The science of how to find the light!

Matt Krumins Photography

Seascapes and landscapes are some of my absolute favourite subjects and if you’re anything like me you love these subjects around sunrise and sunset. But like most people you probably don’t like waking up at 4am to actually see them let alone photograph them. In this Tuesday Tutorial I really want to guide you through how to give yourself the best chance of finding beautiful light and how to make it work in your scene.

A year or so back when I was working with Olympus one of the trainers (Quett) put me onto a really cool tool, the JekoPhoto Twilight Calculator. Now there are hundreds of versions of this available both as websites and as apps for your phone but this one has always worked for me and more importantly, it’s free. What this tool allows you to do is pin yourself onto google maps and with just a couple of clicks you will have the exact time each day for twilight, sunrise, sunset and again the evening twilight. Now that much information can be guessed or even found deep inside a weather app, but what is so incredible about this particular site are the three coloured lines protruding from your location.

Step 1: Plug in your location (roughly) and hit search

Step 2: Refine your location by zooming in and double clicking on the map

Step 3: Hit the submit button

Step 4: The magic is done for you! The three lines are the exact angle of the sunrise, the sunset and the moon rise!

Step 5: Find your subject on the map (be it mountains, rocks, beach, a pier) and you can move your little locator pin around until you get the sunrise or sunset lined up perfectly. Below is a table with all off the relevant times for morning and evening light!

It might sound like a daunting and overly complicated way to take photographs but with a little practice this technique saves so much time when scouting locations. It allows you to pre-visualise your shot and ensure you get to the site on time rather than sitting in the dark waiting for hours!

So much to learn!

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This tool when paired up with a reasonable weather app puts gives you the best possible chance for amazing sunrise and sunset shots but what about the rest of the day? Next week I will be discussing the art of black and white and how there are many many more ways than one to process and convert your images!

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