Sometimes the position of the sun is very important in photography. A certain shade can make or break a photo. And then there are the gold and blue hours. With the Solar Watch application, you are always aware of the position of the sun. You can do all this with it.

More serious photographers and professionals often have to take all sorts of things into account during their ‘photo safari’. One of those things is shadow. Let’s say you as a real estate agent need to photograph a property – just to name a few. Then of course it just comes into its own if it’s not placed in a dark shade, which doesn’t make an object that much more attractive quickly. Also, as a future resident, you can always be in the dark. ‘Because otherwise this photo would have been taken at a different time, right?’

Now you can roughly estimate where things are in the center of attention in your neighborhood and even in most of the city you are a part of. This changes quickly as you enter strange environments. Then the Solar Watch app for iOS and iPadOS works. For example, you can easily see which side of the targeted street is in sun (or if you just need shade). The shadow trap can also be tracked with it.

explore the table

Start the app and you will see a valid table for your location. Fear not: the ‘dry’ table can be replaced with a map projection if desired. Let’s get back to this. Take a look at this chart first, because there are some really interesting things in it!

First, you see different twilight moments. Sunrise and sunset are definitely important. If you want to take a picture of it, then you are already armed with it. Provided you maintain an unobstructed view to the east or west.

golden hour

Then there is the Golden Hour, which you can enjoy twice a day: after sunrise in the morning and before sunset in the evening. In the morning you can usually take beautiful skyline photos during the slightly ‘colder’ golden hour. Also perfect for street scenes in big cities and the like. The morning golden hour is also ideal for winter shooting: snow, sleet, etc., due to rising temperatures. has not yet melted.

The golden hour before sunset often produces more ‘warmed’ photos. It can also be used for the purposes just mentioned, but certainly also for scenes that look hot on an equally hot summer day. It is probably less suitable for winter scenes, especially when the temperature during the day reaches above-zero values.

By the way, preferably a cloudless sky is necessary if you want to enjoy any golden hour. A thick gray cloud cover and nothing exciting to experience.

blue watches

Blue hours are less dependent on a clear sky (but that usually makes it a little nicer). They start after sunset (or a little before sunrise). The bluish light of the sky provides more vivid evening photos. These are moments when streetlights, neon signs, office and home lighting are already on, but a dark blue haze can still be seen in the sky. Civil twilight (and sometimes a little nautical twilight) are the hours to be in this situation.

Finally, if for some reason you want the shortest possible shadow in your photos, you need the highest point the sun reaches. In the table you will find it as Meridian. Obviously, the precise moment is infinitely short, but you don’t notice much of the quarter hour before or after the meridian in your photo. In short: armed with this information and the Solar Watch’s chart, you can make quite a few decisions now.

Map, satellite and 3D

Button for moon photographers Moon still interesting in the button bar at the bottom, with it you can find the position and phase of the moon. There is also a perpetual monthly calendar and is located under the button Calendar Special phenomena such as a supermoon or lunar eclipse (partial or absent) are noted.

Now it’s time for the more interesting option Solar Watch has to offer: the projection of the sun (and moon) on a map. Tap on the map button and you will see your own location. You can search for a location using the search button. In the standard (and in our opinion most convenient) map view – right from the top – you’ll see the sun’s position (or tap the moon for moon phase) in an arc. Swipe your finger over the graph at the bottom of the map and you’ll see exactly where the sun is. And with that, which buildings are in the shade and which are not.

Satellite imagery is useful here, which gives a slightly more realistic picture. You can also see if there are any buildings in front of the object you want. Since the app uses Apple Maps, there are relatively few cities in Europe drawn in 3D on the map. There’s a lot to be found in 3D when it comes to American cities, making it even easier to find your photo location (and time).

Note that the shadows appearing on the 3D map or satellite photo do not change when changing the time! That’s not possible either because these photos are only taken at a certain time and so there are probably ingrained shadows to be seen. So don’t let it distract you.

AR, look around

One final nice touch is the AR button. If you press it, you will see a live view of your current location. When a “sunbelt” (or moonbelt if desired) is projected onto it, maybe “look around” to find it. Here you can see exactly where the sun is at a given time, which is projected into the environment in real time. This is useful for indoor photography, for example, so you know exactly when the sun is shining beautifully.

In the aforementioned month, photographers can set up their tripods and cameras where they can clearly see our cheesy neighbor for as long as possible. All in all, a very useful app that should always be present on your phone or tablet. Perhaps relatively pointless for busy city trips when you’re tied to an activity schedule, but ideal for when you can roam freely. Before you leave, plan the places you want to photograph in the best light for you and you’ll be back home with some more compelling photos!

Source: Computer Totaal

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I am Bret Jackson, a professional journalist and author for Gadget Onus, where I specialize in writing about the gaming industry. With over 6 years of experience in my field, I have built up an extensive portfolio that ranges from reviews to interviews with top figures within the industry. My work has been featured on various news sites, providing readers with insightful analysis regarding the current state of gaming culture.


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