Moonrise, Sierra foothills, Mariposa Country, CA, USA

Moonrise, Sierra foothills, Mariposa Country, CA, USA

In my December post Moonstruck I talked about the two best apps for figuring out sun and moon positions: PhotoPills and The Photographer’s Ephemeris.

I’ve relied on The Photographer’s Ephemeris for many years; it’s a great tool. PhotoPills is newer, but as I’ve become more familiar with it I’ve used it more and more. PhotoPills has a couple of very useful extra features, like it’s Augmented Reality mode, which allows you to superimpose the future path of the sun, moon, or other celestial object over a live picture (on your iPhone) of the scene in front of you. Even better, if you want to photograph the sun or moon lined up with a certain object – a building, or a mountain, for example – you can search for the times when that will happen, and see a list of results which includes moon phases, and the days when your desired alignment corresponds with the “magic” hour.

How to Win a Free Copy of PhotoPills:

This app is normally only $9.99, but Rafael Pons at PhotoPills has generously offered to give away five copies of this app to my readers. To have a chance to win, just post a comment below saying you’re interested. There’s one catch: you must own an iPhone or iPod Touch! PhotoPills is only available for the iPhone so far. (A universal app formatted for the iPad is in the works, but not available yet.) You have until midnight tomorrow (Monday, January 13th) Pacific time to post a comment and have a chance to win.

For more about PhotoPills, here’s a review on Luminous Landscape, and another in Landscape Photography Magazine. You can also watch an extensive and thorough group of video tutorials here.

Good luck!

– Michael Frye

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Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.