Monday, 29 April 2013


Where do we start?, If you could see the possibilities of a location prior to travelling, precious  time would be saved. What follows here is my, and 
my fellow photographers Methods using on-line tools and
 applications, but by no means a complete list, I'm sure some one knows even more useful sources.

Wiki/file souce; Apollo 17
 First up and a great resource, GOOGLE EARTH;
If you you don't know about Google Earth use the link above, you may also want to download the program from the link.
My main use with Google earth, is to narrow down a location, for parking
and marking my new found Image area, for a return visit.
I will not go into fine detail here, but one of the map features, i find
really useful, is the Map marker function always leave a marker on the Map, and make a note in the  information box. write down the Longitude and Latitude, for your sat nav etc, most places I travel to are in the middle of no-where.
The on the Google Earth-map, photo's sometimes give a great clue as to possible potential Image locations, if you see a photo/cluster, it usually indicates a special area that requires more exploration.
you will see photo's on the Google earth Map that will tap your
 imagination, there is always a new angle to view a potential photograph from, so after i examine users images, I usually follow up on a web search to gain even more information, a second
Image search in Google images, gives even more images, so
I can be more certain of a potential location.

My next tool, The Photographer's Ephemeris
If you need to include our celestial bodies,Sun and Moon

within your Image then look no further than this great Photographers tool.
This next video gives a very visual use of this application, working.
Video tutorial by Matthew Gore can be viewed below;

The Photographer's Ephemeris, is also available for mobile devices, this makes
it a great tool on the move, or when away from your desktop (or laptop).
This screen shot below, is of a location I used, to line up the setting Sun
with a Tree/hill. The intention was to block out the sun with the tree, and
so dropping the very over exposed blown sky. It never turned out as planned,
 I arrived late having cycled to pilsbury Hill fort, from Parsley hay.
The time/date was worked out to coincide with a setting Sun, along the valley
in front of the hill/tree. You can see from the screen shot below, the Orange line
represents Sun set on the 3rd of June/ time 20:42 GMT 

Pilsbury hill 53.1710°N, 1.8285°W

use the above Longitude/Latitude co-ordinates, in your TPE to see a clearer
rendition, of Pilsbury Hill Fort.

Please note; there is NO cycling allowed along the hill trail.

So the Sun was setting, and I was not prepared for the gas burner, in what was
a soundless valley (apart from sheep). The gas burner of a hot air balloon?, I was
diving into my camera bag, for what seemed an age, my tripod was already
set up on the hill, I locked the camera in position, no time to manually set the exposure
so it was put into auto. It captured a over and under exposed image, and is useless
to my Archive, but my timing in the second photo was spot on!!.   

 Sun and Tree and me, lined up, but will the balloon block the Sun?

Well, it did make a change to the foreground exposure, but no time to make a correctly
exposed image for the blown sky.

I settled for this Black and White image after re-positioning.

It  look's a lot better here/

This  location will be better with some mist in the valley, so I will be using TPE
to plan a trip later in the year, when we start getting the mists rolling in!!

If you get The Photographer's Ephemeris you will discover, the red balloon
is used to position the land marker in the map positions.
It was pure chance that the balloon in my photo was also red, and also
chanced to appear out of no where.

Plans are great, prepared for the unexpected.