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Hiking Visuals: Cloud Inversions!

On of the most amazing things to see while hiking are cloud inversions. There's a specific type of location and weather that lends itself to these cloud creations, but they're so cool to look at, that I thought I could make a card explaining what they are, and how they happen, so that those who are interested in them can make sure to go to a location where they are more likely to occur!
These videos show cloud inversions occurring at the Grand Canyon. These two 1-minute video shows what actually took 10 minutes of time.

But how did it happen?

The fog is formed by a total cloud inversion, which occurs when cold air is trapped in the canyon and topped by a layer of warm air. If the moisture in the cold pool is sufficient, condensation will occur and fog will form.
Various forms of inversion clouds moving, forming and dissolving can happen, and are caused by the interaction of warm and cold air masses and currents.
A total inversion, as seen in the first video above, are rare, usually happening at the canyon only once every few years. It has happened twice in the past six months! Semi-inversions happen fairly frequently, but are still incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to predict!

Places to see them while hiking:

- Grand Canyon
- Foel Goch, Snowdonia, Wales
- Various locations in Peru
- Hawaii!
- Musheramore, Ireland
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I've heard of the Wales location before--supposed to be hard to get a good inversion there thought because it's often overcast
I was lucky enough to see a partial inversion at the Grand Canyon before, but I've never seen anything this intense!
Man, it seems like it's hard to target when to see this but I just HAVE to see a nice one formyself! So stunning!
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Have a small setup you can take with you this next photography tips for beginners again is about gear and it’s having a camera setup that you can take everywhere with you the best camera is the one that you have with you because if it’s sad at home you’re not going to take a photograph with it so make sure you’ve got a small compact setup that you can carry with you this is one of the reasons why I’ve got the a6600 and the kit lens I can easily chuck that over my shoulder it’s really small and it doesn’t get in the way and I can get much better photographs than I could with my camera phone. Plan some photographs you would like to take Now the difference between someone who takes snapshots and someone who takes photographs is planning so plan some photographs you want to take this is a case of finding a location may be online or on some maps and then kind of planning what you’re going to do what you’re going to photograph when you’re going to take it and how you’re going to take it. Go and try to get shots that you have planned now all of that time will be wasted if you don’t actually go out and do the shots that you’ve planned so the next photography tips for beginners is to go and do those shots that you have planned and that you’ve spent all of that time finding those locations to shoot you may have to go a few times but if you do you’ll end up with some amazing photographs instead of snapshots. Work Around your Subject when photographing a subject be a person a place or an object workaround that subject shoot it from different angles different focal lengths and different heights it’s amazing what you can get and how different you can make your subject look. Take Photographs Regularly As well as shooting your subject from lots of different angles you need to take photographs regularly I’m talking like every week if you don’t do this you might learn some skills but then if you don’t pick your camera up for a few months you’ll probably lose those skills so make sure you take photographs regularly. Do a sunrise landscape shoot now if you’re thinking about getting into landscape photography do a sunrise landscape shoot this will either help you fall in love with landscape photography or make you realize you’re not really a morning person and maybe landscape photography is not for you now with your three principal settings that’s aperture shutter speed and iso they all interact with each other. Learn about the Exposure Triangle Learning about the exposure triangle helps you to understand this a little bit better if you get good exposure and you change one of your settings you need to compensate with one of the other two settings and this is what the exposure triangle will teach you. Go and Photograph at Sunset now if you’re not a morning person and you still want to get into landscape photography you’ll need to start photographing sunsets or around about sunset time where you live you’ll be amazed at how different a scene will look from in the middle of the day compared to at sunset or sunrise so if you’re not a morning person photograph sunset. Learn to Photoshop People out of your frame now, this leads me to the next photography tips for beginners which is if you’re not a morning person and you do photograph sunsets learn how to photoshop people out of your photographs you’ll be surprised at how many people will be at a location at sunset compared to sunrise where you’ll probably get the scene to yourself. Photograph Everything the next photography tips for beginners is to photograph everything so if