We all know that the best times for landscape photography are sunrise and sunset. And we can reliably predict that the sun will set each evening. The question is, how do we know when the weather conditions create a beautiful sky?
It does seem to me that low humidity can correlate with the blue skies and white cumulus clouds that I like for photography. This time of year in particular — late August through October, generally — brings us lower humidity, clear air, and a lot of pretty sky. That, plus the foliage of autumn, is why autumn is my favorite time of year to plan a photo trip.
Of course, even in autumn the weather can be variable. It’s important to note that a change of weather can be the best time to shoot; when the forecast says “rain this afternoon, ending toward evening” can be a really good time to plan a sunset shoot.
But it’s always a crapshoot. I’ve had gloomy overcast days suddenly open up for a gorgeous shot of the sun peeking through the clouds, after I had decided to stay home. I’ve had beautiful clear days suddenly block up in the west more times than I can count.
If there’s a real science about it, I still have not figured it out.