Driving home yesterday the sun was streaking through the clouds in a stunning fashion. Unusually, I did not have my camera with me (note to self) and I knew that I had lost a rare moment. Once home and undeterred I thought it still worth walking up to nearby viewpoint while the sun was setting.

Sunset and trees
Sunset and trees. Lumix G3, 45mm (90mm in 35mm  equivalent), f7.1, 1/500 sec, ISO160, tripod.

I planned my walk with the help of The Photographer’s Ephemeris– a really useful smartphone app. The Photographer’s Ephemeris (or TPE) is a tool to help with the planning of all types of outdoor photography, but it comes into its own in landscape and urban scenes.  It is a map-centric sun and moon calculator that allows you to see how the light will fall on the land in terms of bearings, and gives the rising/setting times for sun and moon. It has been available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) for some time, and an Android app was released recently.

Using TPE allowed me to position my camera at the right altitude and position to plan for the setting sun. I wanted to include the canopy of a small copse of trees in the lower portion of the frame.

I was armed with my new Lumix G3, a replacement for my GF2, plus 45-200 lens (equivalent 90-400mm in 35mm), and of course my tripod. One major advantage of the G3 over the GF2, other than having a larger sensor, is that a cable release can be used; making it much more convenient than using the self-timer to reduce camera shake.

You can read some more of my posts on photography.

Gabriel Hemery


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