Getting that great shot - That One-In-A-Million, is not as easy as you might think. If you watch any of my videos, or read any of my blogs, you'll know how real the struggle is.
Unlike most of my local photographers (it seems anyway), I tend to plan my shoots down to the finest detail, from location, composition, sunset/sunrise direction, tide times and weather (there are probably more, but I don't want to look like I have acute OCD). I always go out to get that one shot. Not take millions and have to go through them to find the best 10. I want one. I can always plan to get the others some other time.
10 years ago, this would have been almost impossible, without about 5 to 10 recce visits/shoots. But thankfully, someone came up with the idea of having all of this information in the palm of your hand, and readily available to the fingertip of choice - If you have available data signals, that is. Because there are a plethora of apps available for your smartphone, to give you as much information as your brain can manage, so that you can be as precise and OCD like as you like. Plan your shoot and get that shot, that you wanted to get - it doesn't always go to plan, and some of the information may be wrong. But here we go anyway.
My favourite apps that I (In my humble opinion) think will help your Landscape Photography go a lot further. Both in the preparation stages, taking the shots, and in the Social Media (Getting your images out there) stage.
I should mention that I am on Android, but I think most/all of these have corresponding apps on iPhone. And I am not sponsored by any of these apps, and others are available from the app/play store.
1. Exposure Calculator
By far my most used app on my phone, potentially. If you've seen any of my YouTube videos, or follow me on any of my social media - you will know that I love Long Exposure Photography. I use this app to calculate the exposure (seems legit), when I put my ND filter on my lens, so that I can slow my shutter speed, and get milky sees, or dreamy skies. I've tried other apps, like the Lee calculator, but this one is by far the easiest to use.
2. TPE (The Photographer’s Ephemeris)
Probably my second most used app of all time. This lets me work out when and where the sun will come up and go down - Fair warning, it probably does so much more. In fact, I know it does (but I have PhotoPills for that). However, it is so simple and easy to use. Tracking the Sun and the Moon with this app, is easier and quicker than opening the curtains and having a look. You'll thank me. There is even a desktop version, I think. Don't be fooled and pay the £11.99 price-tag. There is a free version that does have adds, but you'll be using it for such a short period of time, it'll make no difference.
Arguably, one of the best apps on the planet for Photographers. It’s the photographer’s Swiss Army knife. It does so many things. You can use it to plan your astrophotography shoots. It can easily figure out the phase of the moon, the location of The Milky Way, where it will rise, how high, at what angle, and at what intensity. The best part is the 3D augmented reality for finding The Milky Way in the sky.
And that’s just the beginning. Whether you are doing timelapse photography, location planning, tracking the sun or the moon, or calculating your hyperfocal distance, this app has it all. The £9.99 price tag is well worth it considering all you get in return.
It's only my number 3, as I don't use all of it's functions and there are a couple of things I would like to see in it. Like tide times, or decent weather tracking. And the fact that I always seem to go to TPE for tracking the Sun, should tell you that it isn't as easy to use.
Instagram is the preferred place for photographers to showcase their work. I try and upload weekly and keep my images as consistent as possible, which is a good way to increase your followers. Take a look at mine HERE, to get some inspiration.
5. Tides Near Me
An invaluable app to calculate tide times. I do a lot of Seascapes and I am always wanting low tides - In Southsea, there low tide reveals a sandy beach (for the most part) and I like to get the glistening sunset on the wet sand. Nothing compares to it.
There are quite a few apps for tide times and this one is so simple to use (UK only unfortunately), so have a look or choose one that relates to where you live.
If you've never heard of 500px, then you should take a look. It's a social media outlet (like Instagram) for Photographers. But it's geared towards the more Professional of us. You can have your images rated and featured. I don't really use this so much as I used to, but I include it here to show you an alternative to Instagram. Check out their desktop site at https://500px.com/
7. No Crop
Ever uploaded to Instagram and lost the edges, because you have to keep it within a certain dimension? It's not too bad nowadays, as the app give you a little bit to play with. But if you have an ultra wide panorama, you'll find it difficult to get the edge in. This is a great app, as it adds a border to the side of the image, to bring it back in to the right dimensions. Ergo, you don't lose any of the image. Sweet!!!
Another social media app. This one I probably use the least. I do have an account and upload to it all the time. But I don't get as much attention as the other social media platforms. It's here so that you can take a look. Follow me if you like - HERE.
Lastly, but by no means least. Facebook!
This has been my favourite social platform, since I started my Facebook Page, a decade, or so ago. Now I pretty much do most of my business workings through Facebook. Even if it's something I have promoted on my website(s), Facebook will be where it ends up.
Many of you will have found this blog through Facebook. It's a worthy contender for a place on this list. Here are a few of my Facebook Links;
Facebook Page - Andy Hornby Photography
Facebook Workshop Group - Andy Hornby Photography Workshops
There it is - my list of some great apps. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Do you have one that you want me to try, for instance... "Go Forth And Get Photographing!!!"