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Thread: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

  1. #1
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    New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    There's now a new page which includes a google maps tool for showing where and when the moon will rise and set, along with the astronomical twilight times, ephemeris dates and current moon for your particular location.

    Moon & Night Photography Calculator

    Feedback. Is there anything else you'd like to see included in this tool? Is there anything about the user interface that could be made easier? Also, the times given by this calculator should be as accurate (or more so) than anything else out there. If you notice any odd discrepancies, please let me know.


    New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Instructions. You may see a message in your browser asking permission to share your location; if you accept, then your present location will be automatically estimated on the map. Otherwise it will default to GMT and you can move the location marker or search for your location in the box above the map. Your date and local time are also automatically entered.

    FYI, this is mainly intended as a learning tool, and as a companion to the earlier common obstacles in night photography and making the most of natural light in photography tutorials. As others have pointed out, there are also several useful mobile phone apps out there which estimate these times, so for in-the-field use, those are worth looking into as well. Maybe someday I'll lump all of the site tools into an all-in-one photographer's toolkit app for Android and iPhone...

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Hi darekk -- was this taken under moonlight/starlight?

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Yes, by full moon.

    Shooting Date/Time 05.09.18 9:04:10 PM (appr. 2.5 hrs after sunset, or maybe 3.5 hrs if daylight saving time was not set in the camera, but most likely 2.5)
    Camera Model Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
    Shooting Mode Aperture-Priority AE
    Tv( Shutter Speed ) 6
    Av( Aperture Value ) 8.0
    ISO Speed 1600
    Lens 100.0 - 400.0mm
    Focal Length 100.0mm

    But there was the FOG.
    Last edited by darekk; 24th October 2011 at 10:32 PM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Hi Sean,

    This could be useful, certainly I learnt several things reading it

    My only (somewhat picky) observation is; wouldn't it be nice if we could have the dates in our native format inside the "Properties of the Moon" box? "11/25" for US and "25/11" for UK, etc. as, without a year, it is less obvious they're dates and caused me to do a double take before I worked out what it was. No doubt now I know, it won't be such a problem going forward.

    As ever, thanks for all the hard work that must have gone into this.

    I have a desktop gadgetty thing, but it never seems to detect the current date and tells me stuff about September 2009 - it has my nomination for the chocolate teapot award
    OK, I persisted and just found the options to fix it
    FWIW, your times for moonrise and set are 2 minutes behind the gadget, but that's probably because I said London (east from me) for the gadget and Windsor for yours.

    Yours keeps it simple, rather than telling me loads of figures that mean little to me!

    UPDATES:
    I have already used it to take a look at the phases next time Rebecca and I will be together, since we missed the 8th October moonshoot due to cloud cover.

    One thing that isn't obvious to me, the two lines on the map for directions of moonrise and moonset - which side of this, above (N) or below (S) will I see the moon?

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 24th October 2011 at 10:41 PM.

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    My only (somewhat picky) observation is; wouldn't it be nice if we could have the dates in our native format inside the "Properties of the Moon" box? "11/25" for US and "25/11" for UK, etc. as, without a year, it is less obvious they're dates and caused me to do a double take before I worked out what it was. No doubt now I know, it won't be such a problem going forward.
    Yes, I've struggled with this aspect quite a bit. The problem is that I needed it all to fit horizontally, so the year was excluded. I looked into having the month/day reversed depending on location, but that is a really thorny issue to add to the code since it doesn't follow neatly-defined geographical regions. I'm still brainstorming this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    FWIW, your times for moonrise and set are 2 minutes behind the gadget, but that's probably because I said London (east from me) for the gadget and Windsor for yours.
    Yep, that's exactly why. It's neat how different parts of really large cities can have a several minute difference in rise/set times...

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    The map and darkness of the sky diagrams are cool. But dragging the marker doesn' take effect, however it seems to be easy to fix.
    You could add time of meridian passing. That diagram is very inventive.
    And sometimes 2 moonrises and 1 moonset or 1 moonrise and 2 moonsets / day occur (very appr above 70N and -70S). But your calculator has only 2 narrow output fields what suggests, that partially it is not applicable for Arctic areas.
    Last edited by darekk; 24th October 2011 at 11:01 PM.

