Update: This post was originally posted on 28th February 2020 but after changing my website this post had to be re-published due to technical issues.
Now I will hold my hands up and admit I am not the best at planning my photography trips. My planning usually consists of looking at the BBC weather app to see what the forecast is meant to be doing on a particular day. However, I do not use anything else to plan my trips although I am aware that some photographers do a lot of homework before they head out with their camera.
So, if you want to do a bit more thorough research than me here’s what you can do.
The first thing is check the weather whether that is with BBC weather app or another app or website, it’s a good place to start. There is no point getting all sorted to go out if it’s pouring with rain and you can’t actually go out to take photos.
Now this is one I really should do but have never quite got into the habit of. I do check when sunset is expected to be by using the BBC weather app. However, beyond that I have never done any research. Which given there are several apps that all do various things including some that show where the sun sets. This is obviously very advantages when doing landscapes as it allows you plan where you may wish to stand to capture the sunset.
This is another one I don’t do but that is primarily because at the moment I am taking photographs locally and know the area that I am going to. However, if I was going to a completely new area to me then this is probably a check I would do. And I would do so via Google earth as it is free to use and lets you get a rough idea of what sort paths and such there is to use.
Now this is one check I do carry out, because trust me there is nothing more annoying than going out and you’ve let yourself down by not doing an equipment check. What I mean by an equipment check is ensuring that your camera battery is charged, and that if you have a spare battery that it is also charged. If you are taking more than one lens (if your camera has the ability to change lenses) that they are clean and in your bag. If you are going to do long exposure you may need your tripod so ensuring that is in the bag.
Also having items such as a pair of gloves for when the weather is getting colder, a bottle of juice and a snack if you are going to be out for long periods of time. As well as a waterproof jacket in case the weather takes a turn for the worse unexpectedly while you are out.
I would also make sure your phone is fully charged, especially if you are going off the beaten track, because should the worse happen and you become ill or injured you will want a way of calling for help.
That is the top four checks I can think of, of course as I say I don’t do them as much as I probably should. However, if you do them well done you. Or if you can think of any other checks that I haven’t mentioned please do let me know about them.