The photographer’s ephemeris

The autumnal equinox marks the beginning of my favorite season for photography. I love the magical quality of the light in the fall — when the “golden hours” that bookend each day truly are golden, and really last an hour.

I have an instinct for the luminous autumns in the northern U.S., where I’ve spent some 35 crisp falls.

Banning fall color 2019 1410985 BLOG

But when I’m traveling, chasing the light is more difficult. Where will the sun rise? And when will it set? How long will the twilight last? As a photographer, these questions used to vex me.

But I am vexed no more, thanks to The Photographer’s Ephemeris. It’s simple: Just enter the name of a location — say, for instance, “Piazza San Marco.” And bingo! You get a satellite image (or map, if you prefer) with the sun’s and moon’s trajectory.


Of course, knowing the celestial bodies’ trajectories doesn’t guarantee you’ll actually see them. Here’s how I found the Piazza San Marco this morning, shortly after “sunrise”:

San Marco in rain 1570293 BW BLOG

But at least with this handy app you’ll have a better chance of capturing the golden hours that await in the weeks ahead.

Happy autumn, friends.

Text and images © Heather Munro.