If you’re like me and love landscape photography then, while sometimes it’s possible to happenchance on a great picture, planning your shoot is much more likely to get the results you’re looking for.
I have one particular shot in mind but the sun needs to be either rising (preferably) or setting at a specific position in the sky. There are only about 6-9 days in the year when the sun will be in the right position either at sunrise or sunset. Given that getting the shot will involve a 180 mile round trip I’ve be looking for a way to be as sure as I can that I’m going to be there on the right day/s.
After playing around with Google Maps and a couple of tools that give sunrise/sunset times and angles I stumbled across an iPhone app called The Photographers Ephemeris while idling away the time looking at photography apps.
It’s a great tool that’s very simple to use. You simply select a location and a date and it gives you all the information you need about sun/moon rising and setting times, angles, elevation, etc… I could go on but go have a look at The Photographer’s Ephemeris website for a full list of functions. The screengrab below shows some of the information the application gives me for Ware (I live here) for today:
What I now know is that I’ve missed the sunrise opportunities this year (May and July) so will have to wait until next year for those. Sunset is an option but that’s in November.
The iPhone app is charged for but there is also a free desktop app for Mac, Windows (if you must) and Linux which is fantastic.
I’d say that The Photographer’s Ephemeris is an excellent tool for anyone serious about landscape photography and should be a part of the toolbox.
The only intangible now is the British weather – I’m pretty certain that it will be cloudy and dull or hosing down with rain for at least half of the days that I could take the shot 😉