What It's Really Like Being a Landscape Photographer

Look at enough photos and watch enough YouTube, and you might begin to suspect that landscape photography consists solely of jetting to exotic locations and arriving just as that golden light crests a mountain. And sure, those moments are there, but this great video examines what the average days are like. Spoiler alert: they're pretty great.

Coming to you from Thomas Heaton, this video follows him on an average day inside Zion National Park. I think the beauty (at least for me) of landscape photography is surrendering yourself to the element of chance that pervades its pursuit. There will always be things out of your control, and sometimes, those will subvert your ability to get a shot. Those aside, it's still a genre where unlike most others, you don't construct a composition from scratch, you happen upon it and tweak it. As such, it's important to simply appreciate the surroundings for what they are and to enjoy the meditative value that being outdoors in these beautiful places can provide. There's a lot of downtime, so to speak, but for those who love the genre, that's just as enjoyable as furiously firing frames of the last flares of light before it dips below the horizon.

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12 Comments

I expected a picture of 20+ photographers shooting the exact same view.

Bill Peppas's picture

That's a rude and inappropriate comment.
Same could be said about the numerous portrait photographes and the very same angles & lighting patterns if this is what makes your day.

No.
Real landscape photographers don't limit themselves into shooting the very same familiar locations, nor stick to shooting the "everybody has it" well-known view from the same perspective.

Chill. It was meant to be funny not rude. I like shooting portraits as well as landscapes. I also shoot the same iconic angles as everyone else.

Aren't you also being rude by deciding who is or isn't a "real landscape photographer"? :-/

Bill Peppas's picture

It is what it is, rude is not it IMHO.

Whoever just copies somebody else's angles and perspective and everything, that's a copycat, not a photographer.

Well, we have different opinions but mine aren't humble. :-)

Bill Peppas's picture

good, show us your not humble work though.

You wouldn't like it. I only copy my father.

Bill Peppas's picture

Show us, don't be so shy.

Not shy. I'm just not interested in that.

Too long. I don't enjoy the sound of his voice as much as he does.

Rob Watts's picture

I agree with Alex's (article author) entire second paragraph. That's why I do it. The immense challenge with so many elements in play at the same time; the landscape itself, weather, time of day, obstacles, choices you make or don't, etc. I appreciate being outdoors, the down time and exploring new locations or revisiting those I've been to in different conditions.