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Apps for Landscape Photographers

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

I don't know about you but my phone is probably my favourite and most essential photography accessory. I use the camera to test out compositions and I also use it for all of my planning. I simply can't live without it when I am planning an adventure in and around Banff National Park. I have a plethora of apps that I use on a daily basis to help me figure out weather, find trails, plan compositions and figure out what I am shooting.

One of the questions I get asked often during my workshops and tours is what apps do I use and what ones I recommend for other photographers.

Here in the Canadian Rockies we lots of beauty around us and with that beauty comes crazy weather. These are some of my most relied upon apps for weather in the Canadian Rockies.

The Weather Network - I find this weather app to be right about 75% of the time and for a weather app that is pretty darn good. There is lots of information all in one page in a very easy to use interface.

However this app is just one piece in the puzzle of what I use to find reliable weather information. DOWNLOAD HERE

iCSC - Clear Sky Chart - This app is one of my longest used and favourite apps. It gives you about 72 hours of weather data, which is ideal because the weather in the mountains isn't reliable after that time frame anyways.

In a recent update they removed the legend for the colours but for Cloud Cover, Transparency and Seeing, grey/white is bad, blue/dark blue is good. In the reference photo below its showing there is going to be a bunch of clouds for the next few days, but the cyan colour is showing there may be some optimism in the cloud cover and the seeing but transparency is garbage. DOWNLOAD HERE

* EXTRA TIP* I like to look at the Weather Network app and the Clear Sky Chart app together and if they correspond then there is likely a chance that the weather will be correct. Mountain weather is always fun lol.


These are some of the apps I like to use to plan my shoots, from sunrise/sunset times as well as location planning and Northern Lights.

Sun Surveyor - This is probably one of my favourite all around apps. It is very similar to the Photo Pills app but way easier to use. I use this mostly for sunrise/sunset times as well as moon rise and set. It is VERY easy to see when the moon will be out at a quick glance so you can plan on shooting moonrise or set and if the moon will be out at night and ruin the star photos. It also gives you first light and last light times which is very helpful for blue hour shooting.

This app has a "lite" and a paid version. The paid version has Milky Way info and the ability to add widgets to your iPhone. That little light blue line at the bottom of the photos indicate when the moon is out. Its probably my favourite thing about this app! DOWNLOAD HERE

Terra Sol - This is a new app to me but it fit the bill after the makers of my favourite sunrise/sunset times app stopped updating their app (insert rage fist shake here). This app gives a clean and clear times at first glance. You can also swipe through saved locations. DOWNLOAD HERE

Solar Monitor - This is a paid app but it is definitely one of my go to apps when looking at the data. Everything is colour coded so even if you don't understand the data. Green means not much is happening unless you are in Alaska, Yellow means get your stuff ready and Red means go outside now! DOWNLOAD HERE

AuroraAlerts - This is another app that I really like because of its predictions in "Long Term Forecast". Its almost always wrong after 1 week but there has been a few times when it was right and it allowed me to plan to be out and capture a display. It is also similarly colour coded for ease of use and it also has a percentage of the northern lights visibility in your area. It's all around a very useful app.

SpaceWeatherLive - This is a great app if you understand the data a bit more as there are lots of graphs. It's also colour coded so I can pretend I understand the data. DOWNLOAD HERE

Random Apps

If you're like me and like to have as much knowledge as possible at your finger tips, here are some of my most favourite apps for a bunch of different things.

PeakFinder - This app works online and offline and will let you know what mountain you are photographing. DOWNLOAD HERE

PlantNet - This is a free plant identifying app. I often use it in the spring when there is lots of flowers popping up and I am always curious of what things are called. It doesn't work offline but it does allow you to upload photos from your gallery after the fact. DOWNLOAD HERE

Maps. me - This app works online and offline and shows you your GPS location. This is great for showing you where you are on your hike and navigate in the dark when trying to find an off trail water feature. DOWNLOAD HERE

These are just a few of my favourite apps. If you have an app that you love and think would be helpful to share please comment below.

Thanks for reading!


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Lori Ryerson
Lori Ryerson
Apr 26, 2022

David Kingham recently talked with us about a fantastic weather app, There's a phone and a desktop version. Pretty amazing. Thanks for this, Dani, very helpful.

Apr 26, 2022
Replying to

Yes! Windy is an awesome app! There is so many apps that I use that I think I will have to make a part 2 to this post in the future.

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