How To Make Great Landscape Images Part ii – You Gotta Show Some ‘Flex’

I have just posted this image to my Flickr account.

This is another good example of the key principle that I blathered on about in my previous post ‘How to make great landscape photos’

To make great photos you have to be flexible in your mindset when in the field.

If you are rabidly obsessed with the notion of re-shooting someone else’s shot, or making a composition that you have previously scouted you are, in my opinion, severely limiting your chances of success.

Things change rapidly in the field, your pre-conceptions, planning and pre-visualisations are nothing but thoughts and often bear little resemblance to reality.  In my experience the difference between a good shot and a shot that will be in your portfolio for life can be as little as a five metre change of position or a 30 second change in cloud cover.  You’ve got to be flexible and respond to the conditions.

The Wire’s Avon Barksdale showed a little ‘flex’ from time to time out on the streets – so are you?

Don’t get me wrong – planning, pre-visualisation and scouting are absolutely essential – just don’t give up and throw away opportunities when things don’t go exactly to script on the day.

About this shot; Sunrise, Mt Taranaki / Egmont New Zealand

Sarah & I hiked up the Pouakai Ridge in the dark on the previous night, arriving at the hut at about 10:30pm. We were hellbent on capturing reflections of Mt Taranaki / Egmont in the stunning Pouakai tarns.

However, as dawn approached it was clear that Egmont’s cloud magnet was operating and  that our pre-visualised shots were not going to eventuate.

One of the greatest strengths of shooting as a team is that you can hedge your bets. In this case, Sarah struck out for the tarns and I remained on the ridge – just in case something happened.

Looking back through the EXIF data of the shots that morning, I figure that we had about 2 minutes of this light so things happened fast. I managed to get two compositions together in this light – and it was a mission – as usual gear scattered everywhere and a lot of energy expended!

Unfortunately, Sarah was not quite at the Tarns when the light was at it’s peak, however as the sun came up later in the morning the cloud rolled back a bit and she got some fantastic images from the tarns – which I will share with y’all at some point in the near future :)

Thanks for your time – stay classy!

Cheers – Todd


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