A good landscape photography location is usually pretty easy to spot. Just find a landscape with the potential to create a stunning photograph, and start snapping, right?
Wrong! Finding the exact best landscape photography location to take a picture from is probably the most critical aspect for creating a good landscape photograph, and it is not as straightforward as you might think.
Spotting this location is an art and will seem difficult at first, but as one of Africa’s greatest golf exports, Gary Player once said, Practise makes Perfect!
This might seem hard, especially as the results are not immediate. When looking back at all the pictures I have taken throughout my career, I can definitely see an improvement in my results since I started concentrating on the exact position I take landscape photographs from.
At first, I often found that when a great opportunity for landscape photography presented itself, I had this urge to take the picture immediately and move on. Not very clever… To enable you to get the best shot possible, it is often necessary to take a step back. Put your camera down for a while. Walk around, climb up that little hill and spend some time to find the best vantage point for the landscape under consideration.
It is not pointless! If you do this, your picture will stand out from the crowd.
When photographing landscapes I often wish that a certain house wasn’t built right there or those telephone lines didn’t cross a hill just there, since it spoils my intended photograph.
Unfortunately, the signs of human civilisation are everywhere and it keeps invading what little unspoilt nature is left (although humans are actually part of nature, hmm…)
I do not like signs of civilisation showing in my pictures, so I walk around and (try my best to) find a vantage point that helps me exclude those ugly telephone poles etc. from my picture.
But doing this feels like work! Yes it does, because it is work. Important work to help you get the shot. How nice it would be if we could just sit still and be presented with perfect landscapes to photograph all day long. Everyone would be a good landscape photographer then. And trust me, you don’t need the competition!
To get to the best landscape photography location for the shot, you have to do some searching and this will take some time. However, you will almost always find that the resulting shot will be much more rewarding than the one you were about to take when you first saw the opportunity.
Sometimes it is difficult to get to certain spots, and you need to set free the adventurer in you. Take up rock climbing if you need to, or learn to fly a microlight if you are still frustrated. No, you do not really have to go to such extremes. However, do something, try to reach that perfect viewpoint, and you will get results!
For excellent further reading on the subject of landscape photography, I suggest John Shaw’s Landscape Photography. It is one of the best books written on this subject.
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