Here’s a quick and dirty list of the software and apps i’m using in 2016 for my architectural photography, plus a few notes on each.
Adobe Lightroom is my work horse tool. I use it to store all my images, catalogue them, edit them and finally export them. It’s faster and more intuitive than Photoshop for editing and it’s non destructive. I only jump out of Lightroom to use Photoshop in rare occasions.
I still use Photoshop, but only for very particular edits. The typical use case is that I need to remove something like a electricity pole, or builders sign board. Cloning, copy and paste, masking and multiple layers all come into play here. And because of the time involved I try to limit the number of images I do this with.
I use Google Drive for online storage and delivery of images. It syncs automatically with folders exported from Lightroom, is relatively cheap, and is part of the Google Docs suite, which I use for running my businesses. Dropbox can also do this well. (as an aside, I’m going to test out syncing all of my raw files to Amazon s3 now that the new office has satellite internet with super fast upload and download speeds.)
BowerBird is the new media tool I’ve co-founded with Ben Morgan. It’s now open for any other architectural photographer to use too. It does all the getting published stuff I used to do manually like creating media kits, image attribution and licensing, and sending projects to journalists. It also includes a database of the world’s architectural media. I’ll do a full post on how I use it another time, but if you’re interested you can try it out here.
I’m currently using Morecast for weather forecasts. I’ve got an old post on predicting weather for architectural photography here. When I wrote it I was using WeatherPro but found it’s accuracy dropped in Melbourne during winter. They key thing both these apps have over your standard phone weather app is sunshine hours. So far Morecast is doing this really well.
I’ve had the PhotoBuddy app on my phone for years, and there’s no doubt new alternatives out there. It includes all sorts of photography information like aperture diagrams and exposures, but what I use it for is sunrise and sunset times. What I like about it is that it gives me the start and end time of dusk and dawn, not just the sunset or sunrise itself.
Sun Seeker is a handy app that has sun path diagrams, which are useful for planning a photoshoot, but what I really like about it is what they call a 3D view. This is basically an augmented reality showing you the sun path overlaid on top of what your phone camera sees. Really amazing for figuring out if the sun will ever get under a roof overhang during the day, or another time during the year.