Skyfire – Useful Tool to Predict Colorful Sunrises and Sunsets?

SProbably one of the most filmed events in nature are sunrises and sunsets. When the sky turns to fire, I don’t know of too many people that could turn their back to it and not film it.

The problem is that colorful sunrises and sunsets are hit and miss. Sometimes it looks like you may have a spectacular one only for clouds to move in and hide the sun. I’ve also had situations where everything looked perfect and then the clouds literally vanished as the sun sank towards the horizon.

Recently I discovered a new tool that may help predict when a colorful sunrise and sunset may occur. It’s called Skyfire.

Skyfire uses algorithms to predict cloud cover and type and gives the probability in percentages of colorful sunrises and sunsets.

I use Skyfire as part of the app Photographers Ephemeris. While not foolproof with time I think this will be a good asset in determining where I need to be to get a colorful sky.

The image below shows the prediction for a colorful sunrise the morning I am writing this at 10% by Indian Creek Nature Center. The image at the top of this post is the sunrise we actually had this morning.  So I would say that is a better than 10% chance but as with any new technology, it takes some time to get the kinks worked out.


And as always, shoot the ordinary and make it extraordinary!

Kevin J Railsback is a wildlife and nature filmmaker

By | 2016-11-06T09:38:56+00:00 April 22nd, 2016|Categories: A to Z Challenge 2016|4 Comments

About the Author:

Award-winning filmmaker Kevin J Railsback has traveled as far as Africa to test HD cameras for Panasonic. His stunning nature and wildlife footage has appeared in productions on National Geographic, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel as well as in commercials for such corporate giants as AT&T.


  1. Arti April 24, 2016 at 3:38 am - Reply

    This looks useful. Thank you.

    • Kevin J Railsback April 28, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      It’s nice to be able to know where and when to be in position to get a good sunrise and sunset that’s for sure!

  2. Mandy April 25, 2016 at 11:53 am - Reply

    That’s awesome that there’s an app for that! I’ll have to check it out. I adore a great sunrise/sunset! 🙂

    • Kevin J Railsback April 28, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply


      They say they are accurate about 80% of the time. It’s one more tool in the toolbox to get better nature imagery!

Leave A Comment

CommentLuv badge
Filmmaking Naturally uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 5 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)