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Outdoor shot planning tool using Google Maps

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by DeeJayK, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Here's a fun little tool I came across that can help in planning outdoor shots. It lets you visualize what will be in your frame given a particular lens when shooting a known subject from a given location:
    http://pictureprep.appspot.com/

    The app is not all that intuitive, but it's pretty basic and the pop-up help function sort of walks you through the process. You start by searching for your shooting location to bring up the satellite image, then place your camera (by right-clicking on the map), then place your subject (by again right-clicking), then input your equipment particulars (sensor size, lens, aperture, etc.) and it will show you what your angle of view will encompass. You can also set the date/time and you'll see the angle of the sun (shown by the green arrowed line in the screen shot below).

    Annoyingly, the Four Thirds sensor isn't included in the drop down list, but you can set a custom size (17.3 by 13mm).

    I can't find a way to link to a particular setup, but here's a screenshot of a setup for a picture of the White House:
    i-TZXTDcZ.

    I've come across a couple of iOS apps that appear to offer similar functionality (ScapeTog and The Photographer's Transit), but I'm not an Apple guy, so I can't say how they compare. I haven't encountered any similar Android apps, but if someone knows of one I'd love to check it out.
     
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  2. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
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  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    TPE is a useful tool, but as far as I know it only really gives you the sunrise/sunset/moonrise times and a look at the light angles. It doesn't have any capacity for visualization of angle of view. In fact, the The Photographer's Transit (which I linked) is made by the folks behind TPE.
     
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  4. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    679
    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Evan
    I can't decide if this is really cool or just another way to keep me glued to a screen when I could be doing something productive and/or enjoyable...like maybe out taking a picture.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    592
    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Alan Grant
    An Android app that seems to do something similar is Planit! for Photographers. Coincidentally I just downloaded it yesterday, I haven't had time to try it out yet. There is a fairly extensive user guide.
     
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  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Could be useful if you are trying to decide which focal lengths you'd need for a trip and don't want to take all your lenses with you.
     
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  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Wow, that app seems to take this idea much, much further. Judging by the nearly 50 page user manual and a couple of videos I watched there seems to be a fairly steep learning curve. That said, the power of the tool looks incredible. I've downloaded the free version to determine how I'll get on with the app.

    Thanks for pointing this out. Please share your impressions after you've had a chance to put it through its paces.
     
  8. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 Top Veteran

    708
    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Rob
    Just bought Planit! for Android. I have this shot I want to take. Trouble is, it needs to be done in early February, at about 7am on a cloudless day... Clever software can only get you so far!
     
  9. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    592
    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Alan Grant
    I agree about the steep learning curve - until I found the user manual I found myself just staring at the app screen wondering what I was supposed to do! Even with the manual I was a bit confused at first as many of the features it describes are not in the free version. But it does appear that the paid version could be very powerful.
     
  10. yingwentech

    yingwentech New to Mu-43

    1
    Apr 12, 2015
    Hello all,

    I just happened to see the post here. I am the author of the PlanIt! for Photographers. The app is indeed pretty complex. We will try to make it easier to use in the next few releases while we finish all the features we would like to include. We will include more videos and also update the user guide. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to email yingwentech@gmail.com or post at the user Google+ community at https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112054339546694455211. We very actively reply emails. The Google+ community also served as the beta user group. If you join it, you will be able to try out beta releases which include some cool features before being released to public. Hope this app will help you planning your next photo shooting trip. Most importantly, enjoy photo shooting!
     
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