At Escaype, our vision is to create a weather service that speaks directly, passionately, and personally to photographers.
One question we often get asked is: Why can't I just pay a one-time fee to download Escaype from the App Store like the photography apps I have?
The short answer is, Escaype is not an app. It's a local weather service maintained by real people. And it has to be.
Today's world of weather forecasting is centered around powerful models that crunch billions of numbers and spit out raw data for things like wind speed, dew point, and temperature up to several days in advance. At Escaype, we have developed a secondary model that processes several of these raw data streams, and tells us where the clouds are expected to be, if they're the optimal kind of clouds for photography, and whether or not they are expected to be in the right position to light up at sunrise or sunset.
Of course, there is no way to predict future weather events with 100.0% accuracy. Fortunately, the models are usually right.
At Escaype, we believe "usually" isn't good enough.
Unlike a big corporation powered by bots, we are real people (with a powerful model, of course) who deeply care about our clients, and we want to make sure you nail the shot every time you go out. We know the feeling of getting skunked, and we know the feeling of missing a fireball, and we aren't satisfied with "usually" getting it right.
Sunset prediction is much more sensitive and complex than other photo-planning services; for example, in predicting astrophotography conditions, if the night sky forecast is clear, everything else is math. For sunsets, the outcome depends on exactly where the clouds -- which are highly dynamic -- end up, not just where you are, but also towards the sunrise or sunset. Fortunately, our models usually do a great job with this, and they nail it very closely. But occasionally a little blue hole will open up and skunk one place, while 10 miles away the light was great. Or a marine layer that was forecast to remain 5 miles offshore invades an hour before sunset.
So, we had the option to create an automated golden hour weather app, and be content with "usually", or we could close the loop and do it right.
We decided to do it right.
At Escaype, our highest priority is making sure you as a photographer have the confidence that when you go out (even if you are driving somewhere 4 hours away!), you will score, and when you stay in, you won't have to worry about missing something great. In most cases, this checks in fine -- so we developed mobile apps that provide you with easy-to-understand numbers to decide when the conditions will be right to make your shot happen. We can often differentiate between low fog and a deep marine layer, a weak burn and a strong burn, an early yellow burn and a long red burn. We have virtual weather stations at all the popular shooting spots (if your favorite spot doesn't have one, let us know and we may add one!), and we can tell you Santa Cruz will skunk, Pescadero will be decent, and SF and north will blow up. The models do all that for us.
But we've found that sometimes, things come up. A small blue patch may open up right in the middle of your frame and all you have is an app telling you the sky is expected to blow up, and you need to know NOW if you should get in the car and drive 10 miles north or stick it out. Or a thick layer of haze will muffle the colors of a burn that tries to be epic. It's uncommon that the model misses these kinds of things, but it can be the difference between getting the shot and not getting the shot (and knowing that you could have gotten the shot 5 miles away!). That's why we created our small groups of Escaype Artists, where we share instant real-time reports with images all over your region. The messages go directly to your phone (you can of course mute them if you know you aren't shooting). We also have a full-time Escaype Meteorologist closely monitoring the groups and forecasts all day, and issuing any adjustments that are necessary. We are even known to shoot individual messages to clients who are out -- basically, we do everything in our power to make sure that you nail that shot. The groups also often offer each other image critiques, updates on other conditions like wildflowers, snow in the mountains, and plan outings together.
In addition to providing forecasts, we follow up on sunsets with weather tips and tutorials just for Escaype Artists, so you'll know what happened and learn to recognize it again. You'll learn about interpreting satellite images, what makes beautiful clouds, all about how sunsets and sunrises work, and much more. Our Escaype Meteorologists are ready to answer your questions in the groups, day and night.
WHAT ALL THIS MEANS
This means that Escaype is not an app, and not a system of alerts, but rather the world's first comprehensive weather service for photographers, by photographers. Though we do include mobile apps for convenience and to create a weather portal for quick reference, the heart of Escaype is the groups, the reports, and a forecaster following through and making sure your outing is everything you hoped it would be. It also means our initial release is exclusive to the greater Bay Area, though we cover areas like Big Sur, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, and space in our groups is very limited.
With this level of around-the-clock service to a small group, of course, we can't give Escaype away for nothing. Our service is priced competitively with other steps you can take to truly improve your shots, like taking a short workshop or purchasing a new piece of gear. But many of those who have used Escaype swear they can't imagine living without it and never check any other weather service, as we call their shots, and save them at least as much money in gas, other travel costs, and precious time with their families; and the influence of "epic" light in an Escaype Artist's portfolio is stunning, immediately recognizable, and unforgettable.
check out the buzz
here's the inside scoop from those who have used our forecasts: