Lux Optics, developers of the excellent Halide iPhone camera app, have released a new app called SkyLight to predict the quality of light in the afternoon golden hour, sunset and afterglow in locations around the world. It is a simple app that in two days of testing has been quite accurate at predicting sunsets in my hometown of Canberra, Australia.
Realistically SkyLight has this one job, and it seems to do it well. It is an app, with widgets, that is great for providing an easy way to check out upcoming light events at a glance. It is also visually appealing—a feature that should be appreciated by landscape photographers everywhere.
It will take some time to get a feel for the app, but comparisons to the excellent SkyFire service from the makers of The Photographer’s Ephemeris show the results are similar. TPE’s SkyFire has the clear advantage of being able to predict conditions for several days in advance, but SkyLight is limited to the current day’s sunset. Being a web-based app, TPE SkyFire is better suited to advance planning, but Skylight is the easy way to check out the predictions for that day.
I suspect longer term planning might be a planned feature for a future SkyLight update, and I hope the developers might consider some additional feature ideas:
- Predictions for the morning blue hour, golden hour and sunrise
- Predictions for night sky conditions for astro-photography (and perhaps even aurora conditions)
SkyLight is a simple and effective planning tool for landscape photographers and will certainly take its spot on my iPhone.