You see a great photo and you think to yourself: I would like to visit this spot and get my own photo of the view.
St.Monans in Scotland is one of these places. It has a beautiful harbour wall jutting out towards open water. Best time to visit is during bad weather when water will splash over the wall and create a great effect. I have been planning a visit for a long time and used the Blood Moon at the end of September as my recce.
You can plan every detail of your visit months in advance. Using satellite photos and Google street view you can look at the place from every angles and decide on places to get good photos from. You can use The Photographer’s Ephemeris to see where the sun with set and where the moon will come up. You can use Time and Date to see the moon direction and height it should reach. With the Leith tide times you can plan to get the date to align with either low or high tide. You can use the MetOffice and multiple other weather website to try and keep a eye on the weather to not waste your time closer to the date as you normal have a 3 days window with moon cycles.
BUT you can do nothing when a curve ball hits you. The Forth road bridge being closed came at the worse possible time. I ended up taking a detour which took a 1h45min drive to 3 hours and we ended up arriving late thanks to the SatNav and the detour. Sunset was at 1530, we arrived at 1600. We walked to the spot and it was pouring with rain, not light misty rain but torrential rain and wind. The heavens opened up and soaked us through all our layers in minutes. After every photo we have to wipe the lenses (I used 2 cameras) before taking another one. My one cameras on a light tripod got blown over by the wind and after 5 minutes we called it. Went and stood under a roof and eventually gave up and walked to the car. Of course our bad luck wasn’t done just yet as the car wouldn’t unlock, water must have gotten into the key. A bit of blowing and rubbing the the key dry we got in. Soaked photographer, soaked bags and soaked equipment. We sat and decided what to do next and decided on Fish and Chips supper. As we drove away it stopped raining and as the sunset and the blue hour was gone so we kept driving.The stars came out and it stayed out for the 3 hours drive home and we cursed our luck all the way home.
Why do we do this hobby called photography you have to ask yourself? My answer is: If there is a slight possibility to get that 1 photo that’s a keeper then driving for 7 hours, getting soaked to the skin and have a long planned trip fail; it’s always worth it!
Below are the only 2 photos that was usable, they all had water drops on them but with some Photoshop work 2 photos became one and 3 photos became 1.
Jacques le Roux …