iPhone for Scouting

iPhone for scouting

I have always carried my phone with me when shooting, Especially when hiking. I really don’t want to be one of those people who call 911 when I run out of water or get lost, but if something bad happens when I am alone, I will use it to facilitate a rescue. I have been looking at the PLB (Personal Locator Beacons) and the Satellite Messengers (SPOT is one but I am holding out for the InReach by Delorme, which is currently only for Android phones.. Really? With all the iPhones out there?).

So what else do I carry my phone for? Well, my iPhone4 has a built in camera and also built in video. So this has become one of my scouting tools. Instead of carrying a larger compact camera, this camera has multiple functions, including the one my wife thinks that all phones should do only, and that is make and receive phone calls. Now, with my iPhone, I can take reference images and video. Take images and then share directly to Facebook. Take images and use Snapseed by NIK and play with them before sharing (Hey, it’s not Photoshop, but boy did they pack a lot of stuff in a program that fits on your phone).  Use reference apps for wildflowers, butterflies, birds, etc.

So for photo shooting and image enhancement, these are my top Apps:

  1. Pro HDR – 2 shot HDR method
  2. AutoStitch Panorama – Creates panoramic images
  3. Snapseed – creative enhancement to images and great sharing
  4. Pano  – Creates panoramic images
  5. Photoshop Express (PS Express)– still not regular PS, but fun to use.

For location and scouting, these are my tops Apps:

  1. Sun Seeker – great sunrise sunset position that even has a live image overlay mode.
  2. TPE (The Photographer’s Ephemeris) – great for sun and moon information including phase of moon. (for those of you, like me, didn’t know what ephemeris means- “a table listing the future positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets over a given period of time”. So now you know.)
  3. Hi Tide – gives high and low tides for your position. Great for beach photography and especially tidal pool photography.
  4. SkySafari 3 – I use this to determine moon position in sky and also constellation positions for time lapse of the night sky.
  5. Offline Topo Maps  – You can download the maps for the area you will be in and have them on your phone, even without a internet connection.. Works great.

For in phone reference, these are my top Apps:

  1. Audubon Guides– Butterflies– Great resource
  2. Audubon Guides – Wildflowers
  3. GSM Wildflowers Great Smoky Mountains wildflower guide that is partnered with DLIA ( Discover Life in America) which is in charge of the ATBI (All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory).
  4. iBird Explorer Pro Birds of North America. Includes drawings, photos, songs and more. They have a sell on the app right now (April 12, 2012) for half price. It was worth it at full price!
  5. The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America– for all of you who have used David Allen Sibley’s guide books for birds, this is great. Get the full version!

I will be posting a blog tomorrow about some weather apps as well as useful information about weather conditions and also how to survive a lightning storm!

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