Nature and Photography Blog

Smart Phone Photo Apps for the Photographer




Who would have thought that a cell phone can improve your nature photography. When you buy a smart phone there are several options. One major choice is the operating system. Widows Phone and Blackberry have a large presence but two operating systems dominate the market. iPhone and Goodle’s Android System. 

Both options have thousands of applications. I found that the iPhone has more than Android. You can look online and check the apps you may be interested in before you choice a phone.



I ended up going with the Motorola Droid Razor. It is a 4.3 high resolution display which is bigger than the iphone screen. It is one of the thinnest 4G phones and it is one of the most durable. Nature Photographers are exposed to the elements so I needed a phone that could take a beating.  It is shielded with a KEVLAR® strong backplate. Suppress an onslaught of scratches and scrapes, reinforced by Corning® Gorilla® Glass. It is also splashproof.

There are thousand of apps available (hundreds just for photography).

Some of the apps I installed include:

Weather Channel:  Allows you to save multiple locations for a quick glace at the weather.

Email:  Nice to check emails from the road and keep up with office work.

Facebook: Nice to be able to add to my facebook page from the road.

Amazon Kindle: ability to download ebook with just a few clicks to your phone.

Nlist:  Allows you to create lists.  Some of the lists I made

a.) To Do list

b.)  Photography Gear

c.) Shopping Lists

d.) Presentation list (what I bring when I do a presentation)

e.) Packing Lists.

Never forgot important photo gear at home.

Quick Office:  To view and update Office Spreadsheet like Excel and Word.

Backpacker GPS: Record hiking trails, backpacking trips, and camping adventures. View maps, navigate with digital compass, take photos, and backtrack to the trailhead. GPS Trails Lite works in remote places

Aurora: Several apps are available to get the northern lights forecast

Google Earth: view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. Helps you plan out the best locations for wildlife and landscape photography.

Google Sky Map: Point your phone at the sky, and it will show the stars, planets, constellations, and more to help you identify the celestial objects in view.

Sun Surveyor:  Predicts Sun & Moon positions (azimuth, altitude, time) with its modules: 3D Compass, Map View, Camera View (Augmented Reality) and Details (Ephemeris). Useful for photo location scouting plan for every sunrise and sunset!

The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE):  a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, be it day or night, for almost anywhere on earth. It is nice for landscape, nature, travel and outdoor photographers, TPE’s map-based approach means you can search for any place name on the planet or position the map pin exactly where you want it.

Trip Advisor: Great App helps with you travel planning. I use it mostly for hotel reviews

AAA TripTik: Get maps, directions, AAA Approved lodging and dining info, gas prices and more. 

Gas Buddy: Search for Gas Prices by city, state, zip code, with listings for all cities in the USA and Canada.

Kayak: flight, hotel, car rental, and other trip searches. Like the website it goes through the data from hundreds of different travel sites, allowing you to compare options, prices etc.

Photo Manipulation:  There are also several apps for taking pictures with you cell phone then making almost instant changes to the photo like built in HDR etc. I have never used any of these apps.

Wildlife: there are several apps on bird, tree, wildflowers identification, tracking, bird and animal calls. I hope to address this in a future article.

There are many applications which can help improve your photography. It is amazing how technology can impact nature photography.

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