Last updated on June 26, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, travelling and making photos for 20 years. Read more Photography Tips

Best travel photography apps to help you discover the best spots and enhance your photos

Nowadays everyone travels with an iPhone or an Android phone. Everyone can take photos with them. 

But, how can we improve the way we make photos?

Firstly, you need to have the best travel photography apps to improve and enhance your shots. 

In this guide, you will find all you need to organise your photo locations, make the photos, improve them, and finally post or store your images.

Secondly, you may want to learn more about what composition works best, how to get the best light, how to shot with and without people.

For this, you should read and download my popular travel photography guide. Over 70 pages that may change your way to make (not just take) photos when travelling.

FREE (no email required) Reference Guide to Travel Photography

And, if you are in Melbourne, you may consider joining the workshops and walks I run for iPhone and smartphone photography.

In this guide you will see

You can read also

Best travel photography apps 

Here is a full list in order of …..well you make your order.

I could not definitely live without all of them during my travel photography trip

Instagram – Still the winner

Yes, I am addicted.

The thing is that Instagram is today the biggest photography social environment.

I love browsing through the inspiring photos and I love following people work.

Best travel photography apps 2015
Instagram still #1

Moreover, I like the app because it is really simple: select the photo, select the filter, add a description and publish.

The limit I find in this app is that the post-production (photo tweaking) is not as exhaustive as I would like.

One example for all is that you can only apply filters to the entire photo, and not just areas. To do that…well you need another app

You can like my Instagram profile @stef_travelphotography, download the Android app or the Apple App

EyeEm – A step above

This is an Instagram on steroids. Though, there are no selfies 

It’s definitely a social environment dedicated to photographers or wannabe photographers.

Best travel photography apps 2015 – All free to download
EyeEm, Instagram on steroids

There are two features that really stand out, they have a photo market where you can sell your photos and there are periodic photo competitions with good prizes as well.

On the post-production side, it is an app which is very similar to Instagram

The limit ….I can see it already.

EyeEm started as a social environment for photographers, it is evolving already into an Instagram like app which, to me, does not make too much sense because we have already Instagram.

The quality of the photos on EyeEm is much higher than on Instagram, it’s more of an Instagram back in 2004

Download the Android app or the Apple App

Snapseed – The best photo editing app

This is a serious software with the quickest learning curve I have ever experienced

Google bought the maker not long time ago and Snapseed is now the de-facto standard in the photo editing.

You can edit the full photos with filters as well as just a part of it.

The software is just amazing and it works great. Definitely the best software on the market

Best travel photography apps 2015 – All free to download
Snapseed, a must-have photo editor

The limit….there is a learning curve but, as I said, it is such a quick and easy one.

There is no own social environment connected to it (but that’s fine, we have so many of them already)

You can download the Android app or the Apple App

Adobe Lightroom – If you are in the Adobe cloud

This app is a must if you are in the Adobe cloud.

You can work on your photo from wherever you are with your mobile or tablet, the best of the best.

Adobe Lightroom is such a market standard nowadays

Best travel photography apps 2015 – All free to download
Lightroom, if you are in the Adobe cloud

The limit…..it is not really free at the end because you need to be in the Adobe cloud, that is why I suggest it only to the people they have already an Adobe subscription

You can download the Android app or the Apple App (special one if you have an Apple iPad)

Your camera app – As simple as that

Use your native camera app, either you have an iPhone or you have an Android mobile, it does not really matter.

I am really impressed by the quality of these native apps.

There is absolutely no need to buy another app for HDR or stitching your photos in a long panoramic one.

It’s already installed, why not using it.

There are a few tweaks that are only brand related.

As an example, the Samsung camera app is just amazing but few things can be shared only with other Samsung phones. The same applies to the iPhones

Phonto – Text on Photos

When I need to add some text on my photos I use this app.

It’s simple, no-frills, no time waster, really what I need.

You have a vast choice of fonts, size and colours, really anything you need to impress.

