11 must-have mobile apps for iPhone photographers

Now many young people and photography enthusiasts, the first condition for choosing a mobile phone is to decide whether to buy this mobile phone based on whether the photo is beautiful or not, whether the film is good or not. So how can mobile photography be comparable to the visual effects seen on SLR cameras or Youtube? This article introduces a variety of smartphone apps to help your phone take better photos! Today first introduce the 11 apps for the iPhone, the next article we will introduce the Android system of the app, do not miss it!

#1 & #2 – ProCamera and Camera+ 2

ProCamera gives you a lot of control over your settings and offers advanced features such as RAW shooting, live histograms, stabilization, and more. In the new iPhone with multiple camera lenses, it can be applied to any one lens. Get a very sharp image after precise exposure, as the focus and exposure points can be separated, truly creating a sharp, balanced composition. The app can also shoot in manual, semi-automatic or auto modes. It also features a low-light mode called Low Light Plus, which can take up to 64 photos and combine them into a single photo, reducing noise. ProCamera also has a movie mode that lets you manually lock focus, exposure, white balance, and more, which is useful if you can shoot movies with your iPhone!

In addition to having the same functionality as ProCamera (but no video mode), Camera+ 2 includes a variety of very useful shooting modes, such as :

  1. Manual Mode: Full manual mode, changing shutter, ISO, white balance
  2. Macro: Macro mode, which lets you shoot at a distance closer to the subject, solves the problem that the built-in camera app for iPhone is too far from the nearest focus
  3. Slow Shutter: Slow shutter, which slows your shutter speed to 30 seconds (ProCamera’s manual mode can only reach 1/3 second), and is useful for shooting stars, tracks, running water, etc
  4. Action: Specializes in shooting moving and fast-moving objects

Both apps are also purchased and installed to cope with daily shooting.

#3 & #4 – VSCO and Snapseed

VSCO is a very famous negative color grading tool, the free version has a variety of simulated negative effects, and you can adjust the light and dark, contrast, shadow, tone, etc., which is a must-have tool for social media photos such as Instagram! However, if you want more negative effects, you need to pay to join the membership!

Snapseed is now part of Google, is a completely free and powerful mobile post-production software, basically using Snapseed has been able to complete 90% of the post-production, the function from simple light and dark fine-tuning, filter effects to advanced Curve adjustment also has, but also has a series of AI intelligent post-production functions (such as post-production mobile face angle and smile degree!). ), is a must-have post-production software for all photography friends.

#5 – Lens distortion

Lens Distortions is a unique app that offers a variety of filter effects such as blur effects, light leakage, textures, sun flares and sunrises, creating visual effects for a variety of light sources, perfect for iPhone photography users who like unique filter effects. While smartphones don’t have the aperture that lets you create a sun or flare effect like on the DSLR, the app lets you create a sun-rising effect that provides a realistic feeling of the sun’s rays, and the photos you take can even rival THOSE of a SLR!

#6 – Rays

The app makes it easy to create realistic light effects, adding light to highlight areas, as well as light rays that pass through trees, rays filtered through clouds, beams through fog, and even light effects from some special light source. You can also use the color picker to set the color of the light yourself and specify where the light is visible. Incidentally, if you want to do this in desktop post-production software, you can use Luminar.  

#7 – Superimpose

Let’s take a look at apps that can create textured effects that you can use to create some fun bark, floors, walls, or any style you like to create your own background. Superimpose creates professional-grade layered images on smartphones, an app that makes it easy to overlay one photo on top of another. You can also use this tool to blend textures, add borders, or create double exposures while adjusting transparency using dozens of different blending modes. When using the app, the background image is loaded first, then the foreground image is loaded, and then you can move, scale, resize or flip the foreground, and adjust the color and exposure.

#8 – My Aurora Forecast and Alert

Many photographers have written on their life lists that “the Northern Lights must be photographed once in a lifetime” . My Aurora Forecast and Alerts is an app that helps you track the elusive Northern Lights and make predictions of the Northern Lights based on starry sky activity. You can track the Aurora from your current location or anywhere else in the world, it will prompt in advance, tell you when and where the Aurora began, of course, whether it is really as predicted depends on your luck!

#9 – Geotagged Photos Pro 2

Geotag Photos Pro 2 allows your DSLR or camera to add the geographic location at the time of shooting (if the camera doesn’t have this built-in feature). This data usually includes file names, folder locations, cities, GPS coordinates, dates, and times taken. It records your location as you take a photo and creates a GPX document that you can export to desktop apps like Lightroom, Flickr, and Apple Photos. This is a particularly good tool for landscape photographers, as it’s easy to track location and record shots, and it’s also possible to connect to Lightroom’s Map Module to create maps of your shooting routes and make thumbnails along the way.

#10 & #11 – Sun Seeker and Moon Seeker

Sun Seeker is an app used by landscape photographers to track solar light sources that shows the angle of the sun and where the sun will rise in different views. It provides a flat compass view as well as 3D live images, and also covers the path of light cast by the sun. You can choose any date and any location to plan the best shooting conditions in advance.  Moon Seeker is developed by the same company, providing an app for tracking the moon, which is very suitable for photographers who like to shoot stars, moons and other subjects!

Invincible metering method – “Matrix metering” that can be used at any time


For novice or amateur photographers, metering often seems difficult to master, and there are many different metering modes built into the camera, so when should you use which metering mode to get the desired effect? Now let the author share how to use “Matrix Metering” to deal with 99% of the daily environment! After you finish your studies, you can take pictures at any time without changing the metering mode!

