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The smartphone is slowly becoming an invaluable tool for a photographer thanks to a growing number of photography apps that make use of its hardware and computing capabilities. There are apps, for both Android and iOS, that add to the picture taking experience on smartphones like apps for camera enhancement, photo editing, and photo sharing. The most popular of such apps include Pixlr, Cymera, Adobe Photoshop Express, Instagram, Snapseed, 500px, and many others. This article is not about such apps. This article is about Android apps that help a photographer in using the smartphone as a tool to aid him in photography in various different ways. All the apps listed here are free but most of them have paid versions with additional features.
1. Photo Tools
If there is one app that every photographer should consider, it has got to be this one. This app bundles all sorts of essential photography tools in one place. There are tools to calculate depth of field, hyperfocal distance, field of view, exposure, and flash exposure among others. There are weather tools like the Sunny 16 (EV) calculator, blue and golden hour calculator, and the moon phase and exposure calculator. There are also a lot of other tools too that you might find useful.
2. DoF Calculator
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This is a great app to help you quickly calculate the depth of field for a particular focal length and aperture. There are four different modes – simple, advanced, reverse, Av. The app supports most SLRs, DSLRs, and compact cameras from all major brands. It also tells you the hyperfocal distance which can prove useful in landscape photography.
3. DSLR Remote
This app allows you to use your smartphone as a remote control for your DSLR camera via infrared, cable, or Bluetooth. It’s great for use as a remote shutter release, or as a timer. It can also be of good use as an intervalometer to capture time-lapse photographs.
4. LightMeter Free
As the name suggests, this app allows the smartphone to be used as a light meter to measure exposure. It features incident light metering which requires a light sensor in the phone, and reflected light metering (requires a camera in the phone) but is not compatible with all models.
5. Sun Surveyor Lite
This app is useful in location scouting for landscape photography as it predicts and visualizes the Sun’s trajectory, as well as Sunrise and Sunset positions. It’s useful in pre-visualizing and planning for the ‘golden hour’ using the 3D compass where the Sun’s position and orientation are shown on a map at the selected location. If you are looking for an app that predicts Moon path and phase, there is a cool app called Moon Trajectory.net.
6. Photoshop Tutorials Free
There is always something new to learn in Photoshop. If you are looking for tutorials on the go, this is a good app. This app provides a wide variety of Photoshop tutorials and tips. The tutorials are not in the form of videos but text and images, which helps limit unnecessary data download.
7. Right Click
For those who want to learn the fundamentals of photography, this app is a great starting place. It helps you to visually understand the effect of aperture, shutter speed and ISO on an image and also lists the basics of various photography styles like landscape, sports, portraits, and others. For advanced and more ‘serious’ photography lessons, there are some great paid apps like Photography Trainer, Photo Academy, and PhotoCaddy.
8. Map-A-Pic Location Scout
We are always scouting for photographic locations and wouldn’t it be nice if you never forgot a great location for photography? This app does just that. It helps you save your photographic locations and scout for great locations that have been saved by other users.
9. Digi-Review – Cameras & Lenses
If you are someone who wants to keep an updated list of all cameras, lenses and accessories from all major brands at your fingertips, this app is for you. It currently lists models from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, and Fujifilm. The list is non-exhaustive but pretty intensive, full with specifications, reviews and sample images. There is a Beginner’s Guides section as well as a News & Tips section with content from various photography websites.
Everybody needs a little photographic inspiration every now and then and what better place than Flickr for that! You can browse your contacts’ photos or explore images from around the world to keep you inspired. Happy photographing!