The Art of Persistence in Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is a pursuit that requires patience, dedication, and a persistent mindset. From waiting for the right conditions to refining compositions during challenging moments, as landscape photographers, we face a range of experiences that test our resolve. This article delves into the significance of persistence in landscape photography, exploring how embracing unfavorable conditions can benefit our skills, how enjoying the rewards of successful shots can continue to benefit us long after the shoot, the importance of how considered post-processing and printing of our banger combine and contribute to help us become a successful landscape photographer.

Waiting for the Right Conditions

One of the essential skills in landscape photography is the ability to wait for the perfect conditions to capture breathtaking shots. These conditions may include the golden hour, favorable weather, or the alignment of natural elements that create an awesome composition. Experienced landscape photographers understand that patience is key, as waiting for the opportune moment can result in awe-inspiring and ethereal images. Remember, it is better to capture a single remarkable photograph in ideal conditions than to rush through and produce mediocre shots. While many of the amazing shots we all see from other photographers look like they just rocked up and took the shot, the truth is that there have been many failed shoots beforehand, many mediocre images, and, most of all, many opportunities for each photographer to either give up or learn from each experience .

Learning From Unfavorable Conditions

Despite meticulous planning, us landscape photographers may encounter situations where the conditions are not ideal. Whether it's unexpected rain, overcast skies, or harsh lighting, these moments should not be seen as setbacks. Instead, consider them as opportunities to refine your compositional skills and experiment with new techniques. Every challenging condition presents a chance to develop adaptability and creative thinking, which are invaluable assets for any photographer. A strong image consists of many elements and if we use the opportunity of "bad conditions" to fine-tune and lock in that banger composition, then we have removed one of the element challenges, all that's left now is to wait or try again when the conditions are exactly as we wanted.

Avoiding Frustration

Frustration can be a natural response when confronted with uncooperative weather or persistent challenges. However, it's essential to maintain a positive mindset and remember that every landscape photographer faces hurdles. By reframing setbacks as learning experiences, frustration can be transformed into motivation. Keep in mind that even the most renowned landscape photographers encountered many failures before achieving greatness. These failures could have been in the same location or in a totally different location, nonetheless by embracing the challenge and opportunity each presented, it helped to drive them on to succeed even more. For those of use that have chased a moon shot, for example, we know that it can only really happen once a month and more often than not clouds can spoil the party and the unobstructed view of the moon sitting on top of our subject. In times like this it is key to not give up, you will have another chance in approx 28 days, so just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and wait until the moment presents itself again.

Fine-Tuning Compositions in Bad Conditions

During adverse weather or lighting conditions, resist the temptation to give up and pack your gear. Instead, use these moments to focus on composition. Experiment with different angles, perspectives, and framing techniques. Pay attention to foreground and background elements that can enhance the overall impact of the photograph. The more you practice fine-tuning compositions during challenging conditions, the more proficient you'll become in capturing captivating shots under any circumstance. Then, of course, when the best light or conditions do come, you are ready and armed with the knowledge that you have done your homework, and now, all that's left to do is catch that banger shot. 

Enjoying the Moment When It Happens

When the right conditions finally align, relish the moment. Take a deep breath and absorb the beauty of the landscape before you. Allow yourself to immerse in the surroundings, creating a stronger connection between you and the scene. Being present in the moment enhances your ability to capture the essence and emotion of the landscape, resulting in more profound and impactful images. After all, most of us landscape photographers love being out in nature, so it's important that we relish that moment and don't just view it from the back of the camera or in the viewfinder, but instead see it for what it is, an amazing spectacle and a moment that we have waited and exercised patience possibly many times to experience. It is ok to let out a scream of joy at this moment, but, of course, not before you catch that elusive shot first.

Spending Time Processing the Images

Post-processing is an essential aspect of landscape photography. While it can be tempting to immediately share your images, dedicating time to process them thoughtfully will significantly improve the final results. Picture the scene, you finally got that shot, you rush back to your computer, load up the raw file into your processing software, dial in your settings and boom, you finally have it. The key, however, is to let it cook for a while, let your eyes adjust, and enjoy the image for yourself for a while before sharing it online. Once it is online, your edit is dialed in, and there is nothing worse than having that defining shot posted online only to discover a rouge dust spot or worse still, your colors were off, highlights blown, or dark shadows full of noise. During post-processing, you have the opportunity to fine-tune colors, contrast, and other elements to bring out the true essence of the landscape. Use this time to enhance the mood and atmosphere of your photographs, creating visual narratives that resonate with viewers and also yourself for years to come. 

Avoiding Immediate Posting

In the age of social media, there is a tendency to share photographs immediately after capturing them. However, it's crucial to resist this urge and take some time before sharing your work. Allow yourself a cooling-off period, during which you distance yourself from the emotional connection to the photograph. Revisiting the image later with a fresh perspective will enable you to make more objective judgments and potentially identify areas for further improvements.

Embracing the Reward

After dedicating time, effort, and patience to capture the perfect shot, the sense of accomplishment can be incredibly rewarding. Embrace the joy of a successful shoot and celebrate your achievements. Sharing your work with fellow photographers and appreciative audiences can strengthen your passion and drive for landscape photography. The endorphin release that we all feel when receiving any accolades is mostly short-lived. In the modern age, an image passes by the viewer's eyes quite fast, and unless someone sees it there and then, it may not register. A good practice it to share this image more than once, as you will have new followers who join your network after you have shared it at that time, and you will want them to also see this shot(s). A good idea is also to re-share this shot when another shot reminds you of it, or even once a year at the time of year you finally managed to capture it, then the reward systems can start all over again. 

The Importance of Printing Your Images

In today's digital era, many photographs remain confined to screens and hard drives. Printing your images elevates your work to a new level of appreciation. Seeing your photographs come to life on paper brings a sense of fulfillment and allows you to experience the details and textures that might get lost on a screen. Additionally, displaying your prints allows you to share your vision with others and potentially inspire fellow photographers and art enthusiasts. Doing this at home is a great way to remind you of the feelings, hard work, sounds, the exact time you hit that shutter button. It can also serve as a great motivator for you each time to pass it in your hallway, living room, or wherever you decide to hang it. And finally if you have a visitor to your home/workplace you have a great subject to talk about and relive and share off of the emotions that came with grabbing this shot. 

Persistence is the backbone of landscape photography, guiding us photographers through challenging conditions and enriching the rewarding moments. By embracing unfavorable circumstances, fine-tuning compositions, dedicating time to post-processing, and cherishing the journey, us photographers can elevate our craft and create impactful images that stand the test of time. Remember, persistence is not just about the end result; it is about the dedication and love for the art of landscape photography.

Now, I know you have had challenges and rewards like I mentioned above, so share your story in the comments below and let's chat. 

Darren Spoonley's picture

Darren J. Spoonley, is an Ireland-based outdoor photographer, Podcaster, Videographer & Educator with a passion for capturing the beauty of our world.

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Remember to have 3 elements in thelandscape.

It’s the magic number for sure
light, subject, and composition.