you’re going to party take your camera if you’re going for a hike in a really nice landscape again take your camera and if you’re going to visit friends or family take your camera again if you photograph as many things and as many different subjects as possible you’ll start to learn intuitively how to use your camera and then you’ll learn what works in what certain setting the more photographs you take the better you’ll get with that camera. Photograph an Event now if this isn’t possible find some events near you and go and photograph those events be it a running event a car race some bikers going down a downhill trail there are a lot of vents around you well as long as there’s not a global pandemic going on that is so events are great because you basically have the subject there ready and waiting for you to photograph you’ve just got to get the right settings and get yourself in the right location to shoot that event. Find Different Locations to shoot the same object now the next tip is more to do with landscapes and it’s about finding different locations to shoot the same subject so say for instance you’re shooting a mountain it’s a very prominent mountain there may be one location that everyone photographs from what I want you to do is go for a hike around that mountain as long as it’s safe and find different angles to shoot that same subject from if you do this through either scouting that location or planning and going and doing that shot what you’ll find is you’ll get a very unique photo that is basically yours. Shoot the same Object at different times of the day as well as changing locations you want to go there at different times of the day you’ll be amazed at how different one subject can look when the light is coming from different angles. Look for shapes to include in your frame when you do find a good composition try and see if you can find some shapes in that composition and try and incorporate them into your photograph it’s amazing when you get certain shapes like circles triangles diagonals into your shots and it makes the shot a lot more compelling. Find Leading Lines to draw the viewers eye as well as shapes look for leading lines to draw the viewer into your shot if you’ve got a path a road or a river or maybe some ripples in the sand these can really draw the viewer’s eye into the shot and towards your subject. Make the sun Burst the next tip is to get the sun into your frame and make it burst a tip here is to shoot with high aperture numbers let’s say f11 to f18 what you’ll find is different lenses will give different star bursts but if you get your settings right with those smaller apertures with those high f numbers the sun will start to burst and any pinpoint lights will burst as well you’ll get those lines coming out of them and it can really make your photographs pop. Start to look for foreground elements when you are exploring your subject when taking landscape photographs look for a good foreground element it might not work to start with but if you do look for them it will start to train your mind to think in the right way and when you do find one that really links in and really works well in your photograph it’ll really make your photograph stand out. Emulate, Then Create now the next photography tips for beginners is to emulate then create if you see a photo you like of a place you’re visiting or a place that is nearby to where you live try to recreate that photograph first of all so that’s where you emulate but then see if you can find a better photograph of that same subject or see what other photographs around in that location you’ll learn a lot by emulating others but then you’ll learn so much and you’ll become your own photographer when you do start to get your own photographs. Try AstroPhotography the next tip is to try astrophotography I have a lot of tutorials on astrophotography but it’s one of those things that if you get into and you actually get to a really dark location with a sky full of stars it’s quite inspiring and it kind of makes you realize that the universe is absolutely massive I could sit underneath the stars and I have sat underneath the stars all night. AstroPhotography will make you lose a lot of sleep the next tip is to realize it takes a few days to recover from a full night of astrophotography. when you have driven to the location you’re awake all night and then you drive back home the next day it’s amazing how much that can take it out of you and how long it takes to recover. Look for something to give scale to your photo if you’re photographing a big landscape try to find something that gives it scale whether it’s a person in the shot a building a boat or a plane just put something in the frame to show how big it is and how grand it looks that one thing if it’s small in the frame will make it look even grander. Remember to look around when you do get to a location and you’re photographing a scene you might be surprised at what you see behind you so make sure you look around and see what’s about because as that sky develops and if you get one of those really nice skies where the sunlight catches the bottom of the clouds you might have an even better scene that’s right behind you and you might miss it if you don’t look around. Backup your photos as soon as possible once you’ve taken your photographs back them up as soon as you can this might not be for a while but as soon as you get home and as soon as you have access to