The best photo opportunities are in your backyard – or so the theory goes. However, while there is a great deal of truth to this, nothing beats the thrill of shooting something new in an unfamiliar land.
Many will already embark on dedicated trips with the specific goal of achieving just this, however, for the majority this isn’t a realistically viable option. All is not lost though, as family holidays abroad or even short domestic breaks within your own country can, if carefully planned, incorporate a little time to realise fresh and exciting images. The trick is to research your destination more thoroughly than you would at home, identify a few possible locations and travel with conviction. Plan carefully, and be ruthless in your decision of what gear to take. If you are flying, weight restrictions will have you regretting your choice to pack a vast 600mm prime lens, when in all honesty a more modest zoom would have sufficed. Your research, if sound, should help reduce unexpected ‘need’. Conversely, I would encourage you to pack the single most awkward, yet most beneficial item you own, a tripod. There are so many light, compact models available that for a landscape photographer it is no longer an excuse to leave one behind. Returning home with blurred images that you may never get the chance to shoot again can be particularly heartbreaking.
Above all else enjoy your adventures amid the unknown – it’s the same hitherto unseen characteristics of the land that will ignite your enthusiasm and benefit your pictures. Just don’t forget to include them in the viewfinder!
Read this article, and many more, in High Definition, inside Issue 33 of Landscape Photography Magazine.