Welcome to PhotoPills Friday, where we unlock the power of the PhotoPills app — without all the confusion!  🙂


In this episode, I give a basic overview of PhotoPills and all of the photography tools it has to offer.  If you are brand new to PhotoPills or are considering purchasing it, then this video is for you. I also show you how to turn on the widgets for quick access to sun, moon and night sky data for your location. 

The PhotoPills photography app is packed with features, but it is most well known for its photo-planning capability through the PLANNER. The Planner can be pretty intimidating to navigate if you are new to it.  In this video, I go over the four main areas of the Planner tool to give you an idea of how to access different functions and features. I’ll dive deeper into each of sections of the Planner in future videos.

In this video, we start our deep dive into planning sun and moon images, which starts with understanding the sun and moon map layers, what various icons mean, how they work, and what the colored lines on the map tell you. Follow along if you have the app!

Here, we continue our deep dive into understanding the various panels and icons of the top bar of the Planner, and how they relate to planning sun and moon images.  Follow along if you have the app!

In this video, we put together all the stuff we’ve learned so far and plan a full moon image together!  The process works when you need to figure out:

1. where you should set up your camera to get the shot you want
2. what date and at what time the moon will be in the right position, and
3. you are not on location to scout it out.

In this video, I show you how to use the FIELD OF VIEW (FOV) map tool within the Planner. This handy tool helps you determine what focal length to use for a given field of view OR what your field of view will be for a given focal length. It’s very helpful if you are trying to decide what lens(es) to bring for your planned photo shoot.

In this video, I show you how to use the DEPTH OF FIELD (DOF) Map Tool within the Planner.  This handy tool helps you see the depth of field on the map in the Planner so that you can adjust your focal length, aperture, shooting location, and focus distance in order to achieve the depth of field you want for your planned image.

Figuring out how big (or small) you want the moon to be in an image is an important compositional decision. In today’s episode, we learn how to use the Sun/Map Map Tool in the Planner so you know where to put your camera in order to create an image where the sun or moon appears to be of a certain size relative to your subject.

A key step in outdoor photography composition is understanding how light will hit your subject relative to your position.  In this quick tip episode I show you how you can find the sun or moon’s light direction on any date or time so that you can plan your compositions accordingly.

In this quick tip episode, I show you how to save your favorite photo spots whether you are researching and planning ahead or on location and find a great spot you want to come back to. 

In this quick tip episode, I go explain what all of the maptool icons mean in the Planner and how and why they are handy to know about when planning.

In this quick tip episode, I answer a common question, which is – can I use PhotoPills when I’m not in cell service? The answer is yes and no. Watch to find out more and how to use PhotoPills while offline.


Welcome to the first episode of Season 2!  Today, I show you how to use and calibrate the augmented reality feature inside PhotoPills.  I use it when I’m scouting a location for potential sunrise, sunset, Milky Way, moon, or star images. I also use it to fine-tune compositions once I’m on site and ready to shoot.  It’s definitely a helpful tool – but it *does* need to be calibrated for it to work properly, and I show you how in this video.

If you want to photograph a meteor shower, you need to do a fair bit of research first, but thankfully, PhotoPills has a tool that makes that super easy and quick to figure out. In this episode, I show you how to use the Meteor Shower Pill to plan a meteor shower image.

In this quick tip video, I show you how to import a shared plan or point of interest into the PhotoPills app whether it’s been shared via an email or link.

In today’s video, I explain everything you need to know about the red and black pins of the planner. Understanding these key features will help you plan your sun, moon, and Milky Way images — so, you could say that it’s *essential* that you get comfortable with the red and black pins if you want to unlock the full capability of the PhotoPills app!

In this video, I show you a trick for figuring out whether nearby mountains will block the light from golden hour on your subject. We use the red and black pins, but in an atypical way. The same concepts can be applied to moon light as well

 Did you know that the altitude of your shooting location will change the time you experience sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset? But the resources that provide those times only account for the latitude and longitude of your location, and not the height above the horizon. PhotoPills has a way to figure out the adjusted times for sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset based on altitude, and I show you how in this video.

If you want to photograph the sun or moon rising (or setting) from behind a mountain, how do you figure out WHEN that composition would be possible? Trial and error? Maybe. PhotoPills has a powerful feature that can help you figure that out in about 5 minutes, and I show you how to use it using a step-by-step example of photographing the sun rising behind one of my favorite mountains in New Hampshire.

 Ever wonder what those white concentric lines are on the map in PhotoPills? Do you find them confusing? They are actually very helpful for planning Milky Way images, and in this video, I show you how to use them and other tools inside of PhotoPills to plan a Milky Way image.

This is the last episode of Season 2!  In today’s video, I show you how to plan a MILKY WAY image using the light of the MOON to illuminate your subject. We build on what we learned in Episode 20, so be sure to watch that first if you are new to Milky Way planning with PhotoPills.