For all of our HSW workshops, comprehensive scouting for each location is key to the success of the workshop. Knowing where to be, when to be there, and — most importantly — what you will see there, is the backbone for being prepared to capture great landscape photos.

For us, when we scout for a new workshop, before we even head out with boots-on-the ground we spend quite a bit of time researching online, from Google Earth to The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE), along with lots of topo map studying. But now a new app for the iPad takes all that research and bundles into one neat little program, called The Photographer’s Transit.


The Photographer’s Transit is a digital map-based shot planning tool for outdoor photographers shooting with interchangeable lens cameras.  The app allows you to plan the best possible camera, lens and shooting location using field of view visualization. 

Detailed elevation profiles allow you to scout sight-lines virtually and check if your planned focal length will capture your subject. Before you even get to the location, you get a good sense of what lenses you need to carry with you.

In a nutshell, how is this good? Photo Transit provides powerful field of view visualization tools that let you see what can be captured by your choice of camera and lens before you ever get on location.


The horizontal field of view is overlaid on five different map types, including Google Standard, Hybrid and Terrain, Open Street Map and Open Cycle Map Topographic. Simply move camera and subject pins to set up a shot, while adjusting orientation and focal length to see the effective field of view!

Vertical field of view is shown in a really powerful elevation and altitude charts (seen in the above screenshot). This is going far beyond a simple elevation profile — these charts show you how visibility of landscape features changes with distance from the camera.


And if your location is near a road that has been mapped by Google Street View, The Photographer’s Transit gives you simulated camera control (seen in the above screenshot).

Plan your shot by selecting camera and lens, then setting orientation, direction, pitch, height and focal length. Then check your composition using built-in Google Street View (meaning you don’t leave the app to see the Street View).

Set your camera direction, pitch and zoom directly using the touch-based Street View controls, or drive Street View using the simulated camera controls. Photo Transit configures Street View to give an approximate match to your camera and lens field of view, so you can get a clear sense of what to expect when out in the field.


Lastly, you can save and share you scouting and shot plans on your iPad (seen in the above screenshot) for offline viewing when you are in the field or with others via email or social media directly from the app. According to the developer:

“You can easily share your shot plans with friends and colleagues. Using web-based shot sharing you can:

• View shot in web browser
Send via iMessage or email
Add to calendar
Share on Facebook
Post to Twitter
Export as KML for import into Google Earth™ or your favorite GPS app

Email individual shots, or entire projects. For each shot, a web link is provided, as well as links to open the shot directly in Photo Transit, or in The Photographer’s Ephemeris.”

Yep, it is fully designed to work with its sister-app, The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE), which is a another must-have app for the iPad and iPhone for all photographers.


The developer has also released several brief videos (seen below) that provide further details of the app, along with a tutorial on key features.




Just like TPE, The Photographer’s Transit we predict will become another necessary tool in the research toolbox for all photographers, not only landscape photographers.

The Photographer’s Transit is available for the iPad only, running iOS 6.0 or higher, and costs $8.99. You can purchase/download the app from the iTunes Store HERE.

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