How to predict fog for perfect woodland photography

May 13th, 2021

Anyone who has spent their mornings in woodland, composing a scene of fantastic gnarly trees and mossy rocks, knows that fog or mist can be the magic ingredient to really create a magical atmosphere in your image. But how can you predict when fog is going to occur? I have rarely found that weather forecasts give me the heads-up when it comes to fog and so I started using the Clear Outside app on my phone. But this also didn’t really give me the info I needed – whenever I looked under the ‘fog’ section, it always just read ‘0’.

Little did I know, however, all the information was right there in the app, I just needed to know how to unlock it. It was actually a fellow YouTuber, Andrew Hamilton who made me aware of this little trick, so go check out his great YouTube channel when you have a moment.

To predict when fog is going to occur, you open up the Clear Outside app, plug in your location and then take a note of three figures. You need to pay attention to ‘Temp C’, ‘Dew Point’ and ‘Humidity’. If the temperature and dew point values are the same, or close, and humidity is high (90 or higher is best) then there is a good chance that you will find fog at that time.

Using the Clear Outside app, make a note of the Temperature, Dew Point and Humidity values

I’ve used this tip on several occasions now, and it hasn’t let me down yet. As we move into summer, mist and fog are becoming less likely, but armed with this new knowledge, you may just be able to catch a morning when everything comes together, allowing you to get the perfect shot.

Here’s a foggy woodland shot I got last Autumn.

The Abyss – A foggy woodland shot taken in autumn 2020

Coming Up This Year On My Channel

April 19th, 2021

It will soon be coming up to the one-year anniversary of my YouTube channel and I’ve been having a think about what I want to cover on it, going forward.

Coming soon to Robert Bishop Photography

Firstly, now that we’re out of lockdown and things are tentatively returning to normal (whatever normal is now), I would really like to travel a bit further afield this year. It would be great to get up to the Lake District at some point and also to Scotland, to take in some of the spectacular landscapes up there. Beyond that, although it still seems like a fairly alien concept at the time of writing, I’d like to get abroad too. All being well I will be heading to Germany in August and a trip to Yosemite in the USA is on the list too. The latter being a trip that was originally due to go ahead in October 2020, but had to be rescheduled because of the pandemic.

Also with restrictions slowly being lifted, I’d like to get into some of the towns and cities near to me, where I’d like to do some street photography. I’ve always found this a difficult subject to film, but with my wife usually being my videographer these days, it should be a bit easier and free me up to concentrate on my shots.

Portraits are something I haven’t covered on my channel yet. It’s a genre I’m not particualrly experienced in, but one that I really do like, so I definitely want to make a video on that subject and hopefully improve my skills there.

Finally, I want to capture some astrophotography images. Again, this is a genre I have little experience in, but one I really love. I think it will be a challenge to make a video, due to the darkness, but I’m up for a challenge. Ideally I’ll get out to a dark-sky area and shoot the milky-way!

So lots of exciting things to look forward to. I can’t wait to get started on them and I hope you’ll join me for the ride. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my channel, so that you are kept up to date when a new video is released.

Thanks a lot everyone, here’s looking forward to a great year.

5 Photography Facebook Groups

April 10th, 2021

Joining online groups and forums is a great way to see the work of others, learn new things about the hobby and network with others who are as passionate about photography as we are.

Facebook is just one platform that has several highly visited groups all about various aspects of all things photographic.

Here are five of my favourites.

  1. UK Amateur Photography Group
    At the time of writing, this group has over 11,000 members and, as the name suggests, it caters for amateur photograhers in the UK, giving them a place to share their photos from any genre.
  2. Fstoppers
    This group is run by the same people as the FStoppers website and provides a busy portal through which to network with others and gain feedback on images posted to the page. It currently boasts close to 27,000 members.
  3. British Birdwatching for Beginners
    Okay, not technically a photography group – but it does feature plenty of photos of our feathered, flying friends. At other 28,000 members, it’s a really active community and a great place to share your bird shots.
  4. Photoshop and Lightroom
    With an enormous 170,000 members, this group is the go to place to learn and discuss anything to do with Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom software. It’s a fantastic place to improve your post-processing knowledge.
  5. Shoot & Share
    This group describes itself as “a place for photographers of all levels to learn and grow together”. At close to 50,000 members at the time of writing, it certainly seems popular!

All of these groups are private, meaning that you have to apply to the group admins in order to become a member. As long as you apply through the correct procedures though, and stick to the group rules, it’s really easy to get involved and can really help to improve your photography and inspire you to get out and create.

My Top 6 Most Used Smartphone Apps for Photography

March 29th, 2021

More than ever, smartphones and the apps that run on them are part of our everyday lives. There are a multitude of handy tools available that can make day to day tasks quicker and easier. As a photographer there are several apps that are essential in helping me plan, organise and create. I’m sharing my most used, top 6 here.

  1. Camera app.
    With the ever improving technology of smartphones, almost everybody carries a reasonably competent camera around with them these days. You probably use it so often that you might not even think of it as an app at all, but that’s exactly what it is and it’s the number one most used app by my Google Pixel 4 smartphone.

    While phone cameras don’t currently offer the same quality and resolution at large sizes compared to DSLR and mirrorless equivalents, they can produce great looking images for social media and on-screen use. With their size and weight benefits, more often than not, this is the camera you have with you.
  2. Adobe Lightroom Mobile
    I recently posted a video of my workflow when editing an image using the Lightroom mobile app. It’s a very powerful editor for Android, iPhone and iPad and if you’re just posting online, it’s great for using when working remotely. It includes almost all the features of the desktop application and you can share to your favourite social media platforms directly from the app.
  3. Photopills
    This app isn’t free, but does feature a wide range of really useful tools that I have found to be well worth the price. The feature I use most is the planner, which allows the user to find out where the sun will be at any given time for a particular location. This is obviously very useful for planning sunrise and sunset shoots, but also gives you some idea of what the light and shade of a scene will look like at any point throughout the day. You can use the app to work out things like depth of field, hyperfocal distance and settings for correct exposure. Also included are tools to monitor stars and galaxies so you can plan an astrophotography shoot.
  4. Google Maps / Google Earth
    Although these are two separate apps, they perform similar functions for a photographer. I primarily use these apps to find locations and plan the logistics of a shoot. Not only is it useful to be able to see a location from multiple angles, you can also get right down to eye level and see a location to work out a strong composition for a shot.
  5. Clear Outside
    As well as finding a location for your image, you also want to know what the weather is going to be like when you get there to create it. Clear Outside provides a whole range of data, from forecasts to cloud cover and sun rise/set times to fog and mist levels. It will even tell you when the international space station is going to be flying overhead! I use this app all the time, particularly to find out how much cloud will be in the sky and whether I might get misty conditions or not.
  6. Nikon Snapbridge
    This allows me to connect my smartphone to my camera via bluetooth and WiFi. You can use it to send images from your camera to your phone, or to back up images to cloud storage. I just use it as a remote control for when I want to reduce camera shake, or if I want to see myself when recording video.

500 Subscribers Reached!

March 17th, 2021

I can hardly believe I’m posting this so soon after announcing my 400 subscriber milestone, but my humble little channel has now surpassed 500 subscribers.