header image: solar flares – NASA
above: St. Charles Air Line Bridge counterweight and setting sun – Chicago 2016
Like a lot of other photographers and cinematographers, I frequently use apps that can display accurate sunrise/sunset times, depth of field, and sun/moon positions on my mobile devices. I don’t use them on every shoot, but I did use a couple of apps for the image above.
To get quick and accurate sunset/sunrise times on my phone and iPad, I use LunaSoCal. I can quickly find accurate sunset/sunrise tables for any location on the globe, as well as moon-rise and moon-set tables. The other photo app I use a lot for location work is SunSurveyor. It too has sun/moon information but the coolest feature is Live View. In this mode your phone becomes an excellent sighting device – you can virtually see the path of the sun and moon at any place in the sky and at any place in the world.
I used both apps to make the image above – to get the sunset time and to trace the path and position of the sun to see where it would end up right at sunset. Using the app, I could see that the sun would move to a point where it would look like it was directly under the huge concrete counterweight of the St. Charles Air Line Bridge. So I just slightly re-positioned the camera according to the app, and made the image above.
Canon 5Ds with a Canon 70-200 2.8 II and 2X extender
There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection.
St Charles Airline Bridge – Chicago 2016