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Thread: Landscape photographers -Do you scout first?

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    Member Birdman's Avatar
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    Landscape photographers -Do you scout first?

    Hi

    I am looking at taking sime landscape photography shots in the new year and was wondering whether you generally scout out your spots first before planning a sunrise shoot there?

    Or the other option is get to spot early and find something to shoot on the morning?

    Thanks

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Yes and No. Sometimes I scout, sometimes I use Google maps (satellite image or street view). I also work out where the sun will rise and set in relation to my location.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    For a Sunrise shoot it's always a good (And Safer) idea to have knowledge of the area first , No Point in stumbling around in the dark near the edges of cliffs/Slippery rocks etc So a scout around the day before or some research prior is a good idea as Rick said , You can get to a spot and just as it gets light sus out a place for the best comp , Good idea to take a torch or better still those LED lights that fit on your head like a miners lamp is a good idea as well , But a little planing is a good idea , You will be rewarded with a great time of day , Very relaxing , Good luck

    PS : Remember to get there an hour before Sunrise to catch the best colours , This usually happens around 30mins before the sun pops over the horizon , Make sure you stay and get the shots using the Golden hour as well
    Last edited by William; 28-12-2011 at 6:26pm.
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    Thanks, I should probably also clarify it would be mostly seascapes as well as thats what i have most of to photograph.

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    Going Cold Blooded outstar79's Avatar
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    Definitely agree with the above statements, I carry my camera just about everywhere as sometimes there's a moment of opportunity that can pass you by - especially while in my car I keep a tripod and camera. I have constantly slammed on the brakes and pulled over when seeing certain photographic opportunities.
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    Just to add a little more , Birdman I dont know how old you are , But as you get older it is a good idea to roughly set up your camera the night before , Thats what I do , Set your ISO to 100, f stop 7.1 or 6.3 , It's a good idea to use mirror lockup to stop camera shake on the long exposures as well , If you dont have a remote shutter release , Set the timer as well It's all less you have to do in the dark , Clean filters if you have them , Charge batteries , Long exposures use more power , If your going near the surf , Find out if it is a incoming or out going tide , Incoming can get tricky on a good size swell , Wear shorts , Dont take a wallet , Footwear that is suitable on rocks, I use thongs that have good grip , Dont forget to have a good time

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    One thing I always do - that is extremely important - but has not been mentioned yet - is to let someone or family know where exactly you are going, its for your own safety.

    When I am somewhere remote or dangerous I always let a friend, or family member, or hotel or hostel know where I am heading and what time roughly I should be back. In case I dont come back - and always bring a mobile phone or some sort of communication device too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    One thing I always do - that is extremely important - but has not been mentioned yet - is to let someone or family know where exactly you are going, its for your own safety.
    good point, there is probably nothing more embarassing then being fished out by the rescue, that would then put photographers in the same league (much disliked) as rock fisherman for the rescue guys..
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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Check this great planning tool.

    http://photoephemeris.com/
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    Thank you all for the information itis all great and some things you may not think of unless somone mentions it

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    I'm pretty sure this will not be classed as a similar site but check out http://freephotoguidesaustralia.blogspot.com

    I am in NSW so there are quite a few good guides floating around which will reduce the need for scouting. It's always good to take a look at Google Maps before you go to see if there are other areas you can explore.

    It may also pay to google search the location you are planning to go and see if there are already images taken at the spot which will give you a better idea what to look for and expect.
    Remember that tides play a big role in seascapes as it can produce different images and also render some areas inaccesible.
    This site will allow you to see the incoming/outgoing tides http://tides.willyweather.com.au/nsw...ale-beach.html

    For easily accessible areas I tend to just go earlier (20 minutes before civil twilight) and pick a spot instead of going there in daytime (it's a 40 minute drive to the northern beaches for me)
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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Again, sometimes, sometimes not. I do use tpe and willyweather to research as well as the free photoguide.
    Cheers

