Landscape Photography – My Thoughts
18 Aug 2020 5:18AM
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As a landscape photographer I am constantly looking for places to photograph. So where do I look? Well the most obvious one is I look for places whilst out and about and if I see one then I whip out my mobile phone and take a quick shot of it so that I have it geotagged and I can find it again later! Something that I have noticed, that since taking up landscape photography, I have taken far more aware of my surroundings, I spend half my time looking over my shoulder to see if theres a composition!
Where else, well online most defiantly, there are literally millions of images and lists of wonderful places to photograph, most are in other counties or to far away for a day trip but there are still thousands in your own counties. If I see a picture that really like then I try to find its location and then go and try to recreate it, maybe put my own spin on it.
A case in point is the picture to the below, I had seen a video of a guy, doing a shoot from this exact location in the winter and wanted to get a similar shoot, what I forgot was that in the summer the grass is taller and the shoot from here just wouldnt have worked, so after a quick rethink I went back over the bridge and finished up with second shot below.
I guess at the end of the day everywhere is a potential location, its just about finding the right composition and then getting there for the light to be in the right place.
In the last month I have climbed the Pen Y Fan in Brecon twice and on both occasions Ive had limited visibility, good thing or bad thing? Well arguably its a good thing, after all who wants a clear blue sky, in my opinion a landscape photograph needs something to add drama and its normally the weather. As it says on my About Me page, A nice view doesn’t make a great photograph.
I suppose the other question is what is the definition of a landscape photograph? Well this is the Wikipedia definition. Landscape photography shows spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. Landscape photographs typically capture the presence of nature but can also focus on man-made features or disturbances of landscapes..
I had it in my own mind that landscape photography had to be great big vistas taken from high mountains but that clearly isnt the case. A landscape could be taken from the front of your house looking down the road (Urban Landscape Photography).
Equally, Im always asking people if they like a photograph that Ive taken. In reality, does it even matter what others think of your pictures, so long as you like it, thats all that matters! Thats the beauty of it, photography is just art and art (like food) is subjective.
So in the short while that Ive been doing landscape photography, what lessons have I learned aside from how to use my camera:
A nice view doesnt make a great photograph!
Plan your shoot
Camera bags are a waste of time for being in the middle of nowhere, buy a rucksack and some padded bags
Tripod, make sure its a robust one
Lenses, I have 10-18mm, 18-55mm, 24-70mm and a 70-200mm and take all of them every time!
Filters, I carry three variable ND filters, which fit the four lenses
Remote shutter release
Waterproof jacket and trousers, just because its not raining now
Boots, waterproof ones, even in summer you can get heavy dew in the early hours. If your shoot means a long walk, then wellies wont do.
Coffee/tea (its cold in the mornings).
Get rid of excess packaging before you leave the house, saves carrying it around all day
Tell somebody where your going or leave a route with them and dont change your mind without letting them know.
Quality vs quantity – success comes from focusing on a few compositions and doing them well!
Revisit locations, each season will have its own way of presenting that piece of landscape to you
Sunsets are easy, your already awake!
Sunrises are hard, be prepared for some sleepless nights in pursuit of a great sunrise shot
When you have a great shot, you will know!