Let's start with an apology for this being late.
Now that that's out of the way. Today we are going to talk about scouting locations. This can be as simple as acknowledging that a location would be great for a photo at a different time. Taking a picture on a cell phone and adding a note works great, GPS coordinates might already be there and seeing the picture again can jog the memory. It can even be low tech with a note pad and a writing utensil. These are both great for locations that we have been to.
On the other hand sometimes we are going to a new place with just the internet to help us. St Louis was the destination and the full moon and Gateway Arch were the subjects. Timeanddate.com provided the azimuth and time of moonset, and google maps and streetview provided locations that could see through the arch on that azimuth. Upon arriving to St Louis double checking the bearing was done with a compass and test shots were done. Then hoping the weather cooperated was the last step before the event 3 days later. The weather gods graced the idea by clearing the skies. Arriving early helped with showing the arch wasn't as small as hoped for against the backdrop of the moon. Again google maps helped with locating another location. Arriving even earlier would have helped but alas it was not done.
Below is the first photo with the whole arch in the frame from the first location. It was shot at 100mm to get the arch. The second photo is at 300mm without the whole arch because the trees were in the way. Even with well laid plans things sometimes don't work out the way we would like. Just like the original idea for a post. Make some plans, scout locations, grab a camera, then go out and shoot.