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The Golden Hour

Discussion in 'Personal Portfolio Sites' started by RM_London, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. RM_London

    RM_London Active Member


    I project idea I've had for ages now was a website to display visually when the golden (or magic) hour is for your current location and date. The idea was for something educational in that you can explore the world on a map to see how twilight shifts with your location and indeed the time of year.

    I've finally had the opportunity to finish work on version one of the site which I've put online just today - personally I like it even just for the sunrise and sunset calculations because you don't have to select the date or location before you start seeing something.

    Let me know what you think ...


  2. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    It looks good to me, good enough to bookmark anyway. There have been times in the past when I wanted to know the sunset/sunrise times for a certain location and the added benefit of the range of 'golden hour' is useful.

    A few things which I'd like to see added would be the ability ot enter a postcode or OS co-ordinates would make it easier to use.
  3. TheAllSeeingEye

    TheAllSeeingEye Well-Known Member

    What can I say, I am very impressed! :D Only one question springs to mind, how did it know where I live? :D
  4. RM_London

    RM_London Active Member

    >Only one question springs to mind,
    >how did it know where I live?

    Geolocation technology allows me to map the public IP address that your computer uses to access the internet back to a latitude and longitude. It's not super reliable or accurate for everyone but usually gets you at least in the right ballpark.

    You can see the sort of thing I mean here;


    I will probably be extending the site to include local weather forecasts (after all, if it's cloudy the golden hour will be more of a manky grey) and as you can see, it's actually possible to get the nearest weather station to your IP address too to make this surprisingly accurate.
  5. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    You're right that it's not relaible, it put me in Manchester!! [​IMG]
  6. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    I appear to be off the West coast of Africa... :D
  7. RM_London

    RM_London Active Member

    >I appear to be off the West coast of Africa.

    Ah ... if your IP address couldn't be located, it sets the location to 0,0. This isn't very helpful when it zooms in to the middle of the sea so I've updated the code to only set your location when the geolocation actually works. I've also updated the IP database which was a few months old, so if you try again you might have better luck?
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Er, it's now put me at 0,0 too, whereas earlier it had me in France...
  9. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Now I'm in Huddersfield, which is better than Manchester, but I wouldn't want to be confused for a TB! :mad: :D
  10. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    It did gibe me a location not 0,0 I forget what it was now 20 something, or -20 something... Anyhoo it has now put me back in London so I have moved house :)
  11. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    I've given it a try and it looks very useful. My thanks. Bookmarked.
  12. RM_London

    RM_London Active Member

    As a follow up to this thread, I've finally finished the iPhone version of my site so you can carry The Golden Hour with you on your travels. It has been specially designed for iPod Touch users too as it doesn't need any web access in order to work.

    To celebrate the clocks going forward this weekend and the return of British Summer Time, the application is available for less than half price this weekend only (March 27/28 2010).

    I hope some of you may find it useful!

    On the website front, I've finally been able to engineer out the webservice that was providing the timezone information and replace it with my own code. This should correct various DST issues. Sadly I've had to retire the 3D globe with the day-night terminator as the supplier seems to have withdrawn support.

    Note that the sun clock in the iPhone application shows not just the day-night division, but actually the transitions from the Golden Hour, through Civil Twilight, Nautical Twilight etc so Blue Hour photographers may find it a useful resource too.

  13. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    A bit of feedback, I think £4.99 is far too much for an iPhone app like this, though I might be tempted to give it a go under the half price offer at the weekend, if I remember about it that is.
  14. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Didn't realise you were trying to flog us something. :(

    I haven't found it difficult to work out the golden hour easier and for free so far

  15. Mark

    Mark Well-Known Member

    Willie, if you're interested in a free alternative, I use and recommend Stephen Trainor's "The Photographer's Ephemeris" . He's also working on an app (currently in beta testing) - for your collection of iPhones ;).
  16. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Mark. I wasn't really interested, though.

    I haven't really had a problem working out when was likely to be a good time for photographic light, although if someone was stupid enough to pay me money for devising something that pretended to do so, I suppose I would take it.

    I was just a bit irritated that someone was trying to flog their bit of kit on here pretending to introduce it as a helpful item.

    It didn't seem like good value to me and I had the notion that it was a cynical use of these forums which probably breached, at least the spirit, of the rules.


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