2. Do Your Research
It’s all well and good heading out to a new location and hoping for the best, and if that’s the way you like to work then that’s fine. However, for the majority of landscape photographers they could benefit from doing a bit of research before heading out on a shoot.
This can include using some popular photography related apps such as The Photographers Ephemeris or simply checking the weather for your destination. The idea is that when you arrive on location the weather is as you expected and you know where the sun will be at certain points throughout the shoot. This stops you running around like a headless chicken as you try to figure out what’s going to happen, and generally results in a much more pleasant day out.
Here are a few things you should check before every landscape expedition:
- Weather – This includes cloud cover, rain percentage, wind speed.
- Position of the sun – So you know where the sun is rising/setting and what path it’s taking to get there.
- Time of sunrise/sunset – Believe me, you don’t want to arrive 30 minutes late because you forgot to check what time the sun was rising.
- Tide times: Obviously only when shooting seascapes. Not only does this help you predict what you can shoot, but it’s crucial for your safety when in the field.
For this shoot I knew exactly where the sun was rising and at what time it would emerge from behind the hill to my rear-left. This allowed me to be in position, photograph composed and ready to take the shot when those first rays of light hit the tree.