Landscape photography problems – think clearly, think ahead

Landscape photography can be a cold and lonely pursuit. What are you likely to face.

Landscape photography can be a cold and lonely pursuit. What are you likely to face? Carefully consider the implications of Landscape photography problems you will encounter.

Landscape photography problems are not your first thought!

I have done my fair share of landscape photography over the years. As a lover of great open areas and natural scenery I have done a lot of thinking about the problems of photography in the wilds. I think, maybe, that we often think about the simple pleasure of being in a great landscape and making a successful shot. The pleasure over comes the pain. Success provides the gratification we need.

With the occasional success, we also forget the cold, the wet, the waiting, even the cost. Many other things also get in your way. Success only comes when you do things right when trying for your landscape shot. Here are some things for you to think about.

What are the Landscape photography problems?

First of all, your planning. Most snappers think about landscape photos when they are there, in the moment, seeing the landscape. Actually, you will have few successes down that route if you are a committed photographer. You should have a clear idea of your whole trip to get truly great shots squared off.

What exactly do you want to shoot? What short of shot do you want? Do you have the time right – is the sun going to give you the right light, or even be present? Weather? Location? What do you really want to see and how do you want it illuminated? All these questions might require either an intimate knowledge of the location, or a lot of online research. The best landscape shots are previsualised (see also: Definition: Previsualised) and researched in advance of the trip. That way the elements of chance, site hunting and waiting for the right light are reduced.

If you think you have the time of year, day and hour planned to get the right light, are you able to take the shot you want? Your equipment needs planning too. Lenses are especially important to the landscaper. Think too of a decent tripod, filters, batteries, and a whole host of other equipment. So plan the shot logistics carefully. You need to make sure you don’t turn up at your location and find yourself unable to make the shot.

Do you have the personal equipment? Do you need to climb? What weather will you face – hot or cold weather? How hot, how cold? Are you able to get the right clothes, the maps, the food, even the transport to get you there? Budget can be a big issue for all the equipment and transport too.

On the personal safety side, are you safe? Do you need special safety equipment? Do you have the skills? Mountains and deserts, coasts and fens all need very different skill sets to stay safe. Many people have lost their lives failing to anticipate the conditions and have the right equipment with them.

Perseverance gets you past landscape photography problems

Have you got it all perfectly planned? You think you have all the landscape photography problems overcome in advance. Then on the appointed day it all goes wrong. Why? Because the shot you want needs the right light. Planning the right time can help you get past that. Unfortunately the weather is not always so forgiving. That is especially true in the more challenging zones of the world.

In my mind I have a shot I want to make. I once saw the conditions of this location just right. Total inspiration hit me. Wow, just what I wanted. But, and it was a big one, my camera was in the hotel. I metaphorically kicked my own posterior. Anyway, I decided I was going to return and get the shot another day. Well, I have been to that location over 30 times in the last 25 years. I’ve never again seen the shot with the light I want. However, it will be there one day. And, I will get it.

Ansel Adams, the great landscape photographer once said,

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.

Ansel Adams

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Landscape work is like that. If you have been very lucky you may get a great shot. If not, you could be really up against the conditions or time limits. This is where your planning can pay off, or your persistence – more likely both. How ever you may have to run your trip many times to get it right. That is the essence of getting to know your location, yourself and your limits.

The ugly side of landscape photography problems

In the video below is a day in the life of a failed image. If you are hoping to get a shot in a location you are not familiar with I suggest you watch this. If you are hoping to get into landscapes, the video can give you an insight. There is more than a quick snap behind the successful shot. It also reveals the harsh reality of Landscape photography problems for one man in the English Lake District.

One day is often not enough for “the one” shot. Dedicated landscapers often spend many days on looking for the shot they want. Ansel Adams, mentioned above, was also aware of the rareness of great images. He said,

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.

Ansel Adams

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This hit rate is not as far fetched as it seems.

So, while you watch this video, remember, the best landscape shots come with previsualisation, planning and persistence.

Uploaded by: Thomas Heaton  Landscape photography problems | External link - opens new tab/page

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Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training courses in digital photography.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

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