Recently in New Jersey the sun set in the west a few minutes before the full moon rose in the east. Thanks to some great tools I was able to be out in the Pine Barrens to experience it. Getting a photograph like this is not random, it is all about preparation. What is remarkable are the range of tools available to help us photographers find the right place to make a photograph.
A landscape photographer needs to scout, check and mark locations. While actually visiting and experiencing a location is very important, Google and Bing maps are great to help find them. These maps with terrain, topographical, aerial and satellite views help you learn what a location is like and how to get there.
This app shows the sun and moon track, timing, lighting conditions and more
The smart phone brings location research to a new level with apps that help you figure out the best times to photograph a location. There are apps allow you to track the path of the sun and moon in a specific location including where and when the sun and moon rises and sets. (See the screen shot to the right) Weather apps help you predict the conditions, and other apps calculate things like camera exposure settings, focusing and more.
This photograph is partially the result of using an app that let me to overlay the sun and moon’s track at specific spots in the Pinelands to find the perfect place and the right time to be there. While on location the app allowed me to track the moon in real time while it was below the horizon. When it rose my camera was setup and ready.