When I first thought about going to Castlepoint and looked at the possibilities, I looked at Google Earth and saw the moon rising over the reef. In fact the image on Google Earth that day looked pretty close to the image above. Virtual scouting is a valuable tool to have in your kit bag.
This looks similar to another image I have made earlier. But this is the first time I have been able to get the version with the moon in, looking just as I wanted to. There is something very serene about seeing the moon against the early morning, brightening sky. So when I saw this as a potential image I knew what was at the top of my shot list.
So what tools can we use for virtual scouting. Well there is quite a few, the already mentioned Google Earth (including features to show where the sun rays will light up as it rises and sets), the Photographer's Ephemeris which will provide rise and setting times and angles, and Photopills just to name a few. With a little practice you can get quite good and seeing the potential interesting areas to shoot in. Even topographical maps are good at helping you find features of interest.
There is more to come on this, stay tuned.