Tools of the Trade: Smart Phone

Most people would be surprised by this entry, but as the technology that is packed into these tiny devices continues to stagger me, it’s hard to ignore now. I can honestly say that using my iPhone has saved me a lot of time with photography. With access to thousands upon thousands of apps, I am able to turn my iPhone into a digital Swiss-army-knife.

Here is a list of a few apps that I used a lot in regards to photography.

The Weather Channel:  This one is pretty obvious. With the ability to stay up to date on the weather is critical in making or breaking a day of shooting. There have been more than a few times that I have chosen to stay in knowing that there wasn’t going to be much for light, or have raced out of the house because I can see the conditions will be right.

Sunrise Sunset: Again, pretty obvious. Not only is it useful the day of shooting, but often I can plan a day weeks in advance.

ShralpTide: A nifty app that can tell you the tides for any area in the world for a 5 day stretch. This is useful for me as most of my shooting is done here on the rugged coast of Maine. This lets me decide what I will go out looking for. If its close to high tide, I look for waves. If it is close to low tide, I look for reflections.

Sunseeker: This is a great app, especially if you are using it for sunrise. It has a 3D Live-view option that lets you see the path of the sun from horizon to horizon. A lot of times when I get up for a sunrise shoot, I will go to a location, and figure out where the sun will rise. It makes it a lot easier than finding a good spot only to have to move because it’s at a bad angle.

Facebook/Twitter: I know that this wouldn’t seem like a good tool for photography, but when you are trying to make a business out of it, the ability to be connected to millions of potential viewers is important. Now I can share updates and pictures on location.

There are other useful apps too, but none that stand out more than these. I like to play games while waiting for a long exposure, or listen to music while I set up, or even use it as a flashlight when I am stupid and forget mine in the car. One day, these tiny little devices will all take DSLR quality pictures. Until then, I’ll still be out there shooting with my camera, you can count on that.

iPhones are also great of taking pictures of your camera taking pictures.

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