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Landscape photography - any weather watching tips

psiman 14 571 Wales
22 Dec 2005 12:49AM
I'd appreciate any help or advice from all of you fantastic landscape photographers on this site (is that enough crawling?).

I'm intending to take the opportunity over the Christmas and New Year break to get out early and do some landscape photography (reading another thread, Curbar Edge sounds good, especially with the prospect of breakfast at the Hathersage Swimming Pool Caf!). Now I know that with landscape photography you have to trust in God/Mother Nature/ Chaos Theory/.. INSERT YOUR ANSWER HERE... but, as within reason I can pick the days when I'm going, I'd love to hear how others maximise the chances of picking the right time and location for those stunning landscapes.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
22 Dec 2005 12:52AM
As a fellow landscape bodger I recommend finding a good tog who knows the area......
keithh Plus
13 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
22 Dec 2005 12:54AM
Turn up...set up.....and wait.

and that's it really.

The most important aspect will be to check the opening times of the cafe over xmas.
chrisfroud 12 521
22 Dec 2005 12:58AM
And check which direction the sunrise/sunset will be from to make sure you don't turn up early somewhere for it all to be in shadow (when you could've had another couple hours sleep!)

digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
22 Dec 2005 1:00AM
According to ForecastFox, Curbar is supposed to be partly cloudy right through until at least Tuesday. Clouds are good for decent skies, as long as they don't cover from horizon to horizon.

As the maestro has said, turn up, set up and wait. I would just channge wait to wait whilst munching on bacon butties prepared the previous night.

Have fun.

conrad 13 10.9k 116
22 Dec 2005 1:02AM
I wonder if Simon is referring to a question I've been struggling with as well, namely if there is any way to predict that on a certain day the sunrise will be more interesting than on other days. Any ideas, or do all of you just take a chance and hope for the best?

railton 15 304
22 Dec 2005 1:03AM
metcheck.com gives good local weather predictions, and be in position approx half hour before sunset/sunrise for general landscape shots, dull flat sky for details (no sky), rivers etc.
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
22 Dec 2005 1:03AM
Sods law number 39 of photography says The sunrise will always be more interesting on the days you don't go.

My own view is you just adapt to the situation on the day you do go. :0)

strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
22 Dec 2005 1:05AM
I look at the weather forecast overnight. If it sounds interesting then I give it a go. But it helps if you learn how the light moves over your subject, so going on a not so good day is not wasted as you can still get an idea of shadows.

I like the thought of a frosty night with light clouds.

But then I am far from expert.
keithh Plus
13 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
22 Dec 2005 1:06AM
No, Conrad is the simple answer.

The forecast I look for most often is 'Sun and Showers (with occasional heavy downpours.). That way you stand more chance of the light cutting occasionally rather than simply being there. The biggest mistake people make, although for some it seems popular, is to do your photography when the sky is alight and yet there is no light on the land. Which makes for an image of two halves...the bottom of which is rubbish.
chrisfroud 12 521
22 Dec 2005 1:06AM
I don't think there's anything simple you can do to predict how spectacular a sunset/sunrise will be. In general you need a certain amount of broken cloud that will light up or the display will be over in seconds as the sun climbs above the horizon. Given a bit of cloud this will light up really well just before and as the sun is rising.

psiman 14 571 Wales
22 Dec 2005 1:07AM
Thanks all, good advice (particularly like the bacon butties suggestion Wink), actually Conrad's hit the nail on the head and not just sunrises but sunsets, mist on water or low lying over hills and all those other wonderfully clichd conditions we love so much.

Quote:And check which direction the sunrise/sunset will be from to make sure you don't turn up early
I'm hoping Mother Christmas has taken the hint and I'm going to find a Sunposition Compass in my stocking (otherwise there'll be tears!)


Bloody hell you lot are fast on the old keyboards!
chrisfroud 12 521
22 Dec 2005 1:09AM
For mist you need high relative humidity over night (~ 95%) and very low wind speed so that it doesn't drift away!

Agree with Keith's comment - I've been disappointed by no end of photos where the sky is spectacular but the land is dark. I think this is often why water is a popular subject with landscapers because as soon as the sun is up you'll get light reflecting from it.

conrad 13 10.9k 116
22 Dec 2005 1:12AM
Ian's remarks about sods law no. 39 seem to make sense - since I was already familiar with Murphy, this also seems to ring a bell, somehow - and I had expected Keith's simple answer. But thanks for sharing your favourite forecast as well, Keith, that's basically the info I was after!

pfheyes 13 254 1 United Kingdom
22 Dec 2005 1:23AM
In addition to the metcheck website, I recommend this one. . It's a mountain forecast for the Lake District, Snowdonia, Peak District and the Scottish Highlands. It's quite detailed and gives an idea of what the trend will be during the day and of any potential differences in each national park.

As always, you can't use these things as gospel, just as a guide, and it's down to what you find when you get there and being prepared to be flexible if the weather is pants.


EDIT: I find the changeable weather produces the most interesting results. Clear blue skies are ... well ... dissappointing. :o)

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