tutorials

Favorite Photography Apps

I used both apps to plan this photo of the center of the galaxy rising above Squaw Valley

I used both apps to plan this photo of the center of the galaxy rising above Squaw Valley

Pre-visualizing your photographs is the single most important means of progressing your work from "good" to "great" by stepping up to the next level of creative expression. 

Before the advent of smart phones and planning apps, photographers either had to refer to tables published by the US military to calculate the location and position in the sky of celestial bodies such as the sun and moon, or they had to figure things out the old fashioned way - by going to a location many times through the year and paying attention to the sky. 

It's never been easier to utilize the power of smart phones + apps to create plans for your photographic imaginations. Want to shoot the full moon setting between the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge? Easy! How about the Milky Way arched in the sky over Delicate Arch in Arches National Park? No problem! Look no further than to either of my two favorite photography planning apps - Photo Pills and the Photographer's Ephemeris.

Below, I will go through both of them and discuss why they are fantastic tools for planning your photographs. 

Photo Pills:

This app is great for planning out just about any photograph you can possibly think of. For my photography, I mostly make use of the sunrise/sunset time planing features, the moon position and rise/set features, and the excellent Milky Way planner and Night Augmented Reality feature. Those are just the "tip of the iceberg" though in terms of what this app can do. It also includes all sorts of amazing other things such as a depth of field calculator, exposure tables, and even hyperfocal calculation functionality. 

Photographer's Ephemeris:

TPE was the first planning app I purchased and learned, so it's till my go to when I need to plan for the basics of sunrise/sunset and twilight time determinations. Also, it's still free as a desktop / web application - only the phone versions are $. 

In the most recent releases, the programmers have added many of the same functionalities (e.g. night mode) that heretofore were only available through more advanced apps (such as Photo Pills).   TPE still lacks the Augmented Reality mode that PP offers, which is a major drawback. 

Things to Beware Of: Not All Apps are Created Equal (on Android versus on iOS)

I recently taught a workshop where some of my students discovered that the Android version of TPE is lacking many of the same features as the iOS version. So beware and fully check the feature lists before you commit and buy. 

Which One Should I Buy?

Although similar, they both offer different functionality. Overall Photo Pills offers more features, but is more expensive. TPE is slightly easier to learn how to use, and you have the advantage of starting off with the free version on your personal computer. 

Download / Purchase Links:

TPE Desktop/ Web Application / TPE iOS / TPE Android

Lake Tahoe and Truckee Photography Workshops

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I'm pleased to offer private small-group and individual photography and timelapse workshops custom tailored to meet your needs. Whether you are a beginner hoping to learn how to use an SLR, or a seasoned professional looking to learn some night photography or motion-controlled timelapse tips and tricks - I'd love to work with you.  Please contact me by phone at 530-386-6492 or send me an email here to schedule your workshop today.

Eclipsed full moon setting over Tahoe Donner, 12/10/2011

I am fully insured and permitted in the beautiful Martis Valley in Truckee and at Sand Harbor in the gorgeous Lake Tahoe State Park in Nevada.

Summer 2015 Photography Workshops

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Learn the art of landscape photography at sunset in one of my small-group landscape photo workshops in the Martis Valley in Truckee or at Sand Harbor State Park on the beautiful East Shore of Lake Tahoe. In these workshops, we meet at the location, go over gear and techniques, and then shoot in the golden hour preceding the sunset, the (hopefully) colorful clouds after the sunset, and on into the "blue hour." Then, we meet the next morning for an hour of post-processing tutorial in Adobe Lightroom at my Downtown Truckee art gallery and studio.

Saturday June 27th - Martis Valley Sunset/Landscape Workshop Shooting: 7:30 - 9:30 pm (sunset is 8:27 PM) Post production / Lightroom: 10-11 am Sunday June 28th at my Downtown Truckee Studio $200 per person limited to 4 people

Saturday July 18th - Sand Harbor Sunset/Landscape Workshop 7:30 - 9:30 pm (sunset is 8:24 PM) Post production / Lightroom: 10-11 am Sunday July 19th at my Downtown Truckee Studio $225 per person limited to 4 people

Saturday July 25th - Martis Valley Sunset/Landscape Workshop 7:15 - 9:15 pm (sunset is 8:19 PM) Post production / Lightroom: 10-11 am Sunday July 26th at my Downtown Truckee Studio $200 per person limited to 4 people

Friday August 7th - Martis Valley Sunset/Landscape Workshop 7:00 - 9:00 pm (sunset is 8:06 PM) Post production / Lightroom: 10-11 am Saturday August 8th at my Downtown Truckee Studio $200 per person limited to 4 people

Saturday August 22rd - Sand Harbor Sunset Workshop 6:45 - 8:45 pm (sunset is 7:46 PM) Post production / Lightroom: 10-11 am Sunday August 23rd at my Downtown Truckee Studio $225 per person limited to 4 people

If you'd rather book a private workshop, just email me or give me a call at 530-386-6492 and we can set it up.