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Thread: SunsetWX.com

  1. #1
    Moderator frigidlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petapixel View Post
    Created by three Pennsylvania-based meteorologists, the sunrise and sunset models take into account things like humidity, pressure changes, and clouds at various levels in the atmosphere. Wispy, high-altitude clouds are indications of a “high quality” sunset/sunrise, while low and thick clouds lower the score. Forecasts are displayed as a color-coded map of the continental US — a better sunset is indicated by warmer colors.


    I'm really curious about this. I can totally see how they can use data to generate these predictions, but what I'm curious about is how they calculate the "value" of a sunset. What factors to them indicate a good sunset over a bad one?

    Their case study is pretty interesting though: http://www.sunsetwx.com/casestudy.pdf

    It looks to be optimizing for total color visibility and the best for photographers might be somewhere in between their cold and hot color range?


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  2. #2
    Moderator frigidlight's Avatar
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    One of their pages has a bit more detail on the model:

    Quote Originally Posted by sunsetwx.com View Post
    As for the scale, we understand there are numerous definitions for the criteria: Vivid, average, and poor. However, as a landscape photographer, there are certain variables I look for each evening before making the decision to take time out of my day and photograph the sunset. The most important factor I look for is sky cover, and more specifically, the existence of high clouds over the area. High clouds not only provide moisture to refract the sunlight, their ‘wispy’ formation also provides “texture” to the sky and are high enough in the atmosphere for the sun to scatter light below. Think of these as a movie theatre screen, in which light can be projected upon.

    Because of this, we weighted high clouds the most as stated before, and consider this necessary for a “Vivid” sunset. In general, regions that are displayed “Poor” in the model, are areas of near 100% of total cloud cover, and also areas that are projected to experience precipitation around sunset time. The ‘hard to define’ area comes in between the two. To some, a clear sky at the time of sunset may be the definition of a great one. In this model, it is our intent to weight a clear sky sunset as average, and therefore it would show up as green or light yellow. The oranges and reds are really the areas where we are trying to show that the sunset will be one of those that makes you go ‘Wow’.
    Pretty interesting.

  3. #3

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    The one I have seen prior to this is http://www.skyfireapp.com/ from Matthew Kuhns
    "SkyFire is the brainchild of Matthew Kuhns, an award-winning California-based landscape photographer and aerospace engineer. The app is actually a piggy-backed service on The Photographer’s Ephemeris app (which I honestly have not played around with, though it looks neat). To build SkyFire Kuhns used science to create spreadsheets and pie graphs and harness the power of the sun. Something like that. The app uses satellite data and weather predictions to form a complex algorithm that produces color-coded, location-based maps to show you the best possible spots to nail the good light. It even has the ability to predict up to four days out, but, just like weather forecasts, for the most accuracy the prediction is best referenced within a couple hours of your expected shoot window."

  4. #4
    Moderator frigidlight's Avatar
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    Skyfire is subscription based payment though. Blagh.

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    yeah, I've bookmarked it so it opens on my nightly interweb browse... It's been blue/cool with crappy sunsets/rises 3/3 since I've seen it so so far so good. I wish skyfire was available on android AND not a monthly fee. I'd pay ~$20 or maybe a bit more for a legit android version...
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