Photographic sunlight map

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Photographic sunlight map

Postby Getafix » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:21 pm

When we moved into our new place early last year, there was a quite a big area of lawn out the back and a small but useable front yard, with neither having much in the way of trees, shrubs or garden beds, so we pretty much had a clean slate to work with. As i thought about what i could plant in different areas, i found it hard to work out what would happen to the sunlight in the garden as the seasons changed. That area has plenty of sun now, but what about winter? When that deciduous tree loses it's leaves, how much sunlight will get through? Just how big a shadow will that fence cast? I then found that when winter came and i could see the effect on the amount of sun hitting the garden, i couldn't remember where the sunlight reached during summer! :(

So i have now started taking photos of different parts of the garden, from different angles and at different times of the day and different times of the year, in order to record the pattern of sunlight for future reference when deciding if a plant will get the appropraite amount of sun in a given spot. The beauty of digital cameras is that it automatically records the date and time of day making organisation on the computer much easier, and by adding tags to them i can easily organise them on the basis of the particular part of the garden, a particular time of day or a particular season. The results have been quite surprising at times, and once i have a full year recorded, i will only have to make occasional changes as trees grow taller or get heavily pruned.

A year long project but well worth it! :D
Check my garden out on MyFolia:

http://myfolia.com/gardener/Getafix
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Re: Photographic sunlight map

Postby Getafix » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:56 pm

It just occurred to me that you could actually get all the photos you needed in only 6 months if you timed it right from solstice to solstice, were diligent enough to get photos on a regular basis, and also had enough sunny days to get enough "data points". There would however be some difference in shading from deciduous plants depending on which side of winter you were taking the photos
Check my garden out on MyFolia:

http://myfolia.com/gardener/Getafix
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Re: Photographic sunlight map

Postby pgressent » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:18 pm

hey Getafix,

sounds like great fun,

another way is,

when we were kids we just stuck a stick in the ground.

if your property is flat, in the middle of your lawn. cement a 50mm water pipe. leaving exactly 1 metre out of the ground.

when its set. any day in winter at 12noon the shadow will near enough point to due south. mark east west by digging 6" pavers with the corners following the latitude.

a week before equinox, put tent pegs at the end of your shadows hourly, two hourly works ok.
on equinox adjust pegs if the sun is shining, measure the lenght of the shadow, degree from the latitude plot on a graph
http://www.paperprintout.com/freePrintouts.php?paperCategory=Graph_Paper

do the same at the summer and winter solstice. dont forget daylight savings in summer. 11 = 1 or 12 or 10, or 2 = 1 or something. i hate daylight savings twice a year. once i hate it it for six moths, the other time, i only hate it for six months.

once everthings marked on your graph
that will instantly give you your shadow lenghts and arcs at your location, as long as you only grow plants that are 1M tall.

make a removable table top to put on your post for when its just a post.
ive got a fake marble (plastic) tabletop with a sundial glued onto the middle of it.
if your so inclined, dig pavers in, with the corners at the end of the shadows, with the other corner following the line of the shadow. call the whole area waterpipehenge.

google stuff. soon youll be able to calculate the length of a shadow on a given day/time for a known height.
then it will just be a matter of time before you can calculate the height of a plant by measuring the length of its shadow.
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Re: Photographic sunlight map

Postby Pam » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:32 am

Congratulations on your win, Rhys. :D
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Re: Photographic sunlight map

Postby Getafix » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:22 am

Thanks Pam...although i think it might've been for the one with the pots and tiles etc. I've already put the voucher to good use...i've ordered a pair of Felco's that i never would've been able to justify to my wife any other way!
Check my garden out on MyFolia:

http://myfolia.com/gardener/Getafix
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Getafix
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Location: Newcastle, NSW

Re: Photographic sunlight map

Postby Pam » Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:38 pm

Yeah, I wasn't sure which of your posts it was Rhys, only spotted the other one after I'd already posted here.

i've ordered a pair of Felco's that i never would've been able to justify to my wife any other way!


I did the same thing with my 'tool tips' winnings. Could never justify that sort of money to myself, let alone anyone else. :lol: Now that I have them though, they're just fantastic - there's no comparison between these and cheaper cutters.
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