New Photo & Tip Monday: Jan 13th, 2014 - Ld

Photo Tip Monday: Jan 13th, 2014

Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? I sure hope you did! Here in Minnesota, we had temperatures in the 30's, which means we were basically all headed to the beach. This meme was floating around Facebook this past week in anticipation for the January thaw

I'd like to tell you that the above meme is false, but 95% of the reason that it's funny is because it's true (that's a statistic I just made up for this post). But seriously, us Minnesotans take our warm weather very seriously, and on Sunday I may or may not have had the windows to my house open most of the day. 

I digress. Why am I talking about weather so much, you ask? Well, for one, I'm a Minnesotan and the weather makes up about 75% of our small-talk conversation topics (another statistic I just made up). Don't believe me? Read this blog post about it. The second reason I'm talking about the weather so much is because it can be an important component in photography. How you wonder? Well, I'm glad you asked! Let me tell you.

In photography, weather can play an important role in how a photograph turns out. Take, for example, this picture I took on the north shore of Lake Superior near Two Harbors, MN. The day started out sunny with not a cloud in the sky, but quickly changed as clouds rolled in off the lake. 

I was walking back to the cabin I was staying at and just happened to turn around and saw this scene. I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time.. To be honest, I feel a lot of photography is luck, but that's another post for another time. 

While some photography is all about catching the weather at the right time, you can also watch the weather and plan a photo outing around a particular phenomenon ahead of time. One example of this is the aurora borealis, which I go into detail about in my photography goals post. Another example also happens to be this Monday's new photo.

The frosty pictures you see on this post is from my most recent photo outing which happened to be at Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield, MN. 

I was off of work the week over Christmas, and we were experiencing ' warm' days (warm being above freezing) and very cold nights. The result of this was foggy mornings (here is your science lesson for the week: how fog is formed). Since the night-time temperatures dropped below freezing, the fog would freeze onto surrounding objects, thus resulting in the gorgeous scenery. 

But Laura! How did you know that would happen? Are you some sort of magic weather genie? Although I do often wish that, it is not the case at all.  The answer is actually much more boring than being some all knowing genie. I knew there would be a lot of fog by watching the weather forecasts, as mentioned above. The particular morning I went out, the county I live in and surrounding counties were under a dense fog advisory that particular morning,  and I was alerted to it by notifications I have set up on my phone. As soon as I got notification, I argued with myself for a little bit on whether or not to get out of bed, but ultimately decided it would be worth it, and I am SO glad I did. 

You don't have to have a meteorology degree in order to know when particular weather phenomenons might be occurring. Following weather sites such as and NOAA are great places to start. With standard weather patterns such as fog, frost, rain, etc, meteorologists can predict those a couple days in advance (whether or not they're right is another story and I don't take responsibility for that). 

If you're looking for more long term weather watching to see overall seasonal trends (when is the average first snowfall date, typically when does such-and-such flower start blooming in the spring), that is something called phenology, and something I am VERY interested in as a nature photographer. But that is for another blog post (hint, a blog post in the very near future). 

Do you have any stories or tips about watching the weather in relation to photography? I'd love to hear about it!

Happy photographing!

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