Sunday, January 29, 2017

Plan Ahead

In previous posts I have spoken of the value of Apps in preparing for a photo trip. For example TPE and PlanIt!.

Some time ago another great App slipped in under the radar and, I believe, all landscape photographers should consider getting it. It is called The Photographer's Transit, or TPT: a digital shot planning tool.

TPT is published by the same team that created the great TPE App.

You can make you own mind up by visiting the TPT website or looking at some of their training videos

While we're on the subject of TPE, do you know you can now use TPE to help you predict sunset of sunrise 'hot spots' using Skyfire. Once again, rather than reading my words, pop over to the TPE site.

Skyfire uses multiple weather models and analyses numerous factors that affect sunrise and sunset color including:
  • Cloud type determination
  • Cloud height predictions
  • Gap light
  • Complex system behavior
  • Satellite weather information
  • Topography
The Skyfire algorithm is run against the latest weather data multiple times per day. Forecasts for both sunrise and sunset are generated for the next four days. Each forecast is refined using the latest input data when the algorithm is re-run.

TPE displays Skyfire as a colourful map overlay, alongside the critical time and light angle information. A spot-check API allows TPE to display the latest forecasts for your favorite locations all in one place.

Coverage is CONUS, 'bits' of Canada and most of Europe, including Iceland :-)

The developers say that their goal is to maintain an accuracy of 80% or better. And they say they're committed to keep improving that over time. In recent testing, they have been exceeding the 80% goal based on qualitative assessment of field reports and web-cam feeds.

Bottom line: If you have not tried a photography planning App: try one. From my perspective I can recommend PlanIt! as a standalone tool. Or if you what a larger toolbox then TPE with Skyfire and TPT (you can buy these as a deal from the Apple store) are not only great Apps, but great entertainment, as you sit on your sofa planning a future photography trip.

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