A few weeks ago I wrote about geotagging DSLR photos using the app Geotag Photos Pro. This app works well, it’s drain on battery is minimal, and adding the geotagging data in Lightroom is actually rather enjoyable. The only issue with the app is the need to manually sync the phone’s clock with the camera’s. It’s not difficult, but if you forget do to it at the beginning of a photo walk the whole process is pretty much ruined.
Yesterday, however, I discovered a similar app which does not require the camera and phone clocks to be synced. The app, gps4cam Pro, generates “trips” which track the user in the background until told to stop – much at Geotag Photos Pro does. The main difference, however, is how the app handles differences between the camera and phone clocks. When the trip is considered “over” the app generates a QR code which needs to be photographed with the camera which was used during the walk 1.
The magic of gps4cam Pro happens when the photo are processed using the companion desktop application, available for Mac and Windows. This simple application asks for only two pieces of information – the directory in which the untagged photos and QR code currently reside, and the directory into which the geotagged photos should be placed after processing.
While I enjoy importing directly into Lightroom, the intermediate step with gps4cam is not onerous. In fact, I found it to be bulletproof as long as you set things up prior to copying your photos from a memory card. First, create a folder on your computer’s desktop with the name you want to give to the import. Inside that folder create two additional photos – “pre” and “post.” Copy the camera’s photos from the memory card and put them in the “pre” directory. Set the “post” directory as the post-processing location. Gps4cam will find the QR code and use the embedded information to adjust for differences in the camera and phone clocks. The “post” folder will contain more than the geotagged images, it will also hold the GPS tracking log, just in case you need to access it later. The processed photos can be imported into Lightroom (or another photo management app) and the temporary import directory can be deleted. It’s an extra step outside Lightroom, which I typically like to avoid, but the process is so fast and simple I’m not sure I mind.
Either one of these applications makes a wonderful, and inexpensive, way to add GPS features to a DSLR. If you’re a photographer who enjoys having a record of where you were shooting, check these out. You won’t regret it.
- Or, cameras, as long as the images from the different cameras are processed separately. Dozens of people can be on a walk and, as long as they stay near each other while photographing, they can use the same geotracking data. ↩