One of the critical pieces of information that outdoor photographers need to know is where is the sun going to rise and set as well as when. There are a number of apps for PCs and devices that can give you this information, and I will look at some of these in a future post. But, the simplest tool to use is a Sunrise/Sunset Compass. These can be bought for between £20 and £30. However, you can make one for yourself. All you need is a small compass (sometimes known as a button compass), a copy of the Sunrise Compass template (see below), and a laminating pouch. Small compasses can be bought from eBay, Amazon, and most outdoor suppliers.
- Firstly download a copy of the Sunrise Compass template here.
- Print it out – you may need to scale the printout to fit your laminating pouch.
- Laminate the template.
- Glue the button compass to the centre of the card. so that the North marking on the compass lines-up with the North marking on the template.
To use, rotate the compass so that it is facing North and read of the direction of the sunrise or sunset for your current month. The angles are shown for the middle of the month, so you will have to interpolate between month markings for the beginning and end of the month.
The markings are an approximate only and are for use in the UK – more specifically southern England.