What is the metering mode first?
In modern digital cameras, most of them also have at least 3 metering modes:

  • Matrix/Evaluative Metering
  • Center-weighted Metering
  • Spot Metering

The difference between them is actually only the selection of the range used for calculating the luminosity. Matrix metering will select the area of the full-frame photo for calculation, spot metering will use the focus point or a very small area in the middle for metering, and center-weighted metering will use between the two.

A good partner for matrix metering: exposure compensation button (+/-EV)
When using matrix metering, there is a very useful and cooperative function in the camera, which is the exposure compensation button (+/-EV)! The Exposure Compensation button allows you to increase or decrease the exposure value yourself. One thing to note is that this button is not adjusted in post-production like Photoshop. Instead, you can directly increase or decrease the aperture, shutter or ISO to achieve the change of exposure, so it is more worthwhile to use it as a post-modification.

To use the exposure compensation button, simply press the button to turn the dial, or click to add or subtract. Please read the camera manual for details!

Tips when using matrix metering:
(1) When the scene is normally exposed to light

In the normal light-receiving environment, that is, shooting in the absence of very bright or very dark conditions, modern digital cameras have been able to measure the light very accurately, try to maintain a balance between the light level and the dark level of the photo, and set the aperture intelligently, Shutter and ISO values. Therefore, no matter whether you are outdoors or indoors, as long as you are not shooting under extreme light sources, you can trust the ability of matrix metering and shoot directly!

(2) In backlit/backlit scenes

When you are shooting backlit/backlit photos, your subject will be facing away from the light source and the lens will be facing the light source. At this time, the camera’s matrix metering will think that the photo has a lot of light (assuming your subject does not cover the entire frame), As a result, the overall photo is darkened to achieve balance, and the subject becomes underexposed or silhouetted. Of course, if the ultimate goal is to shoot a silhouette, it is very convenient, otherwise you have to greatly increase the exposure compensation (sometimes need +3EV) or use the flash to fill in the main light!

(3) When shooting black/white scenes

When black/white things take up a large part of the photo, matrix metering will make mistakes, thinking that the environment is very dark/very light and get the wrong settings of overexposure and underexposure, so we have to use experience before pressing the shutter. -/+ EV to correct the absence of matrix metering.

Explanation: If you encounter black things, you need to reduce EV, and if you encounter white things, you need to increase EV (many students will also make mistakes!)

(4) When taking portraits

Normally, the face of the portrait should have the correct exposure when taking a portrait photo, so pay more attention to the exposure. When you are using matrix metering, be sure to first look at the light around the subject for +/-EV compensation.

(5) When the front is facing the sun/light source

When your photo will contain the sun or a strong light source, unless you are using a wide-angle lens and the light source is only a small part of the photo, the camera will lower the exposure and make the photo darker. At this time, you may wish to have +0.7 or +1.3EV (adjusted according to the situation) before shooting, so that the photo can return to normal exposure.

(6) When shooting night scenes

When shooting night scenes, if the photo is full of light sources (such as neon lights, Christmas lights, etc.), you need to increase the EV, otherwise the resulting photo will be dark; but if the night is the majority, you need to reduce the EV EV, so that the black areas are not overexposed and become gray.

Of course, the matrix metering at this time is just a reference, it is best to use the manual mode to fully grasp the exposure value!

Unraveling the Mystery of ISO – Tips for Setting ISO in Different Situations

In the world of photography, the “exposure triangle” of aperture, shutter, and ISO is the main element that constitutes a photo. As long as you understand the combination of these three things, you can basically take photos with no blur and correct exposure. But many newbies don’t know when to use the value of ISO. This article is to solve the mystery of ISO! Take a look and learn together!


What is ISO?
ISO can be called “light sensitivity”. In the old film, the ISO value is fixed, that is, if you use a film of ISO400, you must complete the whole cylinder of film before you can replace it, but in the digital age, ISO can be changed at will to match the ambient light when shooting, which is very convenient, so we should make good use of the benefits of this technology to help us take beautiful photos!

As soon as you enter the room, even if the human eye feels that the brightness is sufficient, there is a high chance that you must use ISO800, ISO1600, etc. to shoot handheld.

Shooting moving objects (such as racing cars, children, pets, etc.), even outdoors, a higher ISO can increase the shutter speed and help take clear photos.

Low ISO helps to reduce light absorption. With ND filter, you can use slow shutter speed to shoot flowing water in broad daylight.

The signal noise will be obvious only in the dark position of the photo, but not very visible in the light position. Therefore, the signal noise will be less affected when using high ISO in the daytime.

Auto ISO setting
If your camera has the “Auto ISO” function, you can turn it on when you are shooting by hand, so that the camera will automatically increase the ISO to a suitable position according to the current light, aperture and shutter speed. Some cameras will automatically detect the used camera. The focal length is used to set the ISO, so that the shutter can meet the requirements of “safe shutter”, which is very convenient!

“Auto ISO” usually has two settings, one is “highest ISO” and the other is “lowest shutter”. The former is used to limit how much the camera can raise the ISO. Usually, I will set it to the next highest ISO available to the camera. For example, if the maximum ISO is 6400, it will be set to 3200 (the second highest). The automatic boost should be set according to the actual needs and the focal length used, so as to meet the “safety shutter”.

What if the lens/body has anti-shake function?
If the lens/body has an anti-shock function, you can set the ISO to a lower value when holding the camera, so that the shutter can be slow, and the photos taken with the anti-shake function will be clear and reduce noise.