My Photography | Application(s)

One of my favorite sunrises while bike touring across the country.

My Photography | Applications

Last week I discussed my current camera gear and photography equipment ethos. This week I’ll delve briefly into some of the applications (Apps) I use to help me process, organize ,and plan my images. Similar to photography gear, there is an endless number of options available to aid you in your photographic journey - I’m merely covering a few. For what it’s worth, these are the apps I use on a daily basis and ones that have helped me grow and share my passion for photography.

Adobe Lightroom CC

My Lightroom screen - some organizational hints here.

This is the application that receives the most attention in my little photography world, and for good reason. I rely on Lightroom to import, process, organize, and finally to export my images, among other things. If you’ve decided to get a bit more serious about photography, Lightroom would be my first application purchase after the acquiring any prerequisite camera equipment.

I would have to create miles and miles of dull text to encompass all the amazing features of Lightroom, and I would only be regurgitating information from the people who helped teach me. Let me just guide you to the source, nobody wants to look at throw-up.

Creative Live courses have been an extremely valuable element in my photography journey, more specifically, Ben Willmore’s Travel Photography Course. This course helped me in so many ways, namely how to organize my photos in a smart and intentional way. In terms of Lightroom, Ben’s course has had the biggest impact and has allowed to me better maximize the potential of the program. The course also does a great job helping you see your environment from a different perspective. In essence, it helps prepare you for getting a shot different from everybody else visiting the location.

All that to say that if you purchase Lightroom, you should probably find and purchase a course from a professional. The time saved and insight gleaned from a high quality course is nothing short of a mandatory investment, in my opinion.


Tons that can be done

In my first issue of my newsletter Onward, I mentioned that I used a photography planning tool named The Photographer’s Ephemeris. Shortly after that issue, I was recommended Photopills which is similar in many ways, but offers features for photographers that TPE doesn’t; granted, these features come with a slightly steeper learning curve. Depth of Field calculators and tables, sun and moon trackers, and a detailed planning component inspired me to spend the cash ($10.00) for the app. I’ve throughly enjoyed using this application during my winter on Mt. LeConte. Just being able to quickly reference when moonrise was going to be allowed me to capture some of my favorite photos of the season. So whether you’re interested in just knowing the basics or want to completely geek-out on the features, Photopills is a great tool. If you’re trying to spend less time on your phone - don’t buy this application, lol.

Planned and executed moonrise.

Peak finder

Less photography specific, the Peak Finder app is miraculous to say the least. Have you ever wondered what that mountain was in the distance? What about the one next to it? What about all the mountains? With this application you can just hold up your phone and see the name of every peak in the area. You can launch yourself into the sky (in the app), discovering the mountains on the other side of the big one blocking your view (Cliff Top) in the area. Now you can know the name of the peak you just took a picture of. Oh yeah, plus there is a moon and sun augmented overlay to help to plan sunrise, sunset or any other lighting needs. Check out the app here.

Gaia GPS

Again, not specific to photography - Gaia GPS is an excellent Free app for your phone or on the web. For a small fee per month, you get access to high quality topographic overlays and detailed National Geographic map overlays. You can also export all of your GPS files so they won’t be trapped in the application forever. This gives you the freedom to take your important waypoints and tracks elsewhere, if needed. I’ve been testing this application on my runs, with my phone in airplane mode (it still acquires GPS signal), and have found that it does an excellent job gathering elevation and distance data for later use or export. Though this isn’t a mandatory App, and by no means should it replace a proper topographic map (doesn’t need batteries) when you’re getting into serious navigation - I’m more than satisfied with the features this tool provides. You can learn more about Gaia GPS here.

A picture of Leah in Glacier National Park.

Well, that’s it for this week - short, sweet and to the point. I hope you have a great week and If you have any questions, shoot me an email or comment down below.


*Note: I’m not affiliated with any of these applications and will not receive any form of compensation for your choosing to purchase them. I’m more interested in sharing the love than attempting to squeeze a buck out of places the sun don’t shine (your wallet).

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