As a landscape photographer you probably appreciate the solitude of being surrounded by nature and away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Cell phones and technology contribute to the fast-paced style of modern life, but smartphones can also be extremely useful even when you are out in the field working at your craft. The are many apps that can help in a variety of different ways, and in this article we’ll take a look at more than 20 of the best apps for nature and landscape photographers. Here you’ll find apps that will help you to find the best lighting, get tide information, calculate depth of field, calculate long exposures, GPS apps, and much more.
PhotoPills (for iOS)
PhotoPills ($9.99 is a very robust app with a wide range of features, especially for landscape photographers. PhotoPills can help organize your planning, including saving and sharing your plans and managing locations. You’ll get access to plenty of info about the sun and moon to be in the right place at the right time with just the right lighting. It also includes augmented reality to sun, moon, and Milky Way position and path. PhotoPills can also help you to calculate exposures, depth of field, and compute the parameters need for time lapse sequences.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris (for iOS and Android)
The Photographer’s Ephemeris is possibly the most popular photography app of all. The iOS app costs $8.99, the Android app costs $4.99, and a free desktop app is also available. TPE can help you to plan your outdoor shots through its map-centric sun and moon calculator. It will show you how the light will fall on the land at any location and for any time of the day or night. You’ll get information on sunrise and sunset, phases of the moon and percentage of illumination, as well as the times of civil, nautical, and astronomical twilight.
→ Related reading: Picture-Perfect Planning: The Photographer’s Ephemeris
Sun Seeker (for iOS and Android)
Sun Seeker ($6.99 for Android, $8.99 for iOS) provides a flat view compass as well as an augmented reality camera 3D view to show the solar path. You can choose any date and any location on earth to plan for optimal light conditions. It covers the United States and helps you to find the right time and location for your photography.
LightTrac (for iOS, Android, and Windows)
LightTrac ($4.99) helps photographers to plan by helping them to find perfect lighting conditions, times and locations. You can pick any day, time, and location and get information on the position of the sun and moon.
Sun Surveyor (for iOS and Android)
Sun Surveyor ($6.99 for iOS and $6.49 for Android) provides sun and moon visualization and tracking for any location, date, and time. It calculates sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, solar moon, golden hour, and blue hour times. It features augmented reality view, 3D compass, map and street view, and more. Sun Surveyor Lite is available for free (for iOS and Android).
skyPhysics (for iOS)
skyPhysics ($4.99) provides a variety of data on the sun and moon. You can check the position of the sun and moon for any location at any time, get rise and set times and angles, and moon phases shown on a calendar. You can point the device wherever you want and it will tell you when the sun or moon will be where you are pointing.
Focalware (for iOS)
Focalware ($4.99) will calculate the location of the sun and moon anywhere in the world and at any time.
TideGraph Pro (for iOS)
TideGraph Pro ($3.99) provides over 6,000 US tide and water current predictions, and best of all, you can use the app even without an internet connection. The data provided can be critical for photographing the coasts.
AyeTides (for iOS)
AyeTides ($7.99) is another option for tide information, providing data on an impression 10,000 locations around the world. Like TideGraph Pro, AyeTides does not require internet access.
Tide Chart (Android)
Android users can also get tide information. The Tide Chart app is free from the Google Play Store.
GPS Kit & GPS Kit HD (for iOS)
GPS Kit is a robust GPS app for the iPhone or iPad. GPS Kit costs $9.99 and GPS Kit HD costs $14.99. It is designed specifically for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and off-roading, which makes it perfect for landscape photographers who need to venture off the beaten path. It can be used without an internet connection or phone service. You can even create “weather stations” to get forecasts for specific locations.
Lightning Finder ($5.99 per year) will help you to find locations of lightning in near real time. It works for the 48 contiguous states as well as Puerto Rico, portions of Central America and the Caribbean Islands. You can also set it to get text message alerts of strikes in your area.
Pocket Light Meter (for iOS)
Pocket Light Meter (free) makes it easy to keep a light meter in your pocket.
Photo Tools (for Android)
Photo Tools (free) includes a variety of different functions. include DoF and hyperfocal distance calculator, field of view calculator, exposure reciprocation calculator, flash exposure calculator, multiple exposure compensation, minimal shutterspeed calculator, time lapse calculator, timer, stopwatch, light meter, weather forecast, color temperature chart, and more.
DSLR Remote (for Android)
This free app will serve as a remote for your camera by infrared, wire, or Bluetooth.
Star Walk (for iOS and Android)
Star Walk ($2.99) is an interactive astronomy guide that can be very useful for night photography. It provides extensive information about stars and celestial bodies that can be used by photographers.
NDTimer (for iOS)
NDTimer ($0.99) is useful for helping you to calculate and time the correct exposures for long exposure shots when using a neutral density filter.
Long Exposure Calculators (for iOS)
Long Exposure Calculators ($3.99) includes reference charts and calculators that can help you to improve your long exposure shots in low light and at night. It includes reference charts for shooting flowing water and fireworks. It includes calculators for stacking ND filters, for graduated ND filters, for shooting under moonlight, for shooting star trails, and for shooting still stars.
TrueDoF (for iOS)
TrueDoF ($8.99) can help you to calculate the depth of field. Unlike most other DoF calculating apps TrueDoF includes the effects of diffraction for increased accuracy of the calculation.
DOF Calculator (for Android)
DOF Calculator is a free app that includes a depth of field calculator, as well as calculating hyperfocal distance, near focus limit,and far focus limit.
Which Apps are Your Favorites?
What photography apps do you use? Feel free to share in the comments.