your computer and a hard drive back them up. Format your SD Cards as soon as you back them up and once you’ve backed up your sd cards clear them as soon as you can so you format them in-camera I’ve had so many times where I’ve copied the sd cards and I’ve forgotten which ones I’ve copied but I haven’t formatted them and I end up with a case full of sd cards that are full and I don’t know which ones are formatted and which ones are not it’s a really bad habit to get into so make sure as soon as you back up your photos you format your sd cards so they’re ready for the next time you go out shooting. Delete all of the rubbish The next photography tips for beginners is to delete the rubbish photos and I mean the ones that are really badly out of focus or they’ve got horrible motion blur you just want to get rid of those because they’ll just take up space I’ve got a whole draw of hard drives and I need to go through them and I know there’s a lot of photos on them that I’m going to delete I haven’t done that for ages and I really need to so get into the habit of deleting those rubbish photos and I mean getting them completely off your hard drive. Spend more money on memory cards When you buy memory cards you want to spend more money than you think the speed of the card will really slow you down and it’ll slow you down at the worst possible moment there’ll be something amazing happening in front of you and then your camera will be clearing the buffer and the speed at which it clears the buffer does depend on the speed of card that you’ve bought so spend as much as you can on that sd card. Buy More than one Memory Card and while we’re on the subject of sd cards buy more than one memory card they can and do fail and you’ll kick yourself if you don’t have a backup there’s nothing worse than going out to a location having a card corrupt and then not having a backup card to use so you don’t have anything to save any of the photos too. Mirrorless Camera Help you learn faster Mirrorless cameras have developed so much over the last 10 years and they will really help you learn at a much quicker rate than with a DSLR or with a film camera by this I mean that if you’re looking through the viewfinder or looking at the screen on the back of the camera it’ll show you what the photograph is before you’ve taken it so you can look at it and you can work out how that photograph looks before taking it and this is such a good learning tool and it’ll help you learn photography a lot quicker than if you’re shooting with film or you’re shooting on a DSLR with a DSLR you’re looking through the lens and you’re kind of looking with the dynamic range of your eye so you’ll see a lot more detail through an optical viewfinder of a DSLR whereas with a mirrorless camera that’s a readout of the sensor so it will give the dynamic range of that sensor. Mirrorless Cameras can make you lazy now on the flip side of these mirrorless cameras will make you a lazy photographer and that’s because of what I’ve just said you’ll be able to look at the back of the camera and work out whether it’s a good shot or not and this really does make you lazy I started back in the 90s on film and the learning process was really slow I then transferred across to DSLRs but I still had a lot of those skills I learned back in the 90s and now I have some of those skills that I learned on DSLRs but now shooting with mirrorless cameras a lot of those skills have kind of gone by the wayside I don’t need them anymore and I’m not developing them anymore so it is making me a bit of a lazy photographer. Turn off the built-in flash A lot of entry-level cameras will have a built-in flash if you do have this turn it off completely there’s nothing that will make you look more like an amateur than if that flash pops up especially if you’re taking a photograph of a massive landscape. Read the manual now every camera comes with a manual and it’s well worth reading that manual it may surprise you as how much your camera can actually do even the entry-level cameras have so many functions nowadays and if you don’t utilize all of them or you don’t know about them you won’t know which ones you can use to help you get better photographs you won’t know which ones that you don’t really need at all so read the manual and learn all about your camera Get Critical Feedback the next photography tips for beginners is to try and get some critical feedback now by this I don’t mean your mum saying she loves your photographs or the numerous gushing comments on Facebook or Instagram this is a professional looking at your photographs from a professional’s point of view. Don’t take the critical feedback personally however, when you do get that critical feedback don’t take it personally they’re trying to help you become a better photographer, and as long as it is critical feedback you can learn from what they’re saying by looking at your photograph from another person’s point of view. Share your photos online to boost your ego! now if you have got some critical feedback recently and your ego does feel a little bit bruised what you want to do is share your photos online all of those gushing comments will probably make you feel a little bit better again. Spread out the times when you share your photos now when you do share your photos online don’t share them across multiple Facebook groups the same people will probably be in those groups and the last thing they’ll want to see is five