From technique to equipment to preparation, these field-tested ideas will help you make better landscape photos
By George D. Lepp
There are a number of tips on photographing landscapes that I'd like to share with you. Landscapes are all around us and are well worth traveling the world to find. Use your tools wisely and creatively, and others will want to share these places with you. You might even use these images to protect and save the places you love.
Timing Is Everything Being at the right place at the right moment is very important, and serendipity plays a significant part in all of this. Then, again, we make a lot of our own luck. Scouting a location so you know where good vantage points are and under what conditions they will work is a start. When I'm traveling or working a new area, I keep my eyes alert during each day to find places that might look good later in the day, later in the week, or in different weather that might have potential.
The fact is that we often have to wait for all the things that make a successful landscape image to come together. The season, the time of day, the atmospheric conditions, even the equipment you brought along will play a part in whether you get that winning photo.
The image here is from the Namib Desert in Namibia, Africa. It was taken at early light from a location scouted in advance and with the right focal length to cover the scene in three images, and then combined later.
Give Yourself Time This goes along with the previous suggestions. If you don't give yourself time for everything to come together, your chances are diminished. Stay in an area long enough to see the patterns of light and to find the vantage points that will give the best photographic possibilities. Research Know ahead of time where some of these vantage points from which you want to photograph are located. Are the roads open to the place you want to be? Does the place have potential for fall colors? Can you camp nearby so the trip for sunrise is easier? I had plans of photographing sunrise up in the bristlecone pines of the White Mountains of California. With a little research, I found out that the location at Patriarch Grove doesn't allow overnight camping and the nearest campground was quite a few miles away. It changed my plans and the equipment I took on the trip.