In this post, I'd like to talk about photo shoot preparation using the Photo Ephemeris. This is a tool that I've only started using in the last two years but have quickly come to rely on. Before that, it was much more difficult to predict the exact location of the sun and moon, especially when planning a shoot months in advance.
As you can see in the photos below from Robert Moses State Park, it is possible to pinpoint the location of the sun and moon with incredible precision. The darker orange line indicates where the sun is setting. This is a screen capture from the iPad app. For $9, it's a very valuable tool. There is already a version for the iPhone, with an Android app on the way.
As expected, the sun was setting between the Lighthouse and neighboring building, and I was able to use a very small aperture to create the long sunbeams.
Fire Island Lighthouse, Long Island, NY
It was this tool that also allowed me to plan my Super moon shot over the Atlantic Ocean. The light blue line shows where the moon will rise. This is a screen capture from the free desktop version available for PC and Mac computers.
Super Moon 2011, Robert Moses State Park, NY
The Ephemeris has some other great features for those who like to get very technical. Here's a video to show a few more of its capabilities.