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Old 12-30-2014, 11:09 AM   #381
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There are apps which also do that. Photographer's Ephermis is one.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:09 AM   #382
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Wow - thanks for posting!
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:32 AM   #383
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There are apps which also do that. Photographer's Ephermis is one.
Yes, you are correct about Ephemis (The Photographer's Ephemeris) but... I found it quite complicated. Of course, this was several years ago (5+?) and only with a PC -- they may have improved it since.

I have, also, found the "Sun Position Compass" used by pilots as well as photographers to be extremely useful in getting oneself in the exact position to catch the Sun break the horizon. (This is useful at very popular locations where the last thing you want is to be fighting someone for tripod position at the last minute.)
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:35 AM   #384
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I've used suncalc before and found it pretty helpful (as much for sunrise/sunset times as sun direction).

I should get an app so I'm not dependent on wifi or cell but I've got a mish-mash of android/ios devices so haven't bothered.

Other things I've done is try to find webcams for the location I'm interested in. Sometimes this is hard/impossible though.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:39 AM   #385
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I have, also, found the "Sun Position Compass" used by pilots as well as photographers to be extremely useful in getting oneself in the exact position to catch the Sun break the horizon.
Exact if one is at the latitude for which it's calibrated. Printed on the face is 'In Europe positions will be within 5 degrees'. Hmm.. It's 25 degrees of latitude between Malta or Cypress and Estonia or Scotland. I wonder what is their geographic definition of Europe.

I use Sun Surveyor, an Android app.
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:33 AM   #386
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Exact if one is at the latitude for which it's calibrated. Printed on the face is 'In Europe positions will be within 5 degrees'. Hmm.. It's 25 degrees of latitude between Malta or Cypress and Estonia or Scotland. I wonder what is their geographic definition of Europe.

I use Sun Surveyor, an Android app.
The device I have is a U.S.A. version -- marked on the front and lacks that particular disclaimer. The instructions, however, state that the "needle" points to True North and the indicators are "based around latitude 35 but are usable for all areas between latitudes 30º and 40º -- New York to Los Angeles. There is a chart on the back to compensate for local positioning.

Nevertheless. I am sure that a Smart Phone App is as accurate... and no doubt, much faster and easier to use. (My only defense is that 7 years ago there were no "Apps," much less "Smart" phones.)
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:08 AM   #387
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(I wasn't sure which "Photography" thread to put this but finally decided it is an "equipment" issue.)

Know where the sun is or will be at any time and any place:

Morning, Noon, Night: Planning Photos Made Easy with SunCalc

I took me a moment to realize that this is a Web-based App (which means it could, theoretically, disappear at any moment) but does make it available no matter where you are.

If you only want to see it in action, you can go directly to the 1 minute 20 second video:

Very cool. I usually just get up at oh-dark-thirty, wander to the the location, and freeze my butt off until the sun starts to peek. You can plan at my simplistic level with just the current sunrise/sunset times, but this app lets you inspect the sun azimuth at the location, so you can determine how it'll peek around mountains, buildings, etc., and pick a date where the sun will rise where you want it to be in your photos.

Bookmarked.... Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:18 AM   #388
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Other things I've done is try to find webcams for the location I'm interested in. Sometimes this is hard/impossible though.
This past summer, I spent a lot of time studying the morning locomotive movements on the Cumbres and Toltec railroad on one of the best webcams available: Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Real-time video, fairly high resolution. At the time, I was just watching the trains, but when I went to ride the train in October, that watching really paid off as I followed the locomotives in their morning ablutions. For that, the sun was-what-it-was, but I found myself adjusting my positions to accommodate the sun azimuth during movements.
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:47 AM   #389
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...where the sun will rise where you want it to be in your photos...

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Old 02-03-2015, 08:07 AM   #390
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DxO Optics Pro 8 & ViewPoint 1 Are Free Until The End Of February

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Everyone likes free stuff and it’s an especially sweet deal when we’re getting free editing software. The nice people over at DxO are giving away all kinds of it until February 28th. Included in the freebie deal are their popular OpticsPro 8 and their ViewPoint 1 software.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:46 PM   #391
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Do you use DxO? If so what do you like about it compared with Lightroom/Camera Raw or Aperture.

