Every year, the landscape photography community is gripped by all manner of new fads, fashions and crazes which tend to peter out as fast as they set in. What can always be taken away from such movements is that when it comes to pure timelessness, there are certain good habits and positive practices that never die out.
It’s quite often the case that landscape photographers get so wrapped up in modifying and evolving their skills that they lose sight of the most crucial basics and end up worse off for their effort. Some approach each new year with the intention of radically overhauling what they do, while others just make a few simple promises to themselves about their commitment to the cause going forward.
The simple fact of the matter is that if you’re willing to make the effort, you really don’t have to go too far outside of your comfort zone to take genuine quality landscape photographs. It’s actually more about patience and dedication than it is about radical thinking, which you’ll find out first hand simply by going the extra mile to capture nature’s most breath-taking shows in the right place at the right time.
Get Up Earlier
It’s of course no secret that each day brings its own so-called ‘golden hours’ when the sun is just perfectly bathing the land. However, what so many fail to take on board…or at least choose to ignore…is the fact that one of these periods occurs just after daybreak while the second precedes dusk. For reasons that can only possibly by put down to simple convenience, the overwhelming majority of photographers side with the latter of the two golden hours when going about the landscape shots, which although guarantees to yield amazing results nonetheless results in too many photographers taking the same shots.
By contrast, capture the same landscape at the opposite end of the day with the light coming in from a different direction and casting wholly different shadows to produce far more original images the likes of which have not already been done to death.
Embrace Cloud Cover
For most photographers…or at least a fair few…the emergence rapidly manifesting cloud and the loss of direct light covering signals the end of the photographic day and its opportunities. The pretty sky has gone, so that’s that…job done for now at least. Sadly, those working in such a way could be missing out on something quite spectacular as not only can cloudy skies of course result in dramatic imagery, but breaking cloud formations can be uniquely stunning.
It takes a great deal of patience and there’s a chance the cloud could be around for hours or even days on end, but it’s always worth hanging around a little longer and experiment with ‘calmer’ light and muted colours.
When the experts behind aspect2i.co.uk organise landscape photography trips, they always advise their clients to expect to get their boots dirty. Why is this? Well, the reason can be illustrated pretty clearly by taking a trip to any area of natural beauty and looking just how many people are taking pictures from the designated viewpoint by the side of the road, or just off the edge of the car park. Quite simply, this is not the way to get the kinds of shots you’ll be proud of.
Instead, you need to be willing to make the effort to go above and beyond the confines of where everyone else is taking their pictures in order to capture something unique. You will not need to climb mountains or swim across rivers, but the locations you will be taken to will offer you a wealth of opportunities.
Take a Course
Last but not least, why not consider making 2015 the year you actually take your skills to the next level by committing to a course? Be it a two-day workshop or a longer residential workshop, there’s a world of professional teachings out there to be revelled in which aren’t going to just fall into your lap.
You just never know what you might be capable of with a gentle nudge in the right direction!