How You Can Save Locations to Photograph Later

How You Can Save Locations to Photograph Later

When you get to a new place you haven’t been to before, or, even if you have been there in the past, you often see something new. It’s what travel does, it lets you see new things in new ways you haven’t seen before. So when you’re walking down the street with phone in hand but you've left the camera at your hotel or apartment and you see something you’d like to shoot, how do you save the location so you can get back to it again?

I use Evernote. It’s a note-taking app that syncs across devices. I write all my thoughts, ideas, meeting notes, article drafts, and to-dos all in allocated notes. I scan business cards and the app interprets the information and from the scan I am able to connect with the person via the LinkedIn app. I also scan all my slips so my taxes and expenses are easy to monitor too. If I am away from home and I need to scan a document, the app is amazing at doing this. I can also make voice notes, which I often do to record noises I think can work for video projects I’m busy with. Its capabilities are powerful, for any business.

Evernote Startup Screen

Using the app, take a picture of the place you want to remember.

The one thing I never thought I’d use was the Atlas feature where Evernote takes the GPS coordinates of the place you make the note at. But during my travel to Europe, starting at the drive from the airport, my eyes were darting everywhere. I was looking at he modern architecture, the statues, and the places that look like great places to shoot portraits at. This Atlas feature was and is perfect for this, because you don’t need to be online or connected to 3G or Wi-Fi. GPS works on a different signal, and you can quickly snap a picture of what it is that you want to shoot later, and the note will automatically have the street name in the title of the note and the GPS coordinates will be saved within the note.

The address is automatically saved in the title of the note.

Once you get home, you can browse through the images on your computer or iPad and see exactly what it is you want to plan shooting, and where exactly it is. You can do it with the Atlas feature, or just browse through each note and extrapolate on it from there.

Atlas view in Evernote.

When you think of saving locations for a photo, you’d never consider what is seen as a note-taking app. But Evernote is much more than that. If you need to save locations, you can open the app on your phone, and snap a shot. It's as easy as that.

For those who use Google Drive, they also just made it easier to integrate the files you have stored there with the notes you make in Evernote.

Does anyone have a different app or way to save locations for shoots? Please share it in the comments.

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John Paul's picture

When I'm driving and see a location I would like to use for shooting, I open my map app on my phone and drop a pin which gives me the exact address of where I am. If it's within the vicinity I may go home and use google earth.

Wouter du Toit's picture

Hi John Paul, that can work, but I save a lot of places in maps so it can get a bit crazy. With Evernote I can add tags and save it to a specific notebook. These notes contain images which is better for recalling, especially if you have many places you're saving. With these images I can also search an area in Atlas mode and plan a route. But, I'm sure maps can do the trick, just like we each have our style of photography, we each have a certain way of doing the work surrounding it too. The best is that we get out there and make some awesome images!

David Sanden's picture

There is a GPS built in the Canon 7D MKII, funny thing is I keep forgetting to turn that feature on.

Wouter du Toit's picture

That's great to have, and it's a feature they'll most likely build into all their future models. I suppose this is more for when you don't have your camera with you...

Ray Pertierra's picture

Do I need Evernote Premium for this? If not, can you direct me to the actual steps?

Wouter du Toit's picture

Hello Ray, I use the premium version but just tested it on my wife's phone and she's on the basic version. It works and it puts the address in the title bar like the premium version does too.

Sebastian Auer's picture

I like this idea, but my biggest pet peeve is that in order to look back at those notes in a coherent manner I need to use a computer or iPad. For me it would be great if I could look at this stuff on my oversized phone. I want to eliminate the amount of things I have to own/carry around with me.

So over the last year I started taking notes with photos with the iOS Notes app. One for ideas, one for locations and most importantly I often write things out now in a small hardcover notebook. It helps me weave my ideas, location, and inspiration together. Works for me most of the time, with the occasional fail, when I forget to look in my other note. ;)

There are apps that allow you to share shot locations but I find many of them not very user friendly and hinder my process. And I forget that I have the app. :)

What works for the rest of us?

Scott Free's picture

Evernote is available on pc mac android ios and even by logging in from the web, so its available anywhere you can access the net.

Scott Free's picture

Evernote allows you to create "notebooks" so you can create different collections for the notes and choose where each note saves to as you write it.

Jay Jay's picture

I've been using an iOS app called MapAPic, which is really good scouting app. I find a spot i like, snap a pic with it, give the location a name, add more pix if i want, and tag the entry with keywords i've set up in the app like outside, water, park, whatever, and can then filter just those selections later. Everything is geotagged, so you can have it pull up directions in apple maps. For me, it's the best thing i've used so far (actually one of the few scouting apps that seems to exist). I have Evernote Premium and have always been defeated by its clunky interface (to me, anyways). 5 bucks for MapAPic, but i see they have a free Lite version on the apple store.

Scott Free's picture

Evernote is so versatile, its a truly incredible app, everyone should try it out!

Jack Alexander's picture

Thanks for this. I hate using maps for this exact issue, so this app is a welcome addition!

Carsten Schlipf's picture

If your camera does not have a GPS you can use Google MyRoutes on your phone. Just start the location recording when you are shooting and make sure that your phone's time is in sync with your camera. Later you can convert the resulting KML file to GPX using, then import the route from Google into Lightroom using "Load Tracklog..." and finally sync the route using the timestamps to your images.

Not always 100% exact, when you are moving fast, but works well enough for me.