of the same picture in five different groups they’ll normally pop up on the feed at the same time now if you’re adamant about doing this just share them on different days now I know you need to promote yourself online as a photographer but spread it out and do it logically people can really see through this and even though you’re being genuine and sharing your work people might not see it that way. Shoot at the eye level of your subject the next tip is to shoot at the eye level of your subject so if you’re photographing kids get down to their eye level if you’re photographing dogs get down to their level if you’re photographing say snakes in the grass or anything like that gets to their level. Learn about the Shutter / Focal Length Rule the next photography tips for beginners is to learn about the shutter focal length rule when shooting handheld and then see how much you can break this rule by this is basically where you take your focal length and you match that number to your shutter speed so let’s say you’re shooting with a 50-millimeter lens you keep it at 1 50th of a second this is with full-frame cameras so you need to work the conversion if you are on crop sensor cameras but if you are doing this see how far you can drop that shutter speed by if you hold the camera properly you should be able to drop it lower and also if you’ve got good ibis that’s in-body image stabilization you should be able to drop it a bit more but it’s good to know how slow you can take your shutter speed for a given focal length then you’ll know when you can shoot handheld and when you might have to stabilize the camera in another way. Know when to use a Tripod now this brings me on to the next tip and it’s knowing when to use a tripod. tripods are great because you don’t have to start bumping up your iso you don’t have to start compromising with other things the tripod will keep your camera perfectly steady you can keep that iso low and get a really nice clean crisp image I’ve got some of my favorite shots by using a tripod at night or when the light is dropping a lot. Carry Less Gear now when it comes to gear you want to try and carry less of it when you’ve got a bag full of stuff it’s an absolute nightmare and if you do that for years you’ll end up with a bad back so try and carry less gear. Shoot with just one lens now if you have more than one lens just try and take one lens with you on one day it’s amazing how free you’ll feel not having a bag full of camera kit I try and do this with different lenses on different days just to see how i feel about those lenses and also you’ll learn a lot about shooting with that one focal range when you have that one lens on your camera and you won’t have the choice of any others. Scout the location now this next photography tips for beginners relates to planning your photographs but if you have a shot in mind scout that location to see if it’s any good you can then use the app photo pills or a planning app like that to see where the light will be coming from and it’ll help in that planning stage by scouting that location. Go out in bad weather now sometimes the weather can be absolutely awful and the last thing you want to do is go out and take photographs but this is really the time that you really should go out it’s amazing how different locations can look in bad weather even if you have to buy a jacket for your camera to stop it from getting wet. Aim for the Golden Hour now I’ve already talked about shooting at sunrise and sunset and that’s because of the golden hour the light in this time can be absolutely fantastic and you can get some really nice shots and it can make your job as a photographer a lot easier so if you do go out make sure you try and go out in the golden hour just to see how different they’ll look compared to the middle of the day. Break all of the Rules now in photography, there are different types of rules to help you and guide you along the way but you do need to know that you can break all of the rules when you want to but you do need to know them first especially the rule of thirds. Take your time now the next photography tips for beginners is to take your time learning photography and learn to enjoy the process of learning I look at other people’s work sometimes and I think I’m a rubbish photographer and then I look at my photos from years ago and realize how far I’ve come in taking time to learn photography and taking years to process this art you’ll really come into your own and you’ll really develop that photography and develop your photography skills. Down get yourself down by looking at other work now this next tip links into the last one and it’s not to get yourself down by looking at all of the great work that’s already out there especially with the likes of Instagram and photography sites like that there’s some amazing work there and it’s quite easy to let yourself feel down and kind of look at your photographs and think they’re rubbish when you do look at those bits of work but try not to get yourself down by looking at them too much. Work out how others have taken their photos Again this leads into the next tip and that’s to look at the amazing work online and try and figure out how they took it so instead of feeling down about all that amazing work tries and work out how they took it to work out when they took it and work out the location they took it then you can emulate their work and then create your own bits of work