjustment. Currently $4.99
- Photo FX by Tiffen, This is the app that I edited with before I got SnapSeed. This has many more combinations of options, with many selections of stackable filters. Currently $2.99
- DerManDar, This is an easy to use panorama app that produces 360 panoramas that can be viewed on the device and shared with friends. I have tried quite a few panorama apps, and this one has produced the best consistent results for me. Currently $1.99
- Hipstamatic, this is a ‘low tech’ or Lomography app, offering photographic results reminiscent of simple analog cameras. It’s fun and a bit more hit or miss than just editing for effect after capture. Currently $1.99
- Light Track, this is a tool to use during preparation for exterior photography sessions. Whether you are planning on capturing a grand landscape, or a beautiful family portrait this app can be a valuable tool. Giving you times, directions and elevations of sun and moon rise as well as now offering a shadow length calculator. Very, very useful.
A few final tips that go along with this post, Head over to Facebook and like iPhoneography for tips, tutorials, and inspiration as well as an occasional heads up on limited time free apps. That’s how I ended up with SnapSeed for free.
The same goes for The App Store on Facebook also offering limited time offers as well as introducing new apps.
There is also an app in the App Store called Free App a Day, plenty of crap comes along through there but every now and then a gem shows up.
I learned about limited time offers of DerManDar and SynthCam for free from people on Instagram so there is another nice side benefit of using and sharing with that app.
You should also ‘LIKE’ Camera Campus as a way of thanking me for the tremendously valuable info above, and tell your friends!
Remember to listen to my App of the Week segment on The Lens Wipe, which is actually only aired by-monthly but…