Not being a morning person whatsoever and working full time in addition to blogging, I spend most of my weekdays fighting the rush hour crush on the subway, racing against light and time to get home for a quick 20-30 minute photo shoot to capture my personal style before the sun goes down. It's never quite predictable as to how much time I may have left to shoot, and several times I've gone inside my apartment to drop my bags and grab my camera only to reemerge outside and glumly realize that I've lost my tiny window of good natural light. Ugh!
This past week, I tried the free Sunrise Sunset Lite App (available for Apple devices), which uses GPS to track your location and tell you the sunrise and sunset, along with when the dawn begins, and when dusk officially settles in. If you are planning to take some photos outside in, say, five days from now, you can also scroll ahead or set the date to find out how much time you may have until the sun goes down. Through testing it out, it tends to be pretty accurate, capturing the right time or being within a minute or two the actual sunset.
Even though it may be obvious when the sun is starting to fade, I feel that it's made me quite a bit more realistic about how much I can squeeze in post-work, and I have a better grip on consistently finding the best light for my photos.
I'm always skeptical to pay for an app unless I'm sure I will use it a lot, so if you love the free version, the standard edition (99 cents) let's so save your location and search others, helpful if you are planning an trip somewhere and plan to take photos there, while the Sunrise Sunset Pro ($1.99 ) is the upgrade I would put my money on, as it includes everything else mentioned, plus it shares the sun's angle, tilt, position throughout the day via a compass so you can really pinpoint where it will be and when. There are other apps that do just this feature, and cost a lot more, so this one may be a great way to see if you find it to be helpful. Since there isn't an app that can make the sun stick around longer or get me out of work earlier, I find the Sunrise Sunset one one to be the next best thing.
What apps have you found to be helpful for taking blog-related photos outdoors?
Another good app would be the one that tells you when is the best time to upload to different social media channels!
That is so smart. I was shooting a video this morning around 9AM and the lighting was awful! I was just thinking about what time of day would be best 🙂
I’m so glad this post/app will help you out, Molly!
I need this app!
Having school hours a day, plus the amazing amount of homework teachers give to gifted students, I really don’t have time to take pictures until the sun begins to set. But this app seems like a great thing for others.
Love it! Will totally download it!
You can adjust your settings on your camera for lower light too…like setting your ISO up and shutter speed down when you are losing daylight. If you stand really still when shooting at a lower shutter speed it should come out pretty nice. A 2.8 lens will also help, but you’ll have to shell out some $$ for that one.
I sometimes use a free app called Light Meter and it will automatically tell you what shutter speed, Aperture and ISO you should use in your particular setting.
AWESOME tips-thanks so so much Cheryl!
Thank you so much for telling about Light Meter app! I dont care for the app mentioned in the article as i like to do shoots in different settings and lights and play around with that! But being an amateur photographer having someone tell those settings will definitely help with quality of the photos! Cheers on that
This is genius! So glad I stumbledupon this.. I may or may not have downloaded the app while I was reading 😉 haha. Good post xox
Awesome, glad to hear Kristen! 🙂
Just downloaded it! What a great idea! 🙂
perfect app! i actually don´t need it, as my photographer acts like a living reminder every day :):)
Ina Nuvo – Blogger from Munich and Vienna