I was invited to shoot an particular event outdoors. Is there any tool which could help me to avoid backlight?

I searched the web and found apps like Photoephemeris, Suncalc etc. but none of them shows me sun movement during time.

I does not have to implement map - something like compass rose with time, sunset and sunrise would be enough.

Something to tell me not to put tripod with camera towards southwest from 5 to 6pm etc.

is there such a tool?


  • 2
    Can you please clarify/show what do you mean because both applications can show you the exact position on the sun. Even first can show you on the 3D map and you can rotate your position Feb 23 '16 at 18:56
  • Your example could easily be answered with a compass, given that the sun is rather repeatable. Something more sophisticated is bound to exist if your looking for more details. I have an old basic program that would do it if I still had an interpreter.
    – Chris H
    Feb 23 '16 at 19:22
  • 6
    Uh, The Photographer's Ephemeris, which you've linked, does exactly what you ask (in addition to a lot more).
    – mattdm
    Feb 23 '16 at 20:36
  • 1
    Their mobile app is paid so I only checked their online app. OK, I was little bit confused by displaying Moon positions and finally found out that the orange line is the actual sun position using that slider. I will probably have to make few screenshots to turn it in a diagram to use outdoors - maybe even as printed on paper.
    – Juhele
    Feb 23 '16 at 22:21

There are a number of Apps available for this

Photo.net has an article with a listing of apps

The ones that appear to be what you're after are http://www.lighttracapp.com/ or possibly http://photoephemeris.com/

Lighttracapp is a simpler option to do what you're after so I'd start there. Photoephemeris has some more robust features but is also more complicated from a user interface and ease perspective. I'm only looking at ones that are available for both iOS and Android since you didn't specify a particular platform.

  • I have android smartphone but I did not wanted to primarily restrict this to mobile app as I am mostly offline :-)
    – Juhele
    Feb 23 '16 at 22:27

Maybe try the free "sunshine compass" Android app, it simply activates the phone camera showing the camera feed overlayed with a curve of the sun's path, annotated with time points, using GPS, so you can point your phone in different directions and visually determine the where and when of the sun's location.


There is Digital Photo Calculator for iPhone. Among else it can do sun, moon, shadow length, angles and elevations-anywhere on the globe.

 sun and moon in Photocalc


For Android, take a look at Sun Locator (www.sunlocator.com). It offers an Augmented Reality option that let's you speed up the sun movements across the day and the year. enter image description here Also, what's very unique is the 3D Terrain Simulator, that accounts for mountains, hills and valleys and displays the shadow. enter image description here


If it doesn't need to be an app, I use http://www.suncalc.org which also is available for the moon under the obvious title. They do have some link to an app on the page as well but I haven't tried it personally as just the page works fine. Moon phase, height, rise and set times and locations are actually more important for me for timing night shots not just by time but also date.

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