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Predicting 'interesting' sunrise /sunset

  • 19-01-2018 10:27am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,624 ✭✭✭

    Hi all,

    Not a regular here so apologies if this is not the right sort of place to ask....

    I'm into photography but don't have a huge amount of time for it. I'm really interested in any way that I can predict interesting sunrises or sunsets, in particular interesting light.

    Is this possible? Are there any particular weather conditions that would indicate something like this? Are there any particular weather apps or websites that that would provide the information I should be looking for (not asking if a weather website will predict good light at sunset! But if it would indicate any particular conditions that I should be aware of that might indicate an increase in the the chances of such things).

    Hope this makes sense and apologies of its a particularly stupid or ignorant question!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,361 ✭✭✭Popoutman

    The times and directions of sunrise and sunset are easily found.
    One Android app I have used is "PeakFinder" and one useful sub-tool in it is the ability to show the horizon line correctly for any location, but will also set the correct sun and moon paths during the day. Their website here is free to use and has pretty much the same capability.

    Interesting light for photographing sunsets is usually seen when clouds are underlit by an already-set (or not yet risen) sun. Taking the example of sunsets, you would be looking for broken cumulus or stratocumulus for ~300 miles to the west, and relatively clean air for that block of air. There would have to be some reading between the lines of the forecasts to see fair semi-cloudy weather to the western side of your sunset photo sight, and coupled with moderate to good visibility locally.

    The airport METARs and TAFs are useful to show the actual predicted visibility, there's usually not much point in trying to take photos from ground level when there's a bit of low fog around.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,624 ✭✭✭wersal gummage

    Thanks very much, very helpful.

    Just to be clear on "I don't have much time", I mean, for example, I recently hiked to a pretty awkward location, 90 mins to get there on foot, most dull sunset of all time.... So its just that I can't really afford this kind of of time at the moment as much as I'd like to, so trying to to see if it's possible to target an evening (or early morning) a day or two in advance!

    Thanks again!