Photography Apps for the Smart Phone, Part 4

Wifi Photo

The recurring theme recently has been photo apps for your Smart Phone.  I’ve talked already about some of my favorites, including SetMyCamPro, EasyRelease, and most recently Color Splash.  If you notice the theme trend, the first piece spoke to setting up your camera, the second looked at prepping the shoot, and then finally we looked at editing your photos.  So, with only two posts left in this series, I wanted to focus on the function of getting your photos OFF your smart phone.

I’m not sure about others, but when working with my iPhone, it’s somewhat frustrating that instead of going into the App I want to use in conjunction with my photo, often I have to go into the photo library and home the function to send to that destination has somehow been programmed.  For instance, if I want to email someone a photo, traditionally, I’ll write the email, then attach the photos.  On the iPhone, the logic is flipped – if you want to email someone a photo, you don’t write the email first, you attach the photo first – what’s up with that?

Anyway, rant aside, I often find myself wanting to get a photo (and more often, several photos) off my phone quickly, and let’s face it, with the iPhone in particular, that can be tax the patience of a monk!  But, with WiFi Photo, it’s actually quite easy:

The name pretty much says what it does – WiFi Photo lets you transer your photos from your camera to your computer over your own wireless network.  All you have to do is hop on the wireless network, and the app grab a specific port address to use as a web interface.  With the app open, and displaying the IP address and port, switch to your computer and type that address into your browser of choice.  Your photo albums will appear and you can download images individually, collectively, and in a range of sizes as well.

By default, that port is 15555.  So, if your home network assigns your phone an address of 192.168.1.100, the address to enter into your browser would be http://192.168.100:15555.

Slick, easy, and best of all – this app is free!  Here’s a couple screenshots to show you the interface now too:

To get the app for your own phone, you can visit the iTunes store here to download it today.  (Not available on Google play, but there are alternative apps there…) Thanks for tuning in and don’t forget – Friday is the final day of photo app reviews, where I’ll look at the whole concept of taking better photos with better apps!

Tell me your thoughts on your favorite photo-related apps here too…there’s always room for more conversation, so chime in while we’re on the topic.  You can also check out the other write-ups here:

Photo Setup – SetMyCamPro

Photo Shoot Prep – Easy Release

Photo editor – Color Splash

Photography Apps for the Smartphone, Part 2

Earlier this week, I started diving back into active blogging with a review/write-up of a smartphone app called SetMyCamPro.  You can read more about it here, but I’d like to continue the theme of some photo app reviews, because the best camera truly is the one you have with you, and for most of us, that happens to be the camera built into our phones.  With practice and a photographic eye, you can get some pretty excellent images from these cameras.  Case in point, here’s one I got of an Ohio sunset just a few nights ago:

Ohio Sunset
Ohio Sunset

Granted, not going to win any contests, but something worth remembering for me.  Anyway, enough of the shot that I took, instead it’s time to dive into the second App I am reviewing here on the blog.

I actually reviewed this app before but it was part of a promotional giveaway article for the vendor – and it’s called Easy Release!  The concept is pretty simply – use your phone, ipod or iPad screen to generate a model or property release, have the individual sign from your touch-sensitive device (which most phones are these days anyway), and you’re done.  It’s a handy app to have for those “on the go” kinds of shoots where it’s not in a studio, or something last minute.  For those, you’d probably want to have a more professional setup in place with actual pens and papers to have clients sign off on.  (In addition to an event contract, licensing and usage, and much more.  In fact, I have a two-Ebook combo that gives you all the paperwork you need to get started in photography, including model releases (adult and minor), event contracts, and a how-to guide…you can get it here for only $30:

Add to Cart

Now, for those that prefer the digital mobile on-the-go style of releases for your business, then let’s dig into Easy Release!

On downloading it, the first thing you’ll want to do is configure add an image or logo of your business to your device – this is to add it to your logo/branding to the header that will be used when emailing a copy of the signed release to your clients! (Yes, that’s right, you can email them a copy right from your phone!)  If you want to set up multiple brands, the option is there from their Pro Pack (only $3.99), but if one is enough, then you are set with just the base one in the app.  Enter your logo, the company name, and your contact info, and that’s all you need:

Photo Jul 31, 8 11 23 AM

 

 

 

 

The rest is pretty straightforward – you’re simply selecting the release type (model or property), taking the image, and then the most tedious part – where you enter all their contact information, including phone, address, email, and other pertinent data.  For my own two cents, I wish they would add the option of making an audio recording of this data for later transcription so you can get to the signing quicker.  I’ve gotten fairly proficient at creating these, and actually used it on more occasions than I can count off the top of my head – probably in the scores by now (that’s 20’s for those speaking in layman terms!  LOL).

