Just as technology has made sunrise and sunset photography easier, it has also made finding the best location to photograph a sunrise or sunset easier. Last year I started using an app on my iPhone — The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) — that is a great tool. Using TPE, I can quickly identify exactly where and when the sun (or moon) will rise or set on any day and in any location. That allows me to plan sunrise/sunset compositions in advance because I know exactly where to set up the camera to place objects like trees, fountains or piers in the composition. I can drop a pin on a map in TPE showing where I want to set up, days/weeks/months before I plan to be there. The app tracks my current location, allowing me to walk to the exact location I selected in advance. TPE even lets me know how far the sun will be above the horizon at different times, the direction and length of shadows at different times of the day for any past or future date, phases of the moon and many, many other things. TPE can be overwhelming when first used, but it’s become a valuable tool.
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