Essential Landscape Photography Tools

The Photographer's EphemerisEvery once in a while a product comes along that is so vital to your work and yet so simple to operate that you’re left wondering “why didn’t I think of that?”

The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) is that one product for landscape photographers. Created by Stephen Trainor, a nature photographer himself, TPE was designed to help answer that age old question; What direction is the sun going to rise or set where I’ll be shooting today, tomorrow or anytime in the future?

The program is relatively simple to operate and uses Google Maps to pinpoint your desired location. It displays the direction of the sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset for any day of the year. In the screenshot below you can see how it helps me to know that the sunset later this month on August 28th will lineup almost perfectly with one of my favorite sunset locations in Buescher State Park near Smithville, Texas.

The Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE)

This one program has saved me countless hours of research, planning and missed opportunities since its release and I can’t imagine running my workshops and seminars without it. And now that Stephen has released a version for the iPhone, this essential tool can be used in the field as well as the office.

And every landscape photographer knows that being in the right place at the right time is half the battle.

Summer Sun

Summer Sun – Buescher State Park in Smithville, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 17mm, f/22 for 1/8th of a second at ISO 200. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Summer Sun – Buescher State Park in Smithville, Texas

8 thoughts on “Essential Landscape Photography Tools

  1. Headed to the beach in just over a week and I’ve already scouted out some locations with this tool. Now, if I can just drag myself out of bed in the mornings!

  2. Cool app!!! I’ve been struggling with various apps that are way too scientific and this one absolutely hits the spot!!! Thanks for the tip.

    • Marty,

      Thanks for reading. I agree completely. I have enough trouble understanding the menu system on my 5D2 and really appreciate a well designed piece of software.


  3. Not just for landscape photographers Jeff. This is one essential tool, to the point of needing it on the computer and iPhone.

    • What other kinds of photographers are there Ray? (LOL)

      Amazing little application. Now if I’d just break down and buy an iPhone. . .


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