Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Gadget Bag: Apps For Nature Photography
A bevy of apps you should always have with you
As popular as time-lapse has become, this handy little app is a great addition to your iOS or Android device. Sure, you can just start firing away, but TimeLapse! Calculator will let you find the best settings as well as generate all of the important information about the size and duration of your clip. The app will calculate shooting interval, duration, target output of your clip, frame rate, the number of frames, required memory and more. There's a companion app called TimeLapse!, which will enable you to do time-lapse with your iPhone or Android phone so you can experiment anywhere.
For anyone looking to catch dramatic weather, having this app on your iOS device is a great choice. iMWR gives you alerts for severe weather and lets you know when you come into an area of a weather alert. This isn't only helpful for taking once-in-a-lifetime images, but also an important safety tool. It's like having a weather radio with you all the time. Note: The iMapWeatherRadio app is for U.S. only.
Lightning Finder displays lightning strikes in almost real time on your iOS device. You can plug in your current location or where you're planning to go and see where strikes are within 25 miles of that location. You can configure the app to send you text messages when a strike occurs within a predesignated area. Obviously, this is useful for photography as well as being an excellent safety app.
If you're thinking of shooting a night scene with the Milky Way or other astronomical features, Star Walk is a must-have. Besides that, it's really just a fun app for your iOS device. You can see real-time motion tracking of the sky, plan for celestial events with the calendar, and the app will send an astronomical photo of the day to you daily. Star Walk displays a huge amount of information about the night sky, and you can tailor how much is shown based on your needs and what the conditions are like where you're located.
Earlier, we said this article wouldn't be covering shooting or processing apps. Instagram is the exception. Now before you slam this magazine down in rage over the mere mention of Instagram, consider that it's a great app to use for sharing photos with friends. It's fun to mess around with the effects, and for some shots, Instagram is the perfect "camera." Using an app like this won't hurt you and it won't make you less of a serious photographer. It will let you share photos fast and easily, and have some fun creating silly but harmless effects at the same time. Really. Give it a try. Your DSLR won't hold it against you.
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