Tuesday, August 27, 2013

5 Google Maps for Taking Better Snaps

1. ShotHotspot

The first thing you need as a photographer is a subject. ShotHotspot is a superb resource to help you find great locations to take photos.

The application uses data from sites like Flickr and Panoramio to analyse the most photogenic areas. ShotHotspot's Google Maps allows users to scout for locations around any location worldwide. It is possible to narrow down the area of search by drawing the area that you are interested in directly on the map. It is also possible to zoom in on a location and update the results shown by selecting the 'Search Visible Area'.

You can select any of the hotspots displayed on the map and preview the photo opportunities by viewing photographs of the location taken by other photographers which have been posted to Flickr or Panoramio.

2. Litmind

Litmind is another great resource for finding photography locations. The Litmind Google Map and online database is designed to help photographers search and find shooting locations around the world.

Locations are displayed on the map with thumbnail images of a photo taken at each location. Using the map it is possible to search for great shooting locations by place and by a large number of tags, categorised into 'Outdoors', 'Feelings' and 'Style'.

3. The Photographer's Ephemeris

Once you've chosen the location for your photography session the next thing you might consider is when is the best time to visit. The Photographer's Ephemeris is a free sun and moon planning tool for outdoor photography. The application is available as a free download for the desktop or as an iOS / Android app.

The application uses Google Maps to show sunrise and sunset times and indicates the current direction of the sun based on your location. The application includes some really advanced features, including automatic time zone and elevation detection, correction for atmospheric refraction and height above the horizon.

Photographers can use this invaluable tool to plan the best times that they should visit a location to get the best light for the shot required.

4. The Golden Hour Calculator

The Golden Hour Calculator is a Google Map that displays sunrise and sunset times, the elevation and azimuth of the sun and shows users when the golden hour occurs for any location.

The Golden Hour Calculator defines the 'golden hour' as "the first and last hour of sunlight in the day when the special quality of light yields particularly beautiful photographs". Using the calculator photographers can enter the location where they are planning to take photos and the calculator will display a graph beneath the map showing when the golden hour occurs.

Users can change the date of their shoot to ensure the calculator displays the correct times for the Golden Hour.

5. Photospots

Photospots is a crowdsourced website where photographers can share their favorite photography locations. It is a website where photographers can recommend great photography locations and find new places to visit.

Each location submitted to Photoshots is displayed on a Google Map. Users often leave great comments about their favorite locations, which can prove an invaluable guide to other photographers who wish to visit the location.
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