In this guide I want to share the best apps for landscape photographers.
Capturing great landscape photographs often requires a great deal of planning. It’s rare that you just happen to be in the right place at the right time (although it’s awesome when that happens!)
Luckily, today there are a plethora of tools available which we can utilise to ensure we are exactly where we need to be, to take that perfect shot.
In this post I wanted to share a list of the must-have apps for photographers, that will take the guess work out of photography shoots. I find these apps are just as useful for travel photography as they are for landscape photography, as often the two overlap.
- 1 The best apps for landscape photographers
- 2 Planning
- 3 Photography Inspiration
- 4 Camera Function
- 5 Photo Editing
- 6 Location
- 7 Security
- 8 Take aways from the best apps for landscape photography
- 9 My favourite travel and landscape photography gear
- 10 Like it? Pin it for later!
The best apps for landscape photographers
For ease of use, in this guide I have arranged the apps into several sections;
- Photography Inspiration
- Camera Function
- Photo Editing
To see more of my images, check out my photography store
PhotoPills is arguably the best photo planning tool available and therefore the best app for landscape photography. This app has pretty much everything you need when it comes to planning a photography shoot.
It provides detailed information on when and where the sun or moon will be at any given moment. It can also tell you exactly when the milky way will arch over a specific landscape.
If you discover an interesting location, you can tag it and research the best times to return. The 3D augmented reality is handy for pin-pointing where to angle you camera for that perfect milky way shot. It also includes free tutorials, online courses and photography competitions.
All in all, well worth the nominal price tag.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris
Similar to PhotoPills, The Photographer’s Ephemeris is an incredible photography planning app. It provides accurate information on sun, moon and milky way movements to help plan photography shoots.
The new TPE-3D can predict, in augmented 3D, exactly how the light will appear on the land for any given location. An absolute game changer and another contender for the best landscape photography app!
Cost: £9.99 for mobiles but the web app is free. TPE-3D £11.99
With most of my photo portfolio consisting of landscape shots, hiking plays a big part in my photography. For the last 2 years I’ve made sure I stay hydrated through using Water-to-go bottles. This bottles allow me to safely drink water from any water source. For more info take a look at this article.
My Tide Times
A must-have app if planning a seascape photo shoot, this app does what it says on the tin – it provides information on tide times.
This a great free app, although it only provides information on 40 countries.
If you require information for tide-times worldwide and without the need for data connection, then this is the better app to choose. Of course all this comes at a (albeit) small cost.
My Lightning Tracker
For all you storm chasers out there who want to add lightning bolts to your landscape photography, this app monitors lightening strikes around the world, in close to real-time.
Once you know exactly when and where you need to be, all you need to know now is if the weather will co-operate. For accurate weather forecasts I use the MET office app.
It provides forecasts for 7 days in advance and is highly accurate, at least within 24 hours. This makes the MET Office the best weather app for landscape photographers.
Even though weather apps are pretty accurate these days they are never 100% so I always go equipped with more than I need. For a list of everything I have in my camera bag, take a look at this article.
Light Pollution Map
This app allows you to easily view locations where the sky will be affected by light pollution. This is a very useful app for photographers wanting to capture the milky way.
Although the app is free, for higher accuracy and zoom levels, upgrade to the pro version.
Peak Finder is the best mountain identification app. It operates with a 360 degree view and works offline with GPS, so no data connection is required. This is an especially useful app if you’re shooting in an unfamiliar location and want to know exactly which mountains you’re photographing.
The Moon (IOS) / Phases of the Moon (Android)
Moon phases are included in several of the other apps already mentioned (PhotoPills, TPE). However, if you want a quick and easy to use app that shows moon phases, either one of these free apps will do the trick.
SunMap is an app dedicated to discovering sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset times in exact locations around the world. Again these are features provided in other apps, however this has no cost and is therefore one of the best free apps for landscape photographers.
The function I like on this app is that I can quickly discover the times of specific night phases. This information is required for astrophotography, where shooting in complete darkness is required.
Trover is a great travel photography app. If you want some photo inspiration for your up and coming trip, try out Trover. Described as the app baby of Instagram and Trip Advisor, it provides geo-tagged photos from around the world, along with tips and recommendations from other travellers.
Use the nearby tab to find great photos near your location and create your own photo bucket list. An excellent free photography app to have in your collection.
