Google Earth Ground Level View – There are lots of great site scouting tools out there. But while PhotoPills and Photographer’s Ephemeris do a great job and are packed with useful features, photographer Tony Northrup explains why he prefers to use something else that’s completely free: Google Earth.
Northrop still uses PhotoPills and TPE, but as he explains at the beginning of the video above, he doesn’t know of any mobile apps that can paint the full picture when you’re searching for a location. So when he’s doing serious research before traveling or taking photos, he prefers Google Earth for Mac or PC.
Google Earth Ground Level View
Using the ground-level view (not Street View) in the app, you can navigate to a location, change your “focal length” by zooming in and out, and set a specific day and time for the sun. And you can draw the location of the Milky Way. You can also see “eye height” in the lower right corner. In other words: you can fix your exact configuration by walking around a real 3D view of the location you intend to shoot.
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Watch the full video demo of Google Earth in action as a location scouting tool, or grab a copy for yourself here. And if you have any additional venue tips to share, leave them in the comments! Many styles of photography benefit from planning a shot in advance, whether that means sketching out ideas in the studio, taking some casual smartphone photos beforehand, or composing one. Schedule and list of shots to record. For landscape photographers, planning is an essential part of the process, mainly because it will improve your efficiency and help you get the shot you want in the right place at the right time. There’s nothing better than personal experience with a location to know where to go and when to plan a particular shot, but using Google Earth is a good option.
Google Earth, or specifically for the purposes of this article, Google Earth Pro, is like the big brother of Google Maps – a tool that you are familiar with for everyday use. Google Earth, on the other hand, is a downloadable application that takes mapping and satellite imagery to a more sophisticated level. Working in the same way as Google Maps, you can easily find places and how to get there, but with Google Earth, you can more effectively find visual points and help spot lights. You can also change the time of day. I am looking to do. For situation photographers, this means you can easily scout locations and get an idea of the lighting at a particular time of day – before you visit.
An example of how this would be helpful: Let’s say you’re planning a trip to a national park and try to get through the park in one day while you’re there (because you have a busy schedule, of course). You only have one chance at sunset somewhere; Is it better to be at one end of the park or the other? You can get this general information from other sources, of course, but beyond just getting a sense of the light, you can also find specific vantage points in a place that will help you get where you’re going. It would be more time-efficient to shoot your dream sunset 25 minutes’ drive from the parking lot or just a five-minute walk from the special entrance. Fill in the features as you see fit, but the bottom line is that Google Earth Pro can help increase efficiency when you’re working in unfamiliar places.
So how do you use Google Earth Pro? Well, for starters, the desktop version is what you’re looking for and it’s available for Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Both web and mobile (non-Pro Google Earth) versions are available, but they won’t have the same features as the desktop version. Once you have it installed, you may want to start clicking around and looking for places to hang it. At first, you’ll find it’s an intuitive app, but it can feel overwhelming because of the number of controls and additional tools available beyond what you’re used to with Google Maps.
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One of the most useful features of Google Earth for photographers is switching between aerial and 3D views; And 3D views are more than street views, especially for landscape applications. Using topographic maps and satellite imagery, 3D rendering of the ground surface helps you place locations out of the way. Aerial photography is something you probably already use and is great just for getting coordinates and a quick overview of your surroundings. It’s a quick way to see where a nearby cliff is, then switch to 3D mode to see what the view looks like from above. Additionally, if you’re working from the street or in more urban areas, Google Earth Pro will still use Street View imagery, so you’ll have a visual representation of the scene.
With the weather option checked and unchecked, you can imagine how cloud cover will affect the shooting conditions – today is a very sunny day in Brooklyn, New York.
The next major part of Google Earth Pro to familiarize yourself with is the Layers panel. Most of the options here are pretty self-explanatory and include options for photos, roads, 3D buildings, borders and labels, weather and more. All of these options will make sense with some tweaking, but one of the most important options for photographers is time. This option can use predictive information to help predict cloud problems related to the subject you are photographing. The layers panel also lets you quickly get information about the places you’re going, find out if there are local roads that can help you get to your chosen location, and determine which can help you decide what subject you want to photograph. to become. Concealed by a building or other object.
View of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York in one day, taken at intervals between 6:36 and 17:24.
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Another important tool for a photographer to use is the time of day slider, which allows you to move the position of the sun in relation to time to see what the shadow will look like in a certain location at a certain time. Mo reached out to them.
Finally, there is the ability to switch between ground view and street view, especially for taking photos around populated areas. The ground-level view will be a 3D view of the scene, while the street-level view will use Google’s own photography to show the scene as it appears in real life. If you’re photographing a man-made object in a populated area, a street view is the way to get a realistic view, but a ground-level view gives insight into the lighting.
It shows the difference between ground level and street view in Ventura, California, and then the resulting image. Note how the ground-level rendering completely omits the pier and flag, which form the main subjects of the finale.
Google Earth Pro has many additional features and functions that can keep you busy for hours. Another thing worth noting is that all your searches can be saved using the Locations tab, so you’ll be able to keep track of your favorite shooting locations and places you want to visit. This information will then be available in the mobile app, so you can transfer it to the same location when the time comes.
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Do you have experience using Google Earth Pro for your photography? What tips can you share about this app? Do you have any favorite features or tools for the app? Let us know in the comments section below.
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