Sexy niche apps are totally my thing, so when someone threw me a heads up on Rizon, I was in the App Store and downloading it in no time. Rizon, by developers Sam King and Malolan Santhanakris, bills itself as "Your Golden Hour Companion," the golden hour being photographer-speak for the two brief times in a day when your photos taken outside don't look like garbage— this thanks to picture pleasing color temperatures, the diffusion of light, and the long soft shadows created by the angle of the sun just after and just before morning and evening twilights.
Visually, Rizon is strikingly attractive, I mean it— Rizon is hot stuff. Borrowing the palette of a DSLR camera, Rizon drapes itself in black, with sharp orange highlights and edgy white typography snapping on the surface. Focused on one task, Rizon greets the user with a large clock surrounded by a dial divided into 4 sections. Dominating the dial is a white arc— or daytime, which in most cases is as flattering to photos as it is to vampires. Next are two small ticks of orange, or the "Golden Hours," followed by similarly small sections of gray, representing twilight (another potentially photographer-friendly time of day), and finally, a long thin arc for moonlight. Spinning the dial forward highlights the position of the sun, and thus angle and expanse of light throughout the day, until eventually the dial reaches your next projected golden hour. Clever as Rizon's ring is, the need for manipulating it is made largely superfluous since Rizon simply prints your next golden hour just below it. Even better, skip the app altogether by setting up a notification alert for a pending golden hour, a task that Rizon smartly makes easy to create and customize.
Rizon is so singularly focused, and so well executed, there's frankly little room for finding fault, other than perhaps for having such focus. It's true, outside the most ardent of photographers, most will likely never have need of an app like Rizon, but for those few— Rizon is one more practical tool in your taking better photos toolkit.Rizon requires iOS 8.0 and is optimized for the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.