Learn How to Plot the Sun & Moon

Photo by Michael Maloney - Plotted using The Photographer's Ephemeris

Join Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek as he demonstrates how to use an indispensable tool for landscape photographers.

This tool is called the Photographer’s Ephemeris and it is a free web based app for your mac or pc. With it, you can plot exactly when and where the sun or moon will be at any time of day or night; past, present, or future.

Want a photo of the full moon rising over San Francisco? With the Photographer’s Ephemeris you can find the best time and day to get such a photo. The Photographer’s Ephemeris will show you exactly where to be to line up for that perfect shot.

In this 2 hour presentation, Michael will step you through how to plot such a photo. You will learn the interface of this app and leave with the confidence needed to plot your own sun or moon photos.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
7-9 pm
Camera West in Walnut Creek

Cost : $50.00 for the 2 hour session

Call or email Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek for more info or to sign up.


This is a screenshot of the Photographer's Ephemeris showing how the above photo was plotted

The Photographer’s Ephemeris: New Web App for Desktop Users

Some important news for you landscape shooters who rely on the indispensable app : The Photographer’s Ephemeris.

On September 2, 2014, TPE for Desktop will be no more. On that date Google will turn off the Google Maps for Flash API, which TPE for Desktop needs. Once that happens, the app will no longer function. But no worries, as the folks at TPE have been busy, giving the old app a feature laden overhaul which is now up and running in beta.

This new version is a web based app and works on the current versions of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 11. You can access it here: app.photoephemeris.com

The new web app includes the same functionality as the old desktop version but it’s so much better.

The first thing you will notice however is that it looks a little different. The celestial events for the day are displayed in the Events Timeline below the map. A chart of the sun and moon’s journey throughout the day is displayed at the bottom of the screen  and it can be toggled on and off to increase map real estate.

New features :

  • Ability to share links.(You can look up a location, set the date and time, and then share the URL of the web page with a friend.)
  • Saved locations can now be used to set the grey pin position as well as the red pin – great for planning both camera and subject placement.
  • You can predict shadows by holding down the shift key (or pressing caps lock). This displays sun and moon shadow lines. If the shadow extends outside the circle, then the sun or moon lies below +6° above the horizon: this is the best time for good light (golden hour) or for positioning the moon against the landscape.
  • The best feature of all – you can now see a Google street level view with a click of a link.

The very best news of all is that TPE for desktop web app is still free!

Shoot the Moon

Tomorrow is shaping up to be nearly a perfect opportunity to photograph the moonrise. The moon will rise at 8:01 and the sun will set two minutes later at 8:03. What this means for you the photographer is that the exposure for the moon will be similar to the exposure of the landscape, giving you detail in both.

So where are you going to shoot from? Use this handy app called the Photographer’s Ephemeris to pinpoint exactly where and when the moon will appear, anywhere in the world.

My photo above was taken a few years ago using the Photographer’s Ephemeris. I knew exactly when the moon was to appear behind the windmill. No more guessing or last minute scrambling to get into position!

For tomorrow, the screenshot below is what I plotted in the Photographer’s Ephemeris for a photo of the moon rising above Mt Diablo near Camera West in Walnut Creek. Using the Photographer’s Ephemeris, I know from my chosen shooting location that the moon will rise at 113.5 degrees, appearing above the mountain at 8:35pm. (The moonrise time is later due to the elevation of the mountain.)

It’s that easy so try out this essential app for landscape shooters and go shoot the moon!