Apps And Software

Apps That I Use Often While Shooting:

1. The Photographer’s Ephemeris – I use this on almost every shoot. It plots the angle of the sun and moon on a map and provides specific times for each so you will know in advance where the sun will rise and set each day.

2.  Skyfire – Skyfire is a plugin for The Photographer’s Ephemeris.  There is a subscription fee, but I think it’s worth every penny as it provides a color overlay to the entire continental United States showing the probability of color in the sunrise and sunset each day.  A 90% probability of a colorful sunrise would show up as red.  50% would be blue, and so on.  It’s been about 60 percent accurate so far.  I wouldn’t drive 200 miles for a sunset based ONLY on this information, but it can certainly alert you to the probability of a good sunset.

3. The Photographer’s Guide To Yosemite (App)  – This is a companion app for Michael Frye’s indispensable book “The Photograher’s Guide To Yosemite” which is available on Amazon.  The app details several shooting locations in the park as well as specific sunrise and sunset times and angles.

4. WeatherPro – Weatherpro is an app that quickly shows me the satellite and radar movement over the past several hours for my specific location.  Very handy in terms of letting me know if I should stick around for a sunset, or simply give up if there is more weather heading my way.

5.  My Radar – Very useful – Nearly live radar images, cloud cover, photos, warnings….just about everything you will ever need in a weather app.

6. PhotoPills – Very similar to The Photographer’s Ephemeris.

7. Surfline – Gives surf and tide info throughout the world.

8. Gaia GPS – The BEST feature of this amazing app is that it continues to track your movement with our without cell coverage as long as you download the area of the map you will be hiking in before you take off.  Literally saved our butts as we were trying to scramble down from the Diving Board in Yosemite after it got dark and the trail literally disappeared.  It also helped me to re-trace my steps a few days later when I went back to look for some gear I had left behind. Kudos to Eric Gail for introducing me to this app!

Desktop Apps For Scouting:

1.  Stellarium – Stellarium is a desktop app which I believe is available as a free download.  It will let you search locations and dates anywhere in the world and will show you the sky for that particular time.  VERY useful for viewing the Milky Way, constellations, moon phase, etc.

2.  Google Earth – This may seem obvious, but not everyone is familiar with the incredible resources on this app which include:

a. Dropping pins, planning your route
b. Viewing current weather conditions
c. Viewing night sky, including the Milky Way
d. Loading KML files from other sources  – Ideal for those off the trail locations that, seemingly, only certain photographers seem to know about.
e. Viewing geo tagged photos from other photographers.  Not so useful when the geo tags are not accurate, but incredibly useful when scouting for new locations.

Software That I Am Currently Using For Post Processing:

1.  Photoshop CC

2. Lightroom CC

3. Nik Color Efex Pro

4. Perfect Resize 9