It’s tempting to think that you have to travel a long way to shoot landscapes and that only epic vistas will translate into great shots; that a shot only has value if it has been hard to create and shooting close to home is somehow “cheating:’ However, there are great landscapes everywhere, and you shouldn’t overlook your local patch, even if it isn’t home to snow-capped mountains, glaciers, or vast sand dunes.
There are many advantages to staying close to home: you can visit whenever you like, often at a moment’s notice (useful in changeable weather), and you can really get to know the best time and weather conditions in which to capture your locations. In this way, you can build up a comprehensive portfolio. Plus there is the benefit of reduced cost-little or no fuel to pay for, no hotel or food bills-and a limited carbon footprint.
So, this assignment is all about showing off your local area with a series of stunning shots. Ideally, these should be taken within walking distance of your home, but if this really isn’t feasible, then limit yourself to a 20-minute drive.
View the images
- You don’t need sweeping vistas-look for abstract and detail shots as well.
- Work with the natural character of the landscape-for example, if there aren’t many striking features, try minimalist compositions (see L5, Keep it Simple).
- A pair of comfortable shoes.
- When exploring your neighborhood, work out which conditions will suit different viewpoints. All landscape photographs depend on weather conditions-even the classic locations will look dull in the wrong light. Try to visualize which locations will look good in the golden hours, which might suit the blue hour, which could look good in fog, and so on. And then go back with your camera at those times.