To take the stunning photographs you want to there is a lot more to consider than just the old point and shoot. Planning is the key and you will find that the more research and planing you do the less time you will need to spend trying to figure out the how. This will also reduce any potential expense you may encounter through the consumption of not just time, but other resources that don’t come freely.
Let’s explore the ten commandments for landscape photography that have helped us catch that exact shot we have been looking for.
01 Use The Photographer’s Ephemeris to calculate the time and the path of the sun and moon as they set and rise. TPE is a great little app that has so many handy features built into it. You can set pins in the map to come back to at later dates and plan your attack to get the perfect position in those precious moments of the most creative soft light. The sun and the moon, just like the tide, wait for no man; so be prepared. You can find this great tool online at http://photoephemeris.com/
02 Check thy tide charts. With coastal scenes, an out-going tide will leave a pristine beach, free of footprints. Rocks will still be wet and hence, reflect the light.
03 Check thy gear before leaving home. Batteries must be charged; memory cards must be empty. The tripod shoe should be on the camera. Lenses and filters must be clean.
04 Arrive at thy location one hour early. If thou art relaxed, thou wilt be in a better frame of mind to produce great images.
05 Scout thy location thoroughly, looking for likely compositions. Pre-focus. Wait for the right light.
06 Use a hot shoe spirit level to keep the horizon straight. (This is very useful for video, or when shooting in the dark.) Alternatively, of course, if thou hast a recent-model DSLR, it may have an in-built level.
07 Tell someone exactly where thou art going.
08 Thou shalt look after thyself. Don’t forget to fuel up. Have snacks, hot drinks, music, warm clothes, first aid and cellphone.
09 Know thy gear. (Thou cannot see thy camera controls in the dark). When the sun is setting, thou wilt only have a short window of opportunity to capture the best light. Now is not the time to be fumbling around trying to read the manual in the impending darkness!
10 Thou shalt have fun! If it doesn’t work out, don’t fret. Pack up, go home and treat thyself to a hot shower or a decent meal. It is not uncommon for two out of three photo shoots to fail. That is, thou may not have bagged any great photos. But this can be par for the course, as one cannot completely control the vagaries of the weather… the wind, the tides, the clouds.
Indeed, it is precisely this uncertainty which makes Landscape Photography such an exciting pursuit.