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Searching locations for your landscape photography

Set up your tripod, choose your camera settings and press the shutter. Click! Your image is made. Doesn’t seem so hard, does it? Oh how I wish it were that simple. There’s more to making a great picture than that. Apart from editing afterwards, searching for locations takes up the most time in this whole exercise! People often ask about finding locations to shoot, they contact me on my Instagram asking the whereabouts of particular place and how I have found it. The best way by far is to strap on your boots and go for a walk.

Take your time

Browsing online, readings books, checking maps will certainly help, but they will only get you so far. The only way to truly get to know and understand a particular area is to drive, hike and walk around. A huge part of photography is all about exploring the location, scouting possible subjects to shoot, discovering great angles that would make a stunning picture. On the other hand, a very popular thing to do nowadays is to recreate pictures that are famous on Instagram. But is that a good thing, or should you avoid visiting those iconic locations? I wrote all about this topic in a separate blog post.


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Landscape photography, and outdoor photography in general is a lot of walking around. Usually the best light for photography is at dusk or dawn. A great tip is to arrive early, walk around during the middle of the day, searching around a little bit. Use the time of day when the sun is still high in the sky to search compositions, and get to know the area.


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While doing that, maybe you can take a couple of handheld shots already to see if the location or the composition would work for a particular photograph you have in mind. Just see what works and what not. So after a couple of hours, you’ll have a few locations in mind. When the sun is setting and the lighting or the weather conditions get better, you can go back to make the image.


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By the way, that doesn’t mean that the middle of the day is not a good time to shoot. Sometimes it can be awesome as well, for example when there are some stormy clouds up in the sky, creating mood and drama in the background of your photograph.


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Remain positive

Photography can be both exciting and frustrating. Visiting a photo location for the first time can be exciting, and can it can really inspire you. On the other hand, it can also overwhelm you, leaving self-doubts whether you’re making the most of the location you’re in. Sometimes a location can be disappointing, when it turns out not that great. Remain positive, you can take it off your list and head on to the next one!

Check out my Instagram account @bengoesplaces for inspiration!


Smith Rock Oregon landscape photography location