Prince Philip and the Photographers' ephemeris.

January 19, 2019  •  1 Comment

I don't really want to dwell on this recent bit of news as any sane person will tell you (in a heartbeat) that any 97 year old should not (of course) be driving on public roads, especially if that 97 year old has spent much of the last 70 or so years being driven around by a chauffeur.

I'd go further than taking his licence off him to be honest, I'd abolish the monarchy at the same time... but that's a different story.

What I DID want to briefly draw your attention to is the notion that the 97 year old was "dazzled by the winter sunshine" as he attempted to join the A149 south, from the B1439 from the Sandringham Estate at about 1500hrs last Thursday.

I happen to use an app on my phone called "The Photographer's Ephemeris" (or TPE).

It's a superb wee thing to show any landscape photographer where the sun or moon is likely to be in the sky at any given time on any given day at any given place.

I use it to get shots a bit like this:

Winter dawnWinter dawn

Or this

Fly me to the moonFly me to the moon

You (or I?!) get the picture.

It's incredibly useful and I use it regularly.

Yesterday I saw that the Sun (newspaper) reported that the Duke was dazzled by winter sun and even gave us a handy diagram of HOW he was dazzled by the sun.

It seemed quite strange at the time to me that he was dazzled by the winter sun in the PIGGING NORTHERN SKY.... so I checked for myself on my TPE app.

The bottom line is that whilst the Duke of Earl (or whatever he's called) was perhaps driving towards the low sun along the B1439 from the Sandringham Estate, intending to stop (obviously?!) at the T junction with the A149 to head south along the 60MPH speed limit A road towards Kings Lynn, there is no way he could have been dazzled by the winter sun at the junction LOOKING NORTH up the road he was intending to join to see the oncoming traffic. The sun was in another part of the sky - and the Sun's (newspaper's) diagram is (again, of course) completely incorrect.

And OK, whilst its fair to say that my Google map streetview screenshots (below) of Prince Philip's view from his Range Rover at the crash site junction were taken in the summer, it was his view at the time of the crash last Thursday, minus the foliage of course.

Reminds me of a near miss I had t'other day as I crossed a petrol station forecourt on foot and had to jump out of the way of a car which suddenly reversed towards me at speed.

I tapped his driver's window with my hand as he went past, pointed to my eyes and mouthed at him "open your eyes please".

Instead of him apologising though... he wound down his window and shouted "I COULDN'T SEE YOU AS YOU'RE WEARING BLUE!" to me.

I laughed and said " YEAH? I'm 6 foot 3 and wearing a stripey hat and you REALLY can't see me?" and walked away shaking my head, smiling.




Like I say, I hope they at least take Philip's licence from him and better still, abolish the monarchy whilst they're at it.

But you know what... with us forelock tugging, cap-doffing Brexit Brits... I don't think I'll ever see that happen.



Anyway, there you go - forget the royal crash t'other day. This was not meant to be a rant against 100 year old drivers nor a rant against the royal family.


If you  DO photograph a lot of landscapes - you probably already know about TPE.

And if you hadn't heard of it before now - what are you waiting for? Download it! It's free!






Filbert Cobb(non-registered)
I know that road. At the time I thought it impossible to be dazzled looking northish towards traffic coming from Dersingham - but it may be that the old chap was dazzled if he looked southish first. Who knows?

The Meeja often get things wrong in this regard. There was a wonderful moment in "Hinterland" when the Sun rose over Cardigan Bay, as seen from the promenade at Aberystwyth. 'Twas a very bleak and serious drama - Cymru-noir - but it made I laff.
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