I caught some great sunset photos last week and got the bug to shoot more. I vaguely knew about “magic hour” (a.k.a. “golden hour”) for photos and wanted a want to remind myself of when that time was coming up. But it’s a bit tricky since it’s not at the same time every day. But I found a perfect app that solves the problem in a stylish way.
Sol by Juggleware is a clock app that is specifically tailored to tracking the Sun. Not it’s location in space (at least not yet), but rather where it is in the sky relative to Earth. A digital sundial Swiss Army knife if you will. In a visual manner, Sol shows you how much daylight is left (or inversely, how much night is left), marking off major events in the Sun’s transit in the sky—solar noon, solar midnight, dawn, dusk/twilight, and of course morning and afternoon “magic hour”.
The killer feature here are the alarms. Since the sun does not set at the same time each day, you can’t set a repeating alarm to remind you of “magic hour” or the setting of the sun. But Sol has an ingenious alarm system that was crafted perfectly—it allows you to set alarms based on the Sun’s location and the related events like sunset. Alarms can be set relative to these events. For example, I have an alarm set to remind me an hour before “magic hour” begins, so I can take a walk or a bike ride to an ideal location to shoot some photos.
And since I’ve discovered that magic hour is perfect for shooting photos of sunlight on things, but not quite for sunsets themselves, I also have an alarm set to remind me just before the sunset is about to happen. Although if I am already out for magic hour, this is pretty tough to miss! I’m just covering all the bases. The alarms are well-thought-out and give you fine-grained control over exactly when you are alerted, if the alarm should repeatedly nag you, and even some flowery (but not too flowery) custom chime sounds.
The app also has a good reference section explaining what all the terms mean, and an excellent in-app help section. There are also overviews of the “Sun stats” for the day, including basic info for solstices and equinoxes.
If this kind of app sounds even remotely interesting to you, you’ll be pleased with the purchase. I had a tough time even finding a similar app, but since Sol does what I wanted perfectly, there’s really no reason to look any further.