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RIZON | App Review

The easiest way for photographers to track Golden Hour.


Rizon, for iOS, is an app for photographers to easily track Golden Hour.

As a photographer, I am no stranger to Golden Hour. In fact, it has to be one of my favorite things. As the sun sets (usually all-too-quickly), the light transforms and suddenly you start to see the world differently. Golden hues of honey gleaming towards you from the horizon and shadows falling gracefully and in all the right places, then suddenly it's gone into the deep blueness of twilight. It's easy to get lost in the realm of time chasing of the perfect Golden Hour scene. Rizon caught my attention and I thought any help I could have with Golden Hour would be appreciated. Here's what I found. 

Wascana Lake in Regina, Saskatchewan, minutes before twilight transitions into golden hour. 

Over the years, I find that I use my smartphone less and less. I don't play games and usually need to remind myself to use the trusty camera on the back of my iPhone 5S. I used to fit into the fold of mobile power users and quite often would delve into the gnarly corners of the jailbreak world, but those days have passed. Now, when I download an app and it lasts more than a week on my homescreen, I know it's something worth talking about. Rizon is one of those apps. 

Rizon was developed by a photographer/designer and a developer with photography in mind. It gives users the ability to easily track the sun to find the optimal time for photography, anywhere in the world. I figured it was worth $2.99 to try, so I downloaded it to do some tests. Rizon is currently only available on iOS.

Immediately, I took liking to the smooth, slick interface and minimal setup requirements. Rizon did need access to some parts of my device and once granted, it pulled up my location immediately. 

It took a little getting used to; it's almost like checking a clock for the time only to find it's not a normal clock. After fumbling around the interface, it didn't take long to see how to control the dial and understand the readings. 

The day is split into segments: Moonlight, Twilight, Golden Hour, and Daylight. As you rotate the dial, the time indicates when each phase begins and ends with the current time being designed by a small colored dot. Below the dial sits two times corresponding to the start and end times of the selected phase. 

At this point, I think I was more impressed by the interface than the actual data it pitched to me. Now that I knew how to operate the main function, I started looking around to see what else I could tinker with. This is where the product really comes together; built-in notifications and alerts really make this good-looking app great. 

Rizon allows you to create custom alerts.

Rizon allows for setting recurring reminders for Golden Hour. 

I'm often sidetracked either with life or anything that distracts my short attention span, so it is nice to have something to keep me mindful of where the sun is. Rizon allows you to set up custom reminders for different days, locations, and also boasts offline-capability.

Many days, I set off for work right around 6am. Now that the leaves are changing colors, that is right around when the sun comes up. If i'm panicking to get my things ready for the day, it's nice to have a notification on my phone to let me know in case I want to stop with my Canon before work, which has happened a few times lately. Any help I can get to capture stunning sunrises and sunsets is welcomed with open arms. 

What tools do you use to help better your photography? Leave a comment below for your helpful tricks. 


Dustin Veitch2 Comments