The Photographers Ephemeris - TPE

Sometimes photography can be luck and sometimes photography can be planning but often both. There are a number of useful applications available for smart phones that can help increase the chances of getting the shot that you had in mind.

It is invaluable when planning for a photo to be able to identify the location of the sun, moon or stars at a given time of the day and location step up The Photographers Ephemeris.

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The Photographers Ephemeris

The Photographers Ephemeris is often over looked by photographers. It has an old fashioned look to its logo and user interface and what the heck is an Ephemeris anyway?(pretty technical looking table of astronomical data!) but I recommend that you check it out.

There are a growing number of applications that will help you with astronomical information but I find that TPE does a solid job. Think of TPE as the razor sharp pen knife handed down to you by your grandad rather than the Swiss army knife with USB stick and tools for getting stones out of horses hooves that are the likes of PhotoPills

Santorini

I recently visited Santorini in Greece and used the Photographers Ephemeris to plan the location of the sun for a shot that I planned for dawn. I used the Augmented Reality feature of the application to scrub a timeline of the composition directly from the spot that I planned to take the picture from. You can see from the screen shot of TPE below that the sun will break above the top of the church at around 7:50 on the morning of the 7th October 2018.

 The Photographers Ephemeris - TPE Augmented Reality View showing position of sun just after dawn in Santorini, Greece

The Photographers Ephemeris - TPE
Augmented Reality View showing position of sun just after dawn in Santorini, Greece

The sun does not rise in the East and set in the West - Its position varies significantly with the time of year. The TPE allows you to plan for the position of the astronomical bodies months and even years in advance. It includes a significant amount of data but the AR feature is perfect for a visualisation when you are able to visit the location ahead of the shot.

The Shots

I have included some shots taken on the morning of 7th October 2018 in Santorini, Greece to demonstrate advantages the application. You can see that the prediction made by The Photographers Ephemeris was accurate and was useful in pre-visualising the shot

Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece - 7th October 2018 - 07:35:03

An initial shot of the sun about to break over the church at Imerovigli in Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece

Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece - 7th October 2018 - 07:48:34

The sun makes its appearance right on cue. This Panoramic capture of the sun rising over Imerovigli in Santorini is a composition of three HDR images created from Fuji X-T3 JPGs

I used Aurora HDR 2019 to generate the HDR images and Adobe Lightroom to create the Panorama.

Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece