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Molydood
1st of September 2004 (Wed), 17:15
Hi, check this out, a question for the pro's from a newbie, hope this makes sense:

I was wondering today (while I was supposed to be working) if experienced photographers considered the time of day, and the predicted position of the sun (in relation to the shooting position), when going on new shoots?

I was just thinking that on a racing track, at say 5pm, there will points on the track with the sun behind you, and perfect lighting onto the cars, and there will be points with the sun in front of you which will produce much lower quality photographs. So if you were scheduled to arrive at a location and then shoot for say two hours, it would be important that you were in the right place (I think I'm using a racing track as an example in my head, but can't actually think of any others!)

So the question is; would you ever research the geographical positioning and time of shooting, before actually arriving at a place, or is it all worked out on the day?

and the reason for asking is, if you attended a motorport event and had to book tickets for seats in a particular location (assuming you didn't have full access), then these would be very important considerations when choosing your seats, but somehow I can't imagine anybody really researching it beforehand :roll:

thanks,
Martin

robertwgross
1st of September 2004 (Wed), 17:37
So the question is; would you ever research the geographical positioning and time of shooting, before actually arriving at a place, or is it all worked out on the day?

It is commonly planned in landscape/nature shots. It's not a rule, but it is done a lot.

When I have to wake up at 4 a.m. and drive to someplace to shoot at 5 a.m., you can pretty much guarantee that I know exactly when the first light in the sky will appear, and at what compass bearing.

When I am hiking 16 miles in a day to shoot ancient petroglyphs in a slot canyon, you can pretty much guarantee that I know what time I am going to get there, and where the sun will be with respect to the line of the canyon. Anything else would be silly.

I almost got thrown off base when I visited the Southern Hemisphere. The sun was at an unexpected place in the sky (as compared to the Northern Hemisphere), and it took me a couple of days to sort that out.

---Bob Gross---

Scottes
1st of September 2004 (Wed), 17:38
I always consult charts and maps when looking for new locations for sunrises and sunsets. The second trip always had better placement than the first, but the 5 minutes on the web was always time well spent.

vfilby
1st of September 2004 (Wed), 18:19
Yes, infact I have been considering it for the last half hour. I have to shoot something that will have morning sun and be in the shade late evening to afternoon. But it is under a tarp so the morning sun may not work out, this may be a two pass operation.

As of now I am using a weather network for suntimes, a map (for cardinal directions) and a knowledge of the surroundings.

robertwgross
1st of September 2004 (Wed), 19:39
As of now I am using a weather network for suntimes, a map (for cardinal directions) and a knowledge of the surroundings.

If you are seeking information on the time for sunrise and sunset, some good GPS receivers have that stored and will report the times for the destination.

---Bob Gross---

vfilby
1st of September 2004 (Wed), 19:51
As of now I am using a weather network for suntimes, a map (for cardinal directions) and a knowledge of the surroundings.

If you are seeking information on the time for sunrise and sunset, some good GPS receivers have that stored and will report the times for the destination.

---Bob Gross---

Just stating where I get the information, I can't afford both a camera and a GPS ;-)

robertwgross
1st of September 2004 (Wed), 21:03
I've seen decent GPS receivers for the same price as a 1GB CF card.

---Bob Gross---

defordphoto
1st of September 2004 (Wed), 21:03
Light, except for your camera, is the single most important element in photography and should be considered in all shoots. There are times where we have no control over what time an event occurs and we have to live with what we have, but whenever you can, careful planning ahead with the light in consideration is a must, IMO.

At a recent ChampCar event the podium was facing to wrong way for the time of the day the race would be ending. The head photographers were throwing fits at the morning meeting.

Immediately after the meeting, there were trucks and forklifts moving the podium.

jgbeam
2nd of September 2004 (Thu), 10:22
I've seen decent GPS receivers for the same price as a 1GB CF card.

---Bob Gross---

In DPP's current issue there is an article comparing several DSLR's and they mention that Nikon has a GPS option (extra cost, I presume) on one of their camers (D1H, D2H?) that records the GPS positioning data. :shock: Kinda cool!

