This augmented reality app arms you with all of the outdoor photography tools you’ll probably ever need
What the app does
This all-round app aims to get you in the right place at the right time, enabling you to predict when and where the sun or the moon or the milky way will appear at your location. As well as plotting your position on a map, one of the big selling points of PhotoPills is its use of a 3D Augmented Reality (AR) overlay on your phone’s display to help you to find the optimum framing, visualise the depth of field through a scene and more.
When to use it
Although it can’t arrange the perfect weather for you, PhotoPills can do pretty much everything else to swing the odds of getting a cracking shot in your favour. While it’s good for research, enabling you to save plans and notes about the best time of year to visit a location, it shines on a shoot, with an array of useful calculators and tables for working out the ideal depth of field, plus hyperfocal distance, timelapse intervals and star trail exposure times.
How to use it
There’s an emphasis on building a plan with this app, first working out where you want the sun or the moon to be in a shot and then calculating the date and time when it will all come together. As with The Photographer’s Ephemeris (see next page), you can simply drop a pin on a map – either Apple’s Maps or the crowd-sourced OpenStreetMap – and the app overlays the sun/moon information on top of it. When you’re at a location, you can use the AR view to predict the path of the sun or the moon and ensure your camera is in the optimum position for the peak moment.
Create and save your plans – the app comes with some historical examples built in
PhotoPills includes some cool calculators, including depth of field and equivalent exposure
Using the AR view in night mode enables you to visualise the moon’s path across the sky
There are 10,500 points of interest included in the app, but it’s easy to add your own
Drag around the display to set your preferred star trail length and see the exposure required