For me shooting a landscape is very rarely about capturing a single image. Perhaps that’s because I am not that good at deciding what will make the best photograph! I’d like to think that good landscape images evolve from a process of first acquainting yourself with a location and then exploring the options. I usually do this in stages, finding that one picture can often lead to another as I start to look more closely at the landscape. The ‘obvious’ picture may not necessarily be the best picture and it’s certainly less likely to generate something original if it’s from a much-photographed location. However, by spending time at a location and fully exploring its photographic potential, I aim to come away with a more comprehensive set of images.
It is very easy to get drawn into shooting what is immediately in front of you, especially when visiting a photographic ‘hotspot’. I do it all the time, especially if I have gone with a preconceived idea of the kind of images I am going to take. This is not a bad place to start but the challenge is to move on from this and delve deeper into the landscape to see what else I can produce. Sometimes this may lead to very little – after all, some locations are simply a one spot shot and they just don’t work from another angle. But this isn’t typical. Usually there is much more to a location than what inspired me to pull out the camera in the first place.
Forcing myself to look harder, walk further and find new things is both challenging and exciting in equal measure and it improves my photography. It is also hugely beneficial when ...