Hard Truths Every Landscape Photographer Should Know

Landscape photography is a fairly unique genre, requiring loads of patience and often, a bit of luck. Whether you are new to the genre or a seasoned pro, there are some hard truths we all have to hear from time to time, and this excellent video essay discusses them. 

Coming to you from Mads Peter Iversen, this great video essay discusses a wide range of hard truths all landscape photographers need to learn at some point. Of them, I think the most important is the simple fact that you will fail many, many times. Often, the most frustrating aspect of landscape photography is that you can do everything right from having all your technique down pat to doing all the proper planning but still be foiled by the weather. And because the genre often requires serious time commitment and physical exertion, those sorts of days can be especially disheartening. However, the important thing to remember is that even the best professionals have days like this, and things will get better. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Iversen.

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

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5 Comments

EDWIN GENAUX's picture

Yes not everyone will like your images or all. The biggest Truth is having a sight or dream of a shot and Planning for the right date and time after a lot of scouting. Next you have to be out there day or night some hours before day or night. This calls for weather watching and proper clothing and footwear also. The main truth it pulls at your soul, no alarm is needed for a 2am wakeup to be there for a 3am shot or the physicalness to hike a long distance and carry your camera gear and camping gear. Also lonely out in the wide spaces and the many hours in front of a computer learning to process and processing images.A big truth any camera from old to new will do the job, do not chase the cameras with a lot of pixels for the high-resolution, unless you view prints with a magnifying glass. No travel needed, there are places all around, just keep a camera with you for that moment or a scout preview shot. Need to Enjoy and not a struggle! Every capture is a test of what you have learned but you learn something new from every capture. Learn skills from others images but never go and try to capture the same for all are a record a past time and you will record another stop of time. 10 cameras side by side and all capture differently for it is the person behind not the camera. Your turn to learn and add!!!

Robert Nurse's picture

Your comment about the need to travel is so true. But, the grass is always greener somewhere else. Good stuff man! One thing I'd like to do more of is astro work. For that, travel is a must: at least a 2-3 hour drive.

Jacob Hagel's picture

Your comment was better than the original post/video.

BubbA Gumphy's picture

I've got up my game - start talking with an accent, swallow a fly, talk about "hard truths," emphasize my existentialist angst, be honest and say that no one is buying my work on Instagram. Take myself very, very seriously.

Or I can just enjoy what I do, shoot for myself and the pleasure it gives me, stop being a self serving shill, and not worry about being a personality on YouTube or Instagram.

Historically, few photographers have ever become wealthy - I may be the last generation to actually have been able to make a six figure income career out of it. And that ability for us ended about a decade ago. And few photographers - prior to social media - ever became well known.

Maybe that's something that comes with age - you become comfortable with yourself. Now that's a "hard truth."

Ryan Anderson's picture

Although I enjoy watching a lot of different YouTube photographers and have learned a lot of great techniques and it's helped me up my game, I have to constantly tell myself they are in a different world than I live in. Many of these photographers aren't constrained to having to balance a working life vs. the love of photography. Working 50-60 hours a week M-F and only having weekends to get out for a photography excursion really limits the ability to capture those perfect moments. I'll see great weather patters on my weather apps on a Tuesday and Wednesday, but there is no way I get out out of the city and take advantage. Then the weekend rolls around and the weather is crap. It's very frustrating, but such is life. As long as I know the limitations I have to deal with it helps to keep me sane and enjoy the hobby I love so much. Compare and learn from others, but don't feel like you have to be them and if you're not you're failing.