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Apps for planning landscape and astrophotography


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Over years I narrowed it down to "Sun Surveyor" (I paid £4.99 I think years ago) and "Clear Outside" which is free. For astro I have "Stellarium" which I first used in the Astrophysics module at the Open University (I paid about £2.99 but probably costs more now)

I thought about going up the local mountain later to try and photograph the 28% (locally) partial solar eclipse so opening Sun Surveyor which uses Google Earth and Street View provides the Sun/Moon trajectories superimposed upon your chosen view. Luckily the Google camera car has been to the mountain peak, and as the maxima of this 28% eclipse is at 8:10pm you can see there is no point as it will be only just obscured by the distant Sperrin mountain range around 40-50 miles West. From there it may be possible but the app has saved me a wasted journey and hike.Screenshot_2024-04-08-03-11-07-824_com.ratana.sunsurveyor.jpg
This app also provides civil, nautical and astronomical darkness zones, moon phase/moonset/moonrise, equinoxe and solstice, golden/blue hour zones, and an excellent photo opportunity list for any time/dateScreenshot_2024-04-08-04-00-28-477_com.ratana.sunsurveyor.jpg
Clear aperture app: Any location and you can save locations. Provides Bortle scale for astro, weather forecast and the very useful High/Medium/Low cloud level forecast which is brilliant if you want sunrise/sunset with high clouds/little low/medium for the sun relecting off the clouds and land/seascape in that relatively small time gap. It provides excellent info on one simple screen. Also good for providing basic ISS (International Space Station) passages for astro landscape planning, moon phases etc etc.

Stellarium: Any location and a massive database for astro, realtime movement of most things up there (except spy satellites). I used it once in particular for a long bulb landscape exposure over Belfast with a trailing ISS which took a lot of thought. Extremely useful for Milky Way planning looking south from Ireland but be aware of light pollution in your field of view within 100s miles (ocean or little population area is best otherwise the more densely populated area of Milky Way near the horizon becomes obscured).Otherwise Stellarium is great for pointing skywards for pure astro (no landscape) and astronomy viewing,

Use this with in collaboration with Sun Surveyor and Clear Outside apps, the only aspect which is not certain is weather forecast. Planning is helpful but you need luck and sometimes it just happens if you don't plan like photography can be, but it can save you grom wasted journeys and disappointing photography holidays and I'm speaking from experience.Screenshot_2024-04-08-04-15-47-662_com.noctuasoftware.stellarium_free.jpg
My problem, the eclipse peaks here at 11:12 AM. The dog groomer is coming just before that. I have a business call at 11:15 AM. And I have a plumber coming sometime in the morning to work on a leak in the backyard irrigation. I have the tripod all set outside and the camera ready to take out there. Hope I can get off a few shots between all this.
What is the % of occultation where you are? I wouldn't worry about capturing it unless it was full and if so I would just enjoy it and take a video of the landscape or your environment or something. Like I suggested a photo of the sun disc being partially eclipse is mehhhhhhh. It's just like clouds blocking the sun
I find that an app called "Sun position and path" (available for iPhone and Android) is super useful for seeing the direction of the sun at your location. It gives that for the current day, and for the summer and winter solstices.