Tech Tip Fridays: iPhone App Sun Seeker

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This is the first of many upcoming posts on some of my favorite iPhone apps (hopefully every Friday) – something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. I have found that there are some terrific tools out there on the iPhone and iPad for both filmmakers and photographers, and I want to share some of the ones that I use frequently.

SUN SEEKER (by ozPDA) is likely one of those “go to” apps that just about every photographer, DP, director, and/or location scout should have. Like many other apps it can tell you where the sun will rise and set today, tomorrow, or at anytime in the future – and it can do so in a number of ways.

Perhaps the coolest implementation of this app is what they call the 3D View (which is in effect an augmented reality mode). This function uses your iPhone 3GS, its built in GPS system, and camera to allow you to physically point the phone in any direction and see the sun’s path drawn and overlaid on top of your camera image (see picture). In other words, you can be inside a building, pick up your phone, launch it into 3D View, and instantly be able to tell at what time the sun will cross the path of the window in front of you – even though you have no physical view of the sky. It will also tell you of course exactly where the sun will be, by drawing the sun’s path hour by hour and laying it over your iPhone camera’s live video image.   Not only is this useful indoors of course, or when you need to figure out where the sun will be in 5 hours and how to prepare for it – it can also be a life saver if you’re scouting at night, or on an overcast day… I find this incredibly useful, and quite accurate – not to mention amazing.

You can pretty much forget the special software, compasses, and other tools – this $2.99 app replaces them all in a millisecond and one-ups them. And if that’s not enough, it offers two other views: an overhead map view connected to Google Maps that will show you the angle of the sun from overhead – anywhere in the world, at any time of the year – and of course a details page, which shows you sunrise and sunset times, elevation angles, etc.

If you are interested in this app, go to the following link on iTunes by CLICKING HERE.