Sunday, November 21, 2010

Google skymap as a phototool

Google's recent update to their Android app, Skymap, includes a new 'time-machine' function which allows you to see the constellations at any point in time. I must admit I wondered why you'd ever need to do something like this. Well, this week when I was scouting out a location for an upcoming family portrait session that was planned for sunrise it hit me. While there are multiple apps that will tell you when the sun will rise, my favorite being Sundroid, but they don't tell you where it will rise. Here's where Google Skymap comes to the rescue. Just pull up the time machine, enter the date and time of your shoot and just like that you have a map of the sky for that day. Hold your phone to the horizon and see exactly where the Sun will rise. The location I was in was surrounded by hills so I could adjust the time and find out exactly when the Sun would crest the hill and fill my background with glorious golden light. With this knowledge I was able to pick my exact shoot location that would place the sun right were I wanted it, I also knew how much time I had to work setup and the talent before the light would come. It all made for a well planned shoot with no surprises - Thanks Gooqle.
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