Last week we had a fun zoom webinar with Jonathan in Barcelona.  He’s a street photographer and photography tour guide that’s using is lockdown time to teach phone photography techniques.  You can check out his classes on AirBnB, the price is extremely reasonable and has a 4.99 star rating.

After the class, we talked about a few of our favorite iPhone/Android photography tricks and apps, and I promised to post a full list for everyone.

List of Apps

Here is a list of different apps we discussed when we met after class was over.  Most of these are free, a few have either “pro” features you can purchase in-app, or subscription options.

Photography Planning

PhotopillsWebsite – This is a full-featured photography planning app, including helping you find great locations, planning dates and times, and visualize the Sun, Moon, and Milky Way positioning.

Light and Exposure MeteriPhone – There are several Light Meter apps for mobile now.  This one is recommended by Brian.

Pocket Light MeteriPhone – Another light meter, this is what I use.   Includes color temperature reading for setting a custom white balance.

Dark Sky Weather AppWebsite – Not specifically a photography app, but if you enjoy shooting weather (or avoiding it), Dark Sky is a great tool.  The name implies “darkness”, but it’s a weather prediction app.  It will send you notifications 10 to 20 minutes before it starts to rain, and another notification if the rain is about to stop.  It’s location based, so there is a battery impact.  But if you need a heads up before the rain starts, Dark Sky is very helpful.

Sun Surveyor – iPhoneAndroid – This is another Sun/Moon tracking app.  This is the one I use when I’m on location.  Using your camera, you can visualize the location and predict the timing of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, etc.

TPE and TBE 3DWebsite – THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S EPHEMERIS helps you plan outdoor photography based on the movement of the planet, Sun and Moon.  This can help you plan those sunrise and sunset shots.

With their separate TPE3D app, you can visualize not only planetary movement but also terrain height with simulated lighting and shadows. All three TPE apps can be purchased as a bundle to save money.

LightPolutionMapiPhoneAndroid – You may already use other Light Pollution Maps to plan your trips, such as the website  Having the data in the palm of your hands is helpful too.

Image Editing

SnapseediPhoneAndroid – Snapseed is a complete photo editor developed by Google.  29 Tools and Filters, including: Healing, Brush, Structure, HDR, Perspective.  Open’s JPG and RAW files.  Selective filter brushes, crop, rotate, vignette, curves, lens blur, glamour glow, the list goes on.

Photo Lab PlusiPhoneAndroid – I’m not sure the iPhone and Android versions are the same.  This was suggested by Judi Hoggatt

Filmic ProWebsite – Full control over exposure, focus, white balance, etc.  Can edit frame rates for video and image quality for photos.

Diptic iPhone – Quickly and easily combine multiple photos and videos to create a new collage or slideshow.

Camera+ website – iPhone camera app that provides full Manual control shooting, RAW capture and editing, portrait and depth information capture, and advanced editing tools.  Shutter speed, ISO and white balance can be selected using on-screen wheels and controls, for those occasions when you need precise control over your capture.

Special Effects

LD (Lens Distortions)iPhoneAndroidA layer-based photo editor for creating cinematic imagery.  Take iconic visual techniques from the advertising and film industries and use them in post-production in your images. 

8MM Vintage CameraiPhoneAndroid – Make short videos that look like they were filmed on vintage lenses, cameras and film.  8MM even lets you introduce shutter flicker and misaligned film teeth effects.

PlaneticalWebsite – You may have seen the “tiny planet” photos on the internet occasionally.  These are pano or 360 photos that are warped into a circle end-to-end.  I have two apps that I use to make these types of images, Planetical and RollWorld.

RollWorldiPhone – This is another Tiny Planet app like Planetical.  To get an idea of what these apps do, check out the RollWorld Flickr photo group.

RaysiPhoneAndroidCreate stunning and realistic light ray effects quickly and easily. Known as volumetric lighting in computer graphics or crepuscular rays in atmospheric optics, this dramatic effect adds polish and style. Since the rays are only added to highlight areas, they have the effect of passing through objects and add a third-dimensional quality. Add shafts of light streaming through clouds, rays filtering through a forest canopy, beams of light on a foggy night or rays shooting out from text. Rays adds a striking and dramatic quality to any image.

VHS Cam – Retro Camcorder FXiPhoneAndroid – Adds vintage VHS effects to videos.  Adds filters, display date and “Play” icon.

TinTypeWebsite – Inspired by daguerreotypes, tintypes, and other photographic processes from over a hundred years ago, TinType faithfully reproduces these amazing images with stunning accuracy.

Spectre CamWebsite – Spectre is an AI-powered shutter for your iPhone, letting you create amazing long exposures. Create car light trails or blurry rushing water with your iPhone.

OilistiPhoneMake Fine Art based on your pictures! Give Oilist an image, and it will automatically generate a genuine and unique work of art based on it. Painted for you in real time! Participate or spectate it’s up to you, Oilist will delight! All saved at canvas-worthy 4k resolution.  Oilist comes with 48 infinitely customizable styles; from photo-realist to impressionist, to abstract. Every style except for our photo-realist style offers three different levels of abstraction.

PrismaWebsite – Turn photos into works of art using Prisma AI tools.


Guru ShotsWebsite – This is a photography game to help step up your photography skills by doing daily challenges.

WMUWebsite – Provides a phone-interface for controlling your Nikon camera

Seek WebsiteUse the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals all around you. Earn badges for seeing different types of birds, amphibians, plants, and fungi and participate in monthly observation challenges.

Adobe CaptureWebsiteUse your mobile device as a vector converter to turn photos into color themes, patterns, type, materials, brushes, and shapes. Then bring those assets into your favorite desktop and mobile apps — including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Dimension, XD, and Photoshop Sketch — to use in all your creative projects.

Have a Favorite?

Did we leave out any that should be added to the list?  Leave a comment and let others know about your favorite iPhone or Android photography app tool!

Joe Lippeatt
Follow me!
Please note, required FTC Legal Disclaimer: HoustonPhotowalks uses affiliate marketing and advertising to generate revenue for our budget and the organizers who run the group. This money is used to pay fees, website hosting fees, classroom fees, teaching fees, donations to museums and venues, provide bottles of water when possible, compensate organizers for their time, etc. When you click links, the HoustonPhotowalks organization may receive a fee when you purchase a product or service.