I feel quite confident speaking on behalf of most of our Clickin Moms photography forum when I say that we are definitely crazy about our techy gear! We love, love, love ourselves some high tech paraphernalia! Possibly none more so than our beloved Sarah Wilkerson which is why she was the perfect choice to put together this awesome review of iPhone and iPad Apps for photographers – I suspect you’ll all be adding iTunes gift cards to your holiday wish list after reading these. If you don’t already have them – you’re going to want them! Enjoy!
top iPhone and iPad apps for professional and enthusiast photographers
Gorillacam by Joby (Free)
From Joby (the people behind Gorillapod), this free app is one of the best I’ve found for making your iPhone camera even more versatile. Don’t you hate having to wait between shots as your camera saves the photo? Gorillacam’s Auto-save feature allows you to keep shooting while your photos save in the background. The app also features a self-timer, time lapse (you specify the interval), three shot burst mode, a grid overlay (rule of thirds, anyone?), bubble level, anti-shake, full-screen shutter release, and more! This is a must-have.
Camera for iPad by Headlight Software ($.99)
For iPhone and iPad (two iOS devices required)
Tether your iPhone (or iTouch) camera to your iPad wirelessly! Launch Camera for iPad on both devices, and your iPad becomes a live viewfinder for your iPhone camera. Use either device to shoot the photo, and your high resolution photo is saved onto your iPad.
For iPhone and iPad
Forget cords and cables! Transfer photos or videos between your computer, iPad, and/or iPhone over your WiFi network! Put your iPhone’s entire camera roll on your iPad, or transfer newly edited images from your computer onto the iPad to do a proofing session with a client. With PTA, you can transfer up to 50 photos at once.
Adobe Photoshop Express by Adobe (FREE)
Take your iPhone pics to the next level! Photoshop Mobile allows you to quickly edit (Crop/Straighter/Rotate/Flip; adjust Exposure/Saturation/Tint/B&W/Contrast; add Sketch/Soft Focus/Sharpening/Color/Border effects), Upload, and Share your images. I love that it automatically creates a second copy of the edited version, so you can always go back to the original. This is my preferred processing app for the iPhone; I prefer Filterstorm when working on the iPad.
For iPhone and iPad
This is the best app I’ve come across for serious on-the-go editing – particularly when you’ve uploaded to your iPad from your DSLR (I find it a little cumbersome on the iPhone). More powerful than Adobe Photoshop Express, Filterstorm includes a noise reduction tool, curves, masking, color correction, clone tool, brush size and opacity options, black and white conversion, and more. This is my preferred processing app for the iPad; I prefer Photoshop Express when working on the iPhone.
Focalware by Spiral Development Inc ($4.99)
This one is indispensable for on-location shoots. Immediately identify the exact position of the sun and/or moon at any given time and on any given date. It uses your iPhone’s GPS/internal compass to show you exactly where the sun is (or would be at your selected time/date) in relation to wherever you’re currently positioned. It also displays sunrise/sunset/moonrise/moonset for any time, time, or location.
Sunny 16 by M. Smochko ($.99)
Choose your lighting (snow/sunny/partial/cloud/dreary), your ISO, and your aperture, and this app will give you a good idea of what shutter speed will yield correct exposure (alternatively, you can select your shutter speed, and it will spit out the preferred aperture). Sure, it’s no substitute for actually using your meter, but if you want to get a general idea of what settings you should use in a given lighting scenario (especially if you want to do so in advance of arriving on location), this is a handy little app. For photography nerds like myself, it’s also a good exercise to help train yourself. Do YOU know what shutter speed is likely to produce correct exposure at ISO 400 and f/2.8 under Cloudy conditions? Put in your best guess, then spin the wheels to see how close you are. (Answer: 1/4000sec)
Yep – it’s a depth of field calculator in the palm of your hand. It may not be something you’ll be referring to constantly during a session, but if you have the time to carefully plan out a shot, it can be invaluable. Like Sunny 16, it can also be a great study tool. Sooo … how much depth of field do you have when you’re 10 feet away from your subject and shooting with your 35mm lens at f/3.6? If you couldn’t answer quickly, you need to study up! (Answer: 5.65 feet on a full frame camera; 3.43 feet on a crop sensor camera).
Scott Kelby’s Photo Recipes by Pearson Education ($9.99)
For iPhone and iPad
This app is a collection of videos for 16 “recipes” that demonstrate natural and studio lighting setups, plus general photography “behind the scenes” written tips (for example – use a paintbrush to brush vegetable oil on food to make it look moist and rich prior to photographing it). Only have a minute or two? Each recipe “chapter” can be watched in full or in short (1-2 minute) video clips. This is a great way to expand your lighting knowledge a little bit at a time.
Nikon Learn & Explore by Nikon (Free)
For iPhone and iPad
Nikon Learn & Explore presents a plethora of mini articles and tutorials on shooting (from beginner to advanced), lighting, composition, processing (CaptureNX specific), and more. It also features galleries of inspiration images, a digital version of Nikon World magazine, and a photography glossary. Articles update often; the last time I logged in, there were seven new articles waiting for me.
Create your own posing guides from images that you’ve uploaded to your iPad. Each item on your Pose List can include an image, notes, and lighting diagram (that you can draw right on the screen). Create a posing guide for individual sessions or create master pose books by topic (newborn, senior, boudoir, etc).
Easy Release by ApplicationGap ($9.99)
For iPhone and iPad
This app is a professional and attractive with a sleek user interface; includes both an iPad native and iPhone version. Collect data and signatures, embed a reference image, then email a business-branded PDF and JPEG copy of the release to both yourself and your client (if you wish). This app comes prebundled with industry standard model and property releases in 13 languages; you can customize the releases with your own content.
Swipe Credit Card Terminal by AppNinjas Inc ($.99)
(Not tested) Swipe is a PA-DSS certified tool that turns your iPhone into a credit card terminal. You need a merchant account and credit card swiper accessory to start accepting credit cards. Customers sign right on your iPhone and receive a customized receipt via email.
Portfolio for iPad by Britton Photography ($14.99)
Of all the Portfolio apps I’ve looked at, this is the best. Load images and videos already stored on your iPad, through Dropbox, or from online locations – then customize your colors and add your logo to create gallery presentations (with or without music) for your clients. You or your clients can add rate, annotate, add keywords, or zoom in each image. The app also features comparison mode to view two photos side-by-side. Galleries can be hidden so that you can store multiple client galleries or subject-specific portfolios but only display selected collections when you meet with your client. The interface is lockable – allowing you to pass the iPad around without exposing the management interface. Portfolio for iPad also features external display support so that you can show your presentation on a monitor or big screen TV. This is a must-have!