A couple of weeks ago, Mary wrote a blog about her iPhone camera and the apps she has been using. Though I do not have an iPhone, I do love my iPad and have found several apps and websites to be very valuable in planning and executing our photography outings. Most of the apps I download have good reviews and are free or cost a few dollars. If you type in “photography” into the app store, you will get over 3,000 hits, so beware. Here is my short “best of” list.
Before making any plan, you need to know the weather. I use an AccuWeather app and an AeroWeather app to check out what is happening in the up-coming days when we plan a photo outing or trip. Second, you need to know when there will be good light, i.e. sunrise and sunset for your location. I like to use the “Sun n Moon” app, the “MoonPhase” app, and “Twilight.” All do something a little different and all give valuable information on the best time for the best light so that you can plan your shots accordingly. If you have the 3G IPad version, use your current location. If not, just type in your location for accurate times.
When Mary and I were in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago working, it was helpful to plan our shots after we both got off work knowing when and where the sun would rise and set. Here is a beautiful sunrise shot Mary got after I went home.
Third, you need to know WHERE the good light will be. You will want a good Ephemeris. I use several. I have the “iEphemeris” app and I use “The Photographer’s Ephemeris for iOS” app more than any other. The last one along with the “LightTrac” app shows you the direction of the rising sun, setting sun, and the same for the moon. You can pick a spot and look at a satellite image or map to see where the light will be coming from and where it will be going to. Again, this is really helpful in planning your shot list and setting your schedule. When I planned the cover shot of the vineyard in Carneros, CA, I used Light Trac to see where the light would be coming from at a certain time.
The last planning tool I use in Goggle Earth. It is a good way to see where you are going and what you might want to photograph in an interface that is quasi 3-D.
One more tool, in the field, if you need it, or better yet to study beforehand is a Depth of Field Chart. There are many out there. I use DOFMaster.
Most of these apps are made for both the iPad and iPhone. Some are exclusive iPhone apps, but also readily useable on the iPad. If you do not have 3G some of these will not work for you as they are location-based apps and best used with an appliance with GPS functionality.
I do not really process any photos on my iPad, but I do carry them around with me. I have liked using FolioBook for organizing photos. I do find some limitations in how many folios you can set up easily and how many photos in each one. There is some clunkiness, but it does make for a nice presentation.
Lastly, there are quite a few websites that I have book-marked on my iPad desktop so that they are at my finger tips. I like the Cloud Appreciation Society . Yes, there is a website for everything. They have many beautiful photos and great descriptions of different kinds of clouds. Recently, I have also been following the wild flower season on www.desertusa.com/wildflo/wildupdates.html. It has not turned out to be a very good year in So. Cal, but I did not waist my time getting out because I got almost daily updates on all of the locations.
Again, a reminder, if you search photography in the app store, you will get over 3,000 hits. Most are camera and photo processing apps for iPhone, some are reference materials and magazines, and some are useful tools. Because my iPad does not have a camera, I have not downloaded all of the photo processing apps that Mary uses with her iPhone. I am sure that some of you with the new iPad2 will want some of these if you take photos and want to process them all on the iPad. For those of you using your iPad as a tool in your camera kit, these few apps I listed should get you started. Let me know what else you find out there in the app world that I should have. To see more of our photographs, go to www.pamphotography.com.