Written by

Chris Gonzales


Matthew Brodeur

Ever just feel like hitting the road (or the skies) for a few days to find new places to explore and photograph? Yeah, us too.

If that urge ever strikes, and assuming you’re going to be shooting primarily with an iPhone, here are some essentials to bring along.

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Modern Atlas for iOS. ($1)

Modern Atlas for iOS. ($1)

‘Modern Atlas’ for iOS »

Need ideas on where to go? Modern Atlas is an app for iPhone and iPad that lets you discover and bookmark unique places to explore around the world. Through it, you can access over 21,000 city, park, and country guides written by Wikivoyage users, and 1.5 million places of interest from Wikipedia.

Once you’ve bookmarked some places, you can create custom trip maps that can be used whenever you arrive at your destination. The maps and guides for a given area can also be downloaded and stored offline, so it works even if you’re in a place with terrible reception (or if you’re trying to avoid data overages).

John Voorhees of MacStories sums it up well:

Whether you’re planning a trip, wandering around a new city, or just armchair traveling, Modern Atlas has a wealth of information and stunning photography that’s presented in a beautifully-designed app.

Moment lens-mounting system for iPhone. ($100 per lens, each of which includes a mounting plate)

Moment lens-mounting system for iPhone. ($100 per lens, each of which includes a mounting plate)

Moment Lenses »

Moment is a nifty lens-mounting system for iPhone that uses a thin, case-friendly stainless steel mounting plate that safely adheres to the back of your phone, which their high-quality, interchangeable lenses then attach to. (If the mounting plate isn’t your style, they also offer iPhone cases with built-in mounts.)

There are three Moment lenses to choose from, each of which includes a mounting plate and will run you $100:

This is the best iPhone lens system around. As The Wirecutter notes:

Images are crisp and clear, with very little distortion found in our testing and no vignetting. We noted only minimal chromatic aberration (a common problem with cheaply-made lenses in which colors fringe and blur, especially at high-contrast edges).

Studio Neat's Glif tripod mount. ($30)

Studio Neat’s Glif tripod mount. ($30)

Glif Adjustable Tripod Mount »

We’ve long been fans of Studio Neat’s Glif adjustable tripod mount. We even wrote a review to that effect.

While we wait for the new version of the Glif — which we wrote about here — to start shipping, the current edition will still have a treasured place in our mobile photography kits.

Joby's GorillaPod Hybrid flexible tripod. ($40)

Joby’s GorillaPod Hybrid flexible tripod. ($40)

GorillaPod Hybrid Tripod »

You never know what sorts of situations and environments you’ll run into while exploring a new place. Joby’s GorillaPod Hybrid flexible tripod comes in handy just about anywhere you go. It can be placed on a flat surface like a typical tripod, but can also be hung and wrapped around objects when needed, allowing for better placement and/or more interesting shots.

Darkroom for iPhone. (Free, with a range of in-app purchases [$2–$6] to unlock more filters and editing tools)

Darkroom for iPhone. (Free, with a range of in-app purchases [$2–$6] to unlock more filters and editing tools)

‘Darkroom’ for iPhone »

With all the photos you capture while traveling, you’ll want a way to make them look their best before sharing. Over at our sister site The Sweet Setup, we recently updated our “best photo-editing app for iPhone” review with a new top pick, Darkroom, which has usurped VSCO’s long-time throne.

Darkroom’s filters are classy and subtle, its advanced editing tools are fluid and intuitive, and the RGB curves editor is the nicest one we’ve ever used on a touchscreen.

RAVPower's Xtreme 26800mAh portable charger. ($50)

RAVPower’s Xtreme 26800mAh portable charger. ($50)

RAVPower Xtreme 26800mAh Portable Charger »

Despite having “Xtreme” in its name (sigh), this three-port external battery pack seriously comes in handy on trips where you don’t always have access to power outlets. This thing can fully recharge an iPhone 6s about ten times, or an iPhone 6s Plus about six or seven times — either way, it’s enough for several days of traveling and shooting, and more than enough for a weekend trip.