Okay, I just read about this new service that’s coming out, Escaype, from some one on 500px.com so I checked out the website. Apparently it’s not fully launched yet, and I haven’t tried it out. But there’s a way to join now because there seems to be a cap on how many they’ll let in right away. And it looked really cool, so I figured I’d do a quick post.
What really caught my eye is that it’s aimed at outdoor photographers who not only want to predict weather, but predict the sky. For me, the sky is such a huge thing that I look for in my landscape photos. The sky can literally make or break a landscape shoot, so the app immediately grabbed me.
The idea of the service looks awesome to me. I can’t count how many times I’ve gone out to shoot and been skunked by blah weather. And let’s face it, weather reports suck. I don’t know about you, but they rarely help me as a photographer. And not only does it seem they’ll have some killer forecasting technology, but the networking abilities to exchange real-time weather info could be huge when you’re planning a shoot. So as soon as I saw it, I was sold… Until…
At $39 / Month I’m not sure I’d do it. I mean that’s about $500 a year. Ouch! I guess when you factor in gas and time savings it could be worth it, but it seems that price point is going to scare people away. Not to mention it’s only launching with locations on the US west coast, so it’s not going to help me much in FL. That said, the west coast does have so many awesome locations to shoot (and I do travel there a lot), so it’s smart to start there first.
Side Note: Summer is coming here in FL and I can help you out with weather predictions if you need it. It’ll be 95 degrees, hot, crazy sticky humid, with a 50% chance of rain every day for the entire season 😉
Anyway, let me know if anyone checks out the service. If I was going out to the West Coast, I could definitely see myself paying a one-time fee to use it for 7 days, or something like that. I mean, I’d have invested money in travel, hotel, flights, car, food, etc… Another $10-20 to help secure and feel better about going out shooting could totally be worth it. So I’m hoping they’ll add a 1-time usage fee structure to it. But I’m just not sure I’d fork over the $500 a year for it.
Anyway, definitely worth checking out their website if you’re interested. Here’s the link.
Have a good one!
A much lower costing solution is from http://www.skyfireapp.com/predictions?ms=1433595394349. I used this and it is wonderful!
I am an amateur astronomer, photographer and software developer. In north america astronomers rely on the Clear Sky Charts site which produces color coded targeted forecasts for over 5,000 locations using Environment Canada data. I use these charts to monitor conditions in my favorite observing sites but they can also help to plan a photo shoot. The charts update twice daily and provide a 48 hour forecast, by hour. Information provided includes cloud cover, transparency, seeing, temperature, wind speed, humidity and darkness. More information is available at http://www.cleardarksky.com/csk/ . I wrote an iPhone/iPad app called myCSC on iTunes that allows you to find nearby CSC sites using GPS and store your favorites so they are always available (shameless plug). 🙂
Check out Forecast.io. It shows moving weather patterns for the past week AND the week to come, plus a detailed forecast for the next hour, the next 24 hours, and the next week. Pick any day in the next week, and it will give you an hourly forecast of temperature, cloud cover, humidity, visibility and wind speed. And it’s FREE.
I might see this as a legitimate value add for workshop professionals doing workshops in places where weather conditions are dynamic and an entire group of photographers who have paid for travel, lodging and a workshop fee might benefit with enough prior notice.
That said, for individual outings it’s pricey. Personally I just use the national weather service: 1) Google ‘7 day weather ‘. 2) In the results click on a link from ‘forecast.weather.gov’. You will get an overview of weather for the next 7 days, and in the lower right an hourly weather graph for the next 6 days. It shows by the hour, expected precipitation, cloud cover, humidity, dew point (from which you can predict fog), wind speed and direction. And an interactive google map where you can dynamically move your desired forecast point. And it’s Free!!
$500 p.a. is definitely not worth the money, seems like an April fools joke at the wrong end of the month.
I use wunderground for my weather and so far they are not far wrong (90% accurate).
You get overlays and satellite images all for free.
I’m dubious about it being of value to someone like me, who lives in Northern Nevada. I sincerely doubt that they are going to have people in the Black Rock desert, or Elko, or some of the other little towns that have great places for pictures, but are mainly populated with working class people. I’ll wait to see if it turns out to be what the inventor thinks it will be.
It looks like the creator is a little over his head by not actually having experience in the field of Meteorology….hopefully this isn’t some sort of Linear equation. Yes this will be extremely helpful since this type of information isnt provided by the NWS and there is severe lack of weather knowledge by photographers and they are most likely determining reflected light strength through the atmosphere for a location but most people wont understand this….too niche but I commend his efforts
If this app is better then the forecast TV stations or radio forecasters, then why can the big forecast companies invest in this app? For me photography is going out and be in the moments that is presented to you.
Is the app honestly going to STOP you from going out and shooting? I take photos to get a beautiful image as much as the next guy, but I also enjoy being outside experiencing things in person far more than seeing some postcards at the local souvenir shop. Clear skies, a mix of clouds, or threatening storm, I’ll still be out there. And $40 a month richer.
Hey Josh. I guess it depends. Especially in some areas where they’re launching in the west. Some of those places are 2-4 hours away from a lot of commonly populated areas. So if you knew the chances weren’t great for you to get a photo, maybe you’d wait a day or two before taking the time and gas to get out there. So I can see it. For me, with most areas being closer to home I’d probably still go out too, but not everybody is that close to what they want to go shoot.
Good points, guys. I agree that it’s expensive. That said, Josh, to play devil’s advocate, I think your argument also applies to not having a tripod. Wouldn’t you still be out there to experience things in person?
Ansel Adams didn’t need a $500 app, I reckon I don’t either. Heck, forget the app and buy an entry level medium format film camera at the end of the year. I agree with Mike: 3, 2, 1…
I found something similiar and cheaper. It is called Skyfireapp.com. It shows the whole U.S. map with cloud overlays and give predictions of where good or great sunsets or sunrises are. The first 30 days are free and after that it is 2.95 per month. You can zoom in right over your city or town. Been using it for a month and seems reliable.
$500 a year, no!! Photographers are better off learning to read the cloud cover graphs on weather.gov, a free site. Cloud cover I’ve found to be notoriously hard for the experts to predict anyway, but weather.gov has gotten the closest to being usually accurate, that I’ve seen.
Are they joking? I pay $10/month for Photoshop and Lightroom which are 10000x more useful to my photography than a weather report. At $39/month this will be dead in 3, 2, 1…