If you’re the kind of photographer who doesn’t like closed spaces (a.k.a studios) and prefer to shoot outside, than natural light is your raw material. The challenging part is to search for it, understand it and use it to make the picture that is “the one”.
Searching for the perfect light is no easy task and the capability to manipulate it with in camera settings, filters and reflectors can make each lighting unique.
The light in a cloudy day is different than the one we find in a bright sunny day, the light at dawn or sunset is different from the one at midday. The light isn’t always the same in the four seasons of the year and not just because of the rain or the temperature, the angle at which the sunlight strikes the earth is a main factor. In the winter the sun shines at a lower angle (closer to the horizon), this means that the sunlight is spread over a larger area and therefore is weaker; in the summer the sun rises higher, so the sunlight is concentrated on a smaller area.
This results in a different color and intensity of the natural light available.
For an outdoor photographer is also important to know when and where the sun is going to rise and set in the horizon, this will help to preview how the light will be in a given location.
For this purpose I’ve been trying different applications on my phone and I found Sunrise Sunset to be the most complete for Android users.
It tells you the position of the sun, the time at which the sun will rise and set and day length. You can add another location than your current one and see data for a future date. So when you go on vacation you’ll know before you set foot on the plane at which time you’ll get up the next morning to capture that beautiful sunrise.
Do you using any app that calculates the sunrise and sunset times? Do you think these are useful? Let me know you’re opinion in the comments below. Plus, if you’re an iOS or Windows Phone user feel free to share which app(s) do you use on your device.