Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Planning Your Photo Shoot


The picture I’ve shared here is one of the Western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.   The spot I’ve taken it from is called Treasure Island which is in between the Eastern span and the Western span.  I took quite a few the other night which also included that moon rising photo I posted yesterday.  While the Bay Bridge isn’t as glamorous or as well known as the Golden Gate, it’s still fun to photograph because you can get it from so many angles.

Western Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from Treasure Island

Western Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from Treasure Island

I’ve gotten a lot better at planning my shoots rather than just driving to these locations and hoping for the best.  Here is some information that will hopefully help you plan your shots without too much technical mumbo jumbo.  I hope you find it useful!

  • The Photographer’s Ephemeris – I depend on this site when planning to take sunrises, sunsets and also moonrises.  I’ve yet to do a moonset but it works for that as well.  You can see exactly where and when these bodies will rise and set and drop a pin to your exact location to be very precise.  It will even calculate the horizon for you if you’re in an area with elevation changes.  You can use the desktop link I’ve included here or the iPhone or iPad app.  All are great!
  • Sunsetwx – This great website will show you the quality of the sunset or sunrise.  Is that amazing or what?  So I don’t need to drive to the coast hoping for a red sunset when there won’t be one.  I just open this up, put in my location and voila!  You will then be able to see how red your sunset will be.
  • Directions! – I always go to my apple maps (or google maps if you’re on android) and get my directions before I head out the door.  I used to wait until I got in the car but what a pain.  I make sure I have them on my phone before I turn on the ignition.
  • Double check your equipment…make sure you have your tripod, filters, extra charged battery, coats, etc., and do all this the night before.  You will feel so good waking up knowing that you have everything you need.

Hope this is helpful!  Let me know how you like the tools if you choose to use them.  🙂





Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

44 thoughts on “Planning Your Photo Shoot

  1. Thank you for sharing the links, Laura!

  2. Beautiful, beautiful. Thank you, Laura, for the bonus tips too. I miss a lot of opportunities for lack of planning. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  3. And check all your camera settings, so the Wb is not still set to the wedding you shot 2 days ago 🙂

  4. impressive.
    i used to learn a lot from a former friend, when we would go out shooting together…about light and time of the day etc.

  5. Thank you for this, Laura. I am always shooting sunsets, so this all sounds very helpful. It is so hard to predict the colour of the sky and luck is never usually on my side 😀

  6. That sunset tool looks fun, but only applicable to the US, I believe….

  7. Very useful information. I have the Photographers Ephemeris on my cell phone. Thanks for link to Sunsetwx. I hate daylight savings.

  8. I’ve been using the Photographer’s Ephemeris for a while now and love it. But I hadn’t heard of Sunsetwx before. Thanks for sharing.

  9. great advice Laura and breathtaking image ( as always!). Happy Easter!!!

  10. great tips and links…thanks for sharing!

  11. appreciate the links!
    The image is a beauty, too

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