What’s the best app you can use on your cell phone for your bird photography? As bird photographers, we are always looking for that edge to take our photos to the next level. I discovered an app that changed my bird photography forever. I’ve been photographing birds over 20 years, and it’s been a struggle many times to get that extraordinarily sharp bird photo when shooting birds in flight. We all know the efforts, as bird photographers, on capturing those images that last for a lifetime and make people go wow. So when you find an advantage, I say use it. Some people say it is cheating utilizing the app to draw the birds in closer, but I think it’s up to the person to make that decision.
What is this fantastic app that changed my bird photography forever? It is the Audubon bird app. This app has so many features to help you with your bird photography, how I’ll get to that in a minute. The knowledge you gain about the birds your photographing is tremendous.
How did it help my bird photography so much that it changed my bird photography forever? Most of the time, I’d be out taking bird photographs, I’d be hiding in the brush or I would be in a bird blind. You know the feeling, just hoping the birds would come close enough to photograph.
There were times when I just wanted to throw in the towel! The birds are so far away most of the time. I could never get close to them. This app made all the difference in the world to me. The Audubon app brings the birds I call to me. So how did I bring the birds to me? Well, one of the great features of this Audubon app is the variety of bird songs you can play.
I found that the best way to use the Audubon app is to try a variety of different songs. Know the birds you are looking for and play several different of the bird songs to see what flies in.
I remember the first time I used the app for this specific reason was in the Presson Oglesby prairie in Arkansas with my friend Steven Hunter. We were out trying to photograph Painted Buntings. It was awesome. We played the Audubon app and kept playing it. The Painted Bunting flew around us a couple of times, and finally it just boom – landed about ten feet from us and perched in some brush. It was awesome. So if you’re looking for another edge, check out this Audubon app. It is incredible living at this time when technology has made our cell phones the best tool to help us with our photography.
Here are some of the Key Features of the Audubon App.
One of the great things about the Audubon bird guide app is it’s free. It has over 800 species of North American birds. It’s easy to use. All experience levels can use the Audubon app to identify birds and bring birds closer to photograph them. A helpful new feature is the bird id. When you’re out scouting, looking for birds to shoot, you see one, and you are not sure what it is. Now with Bird ID, you enter information about the bird, what color it was, how big it was, what the tail looked like, and the app can help you ID the bird.
The Audubon app has over 3000 photos, 8 hours of audio clips of songs and calls from all different types of birds with their season range maps. This Audubon app is free, and you can download it here off of Audubon’s website.
Here are a few more apps you might want to check out to improve your bird knowledge and photography.
eBird Mobile app
eBird App is easy to use to record the birds you see in the field. It has a global online database used by hundreds of thousands of other birders around the world to Id and records their bird sitings. This app makes it easy to record the birds you see and makes it readily available for research, education, and conservation.
The Ebird app is one of the most popular bird apps for birders and bird photographers. I use all of the apps that I recommend. I use the Audubon app most of the time.
Merlin Bird app
If you’re still a novice at identifying birds, the Merlin Bird ID app can help you a lot with identifying birds. It will ask you a couple of questions about the bird you spotted. Then it will give you a list of birds to choose from. One of the great features of this app is that it can identify photos of birds. One negative, it only identifies birds found in the US and Canada only.
This is my favorite for the identification of birds.
Golden Hour app.
Golden hour is the wonderous time around sunrise and sunset when the light is at its best for photography. This app will give you all the information you need to know when the golden hour is at its best for your current location and will also provide you with some info on the weather. Taking photographs during this particular time in the day can make your picture from being an okay snapshot into a fantastic work of art.
Available on IOS.
HyperFocal DOF App
If you’re not familiar with hyperfocal distance, you definitely could use this app. If you’re not familiar with the math to calculate the hyperfocal distance, you have to see this app. What is, a hyperfocal distance you ask; this is what Google says the definition is “the distance between a camera lens and the closest object which is in focus when the lens is focused at infinity.”
How does the app work? Well, you pick your camera model from a list set your focal length and the aperture you’re going to use and click on calculate hyperfocal. It will give you the closest distance in which the lens can focus while keeping objects at infinity incredibly sharp. I first learned about a hyperfocal distance from a fellow photographer Steven Hunter. Once I figured out how to use the hyperfocal distance, it made a massive difference in my landscape photography. The apps amazing, it takes all the information you input and does all the calculations for you. Check it out.
Available on IOS.
Are you a Stock Photographer or thinking about becoming a stock photographer? You need to take a look at this app called Releases. The app generates a form everyone involved in the photograph signs electronically with their finger on a touch screen, which makes it incredibly easy to use. You can attach a picture to the form for reference, and then a pdf file can be sent out via email. The remarkable thing about using this app is that you no longer have to use a paper release. You don’t have to worry about a lost signed release. The best thing is that additional copies are available to produce at the time of the photography.
Available on IOS.