Forecast : Rain

The weather forecast for Stockholm is bad – rain, overcast, bad. I am naturally disappointed and a bit worried, but at the same time, I won’t let that deter me from taking my photos. Some of my favorite photos were taken during bad weather conditions: it was pouring rain in Hallstatt when I took this shot, and snowing like crazy in Heidelberg during this.

The good thing about rain in photography are the reflections it creates; not to mention when mixed with mist or fog, it creates a very nice and soft atmosphere. The bad thing about rain is obvious: you risk your equipment being ruined. Sometimes I protect my camera with an umbrella, sometimes I don’t. It is not easy to balance an umbrella over your camera while setting your focal length, continuously wiping the front of our lens, changing filters if you’re using one, and holding a cable release in the other hand. And because I had so many experiences with the rain, I bought a raincoat for my camera which I got to use for the first time during an early morning shoot in Wurzburg. It’s a little bit fussy to work with but at least it gives me some peace of mind.

Morning civil twilight, which is blue hour, in Stockholm is 3:43 a.m. and sunrise follows at 4:30. I have never been up that early for a morning shoot, but there’s always a first. I picked a hotel close to where I had planned my morning shoot to make it more convenient. I’m still deciding whether or not I’m waking up that early; I’ll just play it by ear when I arrive there.

(According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, civil twilight is defined to begin in the morning, and to end in the evening when the center of the Sun is geometrically 6 degrees below the horizon. This is the limit at which twilight illumination is sufficient, under good weather conditions, for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished; at the beginning of morning civil twilight, or end of evening civil twilight, the horizon is clearly defined and the brightest stars are visible under good atmospheric conditions in the absence of moonlight or other illumination)

The bad thing about morning twilight, and I’ve mentioned this before on Flickr, is that you’re not guaranteed that the city lights are still going to be on. What makes blue hour appealing is all the artificial lights that give emphasis to the sky, and it’s just not the same without those. Some major cities are pretty good about leaving automatic lights on their landmarks from dusk ’til dawn. But with the world being energy-conscious these days, especially here in Europe, some cities don’t leave their lights on until morning.

From the way I’m looking at it, evening twilight in Stockholm could be longer than I’m used to. There’s about an hour between sunset and civil twilight in the forecast, and that seems to be quite long. I know that part of the world is known for very long daylight – 18 hours visible daylight, in fact, according to the forecast. I suppose I’m in for 3 long days in Stockholm.

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