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4 Apps for Predicting Sunsets & Sunrises

The days are getting longer, and the sun is showing off many colors streaming across the sky. When you see the clouds moving and the colors flashing across the sky, it’s a fantastic feeling to capture it on camera and share your view with the world. The hardest part is…

How Do You Know When The Sunrise or Sunset Will Be Amazing?

That’s where some apps and resources come in to help. With the assistance of weather forecasts, temperatures, cloud coverage, angles, and more, there are several ways to predict the BEST sunrise or sunset.

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SunsetWX – Website For Sunrise & Sunset Prediction


What they say they do:

  • Provide accurate, global sunrise and sunset quality forecasts utilizing proprietary methodologies
  • Serve 37 domestic and international news platforms
  • Partnered with The Weather Channel, where content is shown daily on AMHQ and Weather Underground TV

With a wide variety of regions they cover through their site, this site seems straightforward in helping you predict the next big splash of color across the sky. Also handy with a “how to guide,” the team at SunsetWX provides users a guide to interpreting the data they provide to make it easier for you to get ready for the next sky show!


Skyfire & The Photographer’s Ephemeris App


What they say they do:

  • Sunrise and sunset color forecasting for photographers. Subscription required
  • Provides 3-day custom forecasts using a variety of weather data sources coupled with a proprietary algorithm for determining when the best color will be seen
  • View sunrise and sunset forecasts for today plus two days ahead. Forecasts are updated regularly. Search for your desired location by name, or find your current device location on the map

One of the more popular apps for well-rounded photography tools, this app is excellent for those looking for more precise and integrated calculations for photography. Despite having a price tag, this app is very well-liked and popular for photographers planning their spots ahead of time.


SkyCandy Android & iOS Apps

FREE – In App Purchases

What they say they do:

  • Using a mathematical sky formula, SkyCandy uses historic, current, and future weather data to determine if your next sunrise or sunset will be colorful and vivid. SkyCandy’s sunset forecast system has been tested to be 80% accurate
  • Set fully customized alerts to get notified when an upcoming Sunrise or Sunset is going to be beautiful, colorful, and vivid with Sunrise and Sunset forecast alerts. Save up to 3 locations to receive alerts for in the premium version
  • Using the Sun Position Tool, drop a pin anywhere on the map to know exactly which direction the Sun will be at any time, any date, and any location. Great for photographers that are scouting a photo shoot location and want to know what direction the Sun will be in when they are taking photos

Another app with paid options, the SkyCandy App provides maps and satellite images to help plan your next sunset and sunrise capture. This app seems helpful to not only provide what the sky will be like, but also blue hour times, multiple locations, and positions in the sky.


MySunset Android & iOS App


What they say they do:

  • An interactive map with an overlay showing the forecasted quality of upcoming sunrises and sunsets. By default, your current location is shown on the map. On this screen, you can toggle between sunrise and sunset, change the date, move the map around, and zoom in and out of the map.
  • The second screen is a table showing a list of custom locations. Each location displays a forecast percentage, a corresponding color representing the quality of the sunrise/sunset, and the time of the sunrise/sunset. Add as many custom locations as desired.

Our founder, Virginia, has used this app for a few months and has found it is 50/50 on the predictions for forecasts. This app is free, so it is better than not knowing at all. If you are looking for a “general idea” of what to expect from the sunset or sunrise, this app is perfect.


Tips For Shooting Sunrise or Sunset

Now that you have the resources to predict the best day for a sunrise or sunset, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when capturing and watching them.

  • There is a Golden Hour & Blue Hour
    • The Golden Hour is when the sun is showing off the most vibrant colors! This is typically 15 minutes before and after the sun is rising or setting.
    • The Blue Hour is the hour before a sunrise and the hour after a sunset. This is when the sky has a blue glow and you can typically see the pastel colors across the horizon.
  • Be sure to wait. When you see the vibrant colors of the sunset or the amazing pinks of a sunrise, you want to be patient. Wait around for another 15-20 minutes so you can see if the sun and the angle of the clouds change even more.
  • Have fun! Shooting the sunrise can be hard to get up for in the early morning hours, but make it fun. Take a nap on the beach afterward or camp out the night before.

What You Need To Shoot The Sunrise or Sunset:

We recommend a few different accessories when you’re watching the sun.

Outdoor Blanket

Whether it’s in the early morning hours or late at night, the temperature drops. Bring a handy outdoor blanket with you.

Headlamp for Walking in the Dark

It’s going to be dark either in the morning or at night. Have the right light to see.

Tripod for Timelapse Capture

It’s awesome to get videos of the sunrise or sunset, grab a tripod to put your phone to good use.

Once you have your apps downloaded and your times to set up for an amazing sunrise or sunset, be sure to use the NJspots Map for the best spots for watching. We have dozens of great spots for you to watch the sunset or sunrise in New Jersey. Be sure to check them out and get there early enough to set up for that next great shot!

Other Resources:

Now, that you have some resources to help you predict and get ready for an awe-inspiring sunrise or fire-in-the-sky sunset, this can help you capture the next amazing sky show. Check out these resources and as always, be sure to tag your sunrise and sunset photos with #NJspots on Instagram.

Virginia, NJspots Founder

Founded by Virginia in 2015, NJspots is a place where New Jersey natives and visitors can find amazing photos taken around the state while discovering new spots to explore. With over 227,000 tags used on Instagram, NJspots is the place to go to find your next new spot in New Jersey to adventure to. Virginia has a passion for sharing these great spots and experiences people can have in NJ and also sharing the great photos along the way.

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