The BEST iPhone Apps for REAL Photographers

December 10, 2009

Photo Gear

I admit it, I am an iPhone geek, and I can’t even remember what life was like before the iPhone… I rely on my iPhone everyday, for just about everything, from keeping my calendar handy, checking up on email, keeping up with twitter, and checking up on the comments you all leave here on The Digital Photo Experience.

But what has been most surprising to me is how much I have enjoyed using my iPhone in my photographic endeavors. I use it for keeping track of the sun and the moon, to create on the fly panoramic images, and even making some great time-lapse movies.

I know that just about every photography blog has come out with a list of their “Top 10 iPhone apps,” but I can honestly say that not one of those lists has really impressed me. It felt to me like those recommendations were put together hastily and not really as a result of real world, day to day usage of those apps.

So without further ado, here I present to you my personal list of “The BEST iPhone Apps for REAL Photographers”

Paid Apps:

Focalware

Focalware
$9.99
iTunes Link (launches iTunes)
http://spiraldev.com/focalware/

Focalware is probably the most useful photo related iPhone app I own. I feel this application is essential for any photographer who shoots outdoors, both stills and video. Focalware makes it very easy to find out where the Sun and/or Moon will be at any moment in time anywhere on the planet. Whats more, it will tell you how long the shadows will be! No more guessing where the light will fall and or where the shadows will be when planning a shoot. This application uses both the GPS as well as the compass built into the iPhone 3GS to make is extremely simple to use. There are other apps that offer similar capabilities, some at 3 times the price, yet they do not offer the Moon information that I personally find essential. At $10 it is pricey by iPhone app standards, but for what you get, I think it’s a steal!

Darkness

Darkness

$0.99
iTunes Link (launches iTunes)
http://bjango.com/apps/darkness/

Darkness came in a close second. Honestly I use Darkness much more than Focalware, and Focalware provides pretty much all the same information, but Darkness is oh so slick, beautifully designed and makes it so easy to find sunset, sunrise, moonset, moonrise times as well as phases of the moon for any given location and date. What I appreciate the most is that you can create a list of locations and at a glance, get all the information you need.

iTimeLapse

iTimeLapse

$2.99
iTunes Link (launches iTunes)
http://timelapse-iphone.com/

iTimelapse is a pretty new application but I have to tell you I am smitten. This little app makes capturing time-lapse movies with your iPhone a piece of cake. One of the first tests I did was to tape it to the rear view mirror of my car (with the camera facing forward) and record what was a pretty mundane trip. The results were awesome! I have done many many time-lapses with my digital SLRs, and really enjoy them, but now I can make time-lapse movies anytime I want!

AutoStitch

AutoStitch

$1.99
iTunes Link (launches iTunes)
http://www.cloudburstresearch.com/autostitch/autostitch.html

AutoStitch is a great app for stitching a bunch of images together into a larger image, this could be a panorama, but the beauty of this app is that the images don’t need to be horizontally aligned, you could stitch a bunch of images on both the horizontal and vertical axis, and this app will stitch them all together perfectly. That app does not take pictures itself, it uses image you have captured using the built-in camera application or another application like the next one on the list.

Camera Genius

CameraGenius

$1.99
iTunes Link (launches iTunes)
http://www.cloudburstresearch.com/autostitch/autostitch.html

Camera Genius has almost completely replaced the camera application on my iPhone, it offers a bevy of features, like image stabilization, gridlines, self timer, and you can even set it so that the entire screen becomes one giant shutter button.

Free Apps:

PS Mobile

PSMobile

iTunes Link (launches iTunes)
http://mobile.photoshop.com/iphone/

The app store is full of applications that allow you to apply all kind of effects to your images. Some of them neat, some cutesy. However, I have found PS Mobile to provide me with the best tools for image adjustment. PS Mobile offers cropping, rotation, exposure, saturation & tint adjustments, plus a bunch of other built in effects.

Strobox

Strobox

iTunes Link (launches iTunes)
http://app.strobox.com/

Very recently released, Strobox is a great little app for creating lighting diagrams easily. Once you create the diagrams you can save them and share them like any other image on your phone.

Flickr

Flickr

iTunes Link (launches iTunes)
http://mobile.yahoo.com/flickr/iphone

The latest version of Flickrs iPhone app has been a significant improvement over their first release, and while there are other third-party applications that are better Flickr apps (like my favorite Mobile Fotos) the official Flickr app is free and provides most of the features people want for free.

Well, there you have it folks, my list of “The BEST iPhone Apps for REAL Photographers.” I would love to hear about what your picks are for the best apps; feel free to share with us your favorites in the comments.

FREE apps for some lucky DPE readers

This contest has ended

The developers for the applications below have given us 5 promo codes each for their apps, if you would a chance to win one of these codes, (only valid in the US iTunes store), simply follow us on twitter (@DPExperience) AND let us know which app you would like a chance to win by sending one of the tweets below.

Click on the appropriate links below to send the tweet via your browser.

Click to ask for a Focalware promo code

Click to ask for a Camera Genius promo code

Click to ask for an AutoStitch promo code

You can tweet for just one app, or you can send a tweet for each app. Multiple requests for one app do NOT improve your chances of getting a promo code, so please don’t tweet more than once per app.

We will pick the winners (randomly from all the folks that tweeted about it AND follow us) on monday (2009/12/14) and notify you via DM (Direct Message on Twitter) so make sure you are following us at: @DPExperience

P.S. DPE’s Rick Sammon and Dr. Dave Wilson are current secluded somewhere in Texas putting the finishing touches on their iPhone app. Soon come. The best of Rick, so to speak!


This post was written by:

- who has written 347 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Juan is a wildlife photographer who currently lives in Maine. Juan lives and breathes photography and travels around the country making images, teaching and leading photo workshops. Juan’s favorite destination is Yellowstone in winter.

You can follow Juan on twitter at http://twitter.com/jpons


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3 Responses to “The BEST iPhone Apps for REAL Photographers”

  1. Kevin Says:

    I’m a real photographer, but I don’t use an iPhone. I use something different. I just hope some of these apps become (or are) non-exclusive to the iPhone community, because I’d be interested in them.

    Reply

  2. Holly Says:

    You’ve sold me on iTimeLapse – am downloading it now! Polarize is also a great little app as is vint shift. Check them out.

    Reply

  3. jim sutton Says:

    To this list I would add iWatermark which is handy for professionals and only .99. It makes sense put a visible watermark on a photo and retain control of the ip or don’t and lose it the moment you give it to someone or put it on the web. Great and simple to use app:
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iwatermark/id357577420?mt=8

    Reply


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