Make a plan. Then be prepared to change it!

Sometimes you get lucky and happen upon an amazing scene for a great photograph, but more often than not good landscape photography takes a bit of planning. So understand that a little research and preparation is required.

A fast flowing river in the mountains, Kyrgyzstan

Do some research

Have you been to the area before or is it your first time? To source out good spots to shoot you can use a variety of methods such as looking at maps of the area, visiting the local tourist information centre or simply chatting with the locals about typical weather or animal occurrences.

Abandoned ship in the Aral Sea with graffiti

Make a plan

Decide what you want to shoot and work out what what time of day would be best for the composition you want. Would it look better at sunrise or sunset? Once you know that you can check what times these are taking place and then check the weather forecast.

A camel silhouette at sunset

Be prepared

When heading out to shoot landscapes you will want to be prepared. Make sure you have everything you need such as your tripod, extra memory cards and fully charged batteries. You will also need to be prepared for the conditions especially if you are planning to shoot a sunset, so take extra layers and a head torch so you can find your way back in the dark.

Fairytale Canyon Kyrgyzstan

Know your camera well

Perhaps you're planning to do some astrophotography and shoot whilst it's dark? In this case you will need to know how to adjust your camera settings without much light so it's much easier if you know your camera well. Or if you plan to shoot something where conditions are changing quickly such as wildlife, again it will make your life easier and less frustrating if you know how to make adjustments fast.

A view over the pools and temple at Huanglong Scenic Area, China

Be prepared to change your plan

So you've researched the location you want, you've checked the weather and the sunset times and you have everything you need to take your perfect photograph....and then something happens that you didn't plan for. The weather changes or your car breaks down. That's ok, it happens a lot! When it comes to shooting nature you need to be flexible because conditions can change in an instant and throw your whole plan out of the window. But sometimes these can result in photographs that are just as good if not better than what you planned.

A view point of Ala Kol lake in Kyrgyzstan

Above all just enjoy spending time in nature, whatever it might throw at you :)

Photo credits: Louise France.

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June 06, 2019


Great tips! Even after all these years I just this past week made an amateur's mistake of not recharging my battery before hitting Pickney Island Wildlife Refuge. Thank God for the battery grip! William 

May 26, 2019


Great photos. I view a plan only as a broad statement of intent. I've often been disappointed when my planned photographic activities have been too specific.

May 24, 2019


Well written blog Louise and great pics!

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