May 092013
 

Photographers tools are wide ranging and varied from photographic equipment and accessories to post-processing software.

Landscapes photographers are forever on the lookout for views and conditions that add mood and atmosphere to their shots.

Sceilig Mhichíl, Kerry

Near vertical rock-face of Sceilig Mhichíl, Kerry

The image on the left is a shot from a planned day trip to Sceilig Mhichíl. Weather conditions were very changeable – from heavy mist to bright sunshine and although it wasn’t a total washout, it could have produced better results in some of the photographs if conditions were different. A boat trip in a heavy swell with strong wind is not the ideal when trying to protect cameras and lenses from salt spray and rain.

Similarly, local knowledge can give a photographer a different view point, change perspective and the entire batch of photographs from a shoot.

Planning

Optimum light and weather conditions coupled with local knowledge are invaluable but not always possible.

A couple of useful alternatives are…

  • Google Maps and Street View; together they provide mapping and a facility to plan a route by drawing an overlay, connecting points and using place markers for notes and links.
  • Coastal Helicopter provided by the OPW has photographed the coast of Ireland – it shows coastal topography.
  • SunCalc, a java app created by Vladimir Agafonkin is an overlay for google maps that provides information on the position of the sun and the angle of it’s light from sunrise to sunset all year round with adjustments for daylight saving. It also carries a link to weather conditions on the marked location on wolframalpha.com
  • Met Eireann provides a reasonably accurate 5 day forcast for Ireland
  • MetCheck gives a weather breakdown by area
  • High / low tides and moon phases are listed on Irish Sailing with variations from Primary Ports to Secondary Ports

What secret or not so secret resources do you use to guage conditions and / or identify locations for landscape photography?

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