Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to learn how to plan ahead for a landscape shot. I'm looking for an online tool that can let me visualize the location in 3D. I'm looking also for another tool that let me know where will be the sunrise/set location? At what time?

Also I would appreciate tips about what time should I be at location before the actual moment. Should I go there an hour before to explore the location?

Note: I'm looking for something other than Google Earth cause I find that 3D navigating (street view) using it is not flexible enough for me

share|improve this question
google earth is a good bet but even that may not be as much detail as you're looking for – DHall Aug 6 '12 at 14:20
This question lists tools for finding sunrise/sunset times. How detailed a 3D view are you looking for? – Steven Cunningham Aug 6 '12 at 14:25
@StevenCunningham just enough details to plan where should I put my tripod – MAmer Aug 6 '12 at 14:35
I'm not sure if what you're asking for exists. You may consider employing a guide to assist you. In my experience, you have to visit and revisit your sites many times to find the right light and location for the image you're looking for. As you know, even a few feet can have a profound impact on your final image, and you're not going to get those nuances from a satellite 3D projection. – Therealstubot Aug 6 '12 at 18:05
@Therealstubot you are right, but sometimes I want to shoot locations that are faraway from my town, so I have to drive, and I don't have long time to prepare the shot onsite, so I thought that by planning ahead, I can save more time – MAmer Aug 6 '12 at 19:34
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Are you familiar with The Photographer's Ephemeris?

That will help decide where the sun and moon will be at a given time at a specific location. I use that to help me during an initial scouting session.

Truly stunning landscapes are usually created with a mixture of knowledge, preparedness, and patience. The best weather rarely occurs on your first visit to a site. :)

share|improve this answer

Check out the SunCalc website: great for checking out the sun position at any location. It's not 3D, but still very useful.

share|improve this answer

We are in beta, trying to solve exactly this type of issues. We don't provide 3D tool yet, but with our search where you can filter out photos by location and date/time, collection tool to allow future photo spots and maptool to help you plan the perfect timing of the shoot (sun/moon position), we are hoping that we can help photographers like you to save time planning and spend more time shooting!



share|improve this answer
Although it is implied, please be very clear about your apparent affiliation with the linked to website. See our FAQ for more info: – dpollitt Oct 21 '13 at 23:19

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.