Visible sunriseset

Visible sunrise and sunset

Common weather apps just forecast the cloud cover of the place you choose. To fit the needs of landscape photographers for cloudless sunrises and sunsets, VIEWFINDR developed an algorithm which calculates if the horizon relative to the chosen photo spot will be free of clouds to see the sun.

Viewfindr Wetter

Understand the parameter

When there are no clouds close to the horizon relative to a specific place, the parameter will reach 99% probability of a visible sunrise or sunset. We do not only regard the clouds over your head, we also calculate clouds surrounding the photo spot.

Choose the right area

Areas with a high probability of a visible sunrise or sunset are well visible, areas where the sun will be behind clouds are greyed out. Simply choose a photo spot within a well visible area. Tap the spot icon. Tap the preview image to see more details of the photo spot.

Choose the right time

The sun and moon toolbar on top of the map tells you the time of the sunrise or sunset. On the time scroll bar, choose the right time for sunset or sunrise. The time shown in the tool bar and scroll bar depends on the time zone of your phone.

Choose the right photo spot

Sun position depends on season and location. On the photo spot view you can see the field of view relative to the current sunrise and sunset direction. If the directions overlap the FOV, you should visit that photo spot to shoot!

Understand the parameter

When there are no clouds close to the horizon relative to a specific place, the parameter will reach 99% probability of a visible sunrise or sunset. We do not only regard the clouds over your head, we also calculate clouds surrounding the photo spot.

Choose the right time

The sun and moon toolbar on top of the map tells you the time of the sunrise or sunset. On the time scroll bar, choose the right time for sunset or sunrise. The time shown in the tool bar and scroll bar depends on the time zone of your phone.

Choose the right area

Areas with a high probability of a visible sunrise or sunset are well visible, areas where the sun will be behind clouds are greyed out. Simply choose a photo spot within a well visible area. Tap the spot icon. Tap the preview image to see more details of the photo spot.

Choose the right photo spot

Sun position depends on season and location. On the photo spot view you can see the field of view relative to the current sunrise and sunset direction. If the directions overlap the FOV, you should visit that photo spot to shoot!

Sunrsie and Sunset Forecast Tutorial

Sunset and Sunrise Parameter

This parameter indicates how likely the sun disk is to cross the horizon line visibly and without disturbing clouds at sunrise or sunset. VIEWFINDR calculates not only the clouds at a certain location, but also the clouds in the surrounding area. The sky is viewed in 3D.

This parameter guarantees that the sun will not sink behind a wall of clouds shortly before sunset and thus the sunset will not occur.

sunrise and sunset
Template Parameter

Like any parameter with a gray color overlay, this is a template parameter. Areas where the map is clearly visible have a high probability. Areas where the map is grayed out have a low probability.

Based on the visualization we use, the “Streets” and “Outdoor” background maps provide the best contrast to see the color overlay well. The background map can be changed at the top of the menu bar.

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Probability

The scale can be used to translate how high the probability is. Simply compare the map with the scale and read off the value. Please remember: a probability of 20% means that you will come up empty in 4/5 cases!

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Select Forecast Time

By scrolling the time scale you can change the date. An up arrow marks the sunrise, a down arrow the sunset on the respective date.

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Using the parameter

In the highly visible areas of the map, the probability of occurrence of the weather phenomenon is particularly high. Pick out photo spots in these areas. The weather overlay covers the photo spots up like a template. The better a marker can be seen, the higher the probability for the weather phenomenon to occur at this specific photo spot.

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Weather specific photo spots

By setting the filter in “Views” to “Weather specific”, only those photo spots will be displayed that can be photographed with the selected weather phenomenon.

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Common things about weather forecast you should know!

Computer Simulation

The weather forecast in VIEWFINDR is a computer simulation that very realistically forecasts the coming weather. However, the forecast is not exactly the reality and there will be deviations.

In VIEWFINDR new weather data is provided every 3h. For example, if you check for the probability of afterglow after sunset in the morning hours, the forecast will change several times over day. This is perfectly normal and that’s a good thing!

The closer the deadline, i.e. the sunset in the evening, the smaller the deviation of the computer simulation from reality becomes. The forecast becomes more precise. Before you finally set out to take pictures, you should therefore take another look at the current forecast.

You should therefore check the forecast again before you start your photography tour to see, if the probability is still high. Don’t be mad if the forecast probability changed into worse, it probably saved you from a bad outcome!

