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SunCalc.net A Free Alternative To The LightTrac App

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Published: 01/05/2013

SunCalcThanks to Aric Boyles for pointing out this awesome little piece of Javascript goodness by Vladimir Agafonkin of Kiev. Note, I'm talking about Vladimir's SunCalc.net webpage, not the IOS App that is similar for $.99.

For those that are not familiar with LighTrac, it's an IOS/Android App that will show you what the sun angle and elevation will be at any given address and date. LighTrac is $4.99 in the  Apple App store, Amazon App Store and Android Google App Store.

Of course the whole point of LighTrac and SunCalc and other similar Apps is to be able to plan a shoot so you are not going to be shooting directly into the sun for the front shot.

Vladimir's SunCalc.net website is very cool. It works beautifully on iPads, laptops, large screen desktops and even small 7" tablets like iPad Mini and Kindle Fire. It works on SmartPhones too but on small screens like the iPhone here is just too much stuff smushed on the screen to be useful. Perhaps on the larger Samsung smartphones with a larger screen it works better.

I should mention that SunCalc doesn't show you the sun elevation  like LighTrac does but to me that not a show stopper.

I think SunCalc is a great example of how great web apps can be done that will run on any device and in this time of transition from desktop/laptop to mobile devices you really want these apps to be available everywhere.

Hats off to Vladimir!

Larry Lohrman

9 comments on “SunCalc.net A Free Alternative To The LightTrac App”

  1. @Travis - No I'm talking about SunCalc.net NOT SunCalc the iPhone App. The web page is FREE and yeah, there is a iPhone App called SunCalc for the iPhone & iPad.

  2. Now that we have the tools. Who has good advice on what the optimal sun angles are for photographing interiors and exteriors? I know it depends a lot on what you are trying to do but I'm sure that we all would like to hear what the opinions are.

  3. @Damion - The way I use these is to first of all try to understand what the orientation of the front of the home is and where the sun is relative to the front of the house when I'm planning to show up for the shoot. The worst thing that can happen is I have to shoot directly into the sun when getting a front shot. These apps give you a chance of understanding the orientation of the home and the angle of the sun while you are making the appointment.

    The second thing is for scheduling twilight shoots. These allow you to figure out exactly when you have to be on sight... that is identify the 30-45 minutes around sunset on any given date an address.

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