may be at that location or maybe at another similar location but then you’ll make it your own. Learn about Light by watching tv now one unlikely place you can learn about photography is by watching tv and watching tv-series and films it’s amazing how much effort they put into the lighting in every one of their scenes I sometimes annoy my wife by telling her exactly how a certain scene in a favorite show was created or I sometimes point out the lighting faults in that show and then she can’t help but spot them but this is a great exercise to do so when you are watching an interview or you’re watching a drama try and see how they’ve lit certain scenes I really enjoy doing that and it does teach me so much about lighting. Tell a story with a group of photographs Now the next photography tips for beginners is to tell a story with a group of photographs. sometimes you’ll go to a place or you’ll be at an event you’ll take a load of photographs and then you’ll just dump them all online it won’t really tell a story but if you can narrow it down to 20 to 30 photographs at most and tell a story say if you’re an event you’ll get some shots of people getting ready you’ll get some shots of the start you’ll get some shots of the people competing then maybe crossing the finish line you’ll have a story arc and if you narrow this down to 20 shots it’ll make your photographs a lot more compelling. Try to tell the story with fewer photos now this links into this next tip and that’s trying to reduce the number of photos you need to tell the story you’ll find that some photographers will get one photo that tells the story of that whole scene and then other photographers might have to take a few more it does all depend on the subject and it does all depend on the story you want to tell but try and tell that story in as few photos as possible. Play with shutter speed to create motion now as you get to know your camera you want to start playing with shutter speed to create motion you’ll find as you drop the shutter speeds by increments when you move the camera you’ll start to create a bit of blur. Learn to pan with slower shutter speeds now if your subject is in motion you can learn to pan with the motion of your subject and if you drop that shutter speed you can then start getting those speed blurs in your shots. Work out how you got your best shots so the next tip is to learn to pan with the motion of your subject if you get lucky with a great shot but you don’t have a clue how you got it to go back over the settings that you took and what you might have done to get that photograph in doing this you’ll learn a lot from it then you’ll be able to emulate that and start getting those shots purposefully instead of fluking them. Shoot the same subject at different focal lengths if you shoot with a zoom lens which you probably might do if you’re a beginner because that kit lens is a zoom lens try shooting the same subject at different focal lengths say wide from near and far and then telephoto from near and far and then mix up the height you shoot from as well again you’re getting that same subject from different perspectives different focal lengths so it’s amazing what you can actually do with the zoom lens. Add layers to build depth now we live in a 3d space and try to record it on a 2d plane so you need to add depth by layering your photographs this is done by adding a foreground element or maybe adding a background element or getting that background out of focus by adding more and more planes you’ll add more and more depth to your photographs. Try breaking the rule of thirds for a day as I’ve already mentioned the rule of thirds is a great tool to use to kind of layout your photograph but if you try to break that rule for a day or maybe a week what you’ll find is you’ll think about it more often and it’ll become more of a subconscious thought as to whether you follow that rule or break that rule. Use burst mode for fast-moving subjects now when you’re photographing quick-moving subjects use burst mode you’ll find that as that subject goes past you might try and get that fleeting moment and if you just click one photograph it’s almost impossible to get whereas if you’ve got it in burst mode especially with these newer cameras that have really high burst modes you’re more than likely to get the moment that you want. Shoot Verticals as well as horizontal photos now when photographing a subject it’s quite easy just to shoot it all in landscape or all in the portrait mode so make sure you get the same subject in both portrait and landscape so that’s horizontal and vertical then you’ll find out what works better when your camera is in that vertical position and then what works better when the camera is in that flat position. F8 and be there now if your subject is unpredictable shoot in aperture priority with iso auto and at f 8. there was a famous photographer called Arthur ouija Felix and his quote was f 8 and b there now what he meant by that at f 8 you’re more than likely to get your subject in focus and capture that moment and that’s what we’re talking about and that’s what photography is about a lot of the time is capturing that moment. Shutter priority for fast-moving subjects now if your subject moves really fast shoot in shutter priority this will give you control over how fast that shutter is and how you freeze that fast motion if you want more blurriness in your shot you drop the shutter speed