Planning to Shoot Landscape Photography


Here are my tips for planning to shoot Landscape photography. Getting a great shot isn't really about being in the right place at the right time but that does help. Getting a great shot is about planning. Sometimes things do not always go to plan, but the more planning you do the higher chance of you getting the shots that you want.

 Shooting the sunset at Lamington National Park in QLD
Think about the style of shooting that you are planning of doing as this will assist you to ensure that you have the correct equipment with you. There is nothing worse than turning up and then realising that you should have bought the 200mm lens. I plan so that I can pack light. Especially if I know that I will have to be doing some walking/trekking. Most of my shots are wide landscapes and seascapes and my bag will be set up with equipment for this so that I can grab it and go in a seconds notice if I see some amazing light or clouds forming. Generally it is set up with one Canon camera body, a wide lens either an 11-16mm or 16-35mm, 50mm lens, tripod, cable remote, multiple memory cards, spare batteries, cleaning cloths, some small earphones, Lee 100mm drop in filter kit, and a pouch full of various ND filters. My favourite filters are the Lee Big Stopper and the Lee Little Stopper  
Bronte Beach Pool is a location that I shoot regularly, but you do not get light like this everyday
Just outside a little town in NSW called Dungog. Google Maps can help you find these locations
Find out as much information as you can about a location before you go. For me inspiration will strike and I will want to go to a location to shoot and already have in my head the kind of shots that I want to achieve. Other times I will be travelling for work or just for a holiday to a new location. This is when the planning fun commences. I start questioning myself....what kind of landscape am is it that I am travelling to? Have I seen any photos that I liked from that area? Then I will start my research and planning. Finding inspiration from other photographers that have shot that location, scouring google maps for new locations to shoot in the area, checking the weather patterns for that time of year and finding out what are the tides doing if I am shooting seascapes. Doing all of these things starts to give me a shot list.
The research was done before landing in Japan about this UNESCO world heritage site
If you are planning a shoot close to home this is easy, but if you are travelling domestically or even internationally, the planning of you accommodation is very important. When I am flying somewhere I will generally book with AirBnB. The reason for this is that I can find a place close to where I want to be shooting and have the comforts of home. Domestically if I am driving I have a camper trailer that allows me to basically camp anywhere I want and gives me the freedom to get away from the cities.
How good is it staying in something as traditional as this Ryokan in Japan
The planning of the timing that you are at a location to shoot is critical. Are you wanting to shoot at sunset, sunrise, low tide, direction of the sunlight and time of the day. These are all major factors that must be considered. Plan not only how long it will take you to get to a location but how long it will take you to set up your equipment once you arrive. There is nothing worse than running with all of your equipment and finally getting it all set up and the colours in the sky have disappeared. You also want to have some time to survey the area once you arrive as their may be a better location than you have planned once you see it for the first time. 

Overall, just plan, plan, plan. You can never be to over prepared for new locations, but being under prepared is devastating and disappointing. It even could be costly as who knows the next time you will be at that location.


I planned to shoot the sunset to Byron Bay but I didn't expect this

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