According to a recent article from Wired, “the point and shoot are dead.” Today’s photographers are all about using their smartphones to capture life’s moments. Fans of Olympus’s new OM-D E M10 will probably cry foul but we have to admit that, thanks to all of the awesome smartphone photography apps and accessories out there, Wired may be right.
That said, not all apps are created equal. If you are a mobile photographer, here are the best apps to help you step up your photography game.
- A Good Backup App
Having a good backup app like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, etc. is important for mobile photographers because photos take up a lot of storage space.
But what happens if you drop your phone or it gets damaged somehow before you can back anything up? After all, sometimes the muse will take you where the WiFi just won’t go, right? There’s a service for that! One of the fastest growing trends in IT is the use of mobile phone data recovery services. These are people who know how to, for lack of a better word “mine” your phone to recover data that might have gotten lost or trapped. Then, when these blessed tech warriors have recovered your photos, back them up immediately.
Afterlight is kind of like Darkroom but it forces you to make nearly as many in-app purchases to get access to all of its awesome tools. Some have described it as Instagram on steroids and trust us, its filter library is the best out there, but you can do more than apply filters. Afterlight also lets you dig into custom editing and adjusting as well.
Be honest: a good sized percentage of your photos are selfies, right? Whose phone isn’t filled with these pics? FaceTune is the app to help your selfies look great–like professional photography portrait studio great–without having to take the same shot a dozen times. Sure it costs a few bucks but with Facetune you can erase dark circles and blemishes, whiten your smile, smooth complexions, add makeup and blending, and a lot more. Even if the photo is of someone else, FaceTune can really enhance your portrait photography portfolio.
4. Slow Shutter Cam
Do you like taking photos in low lighting? The standard specs built into your smartphone camera likely make this very difficult. With the Slow Shutter Cam app, though, you can take all the low light photos you want. Moreover, Slow Shutter Cam lets you take all of those slow shuttered shots you thought were only possible with a DSLR camera. This app captures light and images as they move in front of the lens perfectly, giving you gorgeous action shots to show off.
5. Photographer’s Tools
This is a great little app for people who miss playing around with all of the ephemera that used to come with photography: light meters, depth of field calculators, ND filter calculators, gray cards, etc. This app provides them all to help your mobile photos look as good as old school point and shoot and manual camera shots have always looked. It will even give you information about golden hour times, sunrises, sunsets, the phases of the moon, etc.
6. ProCamera 9
This is a completely new ProCamera app that has been built specifically for iOS 9 and turns your digital mobile camera into a mobile manual or DSLR. This app allows you to choose your exposure–even after you’ve taken the photo. It also features a 5:4 capture format for people who love old school photography and a street pack that lets you be the street photog you always knew you could be. This app is definitely worth it’s $5 asking price.
7. Photo Editor by Aviary
For the photographer who loves to tweak and fine tune their shots in the studio, the Photo Editor by Aviary is a must have. If after effects are your thing? This is going to be the app for you. Our only complaint is that it was recently acquired by Adobe and you know what that means: there are a ton of in-app purchases you’ll need to make if you want to be able to use this app to it’s fullest extent.
This is a perfect app for the old school photographer who misses being able to control every aspect of his shot before clicking the shutter button. Manual allows users to adjust their ISO, focus, composition, exposure, and gives them complete control over their shutters.
Photography is a skill that everybody wants to develop (or thinks they already have). These apps will get you a lot closer to that goal! And don’t forget to backup your work as quickly and as often as possible!