Thursday, June 30, 2011

Location Scouting: Weather

With wrapping up my winter work from the ski, snowboard and outdoor industry, I've been spending countless hours in front of the monitor editing and retouching. Unfortunately, that doesn't make for a lot of great blog posts.

However, this doesn't occupy all of our time. When we're not sorting through the work we've already shot, we're currently planning a series of new shoots in the coming weeks. So, in the name of getting some new info up, I've decided to do a series of posts on our photoshoot production. For this installment, we'll take a quick look at what we do regarding weather forecasting as well as share some of our favorite weather websites.


Nothing can ruin a shoot like bad weather. Be it rain, sun, heat, cold, wind... whatever you're hoping the weather gods will bring you on the day of your shoot, chances are, they'll bring the opposite.

Unfortunately, there's no magic bullet that will take care of everything. In the end it boils down to a lot of work and a little bit of luck. We usually spend several hours a day checking the different forecasts before a big shoot. You can't change the weather once you get a location, but it can help in your planning (wether that be the day you plan the shoot, or how you budget your time over the course of the day once you're already there). By keeping an obsessive vigil on the weather maps and taking an average of what you see, you can usually do a pretty good job of predicting what will be in store for the day of your next big shoot.


Following is a list of our favorite weather sites with a quick description of what each is good for. I know this site seems cliche given its popularity, but it's really pretty accurate

Weather Underground More detailed forecast than with some useful almanac info

NOAA If you're a weather dork, this is your holy grail. However, I've noticed their forecasts have been pretty inaccurate lately... not sure why.

Snow-Forecast For forecasting weather in the mountains, this is one of the best, by far. Great for predicting the strength of storms during the winter months.

Weather Spark This is a new site to me, but so far I'm really enjoying the graphing features and the overall layout. Time will tell how accurate it is though.

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Google Image Search Options

In case you hadn't heard, Google just launched a new image searching tool. This was just brought to my attention a couple of days ago and I finally had a chance to dig into and run a few tests. In short, google users can now upload a photo and search the web to see where it's being used. For photographers, this is a great way to see if your photos are being pirated, stolen or otherwise mis-used. Getty Images has had this technology for a few years, but it's now available to everyone... finally.
google home

I did a couple of tests with photos of mine that have been heavily used and was amazed at how quickly it came up with results. In some cases it even came up with the names of people pictured in the photos.

google 2

Similar search engines such as Tin Eye offer similar search engines (and have been around for much longer). However, I tested numerous images on both platforms, and Google won hands down every time.

It's definitely worth looking into if you're a photographer. Policing your images just got a lot easier.

A big thanks to Erik Seo for giving me the heads up about this. Much appreciated buddy.