Where the sun shines

Where the sun shines

In photography it's all about light. The quality and quantity of light, soft and harsh light. But one of the most important aspects is the direction of light. It's always good to know from where the sun shines at what time.


No matter if you shoot inside or outside, when daylight is your main light source, it's mandatory to know where the sun will be at a certain time of the day. Not only because you want to have the sun at a specific place, either facing you or going in your direction, but also because it defines the shape of shadows.

Most of the time, I work with sunlight only. I hardly use reflectors. But I like to know what to shoot where, before I travel places. I was shooting inside an apartment once, but it was facing North. What a disappointment, hardly any light came through and I had to switch on all lamps inside which gave a much different look than I had wanted.

Sunshine in Tenerife in December

And just now, I come back from a trip to Tenerife. As always, I was planning my shoots ahead in detail. It's quite necessary to do so, to fit as many photos in a certain amount of time. And while we currently have only 7 hours of daytime here in Germany, in Tenerife days were still filled with a full 10 hours of sunshine. I was looking for a beach where I could shoot with the morning sun coming out of the water at the horizon.

It's cool that you can do this, these days. Remote location scouting with a handy website that works with a Google map and tells you the time of sunrise and sunset for any place in this world: SunCalc.

You can zoom in closer to find good spots and then switch to the Satellite view in the top left corner. As the buttons are placed a bit stupid overlaying the Google buttons, you can use the +/- keys on your keyboard to zoom in or out. One of those little helpers that I use for all my photo projects.

Sunrise in the sea