I don't really go in for New Year resolutions. If I was going start going to the gym, write a blog regularly or create world peace I'd have done it by now... besides, what's wrong with starting something new at any time of the year?
This year however I decided I really need to make an effort to organise my time better. I only regularly get time for photography at the weekends, often just Sunday mornings which makes it quite important to chose the right place to go with the camera.
To try and make the most of those rare occasions when exciting weather conditions coincide with my free time I've been doing my research and coming up with some seasonal shot lists – notes on places I'd like to photograph at particular times of the year.
I've always kept a list of potential locations for photography plotted on a google map but however much I mess around with coloured pins and labels I've failed to come up with a way to easily find the best location to suit the weather, time of year or time of day. In the end I gave up on the idea of being clever with technology, got some paper and wrote a list of places for each season and put them in the appropriate place in my Filofax (nothing wrong with still having one of those, the 80's are cool again apparently).
A few weeks ago I visited Orford and managed to get some photos of the first rays of winter light hitting the castle and although I was pleased with the results I couldn't help thinking a bit of snow or frost on the foreground would look even better. Thus when the forecast a couple of weeks ago suggested a frosty start, Orford was top of the list and back I went. Remarkably, it actually did go according to plan and there was a lovely frost twinkling over the grass around the castle, I made straight for my chosen composition and got the shot I'd planned
Similarly last weekend when the weather forecast was predicting frost and mist on Sunday morning, out came the 'frosty' list and the Norfolk Broads was selected resulting in the shot above.
Of course things don't always go according to plan. It's already a minor miracle that two glorious mornings have coincided with me being out of bed to enjoy them and bearing in mind that the next place on my list for a frosty sunrise is nearly a three hour drive away I can almost guarantee something will go wrong. What is certain is that whatever your weapon of choice, be it a spreadsheet on your PC, notes on an iPad or scribbling in a notebook, a bit of planning and preparation will improve your chances of being in the right place at the right time... the rest, as they say, is up to you.