Monday, September 10, 2012

Smartphone Apps for Photography: iBird Explorer Pro (updated 2012)

iBird Explorer ProOne of my photographic passions is wildlife photography. More and more travelers are choosing destinations throughout the world, specifically because they wish to observe and photograph wildlife. I'm one of those photographers.

When home, you'll generally find me visiting the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge for a number of hours each week.

An important part of wildlife photography is properly identifying the wildlife you encounter, both flora and fauna. Sometimes, especially if you've not visited a location before, identification isn't easy. I'm often visiting wildlife locations with well studied wildlife enthusiasts, or wildlife experts, and they are very helpful in identifying wildlife, but sometimes I'm out alone and need some help.

I used to carry several books with me when out, bird guides, wildflower guides and butterfly guides, for example. These can get heavy, and sometimes you get so busy thumbing through their pages, you miss seeing and photographing some wildlife, because you're unaware they're in front of you.

Now I use a number of wildlife guides on my iPhone.

iBird Explorer Pro with a major update this year, is one of the best bird identification apps for smartphones I've found. It's also available for Android smartphones.

Currently it costs $14.99 for the iPhone, but it's on sale for Android at $4.99, and as far as I'm concerned, it's worth every penny.

What I really like about this app is that you don't have to guess, or know in advance which group a species you're trying to identify belongs, unlike most birding books.

iBird Explorer Pro leads you step by step toward your identification. You enter information from your observation of the bird, such as: location, shape, size, habitat, primary color, observed month, wing shape, tail shape, leg color, crown color, nape color, eye color, bill shape, bill length, etc. and the app will then list the potential birds yours might be, and will display, facts drawings, and photos about them, and even play a recording of their song. The major update to this app, for me, since my last review, is the inclusion of hundreds of new photographs to help identification. Most bird descriptions now include multiple photos, including male, female, and juvenile photos.

The app really helps you identify the birds you're photographing.

I'm always on the lookout for new photography apps for my iPhone and for Android apps too. If you have a good one to suggest, contact me. If I like it after testing, I'll give you credit for your suggestion in my Blog article about it. Thanks.


Sarah Adams said...

That is great that your following your dream. I love wildlife but it is hard to give time to it in busy schedule. Writing about my time with wildlife creature is my dream. Taking pictures of beautiful wildlife creatures and observing them with my opticron binoculars would be great. Hoping to find some time for this. Enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for the guidance and sharing your experience with us.

canvas print said...

it really was a dream to visit, i be back in no time. thanks

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