The weather forecast in VIEWFINDR is limited to 24h for local weather models and 72h for continental weather models. It is not useful to look into the future for a longer period. The forecast becomes inaccurate and is not reliable. Weather apps that allow forecasts of more than 3 days but do not provide any indication that the forecast is extremely inaccurate are a disgrace. This gives the

Weather Data Resolution

Just as the resolution of your camera is limited, i.e. it cannot take an “infinitely” sharp photo, the resolution of the weather model is also limited. This is 2.8km for Central European weather data and 7km for European weather data.

Structures and features of the landscape that are not that large are averaged by the model. For example, if a mountain is 800m high, and the valley next to it is 400m high, then the landscape for the weather model in that “pixel” is 600m high, corresponding to the average altitude.

This means that small structures, like narrow mountain valleys or local small river valleys cannot be properly captured by the model. This is not a problem, you just have to learn to deal with it. If a valley in the mountains is much smaller than the resolution of our weather model, then you have to interpolate.

Small valleys always end in larger valleys. You can therefore use the weather in the next larger valley as a good reference for the weather in a smaller, adjacent valley. In the example, you can see that the large valley is filled with fog. It is almost certain that the small valley is also filled with fog.

Due to the limited resolution, it makes sense not to use too much zoom. It is important that you look at the overall context. Therefore, consider the weather forecast not only for your location, but at least for the entire region where you are shooting.

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This example show how the weather model sees the landscape. It is pixelated because of the limited resolution.

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Due to limited resolution, this layer of low clouds/fog will not indicate fog in valleys with a size below the resolution.

"Sunrise and Sunset" Tutorial

Play Video about sunrise and sunset

Link a photospot

Obviously you should only link a photo spot to this parameter which actually fits a part of the sky where the sun will be visible at some time in the year. A waterfall in the middle of a forest wouldn’t fit. You guide other photographers with your information. Only link photo spots to this parameter you are sure about.

How the algorithm works

We developed the algorithm to fit the needs of landscape photographers. This algorithm can only be found in the VIEWFINDR App and will increase the success of landscape photographers to shoot only with good light and to miss out grey and boring weather.

The algorithm uses the most advanced weather forecast model of the German weather service DWD. We calculate the 3D cloudiness around every photo spot to ensure, that there are no clouds near the horizon.

Our Weather parameters

Burning red sky

Based on 3D cloud, rain and sun position we calculate red afterglow propability.

Fog layer height

Know which mountaintops to visit for “over the cloud” shots of photospots.

Thunderstorm cells

Numerical calculation of storm position relative to photospots.

Clear night sky

See which nightscape photospots will have a clear night the next days.

Find perfect water reflections for your landscape photos.

Find perfect water reflections for your landscape photos.

Visible sunriseset

Cloudfree sunrises are more beuatiful than grey skies in the morning! We forecast them.

Structured sky

We forecast the perfect amount of cloud cover for long exposure photography.

Photo contrast

You don’t need grey skies. We forecast when the sun is shining at your photospot.

Blue hour

Forecasting when the blue hour has no clouds in the sky with perfect light conditions.

Screening smoke

A fine layer of fog in the grassland is pretty nice to shoot. We forecast the propability.

Weather parameters

Burning red sky

Burning red sky

Based on 3D cloud, rain and sun position we calculate red afterglow propability.

Fog layer height

Know which mountaintops to visit for “over the cloud” shots of photospots.

Thunderstorm cells

Numerical calculation of storm position relative to photospots.

Clear night sky

See which nightscape photospots will have a clear night the next days.

Find perfect water reflections for your landscape photos.

Find perfect water reflections for your landscape photos.

Visible sunriseset

Cloudfree sunrises are more beuatiful than grey skies in the morning! We forecast them.

Structured sky

We forecast the perfect amount of cloud cover for long exposure photography.

Photo contrast

You don’t need grey skies. We forecast when the sun is shining at your photospot.

Blue hour

Forecasting when the blue hour has no clouds in the sky with perfect light conditions.

Screening smoke

A fine layer of fog in the grassland is pretty nice to shoot. We forecast the propability.

M.Sc. Stefan Engel

Founder, developer

M.Sc. Stefan Engel
B.Sc. Bastian Werner

Founder, CEO

B.Sc. Bastian Werner
Dipl. Met. J. Lang

Founder, meteorologist

Dipl. Met. J. Lang
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