The Hard Yards of Landscape Photography

August 1, 2021

moored boat at dawn on lake windermere
feet and water bottle at the top of hellvelyn in cumbria

The Hard Yards of Landscape Photography

Have you ever looked at some of the wonderful lanscape photographs from around the world and thought, ‘I’d love to do that?’. I’ve done it a lot over the years and so, as I am now in the Lake District, I’m doing it. Kind of.

The first thing I’m doing, is not taking a camera out. I’m not scouring other people’s work and nor am I constantly checking the weather forecast. What I am doing, is walking.

The adage of ‘a good photograph is knowing where to stand’ is true but I’ve learnt a simple truth in photography; there is no short cut. Yes, you can do a lot in post production but that won’t compensate if you didn’t know where to stand to begin with. Here in the Lakes, there appears to be a million places to stand but I want to find them all for myself.

‘Use your eyes before you use your camera’

A short yet wise piece of advice from a landscape & nature photographer, Alan McKenzie

The Langdales

Plan ahead, visualise and wait

I think I’ve got ADHD. Standing still is not something I like to do so this is all a little alien.

Field work. That’s what Alan told me to do. I never understood it but now I do. You need to go out and discover the landscape. It is all there for you but you need to see it. And see it your way. The light in nature will do what it will do so you need to watch it and see how it works. Or how it doesn’t. I’ve watched in awe how sunrise has majestically arrived and caught a peak or two that I’m in no position to photograph.

I’ve descended down a trail thinking that it is a flat morning or that sunrise isn’t happening only to see a cloud inversion begin and I’m in the middle of it and had I waited, I’d have seen it all below me. I would call myself an idiot but this is all valueable learning.

I’m doing the legwork now while it is summer to know the paths, parking, terrain and locations where I think the approaching autumn may yield some lovely landscapes. Time will tell, but I’m already excited to see what comes of it and share the highs, the lows and of course, the results.

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