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Quote Originally Posted by McQ View Post
    Yes, I've struggled with this aspect quite a bit. The problem is that I needed it all to fit horizontally, so the year was excluded. I looked into having the month/day reversed depending on location, but that is a really thorny issue to add to the code since it doesn't follow neatly-defined geographical regions. I'm still brainstorming this one.
    Thanks Sean,

    I assume there's nothing the client's browser can tell the web server about the computer's International settings?
    Or ask for a date and see if it matches format?
    Clutching at straws.

    Did you see my UPDATES question above?
    One thing that isn't obvious to me, the two lines on the map for directions of moonrise and moonset - which side of this, above (N) or below (S) will I see the moon?
    Maybe that's something, like where the sun is, that is so obvious ...

    Thanks,

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Lets take Longyearbyen, Svalbard:
    http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astron...one-year-world
    E015 40, N78 12, 2h East of Greenwich
    May 14, 2011
    Set: 0124
    Rise: 2106
    Set: 2309
    Your calculator shows:
    Set: 2:28 AM
    Rise: 9:55 PM
    The Moon is very difficult in Arctic areas.

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Thanks for the info, darekk, I'll look into it. Everything remains OK outside the Arctic circle for the time being though.

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    One thing that isn't obvious to me, the two lines on the map for directions of moonrise and moonset - which side of this, above (N) or below (S) will I see the moon?
    The short answer is that the moon follows the same path as the sun through the sky, but does so over the span of a lunar cycle instead of a full year. This means that the moon will be to the south in your case (the northern hemisphere), just as the sun, but the moon's max height above the horizon will effectively go through all four of the sun's seasons in less than four weeks.

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Nice tool.

    For anyone wanting a stand alone program, I highly recommend "The Photographer's Ephemeris".

    You can find it at http://stephentrainor.com/tools

    It looks like they are in the process of moving to a new website (http://photoephemeris.com) so you might need to go to the new site if they have completed their move.

    This tool runs on windows, mac, or linux, but it looks like there are versions being developed for the ipad and android platforms

    P.S. It's FREE
    Last edited by pilgrim4now; 27th October 2011 at 02:53 AM.

  13. #13

    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    The Photographer's Ephemeris is a nice tool, but I would really like a stand-alone version of this and an earlier one for calculating sunrise-zenith-sunset. I would be willing to pay to have those on my laptop, because I want to be able to use them regardless of internet connection.

    Nice programs, though.

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    You can copy the webpage. JavaScript will work offline. Except the map. Moreover stand-alone software may be more dependent on Windows version (and the system at all) than a saved webpage. And a webpage can be updated much more frequently then regular program, you deal with living source of current informations. In addition photography oriented.
    Last edited by darekk; 27th October 2011 at 10:08 PM.

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    I may have misunderstood you, Vinniel, but the Photographer's Ephemeris is stand alone and does not need an Internet connection.

    Dave

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    A simple, most useful ephemeris tool is one created by jonathon sachs. Runs on pc/laptop and you can manually enter any location you want
    Google "jonathon sachs ephemeris" and make sure you get version 2.0

    BJK

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Stellarium has everything for almost all locations in the world and is extremely accurate. Its a program astronomers and astrophotographers trust with all their heart. Next for android or ipad / iphone is SkySafari. I have both.

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Here is another, than has loads of information concerning the moon rising,setting, etc. You can print out a monthly calendar. I've used this for years with my astronomy.

    http://www.nightcal.co.uk/

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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    This comment is irrelevant to this topic really but I can't help commenting that the terminology is a bit unfortunate. The term "waning crescent" is really an oxymoron and "waxing crescent" is a pleonasm, says he as he eats his croissant for breakfast.

    I know this terminology is well established and this is not meant as a criticism. It looks like a useful tool.

  20. #20
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyW View Post
    This comment is irrelevant to this topic really but I can't help commenting that the terminology is a bit unfortunate.
    Never mind Tony, I just learnt the meaning of a new word (to me) - says he, as he drinks his post-lunch mug of coffee

    Referring to this:
    New Tool: Moon & Night Photography Timing

    The lunar cycle terminology has never 'stuck' in my head, as being too far removed from words that I, or many, have an understanding of.

    However, if there are four phases, I don't see how we can escape having four combinations each of two word pairs, to describe them - and thus I fear I have taken your post far too seriously

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