Not always according to plan…
It doesn’t matter how much you plan a photoshoot, there is always one big aspect that you can’t control and that is the weather. Yesterday was a nice example of that.
Weather Forecasting and planning
After almost two weeks of grayness, it would finally be sunny again (at least, that is what the forecast at different websites told us). Even the cloud radar looked promising. Nathan and I were planning a nice sunrise shoot at a beautiful location, which ment we had to get up super early. We used software and google maps to find a perfect spot were the sun would show up, and hoped for some nice clouds in the sky. The place we had in mind was dismissed the day before because the cloud cover remained in that part of the country. According to the radar, only the north (where we both live) would have clouds and sun. Using Google and The Photographer’s Ephemeris (a really cool tool to see where the sun rises and sets) we found a nice place to go to. It wasn’t as far as the other place so instead of 4.30, I set the alarm at 5.20.
Waking up in grayness
When my alarm went, I looked out of the window and it was flat gray. No texture in the sky, no open spots, just grayness. I tried to check the cloud radar again but somehow it was stuck at the night before. It seemed like they didn’t refresh the website. So without that working, I texted Nathan about this and we decided to go, hoping that the cloud cover would only be above our city. Some 40 minutes later we parked the car. It was still dark but we could clearly see the same overcast as back home. That didn’t look good!
White and gray
We set off to where we wanted to shoot and found that it would’ve been quite stunning if the weather had been good, especially because there was snow. Now it just looked dull and miserable. Also, it was cold and windy. From time to time it looked like there was some texture in the sky but that was just to tease us. Nothing worthy changed and we didn’t even see a slight color shift during sunrise. We decided that it was a good idea to scout the area a little more, for future shoots and to look for old (or dead) trees. Maybe there was still an image to be taken. This way it didn’t feel totally useless to get out this early. When you find yourself in this situation just try to enjoy the walk, enjoy being in nature and scan the area for future shoots!
Exploring and being outdoors
Even though there wasn’t really an image for us to take, we enjoyed the walk and the beautiful area. It is important to lay focus on this aspect as well. If you do so, you won’t heave the feeling that it was all for nothing. After this walk and after we tried taking some photos. We went to a different area, just to see whether it was something for a future shoot. This area looked really promising and we will definitely return. But it also had a really nice surprise for us in store. This area has different sections of forest, heather, streams and two beautiful fens. And the coolest thing, Highland cows!
Highland cows play an important role in Dutch nature reserves. Especially in areas where there is heather. Highland cows can be outside all year round and the don’t need extra food. They are though and can witstand freezing temperatures with ease. These cows eat away young vegetation that would otherwise overgrow the heather fields. So they play a vital role in landscape conservation. Apart from their function, they look stunning! Especially in a frozen landscape!
These particular cows were really curious, and mostly peaceful (except for when they have young), but they are also very big and you don’t want to be knocked over or anything. It is always smart to pay attention when working with large animals. Don’t walk straight towards them, don’t stair, and let them do the exploring. You are in their place so behave accordingly. Also, know when it is time to leave.
No day spend in nature is a wasted day
We were lucky to encounter these highland cows because that gave us a chance to get our shot. And, at in this area, I found the tree I was looking for (which will be revealed at a later moment). Most of the time though, this is not the case. You often will get home empty handed. But still, when this happens, try to enjoy being outside and try to look for places that you can use for future shoots. And remember, no day spend in nature is a wasted day!