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Recommended Apps: “TideTrac”

"TideTrac" App for iPhone and iPadApp: TideTrac
Price: On sale for $0.99, normally $2.99 (buy)

I shoot at the beach a lot. Orange County is more known for it's cookie-cutter tract housing and shopping centers than its natural scenery. It's not exactly Yosemite around here... But the beaches do offer some great photographic opportunities. With unobstructed views out to the Pacific and beautiful rock formations, all you need is a good sunset and you're ready for some primo landscapes.

But the beaches look drastically different from high tide to low tide. Those rock formations and tide pools may be un-photographable at certain times due to high tides. Some beaches aren't even accessible depending on the level of the water.

So when photographing beaches, it's invaluable to know the tide level. This information helps you plan when to go, what beach to visit, and where to plant your tripod. Tide charts can be found online, but are sometimes like sorting through a complicated spreadsheet. But luckily there are some great smartphone apps for checking the tides.

I've used a couple different apps over the course of a few years and the best one I've found yet is TideTrac by Rivolu Pte Ltd. It shows all the valuable information in one easy-to-read display. At one glance, you can view the high and low tides for the day superimposed over a traditional tide graph. You can even slide the vertical red line around to see what the tide will be at any given time. Move days, weeks, or months into the future, and then reset to present time with one click.

"TideTrac" App for iPhone

My favorite feature about this app is that sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset times are overlaid on the tide graph with clear delineations for determining how the tide levels coincide with sunrise and sunset. This information is absolutely invaluable for the landscape photographer. With one quick look, I can see if my desired low tide will match up with the perfect light.

And with a swipe to the left, you'll pull up an illustrated list of the important times for the day - sunrise, sunset, high tide, low tide, etc. Swipe to the right for a quick look at the tide levels over the next 4 days. You can also see a map of the tide stations nearby to make sure you're getting the right data from the right area.

"TideTrac" App for iPhone

Overall, TideTrac is a fantastic app. It has all the information you need without any of the clutter. I highly recommend it. Plus, come on...it's only $0.99. Click here to purchase for iPhone.