Jim

Pekka
2nd of September 2004 (Thu), 10:35
Maybe you have services like http://www.ursa.fi/extra/taivaalla/tahtikartta/ in your area.

Jon
2nd of September 2004 (Thu), 10:48
Outdoor Photographer publishes/published a table of sun (and moon?) set/rise times and approx. azumiths every issue. I use Ephemeris for Pocket PC by Jonathan Sachs (http://home.comcast.net/~jonsachs/), which gives sun &amp; moon rise and set, as well as altitude and azumith at 15 minute intervals for your desired location and date. He also has a DoF calculator for the Pocket PC.

Molydood
2nd of September 2004 (Thu), 14:20
loads of interesting replies there, many thanks, now I know for the future, but I will need to find a good source of information for sun positions and times. I have a pda but not pocket PC :-(

gkas
3rd of September 2004 (Fri), 11:01
If you have Palm PDA, then you can use SOL! II. Sun rise, set, and Transit. Same for moon. excellent program for calculating sun, moon transit and position.

PhotosGuy
8th of September 2004 (Wed), 23:21
For sunrise &amp; sunset car shots, I used to carry a compass in my bag. It was very handy for picking locations during the day. Lo-tech works, too!

MegaTrixel
17th of September 2004 (Fri), 10:39
These two sites from the US Navy are excellent sources of sun and moon data.

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/AA/data/docs/RS_OneDay.html
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/AA/data/docs/AltAz.html

whowie
30th of September 2004 (Thu), 17:49
There's also (among many others) Jonathan Sachs Ephemeris for Pocket PC. Try http://home.comcast.net/~jonsachs/ (I have no affiliation with this site, BTW). Many people, photographers included, carry their life's story in their PDAs; may as well have an ephemeris too.

Scottes
30th of September 2004 (Thu), 17:57
A nice little program for Windows: http://www.dl-c.com/ephemeris.zip

PeterTaylor
1st of October 2004 (Fri), 01:45
I found this site the other day.

http://www.geomancy.org/sunfinder/sunfinder.html

Conk
1st of October 2004 (Fri), 11:00
A nice little program for Windows: http://www.dl-c.com/ephemeris.zip.

Pekka
1st of October 2004 (Fri), 11:31
A nice little program for Windows: http://www.dl-c.com/ephemeris.zip.

Remove the dot from the end.

dtrayers
1st of October 2004 (Fri), 13:29
Here's another really neat program:

http://weba.viawest.net/%7Efcs/ho/index.html

One of it's features I like is the ability to search in the future by time and date and direction.

mikebr
1st of December 2005 (Thu), 19:16
Here's a really nice online sun positioning web application, great printouts for pros:
http://isitinthecan.com/sunposition/

Members have handy extra options, probably easier to visit the site than me explain some of these.

PhotosGuy
2nd of December 2005 (Fri), 08:51
There's some good info in Gavin's thread, too.
Q&A Session with Gmen: Sports Photography (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=117470)

vixeh
2nd of December 2005 (Fri), 11:11
I almost got thrown off base when I visited the Southern Hemisphere. The sun was at an unexpected place in the sky (as compared to the Northern Hemisphere), and it took me a couple of days to sort that out.

---Bob Gross---

I'd never really thought of that since I've never been south of the equator. It must really throw you off when you expect the sun to be in a particular location later in the day only to realize that it's traveling in the opposite direction. I have enough difficulty finding regularity while traveling... ;)

Jon
2nd of December 2005 (Fri), 11:15
I have enough difficulty finding regularity while traveling... ;)
Try Phillips :{)#

PhotosGuy
3rd of December 2005 (Sat), 08:17
Try Phillips :{)# Is this the smily you were looking for?
http://photo.klein-jensen.dk/smilies/tongue.gif

Jon
3rd of December 2005 (Sat), 14:35
Is this the smily you were looking for?
http://photo.klein-jensen.dk/smilies/tongue.gif
No.
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=33957&d=1129653106

PhotosGuy
3rd of December 2005 (Sat), 21:34
Now I get it!