Advance Scouting - New Locations from Home
Not long ago I reported a tip using google earth for scouting out potential new areas for photo opportunities. (http://www.dwsussman.com/photography-tips-scoutLocation.html) Since then an app has been developed that is a wonderful new tool I use that goes beyond the basic use of google maps. It is called Sun Surveyor and is available from Google play and the App Store allowing it to run on either Mac or Droid devices.
It's a Sun & Moon Position visualization and tracking displayed on a google map. Why I like this tool is if I'm shooting a pier I find that location on a satellite map watching the cross hair in the middle of the map I drag the map until it is overlaying the location you plan to shoot. Once you let your finger up there is a slider (fig 1) which I can drag to any time of day or night and see where the sun will be. This aids with sunsets, how high the sun will be during the day, shadows and much more. It can also detect whether a building will block the suns direct rays.
"Sun Surveyor calculates Sun and Moon Positions, Sunrise & Sunset and Moonrise & Moonset times, Solar Noon, Golden Hour and Blue Hour times, Moon Phases, Shadow Ratios and many other pieces of related information. A 3D Compass, Augmented Reality View and Interactive Map enable use as a visualizer, tracker and predictor of Sun and Moon paths, with many practical uses for photographers & filmmakers, solar industry & real estate professionals, architects, landscapers, gardeners, and others. Available for Android phones, tablets and iPhone & iPad." - http://www.sunsurveyor.com/
This is my go to tool before any assignment allowing prediction for most assignments outdoors. The app costs just $6.49 and has become an invaluable tool!\