I got asked a few days ago is landscape photography really worth it? It sort of got me thinking about why I do it. I suppose this post is some of my thoughts on the subject and hopefully it answers the question – is landscape photography really worth it?
There is nothing like the feeling of the ocean breeze in your hair or the silence of a still desert night; these feelings are part of an experience that makes landscape photography so important to me.
When I lived in Albany, Western Australia I met Andrew Halsall who showed me just how to appreciate landscape photography. I always thought landscape photography was about arriving in a remote location only to unpack heavy photography gear. My thoughts had left me with the impression landscapes were was such a waste of time – I mean all that travel just to set up the camera on a tripod and take a photo – what a stupid idea! I couldn’t have been more wrong! I was shown there was a lot more to photographing landscape than I had imagined.
My thoughts started to change when I was taken on a few landscape adventures armed with some of Andrew’s essentials which included a camp cooker, stove top coffee plunger and some great humor. I have great memories of camping under the stars on uncomfortable ground after relentless days of hiking through the Stirling’s or even cooking toasted bacon sandwiches whilst the camera was photographing a star trail. Thinking back now I know that these experiences are really why landscape photography is one of the photographic subjects I now pursue.
Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ranges National Park
Living in Western Australia, I have been fortunate to photograph forests, oceans, deserts, mountains and salt lakes. I truly believe Western Australia has some amazing landscapes. You simply just need to get out there to photograph it.
So what does it take to photograph a landscape?
Simply put – determination! All you need is a little bit of determination to get yourself out of bed. The cold mornings and nights when all you want to do is go to back to sleep are the moments when you need to push yourself. My mums voice ” You’ll enjoy it when you get there” is a constant reminder which haunts me to get out of bed. The thought of getting up in darkness to take a photo is clearly mad for non photographers but the experience when you see the sunrise over a valley or a shooting star really makes the effort worthwhile.
I suppose what separates landscape photographers from the happy snappers is really a simple answer – you either enjoy landscape photography or you don’t. Being a landscape photographer isn’t really something you just think about it is something you become. It becomes a passion. All you need to do is get out there, make sure you have a full battery and memory card and the landscape will do the rest. Although don’t get me wrong there is a lot of art and post production behind a good landscape photographer but that will come with time and experience.
I really have never been much of a writer or philosopher but photographer yes! My motivation to get out and photograph the landscape comes down to the love of the outdoors. So next time you aren’t motivated in your photography just remember to break past the mind barrier and get outdoors with your camera in hand – I’ll tell you now you won’t regret it.
Lake Leschenaultia, Western Australia
Until next time – Happy Shooting.