One Location - Groundhog Day or Not?

The Repeat Location

Within landscape photography, you can find a spot which you first visit and make that great image, then think you’ve used up that spot. The seasons can change a location, as well as the weather conditions.

Many photographers like the idea of sunsets and sunrises, but each morning or evening have different variables, depending on the time of year and where the sun falls, temperature that might cause fog or mist, and if there is cloud cover or not.

All theses things will make for a different scenario for each day that will make a unique image that can be better than the one before, this is a reason to revisit a location.

The Elements

Knowing when the sun is going to rise or fall, is so much easier with apps like the The Photographer's Ephemeris, or better known as TPE, or another app called PhotoPills, which gives you information on what time the sun will rise or fall. This information allows you to arrive before the events happen and be prepared well in advance. A good weather app is also useful to give you information that can determine if the conditions might make a scenario that might work in your favour. But the elements are what they are and you can have good days and bad, that’s all part of landscape photography, the unknown till you arrive.

Lakes and Reservoirs 

The great thing with lakes or reservoirs, is that the temperature can change the effect on the water surface. When the sun rises, the air and ground warm up. This leads to the air temperature being warmer than the dew point temperature, which causes the fog droplets to evaporate. ... As the air cools during the longer night the relative humidity increases, which can result in to fog formation.

Sunrise with the mist lifting at Chew Valley Lake

Sunrise with the mist lifting at Chew Valley Lake

Again some weather apps can give you information of humidity and dew point temperatures, and if you can read this information, that’s good, if not then each time you return to the location, check the data and look at the landscape, which then helps you to understand the data for future reference. 

If the app says cloud cover and then at a certain time then it will be clear later, this might make for a good broken cloud sunrise.

Sun Reflections

Sunrise with reflections on Chew Valley Lake

Sunrise with reflections on Chew Valley Lake

Many will know of the ‘Golden Hour’, but there is something that happen before the sun rises as the sun reflects onto the clouds before it even breaks the horizon, which can make for a great image. Same can be said after the sun has gone down, so it's worth hanging around that bit longer or arriving that bit earlier. The golden hour is from the time the sun rises or falls and at certain times of the year, it won’t last the hour as intended, so check your app for details.

Panoramic or Not

The photographer's kit bag is all down to what they can afford and the lenses are part of that. I have my regular 24-70mm lens and a 18-35mm wide angle lens. With either if the composition is right, you can make a great panoramic image that gives more detail to the image. Todays software can blend two or three images together to make the panoramic image with ease. In your camera settings it's good to have grid visible and then with the use of a tripod you can make sure that each frame has the element that will be the far left, centre and far right to make up the pano image in editing.

Horizontal panoramic sunrise of Chew Valley Lake.

Horizontal panoramic sunrise of Chew Valley Lake.

Panoramic doesn’t have to be horizontal, if you are using a drone, you can create portrait panoramic images that look just as stunning and gives a different dimension to an image.

Vertical panoramic of Chew Valley Lake

Vertical panoramic of Chew Valley Lake

The drone is the new tool in the kitbag and being able to be above the ground gives a new perspective to landscape images. Having both normal camera and drone, is the new way to produce landscape work.

Don’t Give Up On A Location

Landscape photography is partly defined by weather, and each day can bring something new to a site. Even if you only visit once a month or twice a month, you will find a unique image each time. Lakes can be great inspirations and even night time photography with a full moon that falls onto the lake surface can make for a great image.

Cloud formations are one off in looks every morning or evening, combine that with the sun, mist and fog, you have a new recipe every time you visit.