There Really is no Excuse

June 19th 2023

Landscape photography is easy right? Ha! Now you may ask me why I am saying this? Many years ago, I met a photographer from Montreal…no, don’t ask me his name! I won’t tell you who he is! He checked out my portfolio but while looking at my landscape images, he kept saying: Anybody can do this! All you have to do is go out and shoot!

Even though that statement is technically true, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that landscape photography actually is all that easy! We, as landscape photographers, have so many struggles to deal with…here are a few and how I deal with them!

Holy Light
Always always be ready to fire your shutter! You never know when the light will show up! This epic light show lasted a very few minutes but I was ready to capture it! Was I lucky? Maybe a little, yes!


GO OUT AND SHOOT!


It might be raining outside, or thunder is rumbling, maybe your car is fully covered with snow….no matter what the reason to keep you in your warm bed is, go out and shoot! Some of my all time favorite images were captured at the most unexpected time… Are you traveling in Iceland or Scotland or the Canadian Rockies? These locations, amongst many others, have weather conditions that can change every minutes! You don’t want you camera gear to get wet? Bring an umbrella or a rain cover for it! No matter what the conditions are outside, go out and shoot! I guarantee that in most cases, you won’t regret it and come back with some banger images!

Wintertime Moods
The easy decision on that morning would have been to stay in bed but no! Not me! Rain or shine, you will find me out there shooting! And look what I brought back home!


DON'T RUSH YOURSELF!


When you go outside to shoot landscape images, simply don’t rush yourself! Take time to explore as many composition options as possible at one given location. Try to shoot as low as possible…try different shutter speeds…different aperture…different focal length. Work your composition!

Into the Blues
Foggy and smokey Moraine Lake...was I disappointed? Not at all because I came back home with such a cool and quite unique composition of this heavily photographed location.



THE LIGHT WON'T WAIT


Always be on time because the light won’t wait for you! I always reach my shooting locations way before "the prime moment". I prefer to wait while enjoying the scene rather than simply missing the perfect light!


NOT WHAT YOU EXPECTED?


Ok, so the light was not what you expected? Try getting some moody images instead… I don’t know about you but I am truly a sucker for those moody atmospherical conditions! Many of my all time favorite images were captured on days most people would have stayed in bed… Don’t get me wrong, I do love a colorful sunrise or sunset…but if it doesn’t happen, it won’t stop me from taking my camera out of my bag.


Astonishing Chaos
Of course I would have preferred a beautiful colorful sunset...but that mood is to me equally as spectacular! It reminds me of how windy that evening was...I feel the elements looking back at this image!

AT LEAST ENJOY YOURSELF


The most important aspect of being outside in the nature is to at least enjoy yourself! It might be raining or it might be all fogged out…maybe you can’t even see the mountains you initially wanted to photograph? Or maybe that waterfall you had in mind as your perfect subject is simply overflowing and brown-ish because of the heavy rain? Concentrate on other things such as abstract compositions! Use your long lens and isolate a very small part of your scene! And correct me if I am wrong, a bad day enjoying nature will always be better than a good day behind your computer in the office!

Athabasca Falls wasn't looking good on that morning...well, the fall was beautiful but Mount Kerkeslin was no where to be found. Waste of time? No! I took my long lens out and concentrated on details...



NEVER DELETE IMAGES


One thing I recommend never doing while being outside on a photography expedition; you should never delete images before you have a chance to view them on your computer screen! We are lucky enough to be able to keep virtually as many images as we wish on our memory cards…so two or three extra images won’t affect you? Wait until you are seated in your big comfy computer chair at home before reviewing and deciding to delete some files. And for the most part, those images that I initially wanted to delete always end up being some of my favorites!


I almost decided to delete this one after capturing it...I am so glad I didn't because I love the multiple lines fighting against each other but also all pointing towards the center of the frame.

PREPARATION IS IMPORTANT

Preparation is important…there are so many available tools for us to plan a photoshoot. You should consider Google Maps and Google Earth for finding locations and possible compositions while being in the comfort of your couch at home. Also consider PhotoPills and Planit Pro for light direction, Milky Way positioning and many more options. You should definitely consider serious weather apps such as Clear Outside or Windy for weather forecast and cloud coverage for specific locations. Are you into aurora? Space Weather and Aurora Pro are two awesome tools to evaluate your chances of seeing Northern Lights. And those many tools and apps mentioned above are just a few amongst so many others available. In 2023, we have no reasons not to be prepared! These apps aren’t technically difficult to use…and using them will greatly facilitate your experience in the wilds.



IN CONCLUSION...


…in conclusion, nobody will ever blame you for trying! I did say this so often and will say it once more: Rain or shine, go out and shoot! There really is no excuse!

Oh and if you'd like to learn more about how I compose my images, you can also visit my article FINDING IMPACTFUL FOREGROUNDS!

Emerald Zen
Emerald Lake was quite moody on that morning but the sky was plain boring. I took my longer lens out and concentrated on small parts of this immense scene to create something really dreamy!
Posted in General Tips.

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