PhotoPills App – How I Use It (2019 Edition)

When I first started using PhotoPills many years ago it was originally only for use with landscape photography, long exposure photography and similar genres. However, more recently I am using it even more for family portraits and other outdoor portrait sessions for my photography client sessions. I use its photography planning features to ensure I get the best location, framing, and light. With it, I can ensure I am fully prepared ahead of time. PhotoPills is available for iOS and Android and is the best photography planning app around.

Transcription was done by’s automated transcription service which means it’s an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar, and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.

This shirt has been a conversation starter for so many people, both in my videos and in person. People ask me all the time when I’m wearing the shirts. What is PhotoPills? I think it’s time for a new photo. Pills tee shirt. Thank you. PhotoPills. Hey, this is Scott Wyden Kivowitz, a storyteller with a camera talking about all the things photographers like you and I are thinking about. In this video I want to talk about PhotoPills. You might know if you’ve been following me and my videos for a long time. You might know that I am a big fan of PhotoPills. Yes. There are a bunch of apps out there for both Ios and Android to help plan your photo session based on where the sun is, but not all of them are true photo planning software. That’s right. Many of them are just. There’s where the sun is or there’s where the moon is, but none of them besides one is a true photo planning APP.

Here comes the sun is what the shirt says because that is just one of the features that PhotoPills offers with PhotoPills. I can actually plan out a photo session really not just from where the sun is, but we’re, I will be standing where depth of field comes into play, where aperture comes into play, we’re shutter speed, comes into play and even horizon lines and a whole bunch of other things. So for the rest of this video, I want to take a little bit of time and just show you some of the planning features that PhotoPills offers that most of it also has augmented reality. And that is fricking cool. So before I dive in, I want to say thank you to PhotoPills for sending me this tee shirts. I appreciate their support. You know, all that. They don’t pay me for anything. I do have the APP for free.

I got it many years ago when I did a, uh, an online course about great, uh, iphone apps and Ipad apps and they sent me a tee shirt along with it because I loved the product so much and they continue their support just by giving me another tee shirts. I don’t have to pay for the APP again, but they sent me another tee shirts, so thank you. And before I continue, if you like this video so far and you want to see more like this, click the subscribe button below now because I published new videos every Monday and Thursday whenever possible and you don’t want to miss it. Can also cry to kick that notification bell. That’s there too and you’ll actually get a notification when there’s a new video. Then that’s also really cool. So PhotoPills is on my iphone and it’s an integral part of my photography, especially when it comes to a long exposure photography because there isn’t neutral density calculator in here as well, but even more so when I’m doing family sessions or engagement sessions or anything that has anything that I have to include or exclude the sun moon or anything like that.

And a few other things. So let’s dive in, shall we? I am definitely still a fan of PhotoPills and today I want to show you how I’ve been using PhotoPills more recently than I have in the past. Now for years I’ve used PhotoPills mostly for a long exposure photography and planning landscapes, but I’m doing a lot less landscape photography these days only because it doesn’t really pay the bills so much. So what I’ve been using is a voter pills really for family portraits, for personal brand photography sessions and things like that. Any work that requires me to do outdoor photography and work with the sun. So hearing him inside of PhotoPills and I’m inside the planner and in here I already have selected at a location that is on the boardwalk in New Jersey and I have put in a date. So what I’ve done basically if you look right here, I can put in the date to.

Let’s say this is all hypothetical mind you. The date of this photo session is May 8th, 2019 and I want to plan it around sunset. So we’re going to look around 7:30, 5:00 PM. I don’t know when it is, but I’m going to find out. So basically if I now use this little scrubber at the bottom, I can see that sunset starts at 7:58. So as I go through, you’ll see this, it starts to change, right? So the sun is going down, the sun’s going down, the moon is out now, right now it’s nighttime. So if I go back, you can see right about there is where I’m going to blue our here’s golden hour. So 7:34 might be the perfect time for this photo session. Now I know right away that 7:35 is the time it’s now I can go ahead and save this. I can save the point of interest, I can save the plan.