Best travel photography apps 2015 – All free to download
Phonto, add text to photos

It’s not a designing app, do not ask too much.

You can download the Android app or the Apple App

Suncalc Org

This is another must-have app.

How disappointing is to go for a sunset or sunrise photo session and discover that the sun is not in front of you as you hopped.

Once inserted the day and time, this app tells you where the sun is.

You can easily scroll through the map to see where are the best spots to take a photo.

The sunrise/sunset position is different in winter and summer and Suncalc just helps you to find out the best time to visit a spot, besides finding out what time is actually sunrise

Best travel photography apps 2015 – All free to download
Suncalc to check sunrise/sunset time

The website is fantastic as well. I can only suggest it without any hesitation

Limit…none that I can think off

You can download the Android app. Unfortunately, Suncalc is not on iTunes. You can download instead LightTrac ($4.99)

Exposure Calculator

This is not a calculator that will help you find the best exposure.

This is something we all get it right with the experience and the meter reading built in our cameras.

This app comes in when you start using ND filters on your DSLR or Mirrorless.

If you have an N-stop Neutral Density filter, especially if you go into the 8-10 stops or more, the camera meter will not be able to read the light from outside, just too dark.

You will not either be able to compose your photo (way too dark).

The process is here to organise your perfect composition, check the light metering, add the ND filter and manually change the exposure value to adapt to the new light.

You can all do this manually or you can get this app to add the exposure value you read and the ND filter you install, it will give back the new value to set on your camera.

Just easier to get the values right without any human mistakes

Best travel photography apps 2015 – All free to download
Calculate your new exposure

This is a no-frills app, it’s basically a calculator.

If you do not have ND filter you do not need it

You can download the Android app. Unfortunately, the Exposure Calculator is not on iTunes. You can download instead Long Exposure Calculators ($3.99)

Maps.me

Are you visiting a country and you do not have Internet connectivity on your mobile?

This app called Maps.me is the perfect alternative.

You can download the country map and here you are ready to see where you are whenever you want, even if you do not have internet, all offline

You can now also download Google Maps on the mobile but Maps.me has more detailed maps, especially for trekking

Best travel photography apps 2015 – All free to download
Maps offline

Limit…the map file you download for the country is a heavy one.

Remember to delete it once you leave the country otherwise your phone will be soon full.

You can download the Android app or the Apple App

Later

Between me and you, the hardest thing about Instagram is posting on a regular basis.

I like to post one photo around 6-7pm Melbourne time.

That is the time when I experience more following I noticed.

The reality is that I may be busy with something else at that time of the day and importing a photo, writing the post, selecting the best travel hashtags etc takes a bit of time.

With Later you can plan all of your photos in advance, with the written post and the hashtags as well.

When it comes the time, the app Lategram on your mobile opens up Instagram with the photo and the post, you just need to click on “Post”….that easy!!

With Later you have 30 free posts per month (payment required if you exceed this limit), however, if you click on this Later link you will get another 10 free on top 😉

Lategram

Hyperlapse Mobile

This is a Microsoft app which makes life much easier when you want to build, well, an hyperlapse video.

I have a Samsung S9 and the native camera app has already a similar functionality however it can be useful when not already included in the phone

You can download the Android app. Not available on the Apple market however the Hyperlapse for Instagram is even better 😀

Summary

I hope you find the above an exhaustive list of the best travel photography apps.

Any suggestion is obviously more than welcome.

I am usually a person that tends to load a minimal number of apps.

I used to have lots of apps in my old phones but I ultimately decided to stay with the essentials.

Sometimes the built-in apps are actually so good that there is no need to load new ones, as it is the case for the native camera app.

If you think that this post has helped and you want to know much more about travel photography then you should read and download the FREE Ultimate Guide to Travel Photography (no emails required), a 70 pages PDF file.

Download the FREE Travel Photography guide

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Enjoy your trip and see you soon somewhere in the world.

Namaste

Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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