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Author Topic: Disadvantages of Being an AP: The Weather  (Read 1236 times)
JoeKitchen
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« on: May 09, 2013, 02:08:29 PM »
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So maybe I just need to vent, but the most annoying thing about doing what I do is dealing with the weather.  You would think that having such things as "weather.com" or "accuweather.com" would make it easier, but they are ... well ... inaccurate at least 50% of the time. 

Woke up this morning to hearing rain hit my window and thought I would have to cancel & reschedule this shoot, again, for the third time.  But by the time I got up, it was sunny and beautiful with plenty of time for things to dry out before our start time.  Drove to the location, still mostly sunny.  Arrived with the ground pretty much dry.  Went over the shot list; all but one were exteriors.  And then, the clouds came in.  Full overcast for the rest of the day.  Called it quits around noon.  Even the interior came out looking like crap; amazing how well overcast skies bloom right through the windows regardless of how well you light the space. 

Hopefully the 4th time, this Monday, will be the charm.   Angry
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Harold Clark
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 10:03:09 AM »
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So maybe I just need to vent, but the most annoying thing about doing what I do is dealing with the weather.  You would think that having such things as "weather.com" or "accuweather.com" would make it easier, but they are ... well ... inaccurate at least 50% of the time. 

Woke up this morning to hearing rain hit my window and thought I would have to cancel & reschedule this shoot, again, for the third time.  But by the time I got up, it was sunny and beautiful with plenty of time for things to dry out before our start time.  Drove to the location, still mostly sunny.  Arrived with the ground pretty much dry.  Went over the shot list; all but one were exteriors.  And then, the clouds came in.  Full overcast for the rest of the day.  Called it quits around noon.  Even the interior came out looking like crap; amazing how well overcast skies bloom right through the windows regardless of how well you light the space. 

Hopefully the 4th time, this Monday, will be the charm.   


This is one of the most frustrating parts of the AP business I find, especially if on a tight deadline and you get a bad stretch or worse still, go out like you did only to have conditions change unexpectedly. My cousin is a commercial fisherman and his son is very tuned in to the forecast and fascinated with weather in general, no doubt weather is a common topic of conversation in their house.

Aerials are even more tricky, as there is wind and haze to contend with as well as cloud/precipitation. I don't know about you, but I am always reading the sky, looking at cloud formations and checking the forecast even on days when I am not shooting. I wonder how photographers in the British Isles manage, the percentage of clear days there is lower than North America. I once spent 3 weeks on holiday driving around England, Scotland and Wales and had one day without rain. One of the locals opined that I had been lucky.
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free1000
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 11:02:48 AM »
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Specialist weather services are better for this purpose, and an easy way to access them is via mobile apps.

'Weather Pro'  for the iPhone and Android is incredibly good and a pro subscription allows hourly incremented forecasting. This also has radar and satellite imaging.  With careful use it's very accurate. I have used extensively in UK and Europe, and a few times in the US. I've been told there are better  options for the US, but forgot what they were.
 
The intrinsically chaotic nature of weather means that photography is a waiting game. I have a simple rule, if the client wants good light on the building I need a full day on that location. In that case, this season can be excellent because of the contrasts of showery weather, but there are no short cuts.
 
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 11:16:03 AM »
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If you haven't read it Nate Silver's book "Signal and Noise" has a fascinating chapter on weather prediction and the business influences that change how various weather services present their forecasts.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 07:28:08 PM »
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Weather can be togher for other types of photographers too.

Landscape photographers may even come up against survival issues, not to mention that like arial... you have haze issues
and how weather is a far more subtle besuty factor for landscape. However varialble weather can lead to a session that delivers many different images.

For fashion... add pissed off models if it's a wee bit to cold, hay fever, sunburn, shooting the summer collections in the winter and winter collections in the summer.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 08:12:06 AM »
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If you haven't read it Nate Silver's book "Signal and Noise" has a fascinating chapter on weather prediction and the business influences that change how various weather services present their forecasts.

Looks like an interesting book.  The ebook is more expensive than the hardcover though?  WTF?
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KevinA
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 09:49:57 AM »
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So maybe I just need to vent, but the most annoying thing about doing what I do is dealing with the weather.  You would think that having such things as "weather.com" or "accuweather.com" would make it easier, but they are ... well ... inaccurate at least 50% of the time. 

Woke up this morning to hearing rain hit my window and thought I would have to cancel & reschedule this shoot, again, for the third time.  But by the time I got up, it was sunny and beautiful with plenty of time for things to dry out before our start time.  Drove to the location, still mostly sunny.  Arrived with the ground pretty much dry.  Went over the shot list; all but one were exteriors.  And then, the clouds came in.  Full overcast for the rest of the day.  Called it quits around noon.  Even the interior came out looking like crap; amazing how well overcast skies bloom right through the windows regardless of how well you light the space. 

Hopefully the 4th time, this Monday, will be the charm.   Angry

You got it lucky.
I'm an aerial photographer, I live by the weather forecast. Getting it wrong costs me lots of money.
I can be an hours flying from a site, timing that for the gap in the clouds is an art.
Then of course you get the local effect, big Cities will kick off their own cloud, You can take off in clear blue 10 mins from London, when you arrive 50% cloud and poor visibility.
There's another thing poor vis, try telling the client that beautiful cloudless day wasn't good enough for flying!
I have little sympathy for you ground based photogs, bad weather forecasts costs me thousands every year!!!! :-)
http://kevinallen.photodeck.com/-/galleries/london-aerial-views
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