– There are seemingly countless accessoriesavailable to the photographerbut I think actually the accessorythat I find most valuable most of the timein my photography is data.And in the context of the data I’m referring tothat means that I always want to have a smartphonewith me out in the field or when I’m planning a shotbecause that enables me to take advantage of an appthat makes it possible to plan very easilyfor including the sun or the moon in a photo.
And I use this for example,in Rome to photograph the full moon.I knew that there would be a full moon while I was there,thankfully the weather cooperatedand I was able to use an appcalled The Photographer’s Ephemerisavailable for smartphones,as well as a web application in order to plan that shot.Let’s take a look at what that looked like.I’ll start off in The Photographer’s Ephemeris appand I’ll set the location firstin this case Rome, Italy.And so down at the bottom center I can tap Locationsand then tap into the search field and I’ll type Romeand you can see that Rome, Italy is the top result thereso I’ll go ahead and tap that, and then tap the red pushpinicon in order to center my view within the appon Rome, Italy so that I can start exploring the mapto see where I might want to photograph from.
Next of course, I need to set the date correctlyso I’ll tap the Date up at the top centerand I will change that date to the date in questionthat happens to be October 5th 2017.And you can see in the display down belowthat the full moon is indeed on October 5thso I can use this app for planningfor a variety of celestial events.Having set the date correctly I’ll go ahead and tap Doneat the top right and now I can zoom in on the mapin order to try and figure out what might be a good locationfor photographing that full moon.
So I think I’m going to start off at Castel Saint Angelo,that provides a nice elevated viewpoint,with beautiful views of the heart of Rome.I’ll make sure that my crosshair is over that locationand then I can tap the red pushpin icon toward the top rightand that will place the pushpin in that location on the mapand now that I have the date and location set,down below I can take a look at the timesfor the moonset, the sunrise, the sunset, and the moonrise.And in this case I’m most interested in the moonrisebut also, not just the time, but the location.
Note that on the map going out from my pushpinyou’ll see a blue line, the color coding herea light blue line for the moonrise,a dark blue line for the moonset.Yellow for sunrise, orange for sunset.And that tells me the relative position of the moon,or the sun as the case may be, at the appointed time.So here moonrise and I can see exactly what the moonwill be rising over, if I position myselfat Castel Saint Angelo.But in this case that doesn’t seem to be providing mewith the most interesting viewpoint for the moonand so I want to take a look at some other locations.
I do know that the hills over to the west of Romeoften provide a nice vantage pointso I’m going to navigate to that location on the map.Once again tap that red pushpin and now I can take a lookalong the line representing the moonrise and sure enough,that looks like it will be a good angle of view.Right over the Roman Forum,not too far from the Altare della Patria,and a couple of other interesting monuments thereand so I think that would represent a good locationfrom which to photograph the moonrise,figured out, of course, based in large parton The Photographer’s Ephemeris app,as well as my own existing knowledge of Rome.
Knowing for example, that this is the viewfrom the hilltop that I thoughtI would photograph the full moon.So this was late afternoon light,and I waited around a little bit.Admittedly, I was a little bit nervouseven though I had that information,I knew exactly what time the moon was supposed to rise,that it was a full moon, the exact position on the mapwhere I could expect it to rise up above the horizon.But I was still a little nervousthat it might not pan out the way it was expected.But sure enough, almost on cue, the full moonrose over the hills enabling me to capture this photoof the heart of Rome with the full moonrising in the background.
So if you’d like to incorporate the sun or the moon,or other events in your photography,and you want help figuring out the best locations,including the best time to photographthat particular subjectyou might want to take a look at The Photographer’s Ephemerismaking your smartphone perhaps one of the mostvaluable accessories you could have in the fieldwhen you’re capturing photos.