JakTrax
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Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:49 pm

Hi all,

Looking at booking a trip to the western USA next autumn/winter and was just wondering what months are the best for the amount of sunshine and the lowest temperatures. November/December would be ideal but looking at historical weather data and forecasts it seems January and beginning of February are the sunniest and coldest (certainly for LAS). I could do next year but it'd involve juggling other plans.

Thanks,

Karl Nixon
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:18 pm

For LAX, I'd probably say January is the coldest month, but I like shooting all winter from Imperial Hill. Great sunset colors and less heat haze. Plus the sun doesn't get higher than ~35 degrees or so in the southern sky, so you can shoot all day from the Hill with decent light. And you can shoot planes landing into the sunset from the In'n'Out.
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JakTrax
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:42 pm

Thanks Vik. I imagine the sun's angles will be similar throughout Nov/Dec/Jan but of the three which tends to see the most uninterrupted sunshine? I heard November from many sources but historical averages don't seem to point to a specific month. Also, if the temperature difference between the months is typically only one or two degrees that's far less worrying than a daytime average of, say, 20C in November and 10C in January.

The In 'n' Out doesn't look ideal for my preference for low side-ons but sunset shots sound appealing. Is the 25L appraoch spot at the Proud Bird still usable? I saw some landing shots recently (taken early November I think) in which the aircraft were nicely lit and fairly low (certainly a lot lower than at the burger place).

Thanks,

Karl
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:59 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 2):
I imagine the sun's angles will be similar throughout Nov/Dec/Jan but of the three which tends to see the most uninterrupted sunshine?

Based on my experience, I'd probably say November or December. We seem to get more rainy days in January and February. I've certainly gotten some of my favorite evening photos in Nov/Dec.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 2):
Also, if the temperature difference between the months is typically only one or two degrees that's far less worrying than a daytime average of, say, 20C in November and 10C in January.

Yeah, not too big a difference. A few degrees F.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 2):
Is the 25L appraoch spot at the Proud Bird still usable? I saw some landing shots recently (taken early November I think) in which the aircraft were nicely lit and fairly low (certainly a lot lower than at the burger place).

I would assume so, but I've never shot from there. There shouldn't be a huge difference in airplane altitude between the Proud Bird and In'n'Out; Proud Bird is probably a couple hundred feet closer to the threshold.
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Silver1SWA
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:52 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 3):
Based on my experience, I'd probably say November or December. We seem to get more rainy days in January and February. I've certainly gotten some of my favorite evening photos in Nov/Dec.

Seriously? January seems to be the clearest, dryest month.of the 3. Look at this year...lots of rain in Nov and Dec, almost none in January.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:10 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 4):
Seriously? January seems to be the clearest, dryest month.of the 3. Look at this year...lots of rain in Nov and Dec, almost none in January.

Yes, seriously. That was just based on my impressions, though - I don't keep track.

But according to the climate data on Wikipedia, February has the most precipitation, followed by January and March:

Month---inches----days

Nov ---- 1.04 ------ 3.3
Dec ---- 2.33 ------ 5.2
Jan ---- 3.12 ------ 6.1
Feb ---- 3.80 ------ 6.4
Mar ---- 2.43 ------ 5.5

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_angeles#Climate

There's also climate data for LAX right below, which seems to follow the same pattern.
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Silver1SWA
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:27 pm

Interesting. At least in San Diego, I've come to like January as the best month of the entire year in terms of crisp, cool clear sunshine with best air quality. January and early February are my favorite months for photography.

But I'm speaking on my own observations and not scientific or historical data.
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mx330
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:14 am

I've been to LAX on December 2 continuos years for 4 days and I've always had the same result 3 sunny days and 1 complete crap day.

Now, this year I tried LAS on late January and it has just simply been my worst spotting trip - weather related adventure ever.
Never in my life I thought LAS could get cloudy and what really happened is I got about 10% of my time there with actual sunlight.

On my four day nightmare I had 0 sun on the first day. 2 hours on the second day. 30 minutes on the third day and my last day it was completely sunny, the bad side is I had a 12:00 flight so could only shoot actual 3 hours.

I do believe it was just simple bad luck... though I'm going to think it twice next time I try to go to Vegas...

Hope it helps!

Juan
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JakTrax
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:30 am

Thanks everyone. Think I'm gonna give December a whirl - not only because I'm optimistic about the weather but also because it means I can leave my January plans alone.

Hope to see some of you at the year-end!

Karl
 
vir380
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:31 am

Karl , regardless of whether you shoot at the In-n-Out , you MUST go and get a burger !!!

Simply the best ive had !

And while we're on the subject , i did Vegas in March & the light was just perfect & very little heat haze considering the temps at that time !

cheers

[Edited 2013-02-14 03:32:08]
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chris78cpr
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:39 pm

I've been to LA 5 times over the last 3 months and December was definitely the worse in terms of weather for me. It's been best in Feb so far. I got back yesterday and the last few days were stunning. I'm going back on thursday and it's looking bloody great for Friday and Saturday in terms of shooting.
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Newark727
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:55 pm

As mentioned above, when it isn't cloudy or raining December is good, as are January and February. That's when I take my best shots anyway. The In'n'Out, as famous as it is, is actually only occasionally the best place for shooting 24R arrivals; I park nearby, but snap down the street on Sepulveda Boulevard so the sun is on my side most of the time. Though in high summer afternoons, especially, the light will eventually come around to that side.


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Photo © John Price


This is a 24R arrival from somewhere along Sepulveda, in the mid-morning or early afternoon. Careful though, there are light poles that can sneak into your shot. It might actually be better to head slightly eastward for a clearer line of sight, though that would be further from the threshold.

Also yes, 25L arrivals can still be photographed well enough from the Proud Bird restaurant, though I've found it may require slightly more focal length (and the place closed off its parking lot and charged admission when the space shuttle came to town.)
 
chris78cpr
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:03 pm


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Photo © C.S. Photography



That was Dec 20th and it wasn't my best trip weatherwise.

[Edited 2013-02-19 07:08:05]
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AndyEastMids
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RE: Best Months For Visiting LAX / LAS?

Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:01 pm

The problem with December are that the daylight hours are so short - OK if you're a local, but there's lots of dark hours that mean its not quite such good value for money for folks travelling from thousands of miles away. And, whilst I like golden light, I hate ugly wing shadows all the way down the fuselage (sorry, like in the 747 shot) and the low sun angle makes those inevitable after about 3:00PM in December. Personally I like to get the most from the light whilst still being there the heat haze isn't too bad so late October or November, or late February or March are my preferred times.

Andy

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