Tips for Smartphone / iPhone Photography

The cameras found in modern-day smartphones are getting to be very high quality and many travelers are using these exclusively for their travel photography.  While the default cameras are great, here is a collection of “apps” that may help in expanding their capabilities to include long-exposure, creative filters, dramatic video recording, and more.

Camera + (a general camera app)

If you are interested in upping your photography and following along during on-trip discussions about white balance, adjusting exposure, macro mode, and editing techniques, this is an amazingly handy little smartphone tool.  It allows you to adjust settings before the shot, as well as things like saturation, exposure, and sharpness after the shot, too.

“Slow-mo Video” (for stunning slow motion video)

This is not an additional app that you’d have to download, but some newer smartphones come with this capability, usually within the camera function.  This can provide great fun and sensational slow-mo videos.  It’s amazing for things like flying monarch butterflies, grizzlies fishing, or African animals running.

The one trick to this is to be sure to you don’t record for too long, as the resulting video is about five to eight times as long as what you actually record (when it’s slowed down).  Thus, a 10 second video could turn into several minutes.

“Slow Shutter Cam” (for long exposures)

There are certain times where a long exposure can create dramatic and beautiful results.  The most common application of this is for moving water, such as creeks and waterfalls.  Try this long exposure app to help blur the movement of the water to create that coveted silky look.

“Northern Lights Photo Taker” (for aurora photography)

This app is quite incredible, as it allows you to take decent photos of Northern Lights on your smartphone.  This normally requires very high end camera gear!  Far be it from us to explain how the technology within the app works, but it’s proven itself time and time again when on our northern expeditions.

“Pro HDR X” (for HDR photography)

High Dynamic Range, or HDR for short, is a great way to take photos in challenging light conditions.  When there are many harsh shadows, or parts of the scene with extremely bright areas, HDR helps to balance all this out, with the ultimate goal of capturing the scene similar to how your eye naturally sees light.  Some smartphones have basic HDR capabilities without this app, but this app allows for better dynamic range and customization to get you the most out of your landscape photography.