Originally Posted by M_Six
Nice slideshow, Dave. Some cool images in there. And you're right, you can have the best looking scenery laid out in front of you, but if the sky and air are hazy, you're screwed. I was awed by the views from the castle in Salzburg, but the day was very hazy. My shots from there are underwhelming at best. I suppose you'd have to live there or just plain luck out to get a nice, clear day to get some stunning shots from up there.
Yeah Mark, I think you need a combination of planning and luck. When I scheduled my Grand Canyon trip, I knew that it could snow at that time of the year, but I had to book about 120-days ahead to get right on the rim. I said a little prayer when I heard that the weather might get "bad" and was blessed.
Speaking of bad weather, when I see strong, but broken, clouds, I head out. When the sun breaks through in those conditions, particularly early or late in the day, you can get some incredible skies. The light on wildlife can also be special in these conditions.
Lots of times, that scheme still doesn't pan out. You get out there and the sun never breaks through again. I remember being out at the recent lunar eclipse and getting nothing because of haze against the mountains. I'll watch a sunset from one of my favorite spots and stay 20-minutes past sunset, hoping that the sun will shine on the underside of the clouds with great colors and then nothing happens.
I've spent 8 to 10-hours under a great horned owl's over the last few weeks, hoping to get the mom bringing the owlet a vole or mouse, but, so far, I've only got owl and owlet sitting on nest shots. The saving grace is that the light was fantastic a time or two, so that an "ordinary" shot was a little special. Still, the same principals apply; you have to put yourself in position over and over and invest lots of time and then, when you least expect it, you'll get "lucky."
Whenever I see the light get fantastic, I start hunting hard for a subject. Everything becomes fair game when the light is there.