Planning Tools

Part of the landscape photography challenge is researching locations. I happen to enjoy it and the more time you spend the better prepared you are when you arrive on location.

In this section I will discuss some of the websites and apps I utilise in planning photography trips.


Location Maps

For maps I primarily use a combination of Ordnance Survey (Website | iOS | Android) and Google Maps (Website | iOS | Android).

Google Maps I'm sure everyone has used before including Street View.

I subscribe to OS Premium, primarily for the ability to download maps on to my phone and tablet for offline use.



There are a lot of websites and apps that will try to predict the weather with varying degrees of accuracy.

Having tried a number of services I now use the Met Office (Website | iOS | Android) and Dark Sky (Website | iOS | Android).



Cloud Cover

For Cloud Cover I use Dark Sky (map) and Clear Outside (Website | iOS | Android) which breaks down cloud cover to low, medium and high (tour) and actually gets it data from Dark Sky.

Sunrise & Sunset

To understand where the sun will rise and set I use The Photographer's Ephemeris (Website | iOS | Android). It's good to be able to save locations for future use, and if you choose an applicable map, can be viewed offline.

I also use TPE 3D (iOS) when I want to understand how the sun will hit different points of my intended scene and at what time, particularly useful if shooting a mountainous landscape.

I have recently begun trialing Skyfire via TPE.


Tide Times

For tidal information I use Tide Time (Website) and My Tide Times (iOS).

You can get 7 days tidal forecasts free of charge but if you subscribe on the Tide Times website you can get 83 days forecasts.

For regular locations I purchase Tide Tables which cover provide me with 12 months forecast (Jan-Dec). This gives me the ability to plan far in advance if I have a specific shot or trip in mind.


Pen and paper and Evernote (Website | iOS | Android).

With Evernote I subscribe to the Premium package which enables me to store and access notes and notebooks offline - this is particularly useful if I'm going on a trip where I won't get internet access.