4 Amazing Apps for Nighttime Photography

Stars Over FarmI have had a recent fascination with photographing the night sky. It all started with a trip to a cabin in the woods in northern Michigan this summer. After quickly becoming bored photographing green ferns and woodland scenery, I planned a night shoot of the Milky Way. I became hooked!

After that, my poor husband was at the mercy of the weather and the timing of the Milky Way with late night drives out into the countryside to get away from the light pollution of the city. (yes, I am still scared of the dark!) It gives me a sense of security to have a tagalong or fellow photographer, especially out on the back country roads in the middle of the night.

It did not take long to figure out which apps would help me with this venture and take a lot of the guess work out of the positioning and best time to catch the brightest part of the Milky Way. You can lose a lot of sleep and miles driving if you do not plan ahead.

Sky Guide App

App #1: Sky Guide

This App is amazing in that you can pre-plan a photo trip into the future by using the Time & Date setting. If I want to look ahead to next weekend, all I have to do is put in the date and approximate time I want to go out to see the Milky Way. It will let me know where the Milky Way is by direction and position above or below the horizon. You can point your device in any direction and it will show you the position of the Moon, Sun and all of the stars. You can even select a star or planet and it will give you a detailed description. You can go years into the future with this app.

Cost: $1.99 – by Fifth Star Labs

Storm App

App #2: Storm

This is my favorite weather app. It’s very important to know the predicted weather and cloud cover for your upcoming photography adventure. There is nothing worse than driving 2 hours to your special location and not being able to see the stars. Although there is always a chance of haze, even the lightest cloud cover can ruin a great shot. It always helps to study the weather beforehand.

Cost: Free – by Weather Underground LLC

Dark Sky Park

App #3: Compass

This app has turned out to be really important for me to verify which direction I am facing. Even though Sky Guide has a built in compass/tracking feature. I find that my iphone can sometimes be about 15 degrees off with this app, especially inside my vehicle. I like to verify my direction with the compass app. It can be hard to see the Milky Way with the naked eye, especially in low light polluted areas. The compass app will help you set your first shot up in the general direction.

Cost: Free

App #4: Photo Pills

This app is especially helpful when you are new to night photography. You can use the Exposure Values chart to get basic guideline for setting up your camera. It will have some nighttime settings for photographing the moon, with recommended aperture, shutter speed and ISO. It even includes a Milky Way planner. I have not used this app to its full potential, but I have used the exposure chart.

Cost $9.99 – by Photo Pills


I am sure that there are multiple apps out there that work just as well and would love to hear our feedback on what works best for you!


All Photography Copyright by Robyn Porteen






Scottdale Invasion! Press Trip in Arizona.

Scottdale Invasion! Press Trip in Arizona.

Saguro Lobby

By now, some of you may be wondering why there is a flood of Arizona photos hitting all of the Porteen Gear social media. Don’t worry! Team Porteen is still in the studio in Michigan making all of the orders! I was invited to take part in the Scottsdale, Arizona bloggers trip called the Scottdale Invasion. It is a great way to showcase an area that would be a great travel destination and also a great opportunity to field test Porteen gear.


You will be seeing the trip as it unfolds for the next 4 days and then I will be back in the studio. You can also see more detailed reviews of the resorts and restaurants on my Global Snapshots blog at WanderlustandLipstick.com

For this trip, I have taken a Compact Camera bag and turned it into a blogger bag with Ipad Mini, Iphone and a Fuji XT1 camera. Turns out it is the perfect size! I even fit a wallet, sunglasses and a light jacket on top. I will be reviewing the Fuji XT1 and the different used of the compact camera bag.

Page One Automotive even gave me a brand new Toyota Camry to drive so I can showcase that on my desert adventures!


Stay tuned….. Robyn Porteen

All photography copyright – Robyn Porteen

Disclaimer: This experience was provided free of charge for review purposes by Scottsdale CVP, but all opinions expressed are my own.



Gifts $50.00 and Under and The Market Tote Bags Are Here Again!

Gifts Under 50

Gifts Under $50.00 for the Photographer

We have several gifts under $50.00 this year! Our Camera Straps come in 30 different colors and we have many designs in the wrist straps from leather with rivets to colorful webbing.

Porteen Gear Leather Wrist Strap


We are please to announce that the Large Market Totes are back for Black Friday Weekend for Only $50.00! Regular retail price is $75.00.

We have 4 New Designs and we brought back the popular Plaid Bag with the Evergreen Bottom.

Plaid Market Tote

Plaid Market Tote

Tribal Market Tote

Tribal Market Tote

Purple Flower Tote

Purple Flower Tote

Mod Market Tote

Mod Market Tote

Gray Ice Market Tote


Gray Ice Market Tote

These will all be available in the Porteen Gear Etsy Store on Friday, November 28th. The $50.00 Sale will go through the end of Cyber Monday. Stay tuned for more sales announcements tomorrow!


The Leather Camera Card Cases are available this year in limited supply! This is a unique gift idea for the photographer on your list! These are available now in the Porteen Gear Etsy Store.

Camera Card Cases

The Porteen Gear Bag Builder is Ready to Go!

Celebrate the launching of the bag builderIt’s time to celebrate!! The Porteen Gear Bag Builder is up and running! All six camera bag sizes are now available for custom design.

Medium Camera Bag on the bag builder.

 Medium camera bag on the bag builder.



Easier ordering for custom designs – add your bag to the cart right from the design page.

Register on the site to use the Wish List – a place to save your designs and to share for gift receiving.

A Men’s room for simple designs like Plaids and Tweeds for the guys or gals who like a simple design with a solid leather flap.

Take a Screen Shot to share your design on Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites (instructions in the Bag Builder Tips)


Compact camera bag on the bag builder.

Compact camera bag on the bag builder.

Coming Soon

We still have some minor projects to complete.

There will be a style gallery with customer designs for inspiration and a model gallery to show bag sizes on people.

A guide to packing your gear for travel.


Convertible camera bag

Convertible camera bag/handbag on the bag builder. 

Darby Camera Bag

The Darby Camera Bag in the Men’s Room


Please use the Contact form to email me if you have any questions or issues. The Etsy Store will still be up and running for In Stock bags and special custom orders that cannot be completed with the Porteen Gear bag builder.

All Bags that are In Stock and ready for immediate shipping are in our Etsy Store.