Some of you might know about the web-based weather forecasting program called “Skyfire” last year, a web-based platform. A lot of people use it to predict the best times to shoot during sunrise and sunset. Now, there’s a new mobile app for iOS! This one uses the Skyfire platform and it’s called “The Photographers Ephemeris” and it brings shooting to a whole new level.


You’ll no longer waste your time driving, sticking your head out the window, hiking, setting up, and then waiting for the good part to come out.

With the TPE app, users can preview a map of their desired location, and get an overlay that shows you what areas are most likely to have awesome, colorful light for sunrise or sunset. Here are the features:

Using multiple weather models, Skyfire analyses numerous factors that affect sunrise and sunset color including:

  • Cloud type determination
  • Cloud height predictions
  • Gap light
  • Complex system behavior
  • Satellite weather information
  • Topography

The algorithm is run against the latest weather data multiple times per day. Forecasts for both sunrise and sunset are generated for the next four days. Each forecast is refined using the latest input data when the algorithm is re-run.

TPE displays Skyfire as a colorful map overlay, alongside the critical time and light angle information. A spot-check API allows TPE to display the latest forecasts for your favorite locations all in one place.

TPE isn’t your avergae sun-tracking app. The app is available in two ways: $10 for 3 months, which gives users a 2 day forecast, or $15 for 3 months, with a 4 day forecast. But before you buy it, you can try a 30-day free trail.

Of course with forecasts, there’s no way to get one that’s 100% accurate. But with this app, it has an 80% accuracy rate. Right now, the app only covers the lower 48 states, but soon they’ll be adding more. If you want to learn more about how the app works, check out the Skyfire for TPE webpage, or just head over to the App Store to download it.

This is definitely going to be helpful for photoshoots and will surely save me the time and stress of planning a shoot accordingly to the weather.

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