[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNaHol4Wz7E&feature=youtu.be[/embed]You are carrying a mini computer with you all the time, why not put it to use? Check out some of our favorite smartphone apps to get your photography going.
Introduced in 2013, PhotoPills is the swiss army knife of photography tools, with programs and calculators to get all the information you need conveniently in a phone app. For us using Android we've been using The Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE) due to the fact PhotoPills was designed for IOS only. While TPE is a good program, and fairly straightforward with a desktop version, PhotoPills has always had a bit of an edge on ease of use and the amount of available features. As a project starting last year they've finally ported PhotoPills to run on Android giving us non-iPhone users the chance to use this nice tool.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lr8-8duawgDesigned virtually the same as the popular IOS app the Android version of PhotoPills gives you the same location scouting with points of interest, timing the moon and sun, depth of field, hyperfocal distance calculator, and more. You even have the option of using augmented reality, with the device's camera, to see what your planning live. PhotoPills even has contests, you can upload your photos online for chances to win prizes.Photopills is $5 more in comparison to TPE but it's a bit easier to use with a few more available tools. That said it is in open beta, at least until the end of the month, so you may run into a few bugs at first. As they've said on their android development page "One year later, we're now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.". If you're an android user this will be a nice addition to your tools, great for learning, and gives you the ability to plan a lot of your photos in advance.
Instagram Albums, a small but important update is rolling out today giving users access to a simple album feature finally. You'll now have the option to upload up to 10 photos and videos under one post. When you see an album icon on a post it will look somewhat the same as before but you'll now be able to swipe left and right to view other photos and video.The update technically means fewer posts, which means less reach. Important photos you want out should still be separate posts on Instagram to get more eyes on them. If you have a metric ton of photos from a shoot or have a few that go in a set it's a new way to share them out without spamming your feed but we wouldn't suggest this for everyday use. You now have the option to think out of the box for other creative ideas such as before and after editing.Watch the video below for a demo, you simply select the bottom right album symbol in the photo selection. You then have the option to choose multiple photos or videos. The post will have one caption for all the items, unlike Facebook for example, and you're limited to square aspect ratio. For those that use filters, you will have the option to apply one to the whole set or apply different filters to specific photos.https://player.vimeo.com/video/204951185
Google Photos was announced today- a NEW, standalone version that is being separated from Google+. https://youtu.be/DctybsuXBlYAlong with the split come several changes -
- Free unlimited photo and video storage, as long as those photos are under 16MP and videos 1080p or smaller. You can store larger, they will just count toward your storage limits.
- New organization system- a blend of automatic google smarts helping you stay organized and find what you want quickly
- Easy share system - public, private and a mix along with sharing to popular apps like Twitter and WhatsApp.
The video is long and only covers a few of the functions of the Triggertrap app/system - that's how cool this app is (or how much I like to hear myself talk?)I have one more Triggertrap to give away (given away 4 so far) Like my Facebook page and stay tuned for the last giveaway.Also seen in this video -Hotshoe Tripod Mount: http://goo.gl/FqLFbSmartphone Tripod Adapter: http://goo.gl/pcNcfI love making or creating time lapse movies and although I don’t get to do it nearly as often as I like I am always on the lookout for gadgets that help. I have talked about the little Neweer intervalometer before, it is only $13 bucks and does a great job of telling your camera to take a picture every X seconds, it can also allow you to control bulb mode on your camera which allows you to set your shutter speed to longer than 30 second exposures. The Neweer Intervalometer does its job well but doesn’t offer much in the way of options beyond the standard picture every x seconds.We have another option that is lots smarter and it only costs a bit more but does require a smartphone or tablet. For the last few weeks I have been testing and app from a company called Triggertrap. They make apps for android and iOS and a small dongle that you plug into the headphone jack of your smartphone or tablet. The benefit of a setup like this over the standard intervalometer is the sky is really the limit – your smartphone is a powerful computer and using that as the brains of the intervalometer allows dozens of creative ways for you to control the shutter of your camera.Some of the functions of the Triggertrap app include
- Bulb Ramping Timelapse enables seamless sunrise/sunset timelapses,
- HDR timelapse lets you combine the power of HDR and timelapses,
- TimeWarp, a feature unique to Triggertrap, uses algorithms developed for animation to create more dynamic and natural-looking timelapses.
- Sensor Controls: Leverages the smart device’s on-board sensors to release the shutter; Sound Sensor Mode uses the microphone to trigger at a set audio level, Seismic Mode fires based on vibrations, bumps or knocks, and Metal & Magnetism Sensor Mode can be used to fire the shutter in their presence
- Facial recognition: Takes a photo once Triggertrap detects the programmed number of faces in the frame
- Multiple HDR Capture Modes: Provides expanded control over bracketed exposures for Long Exposure HDR, or automates Long Exposure HDR Timelapse capture
- DistanceLapse: Unique to Triggertrap, this mode relies on the smart device’s on-board GPS chip to fire the shutter over pre-determined distances
- Motion detection mode: Triggers camera whenever motion is detected in the
- Star trail mode: Allows external cameras to automatically take a series of long exposures in sequence to reduce noise
- Wireless mode: Unique to Triggertrap, this new Wi-Fi triggering technology enables photographers to leverage the range and speed of a Wi-fi network to control the dynamic features of the Triggertrap Mobile app wirelessly
The Sensor controls are missing from the Android app, the devs tell me that they will be added soon, the Android app is also a bit laggy on my rezound, I also tested on the nexus and it was much smoother but still missing the sensor controls found on the iOS version.There are actually three parts to the set up – Your smartphone running the triggertrap app, the dongle and the camera specific cable. Make sure you get the new v2 dongle (red wire) I bought the original dongle, with a black wire and although it works fine with my iPad refused to do anything when plugged into my android phone – I contacted support and Lucy was awesome, she walked me through a series of tests and even though it seemed it was more of my phone as the problem she sent me the newer red wire dongle free of charge, it arrived just a few days later and works perfectly. I love working with people that take an extra step to make things right.My phone and my camera go everywhere with me and now I just throw these two little cables in my bag and I have a very smart and versatile trigger system for my camera. I have added a little hot shoe tripod adapter that I use for some of my microphones and a generic cell phone tripod holder and now I can easily use the facial feature to snap photos.What am I most excited about –The wireless control is pretty niftyOn Black Friday 2011 I picked up a suction cup mount and have tried a few drivelapses (timelapse while driving) Now I can use the GPS to trigger over distance instead of time, this should give a different look and feel more true to the trip)Bulb Ramping Timelapse – Sunset and sunrise is very difficult to capture - you either lose light quickly or you use P mode and the light remains constant through the sunset totally ruining the idea of capturing a lovely sunset. Did you know that as the sun sets you lose about a stop of light every 10 minutes. Using the Bramping mode (for bulb ramping) you can pre-adjust for the light lost and really extend the length of time your timelapse will run while actually capturing the decreasing light.