whereas if you want to phrase that motion you raise the shutter speed but in shutter priority, this gives you control over the shutter. Photograph something different now there are so many different genres in photography and if you stick to one genre try shooting something you haven’t photographed before photographing something in a completely different genre can really bring more tools and bring more skills back to what you normally photograph as they say a change is as good as a break so you’ll still be learning camera skills and photography skills but doing something completely different and you never know you might find a different genre that you like and then you add to your repertoire. Fill the Frame this next photography tips for beginners is a quick one and it’s to fill the frame so if your shots are looking boring and the people or whatever you’re photographing in the frame is small get closer to it or zoom in and get it filling that frame. Get closer to the details This next photography tips for beginners links to that last one and it’s getting closer to the details if you do get closer to your subject and you fill the frame with your subject you’ll be able to show the details the texture and the really intricate bits to your subject. Study the masters next study the masters of art you’ll learn a lot about composition and lighting from ancient works of art it can be photography it can be renaissance paintings or anything like that it’s amazing how good some of the masters are at capturing light and capturing an amazing composition. Use your lens hood properly the next tip is another pet peeve of mine and that’s to turn the lens hood around if you’ve got it on your lens you might as well use it because then it doesn’t get in the way and it actually does the job that it’s designed for there’s nothing worse than seeing a person who has a really expensive camera and the lens hood is on backward it looks amateurish so don’t do it. Don’t worry about the megapixels now when it comes to megapixels there is still an ongoing battle like you’ve got the a7 r4 that shoots at 60 megapixels it’s crazy but megapixels matter less than you might think you could give a camera that has a 6-megapixel sensor to a really good photographer they’d still be able to get an amazing shot so megapixels matter less than you think. Shoot with a prime lens now if you want to try something new get a prime lens and shoot with it for a week it’s amazing how limiting a prime lens feels to start with but then how much it makes you think about photography and think about your framing a lot more a prime lens is a fixed lens so it’s not a zoom lens it is fixed to one focal length and that’s it so if you can’t get the framing you need to move yourself to get a better framing or to get the framing that you want and it does teach you so much about photography. Try long exposure photography the next photography tips for beginners is to try long exposure photography it’s not for everyone but it is another thing to add to your set of skills either in the city at night if it’s safe that is a fireworks event or a landscape under moonlight or if you’ve got some and filters try it with some strong and filters on the front of your lens in the middle of the day like I’ve already said long exposures aren’t for everyone but you might find that you might really enjoy taking long exposures. Look for reflections now if it’s been pouring down with rain this is a great time to look for reflections and even if it hasn’t been raining look for puddles look for small pools and look for lakes when it’s perfectly flat you can get a perfect reflection in that and it doesn’t matter if the pool is really small you can sometimes get a tiny little puddle and if you get low enough to it you’ll get a perfect reflection in that water. Keep the horizontal flat now when you’re photographing it’s sometimes easy to let the horizon drift out a little bit so the next tip is to keep an eye on your horizon you need it either perfectly flat or you need to tilt it out by around about 10 degrees but if it’s only out by a few degrees it just looks like you’ve made the mistake now if you have made that mistake reframe it when editing it’s very easy just to reframe it and flatten it out but just make sure your horizon is flat in your photographs before you put them online. Learn to edit your photographs now tip 99 is to learn to edit your photographs it’s one thing to know how a program works and it’s one thing to know how your camera works but you need to bring those two together so every time you go out and take a set of photographs make sure you edit those and make sure you put some time into learning to get the best out of them. Don’t worry about making mistakes now we finally got there this is tip 100 photography tips for beginners and that’s to make mistakes and don’t worry about making them and actually not encourage making them but when you do realize you’ve made a mistake kind of laugh at yourself when you realize what you’ve done if you can do this you’ll learn so much from those mistakes and before you know it you’ll become a very very good and a very accomplished photographer. So have I missed anything at all I think I pretty much covered most of the photography tips for beginners that you’ll ever need as a photographer if you can think of any others let me know in the comments below and if you like this blog about photography tips for beginners.