Monday, February 21, 2011
You hear all the time about how some of the best landscape photography is taken during bad weather. I think that's true, but only to an extent. If you're in the middle of a blizzard you're just not going to see much of anything. Of course this isn't an exact science, but the trick is to get outside for that dramatic shot, preferably without freezing to death, or getting struck by lightning, or being clobbered by a killer wave. There's another photographer in this area who has posted multiple times about how he made the decision to head out for a shoot after watching the radar picture. He never mentions his source for a radar picture, but it must be great judging from his success rate and the quality of his photos.
This weekend I tried to increase my chances of getting dramatic shots by using weather.com - Click the map tab on the page for the area that you're searching. The quality of the feed varies from region to region, probably depending on the frequency of Doppler picture updates received from different radar stations. In the U.S. you can get map updates every five minutes. Use the replay function and try out your own forecasting skills to predict when and where that break between storm cells is going to fall. It worked for me this weekend, well... I guess two out of three tries isn't too bad. This probably won't work so well outside of the U.S and Canada. The site only gives three-hour steps for Paris, London, Beijing, Mexico City, Calcutta, Moscow, and probably most everywhere else on Earth. And I'm sorry to report that I couldn't find a picture for Jalalabad, Pakistan... Sorry Osama, no weather report for you!
Canon EOS 5D
Focal Length: 16mm
Exposure: 8/10 second