Photographers Guide to Sunrise and Sunset

SunsetIn my previous post I showed you a simple tool to determine the direction of sunrise and sunset. Although useful, this is only part of the information that we as photographers need. To be really useful, we also need to know the time of the event as well as the direction. This is important, not only if photographing a sunset or sunrise, but to determine the Golden Hour – the best time for landscape photography.Fortunately there are a number of useful tools that you can use from websites to computer programs to device apps. From some of these you can even print out the relevant information to take with you, for the day or for the whole month.

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Where will the sun rise or set?

Sunrise Compass TemplateOne 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.

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Creating a Tiny Planet

TinyPlanetIn this article I will show you how I created this Tiny Planet from a panoramic image made up from a series of individual photographs.

You can, of course, use a single image cropped to a panoramic format. To start with, try a crop of 3:1. Align the “surface” of the planet along the vertical centre of the image.

Firstly when creating your initial panoramic image make sure that the images that make up the ends of your final image look similar. They don’t have to be identical as we will tidy them up so that the wrap looks nice.

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EOS Utility and Wireless File Transmitter (WFT)

The EOS Utility is a standard piece of software supplied by Canon for its range of DSLR cameras. EOS Utility can control the camera either via a USB connection or, using a WFT transmitter attached to the camera, via WiFi. The USB connection is by far the simplest to set up and use, but the WiFi connection using a WFT transmitter does require a a bit of head scratching!

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