Picture Perfect: Top Mobile Apps for Photographers

Magic Hour AppInstragram has been one of the biggest creative mobile apps ever. With celebrities and people alike posting countless pictures to the web, it is undeniable that this is one of the biggest trends to hit mobile technology and social media. But not everyone is into this application, and there are photographers out there that want more out of an app that adding a filter to a cell phone picture and then sharing it. Below is a short list of the best mobile apps for photographers.

Light Meter Free

With the advent of digital cameras, light meters have become less and less used, but there are still those out there that shoot on film, and bringing along a digital camera to get a light read can be a hassle. There are mobile apps out there that will use your phone’s camera to get a light reading, and Light Meter Free is a great free app. Through this app, you can set your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to get a light reading. You can also give the meter aperture or shutter speed priority depending on what you like to do.

Adobe PhotoShop Express

Like with most photography nowadays, digital editing and post work is becoming more and more important. If you want some more control over your mobile photography without having to put on a prefabricated filter, than you can use this mobile version of the iconic Adobe product allows you some key features in editing your photos like cropping and straightening, as well as noise reduction, which is key given the grainer nature of low light cell phone photography. It isn’t the same product that you’ll use on your personal computer, but it is great for fixing well composed cell phone shots.

Film Lab

This is a fun app for the film enthusiast. While this app does seem a little like other “pre-effected” mobile photography software, this emulates the look of certain film papers and films. For example, you can get the look of what a photography would look like using a Kodak or Ilford product. This is a very unique app, and it’s nice for any film enthusiast.

Film Lab AppTime Lapse/Lapse It

These are two apps that are for different platforms, iPhone and Android respectively, that work to do the same thing. These apps help you take great time lapse shot photos that challenge even the most skilled of photographers. With these apps, you can place settings and and output, as well as the number of photos used to make the video, and then just let the app do the rest. After the video is rendered, you can add any extra effects you like, and then share with your networks. Time lapse photography is difficult, and these apps can help you produce amazing pieces.
Magic Hour

This is maybe one of the coolest apps for the serious photographer and filmmaker alike. As most know, magic hour is that time when there is a beautiful diffused light as the sun is rising, and right before it sets. The hardest part about magic hour is planning on when to catch it at the right moment, especially if you are in an unfamiliar area. With the Magic Hour app you can be alerted to when magic hour will occur, no matter where you are. You’ll never miss out on taking the most beautiful pictures ever again.

So for the serious photographer that wants unique tools for their photography, or to have the ability to make more meaningful mobile photos, these are great tools to start with. You won’t be disappointed.

This guest post was contributed by Jordan Mendys. Jordan is from North Carolina, and is a professional filmmaker and photographer. He also helps blog for DirecTV.

New York Hotel Brings Instagram Photos to Life

The  W Hotel in Times Square currently has an Instagram Photography Exhibit, a collaboration between the hotel and a photography community called Instagram NYC. The exhibit runs from May 14th through the 21st and is free and open to the public.

There is no doubt that Instagram, the photo sharing app recently bought by Facebook for a headline-making $1 billion dollars, makes a pretty picture. Both professional photographers and regular shutterbugs have taken to the app on their iPhones and Droids to make even the most ordinary images extraordinary with Instagram’s many filters and editing features.

In fact, there are many ways to showcase images taken with Instagram online, beyond one’s Instagram stream. There are blogs,  Flickr groups, and Tumblr sites dedicated to Instagram, and businesses are beginning to take advantage of Instagram contests.

W Hotel Instagram Exhbit

What The W Hotel has done is taken the images offline by providing a brick and mortar venue for printed Instagram images.

The exhibit features shots by some of the most talented Instagram photographers including Brian Difeo (@bridif), founder of Instagram NYC, John De Guzman , Angeliki Jackson, Liz Eswein, Chrixtian Xavier Chantemargue and Theo. You can find the five featured artists images by searching for them on the app: @cxcart @newyorkcity @uptowneastnyc @astrodub and @johndeguzman.

The W Times Square Hotel also held a social media contest inviting instagramers from all over the world to be featured in the exhibition by uploading images to the Instagram page and using the hashtag #WDESIGN.

You can view the #WDESIGN winners here. The W Hotel Times Square Instagram Exhibit is the first of its kind in New York City. The artistic communities of London, Dublin, and Singapore have also had Instagram exhibitions.

This guest post was contributed by Marcie Taylor. Marcie is a writer and social media strategist. She is the Book Editor of OC FAMILY magazine and also contributes to online publications including OC EXECUTIVE and Trip Advisor. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @marcietaylor

Cheers to Instagram

Between Instagram rolling out to the Android market in early April and its purchase by Facebook a week later, it was only a matter of time before social-savvy businesses began tying the photo editing and sharing app into social media-based initiatives.

Not only is Maggiano’s Little Italy encouraging users to follow their own Instagram account, they are also asking diners to share photos taken at the restaurant on Twitter with the hashtag, #Maggianos.

This isn’t the first time the Italian restaurant has effectively used social marketing – last summer, they sent out another excellent message to their mailing list encouraging fans to like them on Facebook.

Again, Maggiano’s has done an excellent job tying in social media to their latest initiative.

Rather than a basic message announcing their happy hour offers (that they’d probably have sent out anyway), they opted to go this route and tie in a timely social component.

And, to incentive users to participate, they’re going to choose several winners to receive $100 gift certificates throughout the month of May.

Kudos to Maggiano’s for staying being innovative with their marketing strategies.

I’ll definitely be sharing photos of my cocktails next time I’m there for happy hour!