    PeterB666


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    I've done a lot of scouting around. Many times only taking a small amount of camera gear. This time of year is great for scouting. The days are long, so you get to see more.
    I take a pen and note paper and write; where the location is, wet or dry tracks, ease of access and best time of year to be there. Sometimes we might do 500km's and not take a single shot.
    Many of the good togs here will say that planning is the key to good photography. And I believe this to be true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trublubiker View Post
    Check this great planning tool.

    http://photoephemeris.com/
    Yes, this is an extremely valuable tool. I took off early from work one afternoon, drove for two hours to a point on the escarpment to get the full moon rising over SE Qld, yep you guessed it... the moon rose not over the open view I had planned, but behind the trees along the road I used to get to the spot. Now I have this tool checked for all shots when the sun or moon may be a factor.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Geoff79's Avatar
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    I'm half and half on this too. For the last few years I've gone on lengthy road trips where I travel from place to place along the coast and I usually end a day around 11pm in the deep darkness, and I find a place on the map that looks good - then I get up the next morning and hope for the best. I enjoy this a lot, but as you can imagine it doesn't always end well.

    In Sydney I know the beaches like the back of my hand, but that said, not each rock. So I don't necessarily do too much research, but I have a good idea of where I hope to go, vague as it is.

    I totally, 100% agree with William's preparation techniques - old or not. If you're like me and not even remotely a morning person, set your camera and filters the night before! Without doubt, most important thing for me. Because the amount of times I've had my camera on dodgy settings, gone out tired and groggy, and not noticed the wrong settings until halfway into taking the pics... well, it has happened many times in the past. Setting up ISO, aperture and filters the night before is a must, imo. Probably not a bad idea to just set timer on 'bulb' too if you do plan to get in really early, as it's the only setting you'll be able to use effectively for a while, till some decent light appears.

    Anyway, long post. Apologies. My new favourite website in the world is weatherzone.com.au:
    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/nsw/sy...ailed-forecast

    An "hour by hour" forecast, which is actually every 3 hours, which tells you approximate cloud cover and chance of rain. Since I've had access to this I have not wasted one single morning getting up for a clear sky, which ALWAYS happened to me in the past. My advice in the short time using the site is if the cloud cover is less than 50%, stay at home and catch on some sleep and wait for the next 50% plus day.

  16. #16
    All lines lead to Home ... arnica's Avatar
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    If time permits i would scout. I learnt my lesson when I was walking in the Blue mountains a few years back carrying a backpack with 3 lens, TC, filters, and tripod. It turned out I only used 2 lens at most.

    throughout the walk I kept on saying to myself "why did i bring all this gear with me"?

    Needless to say i was buggered after 5 hours of walking.
    Regards,
    Phil

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    things you can do to optimise a shoot :
    - scouting the location is ideal but sometimes not possible
    - arrive well before you plan to start shooting (especially dawn)
    - use tools like TPE , google maps, to virtually scout out terrain if you haven't been there before
    - very important for seascaping is knowing what the tide is doing as well - some places around the metro coast I'll only go to during certain tide conditions for instance
    - I always tell Marianne where I'm going the night before I head off
    - if you arrive and the weather is just awful , still go out and take some recon shots and scout the area then and there - you'll get better conditions on a future visit!

    ps. I used to think that post sunset and pre-dawn shots were always better and on the whole, they are, but do hang around after dawn too - the sun can do wonderful things with the low angle of light when you're looking away from the direct light
    Last edited by Dylan & Marianne; 06-03-2012 at 1:46pm.
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    If you scout with your camera and tripod are you still scouting or shooting? I always take my camera with me when scouting as you can get good shots any time of day. Some spots are worth going back during sunrise/sunset.
    James


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    Going Cold Blooded outstar79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslagden View Post
    If you scout with your camera and tripod are you still scouting or shooting? I always take my camera with me when scouting as you can get good shots any time of day. Some spots are worth going back during sunrise/sunset.
    I always take camera and tripod scouting and actually shoot the places I want to photograph later normally under better conditions ie: lighting and cloud etc.

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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    James, scouting and shooting aren't mutually exclusive

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