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I've decided to put together a collection of blog posts about some of the tools I like to use when planning to shoot a particular location or I am researching where I want to shoot sunrise and/or sunset on a trip. The Photographer's Ephemeris is one of the most important tools out there for planning ... period! This program is simply fantastic and indispensable for planning. My most recent outing was shooting sunrise at Eagle Falls overlooking Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, California. I've been to this location numerous times, but I had a preconceived composition in my head that I was after. This included having the sun at a particular spot when it breached the horizon as I like to capture first light and sunbursts.
In stead of explaining how to use this program (it does have a little bit of a learning curve), I'll simply direct you to the tutorials that are very helpful. They're located here: http://photoephemeris.com/tutorials/
You can see from the attached picture that with this program I can plan: Sunrise time, angle, time the sun will actually breach the horizon, etc. It also draws a line to where the sun will be when it breaches. I wanted my composition to include the sun breaching right over the outlet of Emerald Bay into Lake Tahoe. It's all possible with The Photographer's Ephemeris and the best part is it's FREE!