I used an older version of DxO (i think v5) but dropped it once Lightroom got lens corrections.
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:52 PM   #392
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Yeah I can't imagine anyone other than Adobe or Apple doing as good a job with library organization.

Especially for geotagging.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:19 PM   #393
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Oh! I definitely use Lightroom to organize my images and, also, about 90% of the development. On that other 10% (the one out of a thousand kind), I use what ever works best -- Photoshop, OnOne, DxO, etc. They each have their strong suits. In this case, I am impressed with what the "Viewpoint" module can do with the distortion in images taken with "fish-eye" lenses.

FWIW, I only have the most current versions of Photoshop and OnOne. A month or so ago, DxO gave away free copies of an earlier version of their "Filmpak" module that really impressed me.

So, anyway, just more free stuff to put in your tool belt. (Be aware, however, that their intention is to impress you so much that you purchase the current version. <chuckle>)
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:19 AM   #394
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Using Lightroom as a Comping Tool | Varis Photomedia

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These days it is very popular for photographers to do all of their image enhancements in Lightroom, never once entering Photoshop. There are quite a few photographers entering the field who have never even opened Photoshop, and if it doesn’t work with simple sliders, they’re not interested. While it may be true that some images don’t require much in the way of post processing, I believe that most photographic images can be much better with just a little bit of post processing help! The question many are asking is, how necessary is Photoshop when we have all these amazing things we can do in Lightroom!

For me Lightroom is primarily an image management system and a workflow production tool. I don’t consider it a fine image editor. However, Lightroom can be a wonderful comping tool to help the photographer pre-visualize what enhancements will benefit an image.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:57 AM   #395
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I go out of my way to do things in lightroom even if it is easier in Photoshop to keep the numbers of derivative files / #tools down as much as possible. For example, spotting/cloning work much better in PS. Still I have probably 4-5 other programs that I regularly use to process images but lightroom is the hub.
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:13 PM   #396
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I haven't touched Photoshop ever.

In fact, I'm more interested in batch processing than spending time on a single photo, using brushes and such. That strikes me as basically painting more than processing.

I admire the results some people get from doing the work but I'm not trying to produce art, just a sense of the place and time when I took the picture.

I use one set of presets in both Aperture and Lightroom when I import. If I look at the photo more closely, I see I can tweak even sliders to get different results. But spending minutes per image is more than I want to do.

In fact, I may look more into something like this:

Products | Perfectly Clear
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:56 PM   #397
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In fact, I may look more into something like this:

Products | Perfectly Clear
Wouldn't it be more convenient to simply use the "A" setting (or the built-in "situation" settings) in the camera and shoot only JPEGs?

Lightroom would still be the way to go. You would have all the power of the program -- organizing, printing, mapping, etc. -- without wasting your time in the Develop Module... or transferring the images into another program and back again.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:25 PM   #398
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For me a lot depends on where and how the image is going to be used. For example a casual family event photo that DW wants to post on Facebook (rare) I don't expend much effort on because they're going to reduce the size and resolution so much anyway that a lot of effort would be thrown out.

At the other extreme something that is going to be printed at 13x19 and framed gets an all-out effort in Photoshop, sometimes hours of work.
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:18 PM   #399
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At the other extreme something that is going to be printed at 13x19 and framed gets an all-out effort in Photoshop, sometimes hours of work.
Exactly... my above mentioned "one out of a thousand" kind.

Now if only one could know, for certain, which image that is at the moment of capture.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:34 PM   #400
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Maybe if I printed and framed the photos, I would probably be more exacting.

I did shoot a set of RAW and JPGs a couple of weeks ago. Processed them the same in Aperture and the RAW was still sharper. JPGs consistently had more bloom. When I reverted to original on the JPGs, a lot of detail lost as well as vibrancy.

I deleted the JPGs right away. I know some cameras do better with JPGs.

I also save some iPhone photos as well and haven't really edited them much but those could probably benefit from some modest amount of highlights/shadows, exposure and sharpening adjustments too.
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