sticking to our roots
Before we say anything else: from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU. Our Escaype family is now 65 photographers strong. So many of the best photographers in California are right here in our groups. Your groups.
We don't treat that lightly. We are here, day and night, to do everything in our power to make your dream shots happen.
Allow me to remind you of a couple very important things about #escaype, which take us back to our roots:
1) The Escaype app is a free, optional companion to our service. It is in beta.
2) The heart of our service takes place in the Slack groups.
With that in mind, here's a quick, easy Escaype checklist to go through when you shoot:
1) Plan your schedule. Check the forecaster's note in the Escaype app to get an idea of what kind of photography weather we're expecting in the next few days. This should help you plan your shooting days around optimal conditions.
2) Decide where to shoot. While following the forecasts further in advance always helps, formulating your game plan is best done on the day of the shoot. Remember to "shoot smart". If you wake up and the group says your first choice location is fogged in, it's time for Plan B. If you get out of a meeting and the group says there's a big blue hole headed for Santa Cruz, it's time for Plan B. We try to avoid these situations as much as possible, but they can and do happen -- it is a limitation of the world's weather models.
3) Get the green light from us. Don't be shy! If we haven't specifically addressed your area, give us a heads up when you're planning on heading out, and the general area. Best to do this in your group, as opposed to private message, as other people may have the same question. Don't be afraid to ask us stuff like, "hey, is Twin Peaks likely to be above that fog?" or "Heading to Davenport area." or "is that 90/0 at Golden Gate tomorrow night likely to stick?" We will do our best to follow up with you -- and if we know people are planning on shooting in a certain area, we will make sure to follow the conditions there closely. You aren't bothering us or wasting our time by asking these questions -- this is what our service is all about.
4) Share real-time reports. If you get to Davenport and the clouds are looking good, send a photo to the group ASAP to let us know that everything is going as planned down there. If you hit fog, let the group know where it is, so we can reroute you. This is SO IMPORTANT. In order for us to get a full picture of what is happening out there, we need reports.
(BTW, quick tip: Slack gives you full control of what notifications you'd like to opt out of. We recommend keeping notifications on for the #important-alerts channel, and if someone says your name).
In our experience, the Escaype members who score the most are the ones who are the most active in the groups, ask questions, and share reports.
In our experience, the Escaype folks who release the most stunning images are the ones who post in their groups for critique, and participate when others do the same.
In our experience, the Escaype groups that score the most are the ones that work together.
In our experience, as with any group, the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it.
Escaype is a weather service, not an app. It is our belief that any weather app or algorithm is of limited use to a photographer who wants to know if the time and place for their specific shot has come. Here's why. And that's why we're here.
We're here for you. Always remember that.