So I’m going to save the plan, the new plan, and I’m going to say boardwalk demo and I’m going to hit save. Now what’s really cool is I can go back and I can. Sorry, I can go back to the beginning and go to my stuff and I can go to plans and you can see I have a boardwalk demo right here. I can click that. It’s gonna bring you right back to here. I can even add photos to it as I, if I’m scouting location or if where, if I want to show photos that I took at it at the actual session, I can add some notes about it. I could do other things like sharing it, uh, you know, using the Ios apps and stuff like that. I can also edit this, you know, change the name and things like that. Um, let’s go back to the planner and there’s other things you can do, like augmented reality.

I can actually adjust a myself based on what I see through the phone and map out where the fund will be using augmented reality. Now I’m not actually on a, on that location. I’m in my studio so I can’t really show you that right now. But if I was to click the augmented reality button, you would actually see. I’ll show you what you’ll see right now. It won’t be, you know, two magnificent because it’s not. I’m actually at the beach, but you can see right here that, uh, I can actually go and see where the sun is going to be at a certain given time just by turning the phone right, but using the camera built in. Now there’s other things you can do, like you can plan out your, your focal length. Um, you can plan that out. You can figure out your focus distance.

You can do that, you can do all this stuff right within the APP, which is really nice if you want to really fine tune yourself. Now what I really love is now I can actually go in close, figure out where I’m going to be on the beach, where I want to point. This is where I want to actually, this middle line is where I want to actually, um, you know, photograph, and then I can go ahead and say, okay, well, let’s see. The, the focal length and going to use is 70 millimeters. Now that is the, that is the 70 millimeter focal length. I can see. All right, I want to get part of the building right there. I actually want to, you know, adjust my myself, I want to be maybe right about here, place myself there, zoom in, and I want to get some of the buildings there. I want to make sure I get the water and the sunset in the background. And now I know that right here.

So now the sun is going to be over right where it says a 7:00 PM. You’ll see on that yellow chart, that’s where the sun’s going to be. It’s actually going to be behind me, which is nice because then it won’t be in the Lens, right? It won’t be through the camera, but it does mean that the subject we’ll have to, you know, potentially squint wear sunglasses or something like that. I could adjust this and I could actually move them to this side of the building. And now at 7:00 PM, if I was to be standing around a. let’s say we’re going to go this way, if I’m going to be standing around to where 2:00 PM is, the sun is still going to be at where 7:00 PM is. And uh, the cool part is a filthy. The building in the background, you’ll see the ocean and you’ll see the sun sunset happening.

It just won’t be the sort of California sunset. We don’t get those in New Jersey, where on the east coast. So we can’t get these sunsets all the time where the sun is right over the water typically, uh, in, in, you know, this side of the, of the country. The Sun is not over water unless you’re on the lake or if you’re on the bay, something like that. Um, but, uh, there you go. So that’s, that’s how I’ve been using PhotoPills. Basically planning my photo sessions for each location for each day for each client and figuring out the best place to put them and for me to stand ahead of time. And I have some goto locations that I like to have. Um, you can have points of interest, you can preset your point of interests, you can have as many as you want and you can have as many plans as you want.

And of course you can use the hypo folker focal length calculator. You can use the depth of field calculator if you’re going to use, if you’re going to use a neutral density filter, as you can calculate that as well and your exposure. You can do timers, you can calculate sun and moon things. There’s a lot of things you can do, um, and it’s all based on whatever day you set. So you can see it right here. It’s today, today’s date that I’m recording this. It’s actually a today’s time as well. It automatically detected it and it tells me that today’s golden hour is going to be at 4:49. So for my exact location, if I want to do, um, if I want to do a photo of my exact location, I can quickly just go to the sun section or the moon section and figure it all out right from there. So PhotoPills was fantastic. I still use it all the time, highly recommended if you, whether whatever type of photography doing, if you’re doing any photography outdoors, it is ideal checkout PhotoPills at

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