Are you detail oriented and a little OCD about planning photo shoots? Want to know how the shadow length or the moon location at 5:24pm on April 25th, 2015? This might be the app for you.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris is not a brand new app. First launched in 2009 on the desktop, this app allows you to plan outdoor photo shoots with ease and accuracy from your phone – and has just released a major iOS update – version 3.0. Need to know the exact times the sun and moon rises and sets? No problem, there are lots of apps that can do that. But what sets TPE apart from the rest is its ability to calculate where the light will actually fall on the land anywhere on this blue ball. But that’s not all it does.
This little app is packed with lots of features that most of us probably won’t need – but perhaps some hardcore landscape and urban photographers (Need the times for civil or nautical starts? Yeah, me neither). But what about the exact time for Golden Hour – calculated precisely when the sun is between the horizon and +6°; perhaps you need the shadow length from a location at a specific time; maybe you need the exact time when the moon will appear over the cityscapes…this little app does all that. You can put away your topographic maps, calculators, protractors and measurement tools now.
TPE just released a major update for iOS – version 3.0 – and the app is available on Android as well. This video shows some of the new features of this map based sun and moon calculator:
TPE now has a consistent design across all devices – desktop, phone and iPad – and they’ve modernized the look and feel to aid in user experience. Moving some of the commonly used features to make them more accessible and making location search and saved locations quicker and easier to find are just a few ways they have improved in this new version.
There are numerous map types for you to chose from – satellite or topographic, terrain or standard, there are also two offline maps you can access in case you find yourself in the middle of nowhere without a wifi signal.
Some of the new features for the app include line of sight analysis, a Visual Search capability, and a number of ways you can share your data.
If you need to figure out the visibility between two points on a map, using the line of sight analysis will help you determine where to shoot and where to position your model. You can also figure out angle of views on major landmarks and what it would look like shooting from that vantage point.
Visual Search will allow you to plan ahead and see when the sun might rise in a specific location and how much illumination the moon will give off. There are now many ways you can share your plans so you can invite all your friends to come shoot in the perfect conditions.