Getting More out of Your Landscape Photography Locations

Landscape photography can be a fickle thing, as you don't get to choose your lighting or even what a big chunk of your composition (the sky) will look like. This great video talks about how you can maximize what you get out of a location no matter what the conditions.

Coming to you from Tom Mackie with Landscape Photography iQ, this helpful video talks about getting the most out of a landscape photography location. I think Mackie touches on a really important philosophy: while it'sĀ great to previsualize your shots and have an idea of what you want to get from a location, you also have to be fluid and willing to adapt to changing conditions. This generally means two things: having the knowledge and equipment (namely a good filter set) to be ready to create a range of different shots depending on the available conditions and the willingness to deviate from your plan. It's important to be able to recognize when the conditions aren't ripe for the shot you want and to not get a bit of photographic tunnel vision in chasing an image that isn't there. Check out the video above for more of Mackie's helpful tips as he walks you through his process.

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4 Comments

Y'all got any more of those... Photographing the World with Elia Locardi series?!? *scratches neck*

Pedro Quintela's picture

I agree with Tom, framing and adequate our actions in function of the scene/conditions we got. When we got a particular vision of the moment, all needs to be done to achieve it.
With experience it will became natural the way we deal when the elements change dramatically, or quite fast.

Good advice but the lighthouse in the video was a bit boring. Thomas Heaton on a recent video was talking about Mesa Arch in Canyonlands. He was here for sunrise and saw 40 other photographers cramed together, determined to get the shot. The light sucked and never hit the arch but no one moved, refused to give up their spot. Heaton and his group did the smart thing and went to other locations, walking 500 m either way and got great shots. A disturbing thing though is that people, including Heaton himself, didn't even know they were in Canyonlands national park, they just knew about Mesa Arch... So yeah, if the shot you wanted wasn't here, go somewhere else. And don't just go to places because everyone goes there... At learn about it. For example Canyonlands is better in its "Needles" region, but mostly hikers go here. Lazy photographers go to Island in the Sky because it's so accessible.

Michael Breitung's picture

Some helpful tips here and it was interesting to follow his thought process.

But it only scratches on the surface of working a location, so the title is a little misleading. It's just about trying to take the iconic shot of Fanad Lighthouse. Did you see the bare spot where he has placed his tripod in the video ;-) I think every photographer visiting Fanad - includeing me 5 years ago - stood there with his tripod for at least one photo.

So, in my opinion he skipped the most important part about working a location, which is looking beyond the iconic shot. Especiall when, as he says, the conditions are not ideal. The only chance to capture something special in such conditions is to skip the iconic composition and look for something that works with the light you have.

He just mentiones it at the end that he'll now start looking around and see, if he can find something else, which he does. I think that's actually what's the most important thing and with that title of the video he could have talked a bit more about this.

But I don't want to complain to much ;-)