Long Exposure Calculator
This photography app is great when using neutral density filters. It helps to determine the correct exposure time/shutter speed when using an ND filter. The interface is simple and easy to use.
Cascable enables your mobile phone to remotely control your wifi enabled camera. This is very handy if you don’t have a shutter release cable or if using the timer isn’t practical.
It’s also good for reviewing images on a larger mobile screen rather than on the camera body, and for the wireless transfer of images (these two functions are paid optional extras).
If you want to keep to keep camera equipment costs low, then this a great free app for photographers.
Take the maths out of photography with this handy app. As the name suggests, the DOF calculator includes a depth of field calculator as well the ability to calculate hyperfocal distance, near focus limit and far focus limit.
DOF is included in PhotoPills so I don’t personally use this photography app.
Cost: IOS – £0.99 Android – Free
Snapseed is probably the best photo editing app for landscape photography and the best part is that it’s completely free. (More functions are of course provided with a paid subscription).
If you ever snap a picture with your phone and want to do some quick adjustments without having to upload it to your laptop, then this is the go to app.
Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor
For greater control of your mobile photo editing try Lightroom CC. I use Lightroom on my laptop so I find it quite easy to use on my mobile also. The mobile editing app is free but with limited functions.
Maps.me provides free offline maps for the whole world. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll know I’m a big fan of this app. Without it I would’ve spent a lot of time being lost in random countries!
This app allows users to download area specific maps, so you don’t have to use up valuable memory downloading the whole country. Handy features include being able to pin specific points to certain group folders, which can be easily shared with others, and the ability to import .kmz files from Google Earth.
Once downloaded, all maps are available offline so it doesn’t matter if connection is lost when you’re out shooting in a remote location.
I use map.me for navigation on all my photography hikes. To discover what equipment I take on these photo hikes, read this post!
Speaking of Google Earth…. this is another essential tool when it comes to planning photography trips, and is therefore one of the best apps for photographers.
Using the satellite imagery, it’s possible to examine the terrain of a desired location. Is it even possible to stand where you want to stand and are there any paths to get there?
This is a great tool for the planning phase but once in the field it’s also great to have on hand, as long as there is adequate data connection.
As photographers we spend a lot of money on our kit so it’s probably best to try and safeguard it somehow. Lenstag is an app designed to track down stolen items.
In order to function, users must register the serial number of the camera or lens, along with a photograph of the item taken by you, as proof of ownership. Then if a photo is uploaded onto the internet using that camera or if the serial number appears on a selling site, the culprit can be tracked down.
An app you hope you never have to use, but probably best to have.
Take aways from the best apps for landscape photography
Although it’s fun to go on spontaneous adventures and capture amazing moments in the process, most of my top landscape photographs have involved a big element of planning.
Today’s technology has made it easier than ever to plan a successful photography shoot. Most of us have a smart phone at our disposal so why not utilise the app technology to help us capture the best photos possible?
I hope you found this post useful and enjoy putting these apps to the test. Do you use any other apps for your photography? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!
If you’re interested you can follow my photo and travelling adventures here on Instagram.
My favourite travel and landscape photography gear
The Sony A4600 is a solid crop-sensor mirrorless camera, which is light and compact, making it ideal for travelling and hiking. The included 16-50 mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens is extremely light and perfect for carrying on big hikes. With 4k movies and a flip screen, it’s also a top camera for vlogging.
The Sigma 16 mm f1.4 is a high quality prime lens for Sony E-mount cameras. It’s significantly heavier than the kit lens but the image quality is much higher. The f1.4 lens lets in tons of light making it awesome for astro-photography.
Movo produce a camera holster for backpacks or hydration packs which are super handy for photography hikes. With this holster your camera nestles conveniently on the shoulder strap of your backpack. Having my camera at hand means I’m more likely to capture a shot.
If you find yourself leaving your tripod at home because it’s too big or heavy, get yourself a Vanguard VEO 2. These tripods are just 40cm long and just 1 – 1.5kg in weight (depending on the model). Perfect for hiking to your favourite landscape location or taking on your next travelling adventure.
Personally I like the variable filters by Gobe. It’s true that at the extreme end of the range black cross hairs appear, but I just don’t use the extreme end and all is good. If I’m hiking or travelling, I’m looking for photography items that are compact and variable filters tick that box.
Plus for every purchase Gobe plants 5 trees in areas affected by deforestation – good work Gobe!
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps cover the cost of running this blog. Thanks for your support!
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