The landscape and outdoor photographer Matt Kloskowski is also well-known in photography circles for his training videos and helpful presets for use with Lightroom, so from time to time I dip into his website to see what’s new that I can learn from. On my last visit I couldn’t resist a headline promising me the secret of getting “epic” landscape shots. The fact that the article describes this as a “not so secret” tip should perhaps have prepared me, but I couldn’t help smile when I read his suggestion; move to the place you want to photograph.
It is true that the most impressive photographs I’ve seen of both land and seascapes have often come from those who live nearby; I know from my own years of living by a particular stretch of coastline that the sea conditions, the light, the clouds, the time of day, the weather and the people on the beach and in the water are always changing so someone with local knowledge should best be able to predict when these changing elements will align in your favour.
So it was that I expected to be able to produce something worthwhile when I returned to that coast with Jane for the weekend, and as we dressed for dinner the sunset and moon hinted that there might be good things to come the following morning, and so it might have been, but I must confess that a different combination of elements came into play as the excesses of the previous evening, a leisurely breakfast and the hotel pool meant we didn’t actually set foot on the beach until long after the golden hour.
I was still hopeful; with clear skies at sea and a haze over the land perhaps I might find something worthwhile?
I’d shot relatively little though when we sat down to watch the world go by. A couple eating ice-creams on a cold autumnal day produced a sort of “winter fashion” type shot, and a man with his dog contributed a moment of action, but neither really go my juices flowing, so as we sat the camera inevitably found its way into Jane’s hands for another piece of instruction on how she could best shoot something. She looked around for things of interest and shot that hazy sky; a nice abstract.
Spotting a stretched out line of cloud that paralleled the horizon and drew the eye to the lighthouse she produced what I felt was the best shot of the day.
So much for local knowledge. Competitive? Me?