You can check out the app on the iTunes or Android Google Play stores here and here.  No commissions to be had by me here, so feel free to either buy or go another route, but I think this is the benchmark that any digital model release has to stand up to, because these guys are top notch!  This is, of course only my opinion, so I’d like to open the floor to others.  What are your experiences with Easy Relase?  What about alternatives?  Are they cross-platform supported like this is (Android and iPhone)?  I know it’s a bit pricier than the average app, but for a working professional, the cost does seem justified to get something this robust and portable.

To that end, I am also open to suggestions for additional apps to review.  I’ve got 3 more in the bank, but that doesn’t mean we can’t re-visit later if needed.  Throw your suggestions for other apps in the comments section too, and I’ll add to the list!  Have a great weekend everyone and keep on shooting!

Photography Apps for the Smart Phone, Part 1

Photo Jul 22, 9 37 42 AM

In getting back into things as I settle down into a new position that travels much less frequently, gives me more time with family and photography, I’d like to start off with a series of reviews on various photography apps for your smart phone.  We all should know the phrase “the best camera is the one you have with you” by now, popularized from the book of the same name by Chase Jarvis.  Because your camera phone is the one you almost always have with you, it helps to know how to use that and make the most of it.  So, for the next few posts I’ll be looking at a couple camera apps that can help you turn on the power of your camera phone!

Set My Cam – Pro

smcp

This is a pretty amazing app when you consider all the functions that are built in here.  First off, Roger (the developer) has included an extensive tutorial for each function to really help you understand the purpose of each.  He’s got 4 functions built in here:

  1. DoF – Depth of Field Calculator

Photo Jul 22, 9 37 42 AM

 

 

 

The Depth of Field calculator uses the details you enter for the camera lens, f-stop value, and subject distance to lens from the spinning wheel at the top of the screen.  Underneath, the app reports all the details you would need for your camera to take the shot correctly, including the focusing information, the DoF distance, and hyper focal information.  The navigation menu remains across the bottom as well.  If you need an explanation of the DoF, simply tap the Info button on the far right, and the tutorial section opens, not only to explain the concept to you, but also to show you what each of the numbers will mean when you navigate back to the DoF interface:

Photo Jul 22, 9 41 11 AM2. FoV – Field of View Calculator

The rest of the tools pretty much follow the same layout – where the tool allows you to calculate data needed to transfer over to your camera to get the best shot.  Each tool comes with a good intro explanation for what the function does, along with a drawing of the tool and short descriptor of each.  Here’s what the FoV tool looks like (though I was not able to get the whole thing on my iPhone 4s so I had to use Photoshop to overlay the two halfs on top of each other:

fovtools

3. Motion

Photo Jul 27, 3 51 41 PM

4. IR Trigger

The IR Trigger detail is pretty cool – it allows you to use your iOS device to trigger the camera.  Unfortunately, it cannot receive the image back as it is a one-way communication path only, but the function itself is pretty cool.  If you don’t have the trigger itself, the app is still useful in that you can calculate bracketing and other useful information:

Photo Jul 27, 4 06 41 PM

If you want to purchase a specialized trigger to connect to your iPhone, these can be purchased off his website at http://setmycamera.com  They’re $20 a piece, and if you’re so inclined, may be worth the investment, but I opted not to go that route as I only wanted to review the app itself.

5. Flashlight

Last but not least, is the setup button (the second to last one across the bottom before the Info button).  This is where you would set your specific camera that you are gathering information for.  In my case, I was looking for the Canon 40D, the 7D, the G12, and the Nikon D3.  All were listed as available cameras, along with a litany of other ones.  It’s a pretty extensive library too, so odds are, Roger has your camera in there.  When in this portion of the app, you can toggle a flashlight on if the mood strikes you!  Kind of an afterthought in my opinion, but it’s there nonetheless.

Photo Jul 22, 9 39 48 AM

SUMMARY

All in all, this is a pretty extensive app, and Roger took his time in creating the icons, the interface, and the tutorials.  I guess my biggest nit is that this isn’t really a camera phone app, it’s more of a companion app for your other camera.  That being said, as a companion app, I can really see how some people would get some incredible use out of this – even if only for the tutorials alone!  My other issue is that the app does seem to be designed for iOS only.  In looking at the details online, the developer reports support across several iOS devices, but none for the Android platform.  That is very unfortunate.  I am not sure if it’s because of the IR functions that he’s designed into it (which are pretty cool, yeah), but by and large this app is informational only – running calculations for various functions against charts that are available in other veins.  Is it a p.i.t.a. to reference other charts all over the place?  Sometimes I guess, but I don’t reference charts much anymore, and I certainly would not want to be limited to an iOS device to be able to have it all in one place.

The pro version runs for $5.99 in the market place, but not sure I’d buy it even for all that it does, primarily because of it’s place in photography.  It’s a learning and reference app more than anything and without cross-platform support, I can’t justify the expense.

Feedback

Want your own photography app reviewed?  I’ve got three more coming this week, but am open to other suggestions on apps to review.  If you’ve tried any of these apps or have your own thoughts, feel free to chime in below.  Remember, it’s your voice that drives the direction of discussion!