Whether it’s a career or a hobby, landscape photography is challenging, invigorating, and can be deeply gratifying. It requires technical expertise, creativity, a unique way of seeing the world a sense of play and both mental and physical acuity. Moreover, it can take you to some of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. Also, given how inexpensive many digital cameras are, it’s simple to get started as a photographer.
However, before you set out to explore the world and make photographs of it, ask yourself if this is truly the right path for you. For whom would you be creating these images? After all, there’s currently a glut of photographers, and consequently, this art form is full of repetition and banality.
Specifically, it’s wise to make sure that you’re not entering this area for one of the following reasons.
Some photographers become consumed by the idea of the perfect shot. They crave ideal lighting conditions and may only shoot when they think they have them. They need their animal subjects to pose just so. They have in mind an image that may or may not be there. In short, they have complete and very precise visions, and may get frustrated if any of their conditions are not met or their final product fails to meet those standards in even the slightest ways. In pursuit of their “vision”, they all too often fail to see what is right before their eyes and frequently miss other wonderful opportunities before their cameras. Their eyes may be open, but their minds are closed.
Obviously, striving for excellence is commendable. But seeking perfection at all costs is usually self-defeating. It can rob an artist’s work of joy and spontaneity. Plus, if you’re traveling the world, you might as well enjoy it. Instead of just laboring for faultless creations, then, it makes sense to spend time hiking, swimming, or taking part in whatever types of recreation you like.
Some photographers believe that they should avoid places that are photographic icons; and thus, they attempt to reach the remotest spots possible. However, without the appropriate gear and training being far from civilization can be difficult and hazardous, as well as expensive. Not to mention, some oft-photographed locales are especially fun to visit: Hawaii, for example. Why cheat yourself out of such thrilling trips if the images being made are primarily for you? In addition, even the most familiar landscape can be imbued with a fresh perspective.
These days, some photographers are consumed by the size of their social media followings and by the number of positive responses that they receive from online “friends”. This compulsion can greatly hinder creativity. That is, some people will only take photos that they think others will like instead of heeding their intuition or making images that they like. As a result, many people stop taking chances. Clichés start to appear everywhere, and the entire field is diminished.
In short, the only sound reason to pursue landscape photography is that you adore it and can’t imagine yourself not doing it. If you’re committed to inventive — if not perfect — work, you’ll satisfy your artistic spirit, and you’ll earn real fans who are excited by your vision and originality!