January 11, 2016

Planning Outdoor Photo Shoots

Simply put, the Photographers Ephemeris is a device that predicts where the sun is going to fall on a particular location. It’s primarily aimed at landscape photographers (which I love shooting) but it’s also very handy for shooting night photography.   It’s also very useful for architectural photographers as well. The Photographers Ephemeris is free for anyone to load on a PC or Mac and is also available as an App version for your portable devices such as a tablet or cell phone for only $4.99. 
This is a great tool for anyone that shoots landscapes and is also nice for photographers who like to shoot the Heavens (night photography).  Think about it, wouldn’t it be better to see how the light will fall on the landscape visually before you go all the way out to the location? The Photographers Ephemeris helps you plan your shooting times and locations by tracking where the sun will rise and set, day or night. This App is pretty wild. The creator of this program even figured in the time and directions of the moonrise and moonset. It will even let you know the phase of the moon is currently in. (¼, ½ or ¾).

You can search for your locations by typing a specific address or if you know the coordinates, you can type those in. The App will then find your locations and make it with a pin. Sometimes that might not be the best position to shoot that location and the program will even allow you to move your pin. Another nice feature is that you can view it from way out in space in the Satellite mode and zoom right down to street level or keep it in Map mode (Google Maps) and see the streets and directions you might need to use to get there. Nice huh?

With this program on your phone or tablet, it allows you to view your screen in the Standard mode, a Satellite mode, Hybrid mode or even view the Terrain view.  What is Hybrid mode? Another nice feature is that the App will let you save your locations in case you’d like to come back another time. You can even plan your dates in the future with the date dialog box. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate and when we get to a location right? This feature really comes in handy.  Once the App is loaded on your device, a network connection is not required. 

I know there are other programs out there that do the same thing but I’ve found this one pretty simple to use. Personally I enjoy shooting landscapes and the Photographers Ephemeris App comes in handy for sure, but I also shoot professional Real Estate Photography, and I need to know when I can get the best angles for my exterior shots, especially my twilight shots. By letting me know when is the best time of the day to shoot the front view of the home is, I can plan all my interior shots accordingly. Check out this video by Simon Maxwell to get more info on using it for architectural shoots.  Pretty nice huh?

As always, I hope you enjoy this post. Remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!
© D. Gould Photography